Loving your beard means keeping it clean. One of the biggest struggles for the newly bearded concerns eating foods we normally wouldn’t worry about nordic beads when clean-shaven. Here are five ways to help your beard stay clean and fresh even when eating the messiest of foods!

1. Groom and Trim

Keep your mustache well-trimmed around your mouth, but if you prefer to let your mustache grow, use a nice firm ‘stache wax to stick your hairs together and shape your facial hairs so that they don’t hang in the way of your delicious food. You could either trim yourself with a nice pair of barber’s shears every day or so, or you can visit your beard-friendly barber once a week for a touch up. The bigger the beard, the more care it will need.

2. Keep it Covered

Try a bib! Get a nice handkerchief or bandana (preferably of a waterproof fabric or treatment) and tie it around your chin when you really need to keep your beard clean. It might look funny, but if you’re eating before an important meeting or job interview, it’s worth keeping that beard free of gross chunks of food. There are beard shields out there, or you could make your own using some vinyl or plastic, and decorate it as you please. Or you could just use some cellophane in a pinch. Any way you slice it, there will be some days that you will need to go to great lengths to keep your beard at its cleanest — weddings, interviews, big meetings, dates, functions, etc. And always remember to head to the bathroom after meals just to check and make sure you’re good to go.

3. Tie and Tuck

You reach across the table for the salt, and the tip of your beard dips in your friend’s food or drink. Major party foul, guys! When your beard gets longer, make sure to tie it out of the way when you are about to sit down for a meal. You can clip it to your shirt or jacket once it is tied away, or just tuck it into your collar if you can. There is probably no worse beard foul than dipping your beard in somebody’s dinner! You could braid your beard, so it’s easy to just throw it over your shoulder when necessary. Clips and Clamps work wonders when you’re on the go, and like your beard free and fluffy. An elastic headband might work well in a pinch to keep that beard close to your neck and away from your food.

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