A braided Viking beard is a thing of beauty. While most, but not all, men can grow a beard, there are few and far between that can take on the challenge of growing and maintaining a beard fit for a Viking.
While beards donned the faces of almost everyone during the Viking Age, which is between 760 and 1066, most beards were dirty and unstyled. The Vikings were not like this. Scandinavian archeologists report that Vikings practices good hygiene. While they did not bathe every day, which would have been unheard of back in the day, they washed their faces and combed their beards every morning.
The beards of the Viking warriors were works of art. You too can achieve this level of beard craftsmanship if you follow our tips below.
Items Needed To Style
There are several factors that go into achieving your very own Viking beard.
The Right Diet Is Vital
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Growing a lash and full beard requires protein, a lot of protein. A traditional Viking diet was primarily made of up oily fish and meat, which contain sulfur-rich amino acids, iron, zinc, vitamin D and B12.
Look for foods that are high in protein such as red meat, fish, and nuts. Combine this high protein diet with enough sleep and managing your stress can help your beard grow faster.
If you are looking to embody the Viking way of life, in addition to the beard, you can try following the Nordic Diet. Many of the competitive beard growers follow this diet to get the best facial hair they can.
Following this diet is simple – eat lots of plants first and then meat or seafood. While following the diet, you are allowed to eat as much seasonal produce (specifically the ones you can get at the farmers market) as you’d like, including leafy greens, fruits, nuts, berries, root vegetables, and beans. Whole grains, such as spelt, rye, oats, and barley, are also allowed on this diet.
Patience Is Key
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Growing a luxurious beard takes time. Have you ever tried to watch a pot of water bowl? Waiting for your beard to grow is worse than this. SImply put – growing a beard fit for a Viking takes time.
The worst and itchiest part of the growth phase should pass in about a week. Determining what style of beard you want before you start growing it can help maintain your motivation. Knowing what you really want will help you push past the waiting and itching.
Hygiene Is Important
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As we mentioned before, a good Viking beard is a clean beard. While many think of a long beard as dirty, unkempt and greasy, this could not be further from the truth for Viking inspired facial hair.
Washing your face every morning is essential. It may seem like there is little of your face left after you start growing a beard, but washing your face helps you wake up, exfoliate and care for your exposed skin.
While no one during that time was able to bathe every day, Vikings prided themselves on washing once a week. Since most of us have jobs and responsibilities, showering frequently is a necessity. While in the shower, you should shampoo your beard. Not only does this help clean and nourish your beard, but it helps to wash the skin underneath your facial hair.
After you get a good lather going, work the shampoo into your beard and let it sit for a minute. Then, rinse thoroughly. You don’t want any residue left on your beard, or it may make styling more difficult.
Combing Is Crucial
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Once your beard is completely dry, it is time to comb it through. Start from the top and work your way down. Combing your beard daily gets rid of any knots or tangles, which can make styling more difficult and painful.
It is crucial to your beard’s health that you buy the right comb and beard brush. A comb is used to detangle your beard after it is washed. If you are styling your beard, a brush may be more suited for the task.
Much like the combs used by Vikings, the best beard combs are made of animals horns or other natural materials since they gently distribute your beard’s natural oils throughout the length of your beard.
It is important to note that a beard brush is very different than a hairbrush. A brush for beards has shorter bristle length, which can comb your beard more efficiently with fewer strokes. Fewer strokes result in less breakage.
Trimming Often Is Essential
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While cutting your beard when you are trying to grow it out may seem counterintuitive, it can actually really help you achieve the Viking beard you are after.
Trimming your beard helps it look clean and tidy, not to mention that trimming it can prevent it from looking scraggly. No one wants a scraggly beard.
It is important to keep these tips in mind when trimming your beard:
- Never trim your beard white it is wet. Hair shortens as it dries, so you may end up with an uneven beard if you trim it while it is wet.
- Always comb your beard before trimming it. This separates the hairs and allows you to see what needs to be trimmed.
- Don’t forget the neckline! Cleaning up your neckline, even though it is hidden under your beard, can lead to less itchiness and a sharper-looking beard.
A good trim requires a quality grooming kit. You may also use scissors and a comb. If you opt for this route, make sure to purchase a barber’s scissors, as a dull pair of scissors will not do your beard any favors. When trimming with scissors and a comb, cut the hair off on the outside of the comb, not the inside.
In order to keep your beard symmetrical, you should start at the ear and trim down to toward the chin.
How To Style A Viking Beard
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After working hard to get your beard to the length you want it, the worst thing you can do is neglect it to the point it becomes so dry you have to shave it off and start again.
Beard oil can help protect your beard from the elements and keep it nourished. It is packed full of conditioning agents and essential oils, which help both your beard and your skin beneath it. Beard oil is also a great product to use it to control the itch that comes with growing a beard. Did we mention that beard oil smells good too?
Beard oil should be applied to the beard after washing while it is still wet. Warm the oil in your hands by rubbing it between your palms. Work the oil into your skin and then move down toward the end of your beard. Comb the oil through until it is evenly distributed.
Determining how much oil to use is based on how long you have been growing your beard:
- Less than one month requires 3 to 4 drops.
- One to three months needs just 4 to 6 drops.
- Three to twelve months should receive 6 to 10 drops.
- More than twelve months can benefit from ten drops or more.
It is important to note that those in a humid climate will require less oil while those in a dry climate will typically require more.
Beard balm can be used in addition to beard oil to help moisturize, shape and tame longer beards. It is applied in the same manner as the oil. Heat the balm in your hands and then massage it into your beard near your face and work down toward the end. Comb through after applying to ensure it is well distributed.
The Viking Beard Braid
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The process of achieving a Viking beard braid is simple.
- Determine how many braids you want and separate your hair into that number of sections with your comb.
- Separate the sections of each sectioned off portion into three equal-sized sections. The three sections should be vertically parallel to each other.
- Lift the section on the far left and place it over the middle section. The left section is now in the middle position, and the middle section is on the left.
- Lift the section on the far right and place it over the middle section. The right section is now in the middle position, and the middle section is on the right.
- Repeat this process alternating between the left and right until your braid reaches the desired length. Don’t braid too tightly or that may damage your beard.
- Pinch the bottom of your braid with your ring finger and thumb. Then apply hair wax to secure the braid in place adequately.
Achieving a Viking beard is timing consuming but not impossible. For those willing to put in the work, a Viking beard is a distinct and striking choice. The beard is also very customizable and can be worn both long and short.
Don’t let a Viking beard intimidate you. If you follow the tips we laid out; you too can have the beard of your wildest Viking dream