Everything you need to keep your beard looking and feeling its best – from how to control dry, irritated skin to when to get it trimmed and all the stuff in between. With expert advice from Alan Dashti, professional barber.
Walking into The Dashtis barbershop just feels right. It’s a quiet place with none of the pointless chatter you find in other salons. And there’s a serious energy in the air. A focus. You feel like you’re doing something right when you’re there – something that men should do because it’s what men have always done.
Even with the silence, it feels personal and relaxed. There’s something about being in the right place with the right people that does that to you. Waiting to see someone that can deftly handle scissors, hair and a comb.
We've come to downtown Horsens, Denmark, to meet with the celebrated Dashti brothers – expert barbers that know more about trimming, shaping and beard oil than anyone we know. With over 20 years of men’s grooming experience, and beards we can’t stop staring at, we’re confident they’re the guys to learn from.
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a great beard. “The first thing to understand is the shape of your face. If you have a thin face, you’ll want the beard to grow more and even out the shape. If you have a wider jawline, keeping the sides of the beard short will work better.”
Starting to grow a beard is where patience, friendships, and relationships will be truly tested. “We ask all clients to let their beards grow 2-3 months before coming in and letting us trim and shape it. We do this to give the beard time to grow and develop and give us something to work with. Trying to shape week-old patches isn’t worth it.”
We asked the Dashtis what happens during the growing period… anything we can do to not look like a molting baby bird? “No. For the first months, you’ll look like crap. Think of it as a true test of your relationship. If your partner stays with you through that, it’s meant to be.
And don’t wait for 3 months to start using products, either. Giving your beard the right foundation and starting point is key to its success. Stock up on beard oil and beard balm and keep skin hydrated with the proper moisturiser.
Come to your barber with a healthy beard and he’ll be able to do much more with it. Don’t show up with a dusty mess.”
Good things indeed come to those who wait. But what about the guy that practices Confucius-like patience and still ends up with a patchy beard?
The Dashtis suggest that if you’re cursed with a patchy beard, then you shouldn’t grow one.
“Some guys aren’t blessed with the power to grow a thick beard. If you’re the guy with small holes where hair should be, your barber can work with what you have and shape it to fit your face. If you have a really patchy beard, you may have to shave it off and try a different look. We haven’t learned how to make beards grow yet. If you find the barber who can… let us know.
One thing that will help is giving your skin and hair the best possible conditions – keep skin hydrated and beard moisturised. Let your barber find the right shape and style. He’s best suited for advising on brushing, maintenance, and shape.”
Growing a beard is only a small part of the process. “The first step for any beard is to moisturize. A healthy beard is a well-hydrated one. If yours is dry and flaky, it’ll make you wish you had a scarf big enough to hide it.
A lot of people rush out and buy beard balm first. They think that protecting the hair is the right way to go. It’s more important that you use beard oil because it reaches deep to the skin and keeps your skin from itching and becoming red and irritated.
Beard balm is for the beard and beard oil is for the skin.
Beard balm is also important because it’s thicker and provides nutrition for the actual hair. The best routine is to use beard oil in the morning and wash it out before you go to bed with warm water. The oil penetrates down to the skin and is easy to wash out before bed. If your hair is dry and needs extra moisture, incorporate a beard balm as well.
We see a huge difference between clients that use products and guys that don’t. One comes in with a beard that’s easier to work with and the other is a dry and brittle beard that gets irritated when working with it.
Using the right products means that the skin under the beard stays healthy. Great news if you ever plan to shave it off... although, who would ever want to do that?!”
“Keeping your beard clean is different from washing the rest of your body. You should only wash with beard shampoo 1-2 times a week – using soap or shampoo every day could result in dandruff or dry, irritated skin.
Choose a shampoo that is created for beards… not the same one you use to wash your feet or even the one for your hair. You need a product that is formulated for beards and won’t dry you out. Also, pat dry with a towel – rubbing too much can split the ends and tangle.”
Combing and brushing is another important step in the cleaning and maintenance process. “Yes, we can’t say enough about how daily brushing is good for you. It does more than detangle, it distributes natural oils and encourages growth by increasing blood circulation.”
If you’ve ever used a beard brush, you know that beard balm and hair enjoy hanging out in it. You end up with a sticky brush that doesn’t work as good as it used to and can harbor bacteria that leads to breakouts and irritation.
Follow these 5 steps to keep your beard brush clean and guarantee you’re giving your whiskers the love they deserve.
Beardruff, also known as dandruff in the beard, can plague even the best and cleanest of men. “Using beard oil is important if you want to avoid beardruff. It makes the skin softer and will hydrate and heal the flaky skin.
If it’s a big problem, combine the oil with a beard balm for extra protection and hydration. A lot of guys use it once and hope the problem will go away. It won’t.
We can’t go home with you and make sure you take care of yourself. Usually, if you use oil as we recommend, the problem will go away in a month and then you can hold your head up in public again.”
How often does a beard need trimming? “It depends on the beard and how quickly it grows and when the shape and flyaways start to bother you. For most guys, it’s once every 2 weeks. For others, it’s once a month.
You must feel confident. You took the time to grow it and you spend time taking care of it with beard oil, balm and the right shampoo – don’t throw that away with an untrimmed mess. Go visit your barber.”
The Dashtis have a piece of advice on behalf of all barbers, “Don’t try to fix edges at home. When you try to shape your beard at home, it’s more work for your barber to fix.
You focus on taking care of the skin and hair and let us do our jobs. A good barber will use a straight razor because it’s easier to make clean lines and give you the exact look you’re after.”
“Advice. You can’t get personal advice on the internet, and it’s personal advice catered to your skin and beard that will make a difference.
We work with guys all day and we know what works and doesn’t. You can trust that your barber knows his products, techniques and will show you the right way to care for and maintain your beard.
It’s like going to the doctor. If you’re sick, you don’t search for a cure for appendicitis on the internet – you seek professional help. Your beard is like that. Don’t trust your hard work to a 2-second search. Find a barber you trust, make the appointment and get checked out.
And don’t just nod your head and say ‘yes’ while we’re telling you something. Listen to our advice and follow through with it.”
“We can’t share all of our tricks, but we can give you 2 that will completely change the way you groom.
The way we use products is different than you may think. We find that clients use way too much of a product and end up wasting it.
Take beard oil, for example. We use 1-2 drops of oil and massage it in. For beard wax, a thumbnail amount is enough. It’s in the way we use the product that matters, not the amount. Take note of that when you’re in our chair or with your local barber.
Another tip is to take care of your skin from the beginning. A lot of guys end up shaving off their beards because they’re itchy and out of control.
If you take care of it from the beginning, you won’t have to chop it off later. Make sure that the skin under the beard is soft – this skin doesn’t get much air and needs the right products to keep it healthy.”
“Beards or no beards – you must use a moisturiser for your skin. Find one that isn’t greasy and make sure that it’s non-comedogenic (won’t clog your pores). If you choose one with SPF in it, that’s even better.
If you’re growing a beard, you must use beard oil. We can not stress its value enough. Beard oil for the win!”
“You can and should use beard oil every day. Don't use it on the days you want an irritated, itchy beard."
“Why would you want to straighten it? We think that if you’re blessed with curls, then rock it. Smaller curls can make the beard look fuller and like a lot of the beard guys trending right now. Treat it with products to keep it soft and make sure the shape matches your face.”
“Obviously we think so. Having a beard lets the world see your masculinity. It shows that you took time and have the maturity to care for and maintain it.
Of course, clean-shaven guys can look manly… but when they grow up they may wish they’d grown a beard.”
“No. We aren’t aware of any magical brushes that encourage beard growth. Combing and brushing can make your beard appear fuller and tame flyaways and that will certainly look better.”
The Dashti brothers run one of Denmark’s most-celebrated barbershops – The Dashtis. Established in 2010, the shop provides classic barber style, updated for today. The brothers are Kurds from Iran who now make Denmark their home.
With over 21 years of professional experience, The Dashtis pride themselves on their advanced techniques, high-level of skill and ability to make every man (and beard) look incredible.
Complete Beard-Grooming Kits