Editor’s Note: Every Saturday in November we will introduce a Bearded Beauty, a man with a full beard or mustache, to raise awareness for men’s health, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. Not only will we raise awareness, but we will also shares tips of the trade of those who have mastered a beard and mustache.

A photo of Bearded Beauty Bryan McDowell.

Meet 32-year-old Bryan McDowell from Central Heights, manager of A&D Hydraulics, and bearded beauty. We sat down with Bryan who told us the reason he grew out his beard and how he styles it every morning. Keep reading for more from Bryan!

TFCL: Why did you decide to grow your beard out?
Bryan: Honestly, I despised shaving regularly.

TFCL: How long have you been growing out your beard?
Bryan: I’ve had it for the better part of a decade, but I just let it go about two and a half years ago.

TFCL: Do you have any advice for beginners on growing out facial hair?
Bryan: Yes, it’s perfectly fine for you to use beard oils, balms, etc. I promise you won’t lose man points or whatever. Far too many are too proud to take care of their beards. This also helps alleviate itching you may go through (Itching is irritation of the skin. It needs moisture).

TFCL: How do you style your beard every morning?
Bryan: After my morning shower, while the hair is still damp, I put beard oil on the beard and mustache, followed by combing the oil in both. Then I use a boar’s bristle brush to comb it while I blow dry it. Once it’s dry, I use a balm to lay the strays down.

Bryan McDowell has had his beard for 10 years.

TFCL: Do you have any tricks of the trade or any products you use while growing your facial hair out?
Bryan: A product that has stood out above the rest is Shu Uemura’s Essence Absolue. Softens beards like no other. Best oil I’ve found, hands down. Here are two tips to follow: 1) DO NOT use cheap, plastic combs on your beard. Buy a good, hand-carved one. The plastic is simply stamped during production and leaves lots of ridged edges that will cause bad split ends. 2) If you blow dry your beard (and a lot of guys do), it’s very important to use the “cool shot” when you’re done. This closes the pores on your face, wide open from the heat, helping defeat humidity, and maintaining control of your beard.

TFCL: The beard brings awareness to men’s health in November, why do you think it’s important to bring awareness to men’s health?
Bryan: When it comes to prevention and early detection, men’s health often takes a back seat to women’s health. Research, however, shows that, compared to women, men are more likely to smoke and drink alcohol and generally lead less healthy lifestyles. In addition, men are more likely to put off routine checkups and also delay seeing a healthcare provider for symptoms of a health problem. Fortunately, many of the health conditions and diseases that men face can be prevented or treated – if found early. In order to start taking better care of their health, it is important for men to understand their risk factors and how they can improve their overall health.