Not sure how to tell you this. Maybe grab a chamomile tea and sit down. *Sigh*. Drake. He, uh... he shaved his beard. Did you guys see that shit? Where once Papi’s almighty chin strap bespoke the sharpness of his jawline as sure as blood does a knife’s edge, now all definition is gone and he just looks like a thumb with feelings. Nothing will be the same.

This of course presents fans like me with a quandary. Drake is Canada’s saddest export. But that’s always been fine because, even while being the most emotional man in rap, his beard game made him look badass. Now, well, let’s just say there’s no Future. If nothing else let it be a lesson: beard glory isn’t bestowed upon everyone; hold onto it if you’re one of the lucky few. If you’re not there yet, well, this column will thrust greatness upon you.

Step 1

Like Drizzy fans everywhere, after hearing the terrible news, I listened to Nothing Was The Same on repeat and got tears all over my headphones. I knew then that I had to restore balance by writing this column, by bringing more beards into the world. So let’s turn that nascent fluff on your face into something epic, something at which women will point and your grandmother will fear. Step one is simple: give it a wash. Beardsley Ultra Shampoo is, as I see it, essential whether you’re rocking a full face mane or trying to cultivate stubble for the first time.

Ultra Shampoo

Ultra Shampoo

$15

Beardsley

Buy at Beardsley

Use it: You’ll want to use this either in the shower or after cleansing, applying a minuscule amount and working up the blob size as your beard grows. Clean skin is healthy skin, a washed beard is a happy beard. You need both if you hold any hope of growth.

Step 2

Now, your beard might start from the bottom. Sporting more hair on your neck than your face is actually worse than doing the full Drake and BETRAYING YOUR FANS and shaving off everything so don’t let it happen. To that end, buy a powerful trimmer. Wahl’s Lithium Ion Tool is my pick of the bunch.

Lithium Ion

Lithium Ion

$60

wahl

Buy at wahl

It’s excellent not only because it’s not as garish as the plastic grooming contraptions every not-so-close relative is wont to gift you at Christmas, but also because it’s inexpensive to a near-arousing degree.

Use it: Trimming helps to simultaneously keep the hair even and stimulate growth. But don’t ever make the rookie error of shaving all of the hair on your neck up to your jawline like some simulacrum of a ‘90s barbershop model. You want some hair there, perhaps down to the Adam’s apple.

Step 3

I have a friend who’s one of those patchy guys. You know the type. His "beard" is more a pathetic coalescence of disparate fluff than anything solid like pre-last week Drake’s magnificent hirsutism. (Whatevs, Drake, I'm over it). Naturally, this friend of mine walks a few paces behind the rest of us and always gets the smallest piece of chicken. You, on the other hand, will do better than that. I can feel it.

Once you’ve kept your face clean and your stubble neat, it should, in theory, grow. At this stage, it’s important to oil and condition your beard. You can buy these products separately but I prefer using Tom Ford’s Conditioning Beard Oil, which is a combo of both.

Beard Oil

Beard Oil

$50

Tom Ford

Buy at Tom Ford

Use it: Too much oil is too much oil. Apply it sparingly after your normal wash-and-moisturize routine in the morning and you’re good. Tom Ford isn’t cheap, by the way, but the "tobacco vanille" scent is literally irresistible to women and you’ll have to start paying a bodyguard to protect you from the drooling hordes of shunned female Drake fans now looking for a new bearded hero to hunt ad perpetuum.

Step 4

If you’re reading this then it’s too late to turn back now. With a well oiled beard on the way, you’re hitting some advanced territory. Level 10 shit. It’s time for lessons that are usually reserved for the bearded elite. Like one of those Instagram wankers who’s turned it into a living by being an "influencer" and then subsequently an ambassador for some overpriced mustache wax.

Speaking of which, mustache wax is dope. (*Runs to pick up ambassadorial paycheck*).

HAHA JK I FUCKING WISH.

Jokes and desperation aside, wax is your friend if you want to turn your beard into a beardstache (epic) or to grow it out into something Biblical (epic-er). I love the smell and feel of Penhaligon’s Bayolea Wax.

Moustache Wax

$7

Penhaligon's

Buy at Penhaligons

Much like all handsome grooming writers, it’s British. Plus, also not unlike British grooming writers, it's cheap.

Use it: With a beard comb like Baxter of California’s, straightening the hair in downward strokes.

Beard Comb

Beard Comb

$16

Baxter Of California

Buy at Mr. Porter

Again, use sparingly and only when you have at least a few millimeters of growth. It’s meant mainly for the 'tache but you can also tame any wayward wisps that might be causing you problems.

There you have it: your beard 0-100 real quick.

WHY, DRAKE? WHY?!

Hit me with your grooming questions below so I don’t have to come up with column ideas for myself and can just answer them next week. – Alex Harris

Knock, knock. Who is it? Groom service.

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