Hey, I’m Phil Rigney, and this is my Beard Journey.
I started shaving when I was 12 years old and grew my first beard when I was 13. I’m a qualified electrician and I’ve only been clean shaven 6 times since 1996. When I found the tv show Vikings was being filmed on my island (Ireland), I started growing my full beard long to audition. I’ve always wanted to be an actor but never had the confidence, but I found my strength and am proud to say that I’m on Vikings in seasons 3,4,5 & 6. I’ve been to quite a few charity beard comps in England and America and have placed several times in the US.
My beard routine is as follows:
When I shower, I wash my beard with beard soap or beard shampoo. I then towel dry my beard and put beard oil into it when it’s still damp. I either let it dry naturally or blow dry it on the lowest heat and then put beard balm into it when its dry…..
On the days when I don’t wash it, I would put beard balm into my beard….. It’s funny though, because I was always the only bearded friend that all my mates had till about 2013, and then suddenly most of my friends started growing beards, and I was always the one they contacted for advice on how to grow it.
Phil Rigney is a proud member of the official Mad Viking Beard Team, and when he’s not filming for the TV show Vikings, can be found somewhere deep in the forest of HIS Island (Ireland).
When washing my beard, I would avoid normal bar soaps, body washes and hair shampoos. They will dry out your beard and irritate your skin doing more harm than good. I use Mad Viking beard soap twice a week and the Mad Viking beard wash once a week, which include all-natural ingredients that makes it sensitive enough for my face and strong enough for my beard. I would wet my beard every day and wash it a total of three times a week
2. Gently Towel Dry
I would pat it dry and try to get about 90% of the water out of my beard.
3. Apply Beard Oil
Beard oil is the foundation to a truly great and healthy beard, and I would apply beard oil daily to keep my skin and beard healthy. Mad Viking beard oil is great to reduce beard itch, dry skin, and split ends! When apply the oil, I first go under my beard and apply to my skin, then I use the extra to lube up the rest of my beard. As for how much I use would be about 11-12 drops or 9-10 squirts because of the length and thickness of my beard.
4. Beard balm
So about 15 to 20 minutes after applying the beard oil I would apply Mad Viking Beard Balm. I would Scoop some out with my finger, put it in the palms of my hand and rubbing them both together making sure I have an even coverage of balm on my hands and fingers, heating it up in my hands at the same time with the friction. I apply it by massaging the balm down to my skin and working it out to the end of my beard.
5. Comb It Out
After I apply the oil and balm, I would comb it out. A good beard comb is critical, and I use a comb with wide teeth to avoid static and snagging. First, I start by going under my beard and comb everything out, away from my face. Once it’s combed out, I comb it down and into place This up then down trick give me a fuller look and leads to less tangles and helps me style it just the way I like.
Darren Ó Fionnagáin
Darren Finnegan currently resides In Ireland, can be seen on Both hit TV shows Vikings and Game of Thrones, and is a proud member of the Official Mad Viking Beard Team.
Mick Wallage here. In recent years I’ve done rather well at the odd beard competition or two and as a result of that a lot of people get in touch with me to ask what they can do to make their beard grow faster or thicker. Well I’m sorry to disappoint, but a hell of a lot depends on genetics. If you’ve not got what it takes, no amount of lotions and potions is going to make you look like Chewbacca….sorry but that’s how things go sometimes.
What I am saying is that there are loads of beards out there that are good when in fact they could be AWESOME if they changed their beard care routine slightly. I’m not saying the way I do things is the best way or the only way, but it’s worked so far for me and won me a world title. The very first thing to point out is that your beard ain’t gonna get longer or thicker if you keep cutting it. I’ve heard people say, “I’ll have it trimmed, it grows back thicker.” …. Not in my opinion.
Always, but ALWAYS use a barber who knows his way around a beard. No matter how thick and fast your beard grows a bad barber can destroy it far faster than you can ever grow it, that is a FACT.
Unless you’ve a dirty/dusty job then in my opinion there’s absolutely no reason to wash your beard more than once a week. I’ll quite often use Mad Viking Conditioner even if I’ve only rinsed my beard. Don’t forget to give the conditioner time to be absorbed, otherwise you’re literally pouring money down the drain. Rinse your beard every day when you bath/shower of course, but too much washing will strip all the natural oils, leaving it dry, itchy, and brittle. When you do wash your beard, use only the best products from a reputable beard care producer who will have had their products tested and approved for sale. Stay clear of any shampoo/beard wash that contains parabens and sulfates, they dry the hair and lead to breakages.
Unlike the hair on your head beard hair is somewhat coarse and liable to breakage. That’s why I believe it’s important that you keep it well hydrated and supple. if it’s snapping off faster than its sprouting from your handsome face….. well that’s BAD. It’s going to appear to have stopped growing or worse still, recede. Sometimes I’ll oil twice a day, always in the morning, and more often than not, in the evening too. A lot of people have asked, “Should I oil when the beard is still damp or when it’s dry?” My personal preference is to oil when it’s dry. I’ll carefully comb once I’ve applied oil, first with a wide toothed comb, then a finer comb, and finally with a soft bristled brush while applying gentle heat from a hair dryer.
Once a week I’ll use lanolin as a deep leave in overnight conditioner, its greasy and feels horrible, will make hell of a mess of pillows but the results are soooo worth it. The following morning I’ll wash my beard well, and then oil in the normal way. That’s about it.
- In short, don’t cut it. Definitely don’t try and cut it yourself
- If you insist on cutting it, only go to a knowledgeable beard barber.
- Don’t wash the life out of it.
- Avoid harsh chemicals like parabens and sulfates
- Keep it hydrated with good quality oils and balms
- Oh and if you’re gonna style,use heat protection.
Most of all enjoy the beard journey and BEARD ON…!!
Mick (the chops) Wallage
Mick “The Chops” Wallage currently resides in the United Kingdom and is a proud member of the official Mad Viking Beard Team
We all know that beards are pretty damn awesome. They help set you apart from the crowd, your face deserves it and they help you look the way you were intended to. Not everyone’s job or lifestyle can permit a big beard, but for those fortunate ones who can, here are some Beard Growing Milestones I recall from my journey so far. Your mileage may vary.