Beard Q&A With My 3 Most Favorite Guys

Beard Q&A With My 3 Most Favorite Guys

So since I like to exercise control and authority over general supplies in N’s life (let’s start calling him Nabeel on the blog now? I think I’ve outgrown N), I am fairly confident that’s the same with most of you too. A while ago I got a shipment of the new beard scents from Babel Alchemy which was pretty exciting for me because you guys know that I set up a beard grooming routine for Nabeel sometime back and therefore I have a casual (by casual I mean obsessive) interest in that area.

Rather than just review them, I thought I’d pick three of the most favorite guys in my life (imagine all three have beards!), let them test a scent each and do a fun Q&A with them about their beards. I loved their answers so much, I hope you guys enjoy them too (there are actually some really cool tips in there, I didn’t expect that)
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Favorite Guy No. 1: Nabeel
Relationship: Husband/Personal chai-provider/Unpaid blog employee
Beard Scent you tried:  Cool Mint
Why did you keep a beard? I’d kept a stubble for the longest time but felt that it would sometimes looked unkept. So I thought I’d experiment and see how a beard would look, took permission from Shooz (Shehzeen to you), kept it, loved it and here we are.
How long have you had it? Just completed a year. Happy beard-aversary to me.
What’s your favorite part about keeping a beard? Despite what you’d think, it actually ends up looking pretty polished if you take care of it routinely. I’m a lazy guy and so this is a win for me.
How do you maintain it? Shooz got me onto all the Babel Alchemy grooming products so I pretty much use those for everyday maintenance. Every couple of weeks, I go to get it trimmed and shaped. And sometimes when I get a head massage at home, Shooz is nice enough to give me a beard massage with the oil too. I was a cynic but she pushed/blackmailed me to use it, and honestly it’s taken away all the dryness and dandruff I had initially.
Do you use any grooming products? The Babel Alchemy beard shampoo every couple of days, the beard oil and beard comb everyday (the oil really calms the hair down and the comb puts it all into place). I do have the styling balm but I feel it’s for longer hair, I use it when I want to look extra polished because it really locks things down into place (like hair wax).
Do you recommend anyone for styling your beard? My Dubai guy is okay but I got my beard done in Lahore (thanks to Faizan below and Shooz’s bordering-on-murder insistence) from Danny at Toni & Guy. He did an amazing job.

How long do you think you’re going to keep it? As of right now, the answer is forever. I just think I look better with a beard.

What did you think of the Babel oil? I’ve been using the Sandalwood since a few months. This time I tried the Cool Mint and it was really nice. I’d definitely repurchase.
Any tips for someone growing out their beard? It’s going to look weird for about a month before things fall into place. Stick it out and you should be fine. If your hair’s scattered, use a beard oil because they don’t just make things nice topically, they also help with growth and the health of your skin under the beard.
Any beard fails? Same as Mustafa’s fail at the end (I had the privilege of reading his part before doing mine).
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Favorite Guy No. 2: Faizan
Relationship: Brother/Official first best friend in life/Part-time annoyer
Beard Scent you tried:  Cinnamon Bark

Why did you keep a beard? I was always the clean shave kind of guy. I didn’t start experimenting with facial hair till the age of 21. I started with a stubble which eventually turned into a full grown beard mainly because I was too lazy to get it fixed. I never really learned how to use a razor so I would just go to a guy once a week to get it done. Or sometimes only when I had to attend an important event. I honestly sometimes wanted to get rid of it and the only reason I decided to keep one was because my then-girlfriend/now-wife told me she won’t accept me without a beard and now I can’t picture myself without it.
How long have you had it? 5 years.
What’s your favorite part about keeping a beard? Lets you be lazy and not have to shave everyday and still look good.
How do you maintain it? Any routines? Keeping a beard isn’t really hard work. Maintaining it however is a task. It’s very easy to look like the guy from Into The Wild if you don’t know what you are doing. But I didn’t know there were actual products for ‘beard grooming’ ( I still can’t believe that’s actually a thing, lol). So when Shehzeen Apa sent me Babel’s beard oil, my instant reaction was ‘Hain?’ but then I decided to check it out so after days of it sitting on my dresser like a decoration piece (my wife loved the bottle so she gave it a special spot) I decided to try it. And it actually really made a difference. Other than the oil, I get it shaped every couple of weeks.
Do you use any grooming products? Now this beard oil! I haven’t used it enough yet to figure out if it helps in growing out a beard but I have heard it’s good for that and even though I don’t have this issue, I’ve heard that its pretty great for men dealing with dryness and dandruff, in case anyone here was wondering.

Do you recommend anyone for styling your beard? I would recommend Danny at Toni & Guy, Lahore. He’s a master at it.

How long do you think you’re going to keep it? Probably forever?

What did you think of the Babel oil? The first thing I noticed after I opened the bottle was the smell. I got the Cinnamon Bark oil so the scent is really soothing. Not over-powering and nauseating (nothing like Cinnabon like I was hoping but that’s okay). Second thing I noticed was that even though it’s oil, it didn’t make my beard oily but instead blended in (I used 3 drops) so it’s something that can be used at all times. I used it for a couple of days and didn’t see any immediate effect but after a week I noticed that my hair wasn’t sticking out in different directions like it used to, it was much more easy to manage and even in the terrible Lahore summer it didn’t make my beard all oily yet helped fix my itchy beard situation. So I think I am keeping it and probably waiting for another bottle (take the hint, sister)
Any tips for someone growing out their beard? For everyone growing out a beard or planning to grow one out, just remember that it’s important to treat your beard properly. Make sure you are keeping it clean (just because the hair isn’t on your head doesn’t mean it needs zero care), getting it properly groomed or learn how to keep it nice and in shape. Now that we have special products I guess it makes a lot more easy. Now my sister will tell you where and how you can get your hands on these awesome products. Bye from me.
Any beard fails? I once went to someone who was in a rush and didn’t do both sides symmetrically. I had to painfully wait for it to grow out and get fixed.
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Favorite Guy No. 3: Mustafa
Relationship: Best Friend/Official Emotional Support (Karachi Chapter)/Current Stanford Fellow 2017 (I have intellectual friends)/Married to a girl who’s a Formula 1 Engineer (that’s now a part of his identity so I had to slip that in)
Beard Scent you tried:  Orange Peel

Why did you keep a beard? I looked too young without one and thought this would help me in my job that involved a lot of negotiations with older people. It actually worked!
How long have you had it? Over a year now.
What’s your favorite part about keeping a beard? Not having to worry about shaving when I’m out trekking for days.
How do you maintain it? Any routines? Very low maintenance actually. I just trim it once a week and comb it daily.

Do you use any grooming products? None before getting introduced to this oil!

Do you recommend anyone for styling your beard? My hairdresser in Islamabad. Sadly, I miss him.

How long do you think you’re going to keep it?
I think for quite some time.

What did you think of the Babel oil? I really liked the one I got. I thought the orange peel would be too citrusy at first but it’s been developed really well, the scent is really nice.
Any tips for someone growing out their beard? Listen to your hair type! Some facial hair is just not meant to be grown too long. Manage your length accordingly.
Any beard fails? I’ve often trimmed one side more than the other! I then let it be that way because I prefer a denser beard to a lighter one. Takes a few days for the shorter side to catch up with the longer one.

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Bonus tip from Faizan: If you want to keep a beard but don’t know how to manage the shape, go to someone who knows their job, at least once even if it’s expensive. See what shape they give to your beard and you’ll have a starting point on how to get it done every time. You need to find your beard shape according to your face shape. Even simple things matter like tapering it at the correct angles and maintaining volume in certain parts by leaving some denser than others. It gives shape to your face and can actually make it look longer/thinner/fuller – depending on the look you want. Example, a tapered beard with more volume on the chin can give your face a longer look, which someone with a rounder face may want want.

Shehzeen: When I forced Nabeel to go to Toni & Guy to figure his beard shape out, I was blown away by what that guy Danny at Toni & Guy did. He made his face look thinner & longer and did such great styling (to his hair too!). It was just when he had started to keep a beard and it gave me a very good idea of what his beard should look like.
I personally loved all these three scents – Cool Mint, Orange Peel and Cinnamon Bark a LOT (Sweet Patchouli was the fourth one but it wasn’t my type). I’d totally recommend any of these.  You can buy these scents from Babel Alchemy here, they ship worldwide.
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+ I reviewed the full Beard kit from Babel Alchemy sometime ago, you can check it out here. Nabeel uses his stuff everyday.
+ + Check out the (cute?) video I once did for these new scents here.


  1. I cracked up at the part where N asks you for permission about the beard LOL

  2. Your friend Mustafa's reason for keeping a beard is so spot on! My brother did the same. He used to look soooo chota and the beard instantly made him look mature!

  3. You brother calling you apa is the cutest thing I've read all week.

  4. Such such such an interesting post. And such authentic reviews. loved this

  5. BEARDS FOR THE WIN! Also these photos are better than anything the brand could have done NO JOKE <3 If and when I have a man in my life I ll direct them here and of course gift him Cinnamon Bark because I love the scent of cinnamon.

  6. Loved it esp the ever so professional photos …my husband also has a 5 o clock sunshine.its been 5 months now.i am so gonna blackmail him to use these ?

  7. Ummm, not really sure you need beard oil for such short lengths of facial hair.

    -Metallica Beardsmith

  8. Loved the detailed post and crisp images!
    My most favorite guys also have beards and I am definitely going to gift them these products.

  9. In a time when people are phasing out of endearing urdu words, it is so sweet to see the word "appa". Faizan's part was my favourite. What a wonderful post.

    – Mahnoor

  10. Yar I just read this and the best things about this post are the pictures. Wow. Next level.

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