Taking a whiff of The Bearded Bastard’s signature Woodsman Beard Oil is like taking a deep breath in the middle of a lush cedar forest. The company specializes in scented beard oils and balms made by hand in Austin, Texas, a town where “no matter what, you walk in any office, you’re gonna find a guy or multiple guys with beards or mustaches,” says The Bearded Bastard’s Casey McKenna, a longtime Austinite who rocks a short but thick beard. McKenna talked with Hook & Barrel about the do’s and don’ts of men’s grooming. This bastard knows how to tame your mane.

So what are people constantly messing up when it comes to beard care?

Biggest mistake people make is they wash their beard too often. Washing your beard should be maybe twice a week, max three times a week. And you’ll want to use a natural shampoo; you don’t want to use something harsh and full of chemicals because it’ll strip the natural oils away from your beard and it’ll dry out your face. If you get flakes, and you get itchy, you end up shaving the beard.

What advice would you give someone who wants to grow a giant Santa Claus beard?

Get a good barber. That’s the number one tip I would give. Besides getting a good barber, it’s going to take a lot of time, so just be patient.

How long has your beard been growing for?

I’ve had a beard for the last six years, but my beard is probably not even a full inch long. I keep it very close to the face. One, I feel like at this length I have the most confidence in myself and my outward appearance, and two, my girlfriend would appreciate it staying this way as well.

Speaking of which, how about softness? What do you need to do to pass the kiss test?

So when it comes to softening up your beard, you want to use the beard oils. You hop out of the shower, you leave your beard damp, you pat it dry. You don’t want to take that towel and rub it on your face because you’ll just create static, and you’ll fill your beard with all that static electricity, and that’s not good for anything. You take the oil and go against the grain and work it in. Then after that, you go ahead and take the beard balm, which acts like a natural detangler, a natural softener.

What celebrity do you think has the most A+ beard?

Oh man, so I’m a pretty intense sports nerd so I always go athlete. But if we’re talking like Hollywood A-listers, let me think. Brad Pitt at times had a pretty cool beard. Leonardo had a pretty cool beard. Even Christian Bale’s had some pretty awesome beards in his day. How about Prince Harry rocking the beard at the royal wedding? That’s a pretty sick beard.

It’s a bold move.

Bold move bro.

What is beard oil anyway, and what is beard balm, and what’s the difference?

There are two different types of oils inside beard oil: There are carrier oils and there are essential oils. Carrier oils are the oils that are going to help keep your skin healthy, keep your skin moisturized, add those things that you’re stripping when you wash your face or beard. Essential oils are going to be your scented oils, the ones that actually smell.

On the flip side of things, beard balm is going to have all of those great oils in it, but we add solids like cocoa butter, shea butter, lanolin and beeswax to one, solidify, and two, when you use it on your face, they’ll give you a slight hold to keep any of those stray hairs away.

What does your own routine look like?

My personal routine, I prefer beard balm. I’ll just hop out of the shower, use a little beard balm, brush it through, and then I’m on my way out the door.

That’s so Austin.