Recently, black men in sports, music and film — like James Harden, Drake and Idris Elba — have redefined beard style and given an underrepresented group of men the confidence to embrace their facial hair, says Neville Hall, the co-owner of beard care products retailer Bold Beardsmen.

But black men with beards isn’t a new trend.

“It’s something that speaks to our heritage,” says Hall. “The hair on our heads has always been our crown, but growing a beard is a stepping stone to becoming a man.”

Dear Drake, please share your beard grooming secrets. 

The skincare needs and problems for black men with beards are unique, however, Hall says men have started taking beard maintenance and grooming more seriously. We asked Hall, a scientist and a board-certified dermatologist to explain the common grooming challenges and share their tips for growing and maintaining a beard.