Best Ways To Keep Your Beard Soft
Beards are here to stay. They weren’t just some passing hipster fad in 2013. In fact, some experts have been saying that beards have finally gone ‘mainstream’, so it’s time we started looking after them properly. Whether you’re a mutton-chop or a goatee man, beards are a sign of masculinity. Even if you’re just sporting one because you think you have a weak chin, there’s no denying that a well-kept beard is a good look. But a rough beard isn’t fun for anyone. The last thing you want in a romantic moment is your partner’s face being scoured by your rough facial hair.
Looking after your beard isn’t just a matter of cleaning it once a week. It requires the perfect ingredients and techniques. Before we get into how to keep your beard soft, here are a few of the reasons it might be rough in the first place.
Split Ends – Just like your head hair, beard hair can suffer from split ends. When your beard gets to a certain length – which is different for every guy – the ends will start to split making the hair feel rough and look unkempt. Split ends are the main cause of rough beards and most of the other reasons below go hand-in-hand with them.
Dry Hair – Your beard hair can be dry for loads of different reasons. You could live in a dry climate, your diet could be wrong, etc. This can be tackled with the right beard products to bring moisture into your beard.
Lack of Attention – You can’t just grow a beard and leave it hanging. Well, you can, but you’re going to look like a hobo. Keeping a well-groomed beard takes a lot of attention. Follow the tips below and you’ll look more like George Clooney.
Lack of Sebum Oil – Sebum Oil is the naturally-occurring oil in the hair. In longer beards, it struggles to reach the end of the hair and causes split ends. This can be solved by using an appropriate beard oil.
Now you know why your beard is rough, here’s how to fix the problem.
Shampoo It Regularly
Apparently, if you leave your hair for long enough, it will start to become self-cleaning. But we really don’t recommend trying this with your beard. In fact, it’s probably the worst possible way of looking after it. Think about all the food that is going to get stuck in there if you don’t clean it – it’s certainly not going to help your love life. It’s actually recommended that you clean your beard hair more than you would your normal hair. But, before you jump in the shower and start lathering on the shampoo, you need to know what products to use.
You can’t use normal hair-shampoo for your beard. Shop-bought shampoo for your hair is designed to strip sebum oil out of the hair, to stop it looking greasy. But, as we said above, you need sebum oil in your beard hair! The hair on your face is much more brittle, so the sebum oil helps to keep it strong.
You need to buy a beard-specific shampoo that doesn’t contain nasty chemicals and keeps your beard healthy. Wash it between three and five times a week, depending on how much it needs doing. Check out our article on the best beard shampoos for 2019. In there, you’ll find the ten best products to keep your beard clean and strong.
Invest in Your Conditioner
A lot of beard products are designed to do the same thing – hydrate the hair. As we already talked about, beard hair is more prone to drying out. That’s why a beard conditioner is such an important product. It can get a bit confusing because beard conditioner, oil, and balm all seem to do the same thing (more on this in a minute). Beard conditioner is a product that you use after you have cleaned your beard. It normally contains natural oils and provides your beard hair with vitamins and moisturizers to keep it silky soft. Look for one that you use in the shower after you have cleaned your beard.
Use a Beard Balm
Now, back to the confusing matter of beard balms. The problem is that companies use the same terminology for different things. Beard balm is basically a conditioner that you leave in the beard. It softens, moisturizes, conditions, styles, and protects your beard. It’s really essential if you want to have a soft beard, especially if it’s long.
Beard balm is actually a pretty new concept. It became popular with the recent beard craze and there are hundreds of companies competing for the market space. That also means there are loads of different names for it, like beard butter, beard lotion, and beard cream. But – to be honest – as long as it conditions your beard, it’s going to help keep it soft. You can use it daily, or even multiple times a day, depending on how soft you want your beard to be.
It seems like everything can be brought back to our diets. Sometimes, it seems like a broken record. But all men’s grooming can be improved by eating the right foods. Something that so many people forget is that our hair is a part of our body, so we should treat it with the same respect. In terms of growing a soft beard, the main things you need in your diet are Beta Carotene, Protein, and Vitamins A, B, C and E. Now, that might sound like a lot to take in, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Without going into the boring details of exactly what foods to eat, a good rule is to include more nuts, vegetables, eggs, and fish into your diet.
If you really want the perfect beard, you might need to move house. Okay, maybe it’s going a bit far, but it’s worth taking into consideration. The climate you live in can have a serious effect on your body, including your hair and facial hair. Living in a humid and dry climate is probably the worst thing you can do to your beard. It’s going to cause it to become rough and patchy, make the hair curl, and can even cause dandruff. Plus, it’s one of the worst factors in causing the dreaded beard itch. Okay, so maybe we’re being a bit dramatic here. You’re probably not going to up sticks and move to another place just so you can have a soft beard. If you follow the rest of the advice in this article, you should be able to maintain a soft beard in even the most humid environments. So, if you’re dead set on having a big bushy beard in a hot climate, we can still help.
Hydrate It with Beard Oil
Before we get started, beard oil isn’t the same as beard shampoo, condition, or balm. Yeah, it can get pretty confusing if this is your first foray into the world of proper beard maintenance, but bear with us, beard oil has its own unique uses. For a start, beard oil is a leave-in product – i.e. once you put it into your beard, you don’t need to take it out. It’s there to replace the oils that you lose when you clean your beard.
It also hydrates the skin underneath your beard and doubles up as a way of styling your beard. You only really need to apply it once a day, when you jump out of the shower. Look for a silicone-free beard oil as these will provide you with long-lasting beard health.
Brush Your Beard Daily
If you thought this was going to be the simple part of beard maintenance, you thought wrong. Like almost everything else, brushing your beard is a bit of a minefield. You can’t just borrow your partner’s hairbrush and give it a quick comb through. The hair on your beard reacts differently because it’s coarser than the hair on your head.
You can either opt for a simple beard comb, as the Tom Ford Beard Comb we featured recently, which is perfect for getting your beard into some sort of shape. It has fewer teeth than a hair comb and is much sturdier. That means it’s not going to damage your beard hair when you pull it through. Alternatively, you could opt for a beard brush, which looks more like the tools you use to clean your shoes than a normal hair brush. A lot of them are made using natural fibers like boar’s hair, meaning they react better with your hair. They don’t just make you look good, they spread the natural oils throughout your beard, giving it a consistency that you couldn’t achieve otherwise.
Trim It Yourself
Before you start to panic, we’re not talking about taking to your beard with a pair of garden shears and completely ruining your look. You just need to trim away any split ends, to stop your beard from getting a rough, shaggy look. Strangely enough, this will actually make it grow faster and eventually give you a healthier beard. Try to trim your beard once a week, just taking a few millimeters away. The best way to do this is by using a set of high-quality trimmers on a low-grade (which will depend on the length of your beard). If you’re too nervous, ask a professional to do it the first time and watch what they do. Or, if that doesn’t work for you, watch one of the many tutorials on YouTube.
Dry It Properly
One of the worst things you can do to your beard is to rush the drying process. You can’t just whack the blow dryer on a hot setting and blast your beard dry. There’s a proper way of drying your beard that will leave it feeling soft and healthy. First, let it drip dry for around 10-30 seconds, giving it a few violent shakes to get rid of as much water as possible. Then, pat it down with a soft, dry towel. Don’t rub it hard, just gently pat it around. This is a good time to apply beard oil. A lot of people find that it’s easier to apply when the beard is slightly moist. To finish drying it off, use a blow dryer on the coolest setting. Heat it really bad for your hair, especially your facial hair, so don’t use the hot setting, even if you’re in a rush. As with all beard maintenance, it takes a little bit of extra time, but if you want the perfect beard, it’s well worth it.