So you already have a beard. But it isn't perfect. Let us know if this sounds familiar:
As explained in our first article on beard care "What Beard Care Products Do I Need?", the best solution to great beard care is growing a healthy beard to begin with.
Which is great and all, but hindsight is 20/20 and sometimes we are dealing with the reality of fixing a beard that is not completely healthy.
The answer is surprisingly similar to how to take care of your beard in the first place: Feed your beard!
Except in beard preventative maintenance you are using beard oil to feed your facial skin, and in this case we are going to take the additional step of feeding the beard directly.
So, as we mentioned you are going to begin with something very similar to growing a healthy beard from scratch, namely applying beard oil on a daily (or more) basis.
Beard oil not only will moisturize your face and feed your beard as the hair follicle level, but also SOME beard oil is going to get into your beard incidentally.
A great beard oil should be formulated on the idea of having oils that can be easily absorbed by the skin AND be absorbed by the hair itself. Be sure to read our previous article for a full overview of just how great beard oils are for your skin.
After putting beard oil to your face your beard will be a mess. Remember, the point of the oil is to get it onto your facial skin, so most likely you will have dug your fingers into your beard and probably rubbed "against the grain", which of course will leave your beard hair pretty mangled.
This is a great time to utilize a beard comb and or brush.
Not only will this get your beard looking great, but it has the additional benefit of exfoliating the skin on your face. Your beard is pretty much in the way when you are washing your face/beard in the shower . . . so you are really never getting an opportunity to get rid of dead skin cells underneath your beard. The comb and or brush will get this done for you and we highly recommend you not leave this step out!
It also feels pretty damn good.
OUR beard comb and brush is an excellent choice. Our sandalwood comb features two different size tines on each side (fine and rough) allowing you to choose which side fits your beard best. Or, you can even start with the rough tines and switch to the fine tines ones you have worked out any kinks or tangles.
Our brush is made of boars hair, which is more stiff than a horsehair or synthetic hair brush. This really makes it excellent for pulling THROUGH your hair instead of just glossing over it and really allows you to massage against the skin beneath your beard.
Beard balm features ingredients that are designed more to adhere to the hair follicles. They should be rich in not only oils but also BUTTERS. Beard butters not only will coat the hair follicle itself but also provide the additional benefit of adding a small amount of "hold" to your beard.
There's a whole bunch of science about different oils and butters and their absorption rates into hair follicles. You can check that out here. Basically, you want to be using a product that has a good mix of slow and quick absorption into the hair so that you provide some immediate results while at the same time giving a slow release of moisturizing goodness throughout the day.
It won't surprise you to know that this is a question we are asked more than any other. The basic difference is what this and the previous article have been about.
Basically, we consider beard OIL to be the foundation of great bard and face care. You want to begin by making sure your face is fully moisturized not just for the health of your skin but also to promote great beard health from the moment the beard follicle is "conceived". If you are growing healthy beard hair from the get go, you will have healthy, soft, and luxurious beard hair.
Beard balm is what you are putting on your beard HAIR specifically for the hair, not the skin. Since you are putting it on the hair directly a good beard balm will usually have a little beeswax included in the formulation in addition to the butters it uses in order to add some cosmetic hold to the product. If there is NO beeswax in the product it is typically called a beard BUTTER. A product designed more for hold than anything will usually be called a beard WAX. This is very common for a moustache wax.
Here's a next level tip for beard care: you don't need to wash it every day.
OK, let's revise that. You don't need to wash your beard every day unless your job or daily activities warrant it as necessary. If you are an athlete working out every day, or you have a job that gets you and your face dirty on a daily basis . . . then, yes. You will need to wash your beard every day.
However, if you have a desk job or have a day where you don't get sweaty or dirty then you simply don't need to wash your beard every day.
Washing your beard strips the natural oils out of your hair and face. In many ways our beard-care regimen is to replace the natural oils in your face (sebum) that have been stripped out of your face. All-natural beard oils and beard balms serve to replace those oils in your face, but not stripping them out in the first place is the best solution.
All of this serves to moisturize your skin and hair as well as exfoliate your face. These are all the main culprits of beard dandruff, also known as Beard-Ruff.
If you are utilizing all these methods and STILL have dandruff and or flaky skin, we would recommend seeing a doctor as there could be more serious skin conditions at play. We aren't Doctors at ManBasics . . . we don't even play one on TV.
So in conclusion there are a few things that the well groomed beard owner definitely will need. Firstly, beard oil. As we mentioned in part one this is the foundation of great beard care. Everything else is additional to this.
Next we highly recommend a quality beard comb and beard brush. It not only going to help your beard look "finished" and clean, but will also help to exfoliate your face.
Beard balm is the last thing on the list and for some people can even skip this if they have short beards for example. The balm provides additional hold in addition to moisturizing the beard directly.
Lastly, a word on "cheating" so to speak. We get asked a lot about using Minoxidil or Rogaine on their beard. Firstly, the evidence seems to be sketchy at worst, and at best . . . there are honestly all-natural alternatives that have been shown to be just as effective without any drug side effects. Check out our blog on using minoxidil on your beard for more info.
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You have a beard and you want to take care of it. Maybe it's a new beard (hello coronavirus beard!), or maybe the idea of taking better CARE of your beard is new to you. ManBasics is here to help.