Beard Split Ends – 5 Common Causes (and 3 Easy Treatments)
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Many men are starting to grow out their beards. In a way, it adds to one’s style and earns your points with the ladies. But the latter is only if you do it right. But do not be fooled; though a healthy and well-groomed beard looks great, it’s never easy to maintain it. And unfortunately, the longer your beard grows, the more care it needs.
Now, if you’ve recently joined the ‘beard gang,’ you’ve probably had the unfortunate encounter with beard split ends. Beard split ends stink and can undo all the progress you’ve made with your beard over a couple of months.
In addition to being the enemy of progress, beard split ends will make your facial hair appear rougher than it is and make it even harder to style and maintain. If you don’t attend to the situation, other people will start to notice your unkempt beard and deduct grooming points.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a guide of everything you ought to know about beard split ends, including what causes them and how to prevent it.
What Causes Beard Split Ends (5 Common Causes)?
There are several reasons why these split ends occur, but we’ll focus on the most common split ends causes and those that you have some control over. As you read through the causes, remember, the first step to taming your beard is understanding how it works and why it behaves the way it does.
1. Long Hair
This is the major contributing factor to beard split ends. As your beard grows longer, you grow more and more proud of it. But with the length of your facial hair comes with chances of developing split ends.
Here is why length may be acting against your progress. At the root of every hair follicle are sebaceous glands. These glands produce sebum oil, which nourishes the hair from the roots.
Unfortunately, these glands are finite and can only produce so much natural sebum oil in a day. With this limitation, as your beard grows longer, it gets to a point where it’s ‘too long’ for the sebaceous glands to produce enough sebum oil for the root and shaft of the facial hair.
After a while of being deprived of natural sebum oil, the hair strand tips will dry out, become more brittle, and start to develop split ends.
2. Hair Dye
With age, the body starts to break down. And for most people, hair starts turning white. While some love and embrace the white hair, others would rather their hair remains black. As a result, they opt to color their beard to hide the gray hairs.
Unfortunately, many of the hair dyes contain harsh chemicals that can damage your beard. Usually, the dye will mess with the follicle structure and leave it rough, brittle. Eventually, you’ll have split ends.
But what if you weren’t dealt the best set of genes and your facial hair is turning white a little too early? What do you do then? Well, in this case, you might want to dye and grow your beard at the same time. But to improve your chances of growing a healthy beard and with minimal split ends, you should use some of the products we recommend later in this piece.
3. Blow Drying Your Beard
Part of taking great care of your beard includes how you handle it after cleaning and applying the best beard grooming products. For instance, after washing your beard, you should not rub it dry. Instead, it would be best if you patted it.
This is good practice, but it comes with a downside; your beard will still be dripping long after you’ve put on your clothes and are out of the house. Because of this, most men growing long beards opt to blow dry their beard.
Blow drying saves a lot of time and is seemingly harmless – or is it? Well, blow-drying your beard will leave it dry and susceptible to easy damage, breakages and split ends.
But this is not to mean that you should never blow dry your hair. On the contrary, you can, but you have to exercise great restrain, especially during the cold season, when the warm air feels great as it glides over the skin underneath your beard.
4. Using Head Hair Shampoo
Most shampoos are loaded with harsh chemicals that cause damage to facial hair. Some of these chemicals include SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). This chemical is added to shampoos to get rid of oils. While it makes the shampoos efficient, it’s too efficient because it strips hair follicles of their natural moisture and hair as well, and as a result causing split ends.
At this point, you should know that beard hair and head hair are different and have different needs. Since head hair is exposed to harsh weather more than your beard, it is more resilient. Therefore, even mild shampoo design for head hair might be too much for your beard.
Overall, if you have to use beard shampoo, make sure it is free of chemicals. If possible, you should go for natural beard wash with natural oils.
5. Your Diet
You’ve heard fitness enthusiasts insist that you are what you eat, right? This is true, and it applies to your beard hair as well. While there are loads of beard care products you can use to grow a healthy and beautiful beard, to make a change, you have to work your beard form the inside out.
With that said, if you have a poor diet or are a vegetarian, you should take vitamin supplements or consider making some lifestyle changes. Some of the fastest-growing cells in the body are the nails and hair. And since these parts are mostly protein, you need to max out your daily dose of protein to ensure they are healthy. You should prioritize protein foods like fish, chicken, and lean beef.
Also, Greek yogurt and eggs are great sources of protein as well. If you are a vegetarian, you should consider legumes, including nuts and kidney beans.
Overall, if your diet lacks protein, it will show through your nails and hair. Some of the signs you are not taking enough protein are beard split ends.
How to Get Rid of & Prevent Beard Split Ends (3 Easy Treatments)
Now that you know what beard split ends are and what causes them let’s move on to ‘how you can prevent beard split ends.’ If you’ve been following keenly, you can guess what remedies we’ll recommend. Below are some tips on how to cure and prevent beard split ends.
1. Get a Beard Trim
If you are looking for a fast split ends cure, there is nothing that will work better than a beard trim. And the beauty of it is that it’s not hard to trim your beard. The process involves you cutting the frail tips of your beard.
So grab the best beard trimmer and get to work. You can trim 25% of your beard length. And as you do so, run your fingers through your facial hair to feel for the split ends. In case you come across more split ends, you can trim a little more than 25% of the beard length.
2. Use Beard Balms and Beard Oils
We’ve pointed out that the body produces sebum oil to keep facial hair nourished. But as your beard grows longer and with repeated use of harsh hair shampoos, the oil cannot get to the beard tips, or it’s stripped off.
These two are great supplements for natural body oil. Now, beard oil and beard balm are similar, albeit a few differences with their ingredients. The beard oil contains essential oils and carrier oil. On the other hand, beard balm contains essential oil, carrier oil, beeswax, and butter.
The carrier oil in these two products provides nourishment to the beard hair. Some of the most common carrier oils include argan and jojoba oil. However, there are loads of other carrier oils to consider and that can be used alone, including coconut oil.
If this will be your first time using beard oil, we recommend that you use one that contains jojoba oil. This is because jojoba oil closely resembles sebum oil. Moreover, it is mild, and as such, there are low chances of developing an allergic reaction. But even then, it is good practice to try out oils on inconspicuous spots of the body to see how it reacts to it before using it on your face.
Though carrier oils have varying benefits, they generally work to make hair more pliable and reduce the chances of split ends.
Unfortunately, they don’t prevent split ends, but they give beard oils nice scents. If the goal is not only to grow a healthy beard and get rid of split ends on beard but smell great as well, then essential oils will do the trick. You can wear a cedar wood scent today and tomorrow a floral and the next day a citrus smell.
Beard balms contain extra ingredients, including butter. The most common butter used include cocoa and shea. These two kinds of butter help to make the balm more spreadable. Because balms contain wax, they are harder to spread, and so, these butters come in handy.
Aside from this, the butters compliment carrier oils and provide additional layers of nourishment and moisture to the beard hairs.
Overall, they help to reduce split ends.
Note: some beard balms use substitutes for butter like lanolin. Lanolin is sheep sebum that is extracted when wool is wrung. Some of the best beard balms contain lanolin as a butter substitute.
Lastly, beeswax, like essential oils, doesn’t offer nourishment. Instead, it holds hair and makes it easier to style. If you are planning to grow your hair in one direction without getting split ends, the beeswax will work perfectly for you.
Aside from preventing beard split ends, it also helps soften your beard.
3. Use Better Tools
This is simple, but surprisingly many men stumble on this, using the right tools.
The beauty of beard tools is that they don’t need to be expensive. If anything, the best tools are simple and affordable. For instance, you can get a beard brush for a few of dollars, and it will make a huge difference in your beard grooming and care.
A good beard brush is one that is made from tough material that will get the job done and protect your beard hair at the same time. The same is true for beard combs. A cheap comb will catch your beard and lead to more damage. Moreover, we recommend using wooden combs instead of plastic combs. Plastic combs will generate static energy which will cause beard knotting.
Always ensure the teeth are well finished and smooth to prevent snagging on your beard and tearing your beard hair.
There you have it, a complete guide on how to deal with beard split ends. Hopefully, you see that preventing split ends it’s not a hard thing to do, even though it requires some time, effort, and purchasing the right tools for the job.
Remember, if you treat your beard with care, it will grow, thrive, and love you back.