How to Soften Your Beard With These Simple & Effective Techniques
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There have been a lot of questions about ‘how to soften beard’ doing rounds on the internet. This is because having a long and thick beard looks great, but nothing prepares men for the amount of work it takes to keep the said beard soft, well-groomed, and in check.
If you are not proactive, you’ll have an itchy beard that you cannot wait to get rid of. Luckily for you, we have been there, done that. We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to softening your beard and how you can keep it soft through the years with some simple techniques.
Now, we won’t lie and say it is easy to make your beard softer because it’s not, but once you get into the routine and have the right tools in hand, taking care of your beard will be automatic.
But before we get into how you can soften your beard, let’s have a look at why you have a coarse, unruly, and itchy beard in the first place.
Why is You Beard Not Soft?
For your house to stand, you need to build a great foundation. In this case, the foundation is learning the real causes of your predicament. Once you understand why it happens, you will appreciate the steps we recommend and even get creative with them for even better results.
Note: facial hair is naturally darker, curlier, and coarser than head hair.
Below are some reasons why your beard is rough.
Beard Split Ends
When your beard was in the stubble stage (in its early stages), it was soft because the hairs were new and had not been exposed to harsh conditions for long. As your beard grows thicker and longer, severe weather, including the hot sun and the wind, causes your beard to get brittle, coarser, and rougher.
Eventually, you start having split ends. Split ends occur when the protective layer of the beard is destroyed. As such, the hair layers fall apart. The thing with beards that have split ends is that they look ragged and unmaintained.
Aside from harsh weather elements, other reasons for split ends include trimming, using a dull beard trimmer, and improper nutrition.
Lack of Moisture
Who are you kidding? Dry and brittle hair can never be soft. Generally, when your hair lacks moisture, it dries up, becomes rough and breaks easily.
Usually, the skin underneath your beard produces natural oils that will moisturize the beard hair. But when you wash your face and beard, with regular soaps or shampoos instead of specific beard shampoos, you strip the skin of its natural oils.
And if you fail to substitute the oils lost, your beard will lose moisture throughout the day, become dry, brittle, and damaged. As we shall see later in this piece, the best way of replenishing these oils is to use high-quality beard oils. Speaking of high-quality, the best beard oils are made from natural ingredients that help your beard grow thicker, stronger, healthier, and moisturized.
If you live in a cold area, the weather will affect your skin and facial hair. Usually, to stay warm, you will put on layers of clothes. However, you forget to cover your face and beard.
Unfortunately, cold weather can ruin beard health by making it dry. As we pointed out above, a dry beard is rough and unruly. In this case, your best line of defense against the cold weather is moisturizing your beard regularly.
You probably feel like we’ve already covered this in the previous sections. However, dryness is different from dehydration. Typically, dryness is caused by external factors, including cold weather and generally harsh weather. These are external factors that you have no control over but can protect your beard against.
On the flip side, dehydration is internal and a factor you can control. It manifests when your body loses more liquids than you give it.
You can solve this problem by drinking as much water as your body needs. To understand the importance of hydration, think of your beard like a plant. If you spray the leaves of your plant with water daily but fail to water its roots, it will dry up, right? The same logic applies to your beard. It soaks water from your body, so if your reserves are running low, with time it will get dehydrated, and ‘moisture-locking’ products can help reverse the process. After all, there’s no moisture to lock-in.
Water comes in two forms, hard and soft water. Hard water contains a lot of minerals and is hard to lather. Also, you can tell you have hard water if it leaves a chalky residue on surfaces.
You would think that the minerals in the hard water would be great for your beard. Well, they are not. On the contrary, it will leave your beard rough and tangled. Moreover, it makes it harder to rinse off beard shampoo from your beard. And when you leave the shampoo in your beard for too long, it makes the beard even coarser and rougher.
As if that’s not enough, hard water ‘deactivates’ cleaning agents in beard shampoos making even the best beard shampoo less effective.
Lack of Proper Beard Care
Most men use the same products and processes they use on their scalp hair on their beard hair and expect great results. If you are such a man, you are in for a rude shock. You see, beard and scalp hair are different.
This is because beard hair is more exposed to weather elements than scalp hair. Your beard will come into contact with everything you put in your mouth, and dust will get trapped in your beard.
All these factors lead to an unhealthy beard if you don’t take proper care of it. If you are not new to beard grooming and maintenance, you know there is a range of beard care products and shaving kits you can purchase to help keep your facial hair healthy and well-groomed.
But because the products are so many, the choosing process is not easy. And aside from this, you need to learn how to use these products to derive maximum benefit.
Now that you know the factors behind your coarse and unruly beard let’s proceed to remedy the situation.
How You Make Your Beard Soft?
This step is actually straight forward. All you need are two items – beard shampoo and beard conditioner.
Beard shampoo is not like your regular shampoo. If anything, regular shampoo is too harsh for beard hair. If you use regular shampoo on your beard, it will wash away the oils from your skin, and beard leaving them dry and brittle.
But getting beard shampoo is one thing, and using it is another. To make it effective, you should work it into the beard hair using your fingertips. Wash beard hair for a couple of minutes and then wash it off with warm water. Do not use hot water since it will strip off the oils as well.
When you feel the beard is clean enough, proceed to step two; using a beard conditioner.
Now, this is the secret weapon for men flaunting soft beards. Unfortunately, most men rarely use beard conditioner on their facial hair even though they spend cash on scalp hair conditioner; it doesn’t make sense.
Beard conditioner is made to soften facial hair and therefore, it is not an optional product.
How To Keep Beard Hair Soft
Now that you know how to make your beard hairs soft, let’s look at how you can keep them soft. We recommend doing the following;
Tackling Underlying Issues
We started this piece by looking at some factors that can cause a coarse and itchy beard. If any of these factors were familiar, we suggest you tackle them to keep your beard soft.
For instance, are you eating healthy? If not, you should start paying attention to what you eat. After all, your beard is a direct reflection of what you eat.
Also, are you washing your beard hair with hot water? If yes, then you should lower the temperatures.
Do you rub your beard with your towel after taking a shower? If you do, don’t. Instead, dab it dry since this will reduce the chances of damaging your beard hair.
Are you hydrating? If you know you suck at this, make a point of keeping track of how much water you drink every day. At the very least, you should drink eight glasses of water. But we always suggest drinking as much water as your body needs. To help you get into the habit of hydrating, you can download ‘hydrating’ apps that will remind you throughout the day to take a glass some water.
Protect Your Beard Hair From Damage
When beard hair is growing, it grows in all directions. This is one of the main reasons why your beard may look rough and scruffy.
Now, don’t take this to mean that the products mentioned above are useless. On the contrary, it’s important to have them in your shaving cabinet.
But even with these products, you need a beard comb. You can go a step further and get the best beard straightener. Straightening your beard will improve how it looks instantly.
On the other hand, a beard comb will help your beard hair in a number of ways in the long run. At the top of the list is that it will stimulate beard growth and also ‘train’ your beard to grow in the right direction.
As you comb your beard a couple of times every day to help prevent damage, it will start to grow in the direction you comb it. Also, after a couple of months of religiously beard combing, it will grow softer and need little softening products.
Another benefit of using a beard comb on your beard hair is that it helps in preventing ingrown hairs under the beard. Yes, the bumps will be hidden under the beard bush, but you’ll still feel the itch and discomfort ingrown hairs cause.
When making a purchase, which tool do you settle on? A beard brush or a beard comb? Honestly, this decision boils down to your preference.
The two tools generally achieve the same goals, albeit slight differences in use. But whichever you settle on, make sure you get the best. This is because they come in different designs, types, and materials.
Warning: do not use beard comb made from plastic since most of these have teeth that are poorly molded, and that will snag and break your beard hair. Eventually, a plastic beard comb will work against your beard hair-softening goals. Instead, prefer combs made from metal or wood – they are kinder to the beard.
Make Beard Oil & Beard Balm Your Friend
There’s a lot to say about these products and the role they play, so let’s give them ample time.
We can say with great confidence that beard oil is by far the fastest and most popular method of softening beard hair. Its popularity has grown immensely in the past couple of years (despite it being around for ages).
If this is your first time hearing about this magic oil, here’s a quick breakdown of what it is.
Simply put, beard oil is a perfect blend of natural ingredients that are used to soften beard hair and provide much-needed nourishment. Whether your beard is a couple of weeks, months, or years old, it needs beard oil to remain healthy and maintain its shine.
The natural blend of ingredients that constitute beard oil can be split into two broad categories; essential oils and carrier oil.
The carrier oil acts as the base for the beard oil. As such, it makes up 95% of the blend. The remaining 5% are essential oils that are added to provide nourishment to the beard and the skin underneath as well as improve the scent.
Given that it’s purely oil, most beginners with oily skin are hesitant to use it. While the fear is understandable, you should note that the oils do not throw your oily skin off-balance.
Now that you know what it is, how do you choose the best from the sea of beard oils on online stores? For men with oily skin and who aren’t big fans of scented oils, we recommend beard oils with two key ingredients; argan and jojoba oil.
Jojoba oil is essential because it is the closest essential oil to the oils the skin produces. If your skin breaks out often, then jojoba oil will neutralize oil production in your skin and reduce chances of acne breakouts (note that this effect varies from one man to the next (for clear direction on this, we suggest consulting your dermatologist). You can also try coconut oil for good results and to rid yourself of the uncomfortable beard itch.
In general, natural oils will benefit your beard hair as follows;
It will help you say goodbye to beardruff. Beardruff is like dandruff, but for your beard. These flakes appear because the beard hairs are sucking up all the oils from your skin, leaving it super dry. As such, it only makes sense that using beard oil on your facial hair will remedy this problem. After a couple of days, you’ll not have beardruff, and your beard hair will be a little softer.
Which brings us to our next point;
Beard oil helps to soften your beard hair. After regular application for a week, you’ll notice your beard is softer and more pliable. Moreover, you’ll see that the beard hair, with the help of your beard comb, grows in a specific direction, which makes it easier to groom.
Think of pomade like a beard balm that you can apply to your hair. But that’s just about it with the similarities. Pomade is primarily used for beard styling, but beard balms are used to give beard hair nourishment. But in the process, they add a natural hold during styling, which helps men achieve better results.
Like beard oils, the best beard balm will also work to soften your beard. Balms are made from natural ingredients. Below are the four main categories/ingredients.
- Beeswax – it provides beard hair with some hold but not too much like what you’d get from the best beard waxes
- Butters – cocoa, shea, Kokum, and other nut butters make beard balms spreadable when rubbed in hand
- Carrier oils – these oils are essential in providing beard moisture and softening the beard
- Essential oils – these ingredients make the beard soft. Some also stimulate blood flow, improve beard growth, and helps your beard to grow fuller. Some essential oils give off great manly scents.
On your first try, you might have some problems applying beard balm. But after a while, it gets easier. The general rule of thumb is to scoop a sizeable amount (this depends on the size of your beard) and rub it in your palm.
You might be tempted to rub the balm into your beard immediately. After all, it will save you some time. However, it’s better to rub it in your palm, let it melt and then work it into your beard. As you apply it, work from the hair roots and work to their tips. This method makes sure that all beard hair receives proper nourishment and that the hair gets softer along its whole length.
After a couple of days using beard balm, you will see noticeable differences – but do not stop using it. Remember, beard softening is a process.
Cut Your Beard
Wait, what? Yes, guys, sometimes trimming your beard will work better than using insane amounts of beard balm and beard oil. When you start the beard hair-softening journey, you’ll notice some hairs are a little too far gone. They will have split ends that can be repaired but will take a bit more effort and money than necessary. For such hairs, we suggest using a pair of shears and not beard trimmers. As you soften your beard, shears are perfect for maintaining hair growth and cleanly cut follicles. On the flip side, though the best beard trimmers do a good job, they will set you back in length.
Ultimate Beard Softening Morning Routine
We have talked about a couple of products in this piece. But how do they work together to get the best results? Below are some simple steps to get you’re the softest beard;
Shampoo & Condition Your Beard
- When you wake up every morning, go straight to the shower.
- And as you clean up, remember to wash your beard with the best beard shampoo. The beard shampoo will get rid of the dirt in your facial hair and make your beard softer.
- After you wash your beard, don’t rub it. Since you don’t want to break the already brittle hairs, pat it dry and let it rest and dry for a couple of minutes. As you wait, you can complete other tasks in your morning routine. Being gentle will help keep your beard intact.
Use Some Beard Oil
- Next, apply some beard oil.
- Pour a small amount into your palm and rub your hands together for even distribution. Later, work the oil into the beard. Remember to work from the base to the tips to make your beard softer all through.
Apply Your Beard Balm
You can opt to use the balm along with the beard oil or as a substitute. But if you want to soften your beard faster and have lasting effect, we recommend using both.
The beard oil nourishes the beard and the beard balm locks in the oil, allowing the beard hairs ample time to soak up the nutrients.
Comb or Brush Through Your Beard
Finally, run a brush over or a comb through your beard before you leave the house. If you have a long beard, after the two last steps, your hair is pointing all directions. Combing it will straighten it and give it a great shape. But if you do choose a beard brush, prefer the boar-bristled brush to make your beard soft.
And there you have it, a complete guide to softening your beard. Hopefully, you’ve learned that with some consistency and the right products, you can be the envy of your friends. Also, a well groomed and softer beard will look even better if you are going bald.
How do I soften my beard for a shaving session?
To do this, take a warm shower for a couple of minutes or use a warm wet towel on your beard. The warmth from the water will cause the follicles to thicken and make it easier to shave and not deal with skin irritations later.
Can I use beard oil even if I have acne?
Generally, yes, you can. However, it’s essential to consult with your dermatologist, especially if there are concerns about allergic reactions. If it’s your first time using beard oil, go for one with argan and jojoba oil. These ingredients will help to regulate your skin oil production.
How do I soften a beard in preparation for a kiss?
Beard softening is a process. As such, there’s no instant fix for a rough beard. But if you use beard oil and beard balm regularly, your beard hair will soften, and your partner will not complain about it hurting.
Are there beard softening home remedies?
Yes, there are. The remedies involve creating a beard oil from products you piece together. However, before you try your hand at creating your beard oil, learn what makes the best beard oils first.
I use beard shampoo and beard oil daily, but I have experienced minimal change. What am I doing wrong?
So far, you are on the right track. The only thing missing is some hair ‘training.’ You can achieve this using a wooden or metallic beard comb. For best results, ‘train’ your beard several times a day.