Some men with a beard may wonder why theirs is dry, wiry, and itchy. News flash: this is not how beards are supposed to be! If you’re growing your facial hair out, it’s important to take good care of it–just like you do with the hair on top of your head. The key to a smooth, shiny, and comfortable beard is proper grooming. There are several grooming techniques that one can follow using the right beard grooming tools.
We’re here to tell you that grooming your beard is important. One of the best ways to keep it in tip-top condition on a daily basis, aside from beard trimming, is to use a beard brush. Below are the most important things you need to know about the best beard maintenance tools and how you can go about selecting the very best one for your beard.
What is a Beard Brush?
There is nothing esoteric about the beard brush. It is as simple and straightforward a tool as they come. As its name implies, it is a tool that is specifically designed to brush your beard. The brushing motion provides stimulation to your beard resulting in healthy hair follicles. A brush tool can also be used to massage in special beard oils, beard lotions, and beard shampoos. Beard brushes are highly effective tools that benefit anyone with more than a few centimeters growth, although they are particularly useful for longer beards.
What Does a Beard Brush Look Like?
Your average beard brush consists of a handle and bristles. It is imperative that you select a model that uses boar bristles (more on why this matters below). There are quite a few cheaper models that try to pass off plastic or vinyl bristles as boar bristles. If you’re a beard purist and don’t have objections to using boar bristles, the plastic options might compromise the effectiveness of your beard brush. The handles of the best beard brush models are made of smooth, comfortable, ergonomic wood. Again, you might be able to find cheaper options if you’re willing to compromise on quality and results.
History of the Beard Brush
Though little is known about the origin of this grooming tool, its history can be traced as far back as the mid-17th century. During the early years of the beard brush, it was seen as something of a status symbol. As a result, these brushes were often made of extremely exotic materials. These included handles of silver, gold, porcelain, tortoiseshell, crystal, and ivory.
The bristle end of the beard brush has been made with several different materials since the tool’s birth. While the majority of quality beard brushes are made with boar bristles today, bristles from badgers and horses were also used in the past. Indeed, badger bristle beard brushes are still popular in some reaches of the world, including China. Part of the reason they are uncommon in North America and Europe is the badger’s status as a protected species in these areas.
How to Use a Beard Brush
Like the tool’s design, the process of using a beard brush is simple. We recommend starting by cleaning your beard with a high-quality shampoo and conditioner.
Brushing a soft, clean beard is far more effective than brushing a dirty, scratchy one. After cleaning and conditioning, gently brush your damp or dry beard with your beard brush in the direction of its growth.
You might choose to add a drop or two of beard oil each day to keep your facial hair soft and manageable. Those with very long beards might even add a few drops of beard oil throughout the day for the absolute best effect.
What are the Benefits of Using Beard Brushes?
If someone has a beard with the general length being above two centimeters, they should be using a beard brush on it. Here are a few benefits of daily beard brushing:
- Removal of crumbs, dust, dirt, and other debris
- Distribution of hair oil to all parts of the beard
- Makes sure that all the whiskers are growing as uniformly as possible
- Enhance the health of hair follicles
- Prevents split ends
- Maintains a neat and tidy appearance
- Prevents beard dandruff
- Helps to maintain the beard in the right shape
Qualities to Look for in a Beard Brush
Not all beard brushes are created equal. It is very important to do your research before purchasing one, especially if you plan on investing in a high-quality, expensive model.
Type of bristles
The most important quality to look for in a beard brush is the bristle type. As is mentioned above, boar bristle is almost always the best choice. Both boar and badger bristles are firmer yet less scratchy than synthetic models that use plastic or vinyl. They are softer and provide much more effective treatment.
The right size
It is also important to choose a beard brush of the correct size and type for your specific needs and preferences. Though most beard brushes are all in the same ballpark size-wise, they do fluctuate a bit. The smallest models are best for those with small beards (or just mustaches) while the larger models are perfect for those with unruly mops.
When it comes to the brush size, you have to think about the length of the bristles as well as the size of the head. Ideally, the bristle length should be according to the length of the beard. A short-bearded man should have a short-bristled brush as well.
The same rule applies to the brush head size. If someone’s beard is quite long and thick, they should have a large brush to handle it all. However, even a small travel-sized brush is better than none at all.
The shape of the brush also matters, with some featuring a handle while others can fit in your palm. These will provide two different experiences, so it’s best to try out each option if possible. The final choice will depend on the user’s personal preference and what works best for their beard.
Type or level
Furthermore, there are numerous types of beard brushes, each made for a different length of growth. A beginner beard brush is best for someone growing their first beard while more advanced detanglers do a great job on those big bushy, long-term growths.
How a Beard Brush Works
Beard brushing can transform your beard if you use it properly and regularly. While it may not be an impressive tool, using it frequently can significantly reduce the amount of itchiness and scratchiness in most beards.
However, not all beard brushes work in quite the same manner. Generally speaking, they do help in detangling facial hair and distributing natural oils all over the beard, just like a hair brush does. This prevents the beard from itching or getting dry and brittle.
A beard brush also works to prepare a beard for styling. If you want to apply any products like beard oil, beard balm, or beard wax, a good beard brush can help to spread these evenly. To make sure you have the right product, here’s a guide on choosing the right beard balm as mustache wax.
There are also some beard brushes that can exfoliate the skin beneath the facial hair. This will eventually prevent dandruff or reduce it. Plus, it’s a hygienic practice that removes any trapped debris, flakes, or crumbs that might get trapped in the beard throughout the day.
The Difference Between Beard Brushes and Beard Combs
Some people might think that beard combs can replace beard brushes and vice versa. This isn’t really true, as both tools have separate functions when it comes to beard maintenance.
The main function of a beard brush is to detangle the beard hair and distribute any natural moisture throughout the growth. This serves to make the facial hair healthier and stronger in the long run.
A beard comb, on the other hand, is more for disturbing products like beard balm or oil throughout the beard. We can use a beard brush in the same way, but the comb will make the styling easier. If we use a beard comb for detangling, it will pull too much on the hair and possibly cause breakage.
If you’re interested in getting more beard styling tools, here’s a guide to beard combs, from wooden to handmade ones.
Method of Using a Beard Brush
Usually, a man with a beard will brush it out after showering. This brushing will distribute any natural oil as well as any applied balms or oils. Ideally, the brushing should take place after drying the beard with a towel.
Start by brushing the beard at the neck and make your way upward. The strokes will be outwards, making the beard as large and bushy as possible. After that, you will bring the hair back to its natural growth direction. This practice will both detangle the hair and distribute any oils, sebum, and other elements.
Beard Brush FAQs
Not everyone might be familiar with beard brushes. We’ve dealt with a lot of details about beard brushes above, but here are some answers to the most common questions about these tools:
Q: Is it worth buying a beard brush?
A: If you have a beard that’s bigger than just stubble, it’s probably worth buying a beard brush. This will help to keep your beard in shape and encourage growth. It’s also an important step in keeping facial hair healthy, clean, and maintained.
Q: What are the main benefits of using a beard brush?
The most obvious benefits of using a beard brush include detangling the hair, exfoliating the skin, and distributing natural oils along with beard products.
Q: Should you use your beard brush when your facial hair is wet or dry?
A: While beards should be brushed while they’re clean, they should also be dry at this point. If you’re brushing after taking a shower, make sure to towel off your beard beforehand. This is because wet hair will stretch and break more easily.
Q: How do we use beard oil with a beard brush?
A: Put the desired amount of oil on your hands, rub it a little and then apply on the beard. Use the beard brush to distribute the oil throughout the beard as evenly as possible.
Why You Need to Use a Beard Brush
Do you have a beard? Do you like to look as neat, professional, and stylish as possible? Then you can’t let your beard get away from you. A tangled mess of a beard looks anything but good.
A beard brush is made to help. These brushes help men of all types keep their beards neat, clean and well maintained. In addition to contributing to the look of your beard, they weed out dirt and grime while promoting both healthy skin and healthy facial hair. No matter the type or size of your beard, a beard brush should be an essential part of your grooming routine.
Ready to start a beard maintenance routine? Make sure to read up on what you need in a good beard grooming kit!