Nothing shouts out masculinity like a well groomed beard. A long flowing beard is so popular right now, everyone is trying to get the perfect one.
Those hair follicles are sexy (apparently) and undeniably fashionable. But this was something you already knew.
What you didn’t know or foresee is the itch.
So, how do you stop beard itch before you’re fed up with it and shave it off?
Growing a good looking beard is one thing. But maintaining a healthy one, is a whole new game.
Scratching your beard to relieve the itch is undoubtedly, highly unattractive. I won’t even mention the beard dandruff, which is even worse. However, these aren’t the only parts a beardsman should worry about.
Excessive itching can lead to a bad rash and even to bleeding and in not-so-rare cases, to infections.
Even if we’re not talking about a severe case, this is something that you better take more seriously than an innocent itch. The reason behind this annoying feeling could mean a certain disorder or inefficiency which you need to be aware of.
Again, it might not be that serious but be sensible and consider how to face it.
This is why I believe it’s essential to understand why your beard is itchy in the first place, and learn how to stop the itch soon before you scratch your beard off your face.
Besides, paying attention to the health of your beard is a matter of respect for the allocated time to actually growing it and, most importantly, a matter of self respect.
So, here are the things that we’ll be talking about today.
- Reasons behind your beard itch
- How to prevent it from occurring
- How to stop beard itch.
- A few natural home remedies.
- Grooming products that can help you.
- Lastly, a simple and lazy proof daily routine to follow in order to get rid of beard itch.
Let’s take it step by step then and see where this demon comes from.
Why is your beard itchy?
There are a few factors that can cause itch – dryness, roughness, beard split ends and insufficient maintenance.
We’ll look into each one of them thoroughly.
Why is your beard dry and rough.
There are a few reasons why this happens. Beard hair is basically similar to the hair on your head, so if your skin gets too dry it starts feeling itchy.
This is especially true if you have naturally dry skin. Skin flakes and itch happen because your skin has run out of any sort of moisture.
Cold weather plays a very big part in your beard itch.
It’s very common for people living in cold and windy areas to experience skin and (facial) hair dryness.
Hardness of water is also a big factor that contributes to dryness.
I’m sure you’ve noticed how different your hair feels when you wash it at a new place away from home, with different water source.
The same thing happens with your beard.
But that doesn’t completely explain it.
You may be wondering: if your beard hair is the same as your head hair, why don’t you scratch your head as often as you scratch your beard?
That’s a valid question. The answer rests in the crucially different behavior that you have towards your beard as opposed to towards your hair: while your beard is often subjected to shaving, your head hair, almost never is.
Beard split ends
That’s right – shaving your beard is not the solution to solving itchiness. In fact, it might make it even worse.
You see, when you run a razor through your beard, the blades are slicing your hair strands in a specific angle – and that if they actually slice and not cut it unevenly.
To make things worse, poorly maintained or overused razors cut your beard in an even more damaging way, increasing the chances of an itch.
This means that your beard grows at the same angle you sliced the hair and it turns into spears that mess with your skin, making it itchy.
And it’s not just it.
Same thing -and even worse, happens when you use a beard trimmer that has poorly maintained blades.
Normally, the blades of beard trimmers operate in two ways. Either cyclically -when the blades turn round, or laterally when when the blades are sharpened, comb-like.
Now, if the blades aren’t well oiled or they’re not sharp enough, instead of slicing the facial hair, they actually damage it until the hair is cut. This is also why you might have also experienced some hair pull from beard trimmers or hair clippers.
No beard maintenance
There are a few things that a man who grows a beard can do to keep it neat. If you don’t follow a simple beard care routine, it’s highly probable that your beard can get itchy as hell.
If you skip simple steps like washing your beard, towel drying it after washing, applying beard care products and brushing it, this passive attitude might increase the chances of getting an itchy beard.
Needless to say, your beard deserves proper care and maintenance, if not for its health, at least for the time allocated to actually growing it.
Besides, before actually showing your business card, you first show your face. You wouldn’t want to be perceived as Crazy Beard, right?
And if that didn’t convince you, then perhaps this will: your beard might need more care than your hair in terms of washing or combing since it also comes into contact with more dirt over the course of a day.
Imagine that you eat and drink at least 3 times a day and most probably, not everything ends up in your mouth.
Food, liquids, dust, bugs (it could happen!), your significant other’s makeup and other types of matter might play a big part in your beard itch issue.
But let’s see what you can do about it and how to reduce beard itch or even cure it.
How to stop beard itch?
You already know that a beard gets itchy when it gets either too dry or too sharp at the edges. On top of these, you have the accumulated dirt from your daily routine and activities.
So, to solve this you need to get to the root (pun intended) of the problem.
To deal with the dryness, the most obvious solution is to moisturize.
But, first things first.
Have a look at your current shampoo.
Get a shampoo that is friendly to your skin, with as many natural ingredients as possible.
Washing your beard can be an instant beard itch relief, especially after a long day being outdoors.
I’ve got personal experience with shampoos that contain natural ingredients at high percentages (more than 80% of the mix) and I can’t recommend them enough.
They perform way better at keeping the hair and beard softer and healthier after a few uses than cheap ones from well known brands.
If you start using one, you’ll notice after a week or so, that your beard is softer, more manageable and beard itch stopped being a pain in your……..face.
Condition after you wash
But even if you shampoo your beard more often and with a quality product, this might not seem enough.
For this reason, you can also consider adding a conditioner in the mix.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be specialized product for beards.
You can try using a hair conditioner that your wife/girlfriend is already using, as long as it’s actually a good quality product. Take into consideration the same criteria that we set earlier for the shampoo.
No doubt that a conditioner targeted to women doesn’t smell as manly as you might want. Though, it’s a good start if you don’t want to spend money for a beard conditioner.
Conditioners lock the moisture in and make hair softer. Besides that, the main reason most women use it for, is because it reduces split ends.
And as you know by now, beard split ends contributes to beard itch.
However, you should pay attention when using a conditioner: the product is supposed to take care of your beard and not your face.
So try to avoid rubbing into your skin, as such usage might get you to the opposite extreme: oily skin and greasy beard.
Beard oil for beard itch
Getting a good shampoo or conditioner might solve a part of the problem. What you need next, is a great beard oil to make your beard softer than ever before.
Let’s talk a bit about beard oil.
It contains all these ingredients that will nourish the hair, moisturize the skin and lock in the moisture that your beard so much needs it.
And the not-so-secret in its effectiveness is found in the ingredients.
Common ingredients in most beard oil recipes include jojoba oil, coconut oil, argan oil and hemp seed oil. If you take any beard oil on the market and check on the back of the label, you’ll notice at least one of them being among its core ingredients.
There’s a good reason why this happens.
All these, one way or the other, have been proven to be beneficial for hair and skin. This is also why you can identify the same ingredients very often in hair and skin care products.
Among their benefits, you’ll find out that they enhance beard growth, reduce split ends and make hair softer.
Here are a couple of beard oil suggestions to reduce your beard itch:
Similarly to beard oil, beard balm is a great alternative to stop beard itch -or at least reduce it.
Within a beard balm, you’ll find common ingredients to beard oil, such as the carrier oils I mentioned above.
The only difference really relies in the addition of ingredients such as natural butters and beeswax. But it is the carrier oils that do all the work for reducing beard itch.
Beeswax gives the beard balm its solid form while the butters (usually cocoa and/or shea) help in melting the balm once you scrape it off the container and rub it between your palms.
Either beard oil or beard balm, they are both great in stopping beard itch successfully.
Besides the fix of your beard itch, your wiry beard also becomes softer, beard dandruff is reduced -if not eliminated, and brushing and combing gets much easier. The difference in facial hair manageability is more obvious when you pass the half year in your beard growth stage.
Speaking of brushing…
Beard brush for softer beards
A good beard brush with natural hair is also a good way to reduce, if not stop beard itch.
One way that it helps you in your fight against beard itch, is that it takes away dust and debris that your beard accumulates throughout the day.
With every stroke, the brush takes almost everything away, leaving a soft and clean beard.
Besides the cleaning factor, a beard brush also makes your beard softer by carrying the sebum oil – your hair’s natural oil. This is one of the reasons why I highly recommend a natural hair beard brush compared to artificial hair brushes.
As a side note, choose the ones with boar or horse hair like this Zeus beard brush. First of all, they’ve got natural bristles with all the benefits we just analyzed and they also have a good backbone.
It’s pretty convenient to have a brush with a good backbone since cleaning your beard becomes easier. Besides that, it also helps with shaping your beard and not just with stroking it.
All these tips and products will surely help you keep your facial hair soft and itch-free for good.
Such oils can be used out of the box without the need to be a part of a beard care product blend. You can say that they are the best natural home remedy for beard itch.
Application can’t get any easier.
You only need a few drops of each and apply them directly on your beard.
If you want a personal suggestion, use coconut oil for beard care.
In my opinion, there’s no natural beard softener better than this. Besides its awesome benefits for beard care, it smells amazingly (unless you’re not a fan of coconut scent) and it’s delicious.
But we’re not a culinary blog here, so let’s stick to beard care.
If it happens that you’ve got more than one type of oil, you can easily create an easy beard oil recipe and apply it directly on your beard. All you have to do is mix all the oils you want to include in the recipe and you’ve got yourself a brand new homemade beard oil.
Experiment with the proportions a bit, add a couple of essential oil drops for scent and maybe you’ll end up with something really cool.
The right way to cut your beard
Image courtesy: wernerimages/BigStock.com
Beard oils, conditioners and balms are all great, but there are other things you could include in your arsenal to reduce the awful itch.
Trimming your beard could keep those split ends and spear-like hair follicles from causing chaos. Also, if you let your beard grow long enough, it’s good to keep in mind that length matters. And if you want to avoid the itch, keep it tidy.
There are essentially three tools that you can use to trim, cut and shave your beard.
The way you’re using each one of them and the actual device, can help you stop beard itch no matter the beard growth stage you’re at.
As we talked about earlier, even if you’ve got the best beard trimmer, it won’t help you with your beard itch unless you maintain the device properly.
Make sure that you add oil regularly to your trimmer’s blades and check frequently their condition. The blades of the trimmer need to be as sharp as possible to reduce the chances of damaging the hair.
If the blades are sharp, the hair is sliced properly and it won’t lead to beard split ends that might either irritate your skin -when your facial hair is short, or cause you itch.
Another important point to consider is keeping your trimmer clean and disinfected. Dirty or rusty blades can cause damage to your hair, your skin and even infections.
If you’re looking for a beard trimmer recommendation, I’ve been using one from Wahl, and it comes at a very decent price.
I always recommend using a pair of scissors instead of a beard trimmer if your beard has passed 4 months of growth and needless to say, if you want to keep on growing it.
On the one hand, you’ve got better precision when you want to shape your beard. On the other, a sharp pair of scissors works like a charm for reducing beard split ends while cutting without causing any damage.
Similarly to the beard trimmer, the scissors needs to make a clean cut effortlessly, without chewing the hair.
Even though you’re growing a beard, a razor is always a big part of a proper beard grooming routine.
When you use a razor to shape a beard, always select one that it isn’t dull and that hasn’t been used more than three times.
Overused razors tend to shave inefficiently and potentially irritate the skin or even give you a razor burn.
This also causes excessive beard itch. Instead, prefer new cartridge razors that are sharp and that don’t have more than three blades.
With that being said, safety razors are best for shaping beards.
They are very sharp, with enough space between the blade and the razor’s safety bar (shaved hair doesn’t get stuck). Lastly, one blade is enough to get you a close shave without razor bumps and ingrown hair.
If you’re planning to shave certain areas when you shape your beard, pair your safety razor with a decent traditional shaving cream and a great shaving brush with natural bristles, to give you an irritation-free shave.
Here’s a simple traditional shaving combo at a fair price:
- Merkur Heavy Duty DE Razor
- Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Cream
- Edwin Jagger Best Badger Shaving Brush
A few natural ways of dealing with an itchy beard
A surprising -yet crucial, way to deal with an itchy beard is to eat right. There’s no better home remedy for beard itch than proper nutrition.
Seriously, healthy eating can get your hair and skin to absorb more nutrients and allow your beard to grow better and healthier (which is great if you want to avoid itchiness).
Try including in your diet vitamins such as A, B6, C and E, all of which you are likely to find in most hair products and all of which are good for you. These vitamins help your body create natural oil called sebum, which lubricates your hair and help your beard grow faster and stronger.
Also, omega-3 fatty acids are great for better hair growth. Start including fish in your diet. This will also help with your beard growing faster and fuller. And well, fish is delicious.
How to stop beard itch effectively. A simple routine
I know that we discussed a lot about all these good remedies. Here’s the simplest way how to stop beard itch on a regular day. Let’s see what you can start doing today.
- First thing in the morning, before you go out, use beard oil or beard balm and massage into the roots of the hair. This is where most beard itch is coming from.
- After you apply beard oil, use a beard brush -or any natural hair brush, to distribute the oil evenly. That’s not so necessary if your beard is too short but it might help. For longer beards, a good beard comb may do the trick.
- If your beard is very itchy, you can consider applying beard oil again during the day. I would highly suggest a bit of brushing beforehand so that your beard is as clean as possible.
- At night, before you go to sleep, wash your beard with a shampoo that is friendly to your skin and beard.
- Consider using a hair conditioner right after shampooing and don’t wash it off before a minute has passed.
- Towel and blow-dry your beard. Moisture can cause itchiness. While you’re blow drying it, use a beard brush or comb to make your beard straighter. When the beard is curling, it tends to get itchier.
- After you blow-dry your beard, it’s time for beard oil. Follow the same procedure. Apply a few drops and massage into the roots. I wouldn’t recommend beard balm before you go to sleep because it’s a bit heavier and due to the beeswax, it might give you some really unnatural shape to your beard during your sleep. “Bed beard” can get your beard very itchy.
Beard itch is real and it can definitely get very annoying. Almost all men that grow a beard have experienced it one way or the other.
I hope this gives you an idea how to stop beard itch. Following a simple routine can help you reduce or even eliminate it. All you have to do is start from somewhere and see what works for you best.
My suggestion is to first start from enriching your dietary habits, pay more attention to your grooming routine and use natural home remedies -whenever this is possible.
If all these don’t work, there are also the relevant beard care products we discussed earlier that can help you with your fight against the nasty itch and maintain a healthy beard. And if none of these work for you, perhaps it’s time to consult a doctor.
Have a non-itchy bearded day.
Image courtesy of main photo: Dean Drobot/BigStock.com