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Those were the times that the least you cared about was how to soften your beard. Well, why would you care anyway if you didn’t have one yet?
I remember myself around 13 years old, when I first had a “wannabe” moustache. It took me a while before I actually realized that I had one, since it was the sort-of-transition from a fluff to a moustache.
It was my friends who first told me about it and started laughing with me. Or should I say, at me?
And the reason was more than obvious. It looked terrible.
Along with the moustache I had some, relatively long facial hair coming out of my chin. It was not even close to a goatee, but I surely looked like a goat. Then I did the mistake asking my mother about it instead of my father.
“Should I shave my moustache?” I asked her
“There’s nothing to shave! Don’t start shaving at such young age!” And she turned her back and started laughing…
I shaved it the next morning.
That was when I started thinking that I wanted a thick and strong beard.
A teenager thinks that a thick, rough beard looks and feels better than a soft, clean face. For both his sense of manliness and self confidence. It’s not necessarily wrong, since a beard among other teens scores you points, both in your gang and with the girls (or at least that’s what you think). But seriously now, if this isn’t true why would they date seniors?
Well, when I became a senior, I found the answer to my question and understood I was wrong. Once again… But that’s a different story…
Now at my 30’s, I realize how wrong I was. Thinking back on those days, I really wish I had soft facial hair just like when I was in high school. A soft beard (or should I say fluff) that doesn’t require any sort of grooming. A soft beard that doesn’t hurt my girlfriend when I (try to) kiss her and she doesn’t push me back because of this.
Those days are long gone.
But why isn’t our beard soft in the first place?
Firstly, I would assume that you already have a beard and that you would like to make it softer. It’s already at a decent length and you’re not looking to shave it anytime soon. If you like to make your beard stubble softer, this is another story, and possibly another post.
Before I dig into the details on how to soften your beard, I think it’s wise to dwell on the reasons why our beards are rough and wiry.
1. Beard has many split ends.
When you trim your beard frequently, the freshly cut ends are much sharper and abrasive than the rest uncut hair. This also depends in which stage of beard growth you’re at and how long your beard is.
Split ends also happen because of the way you trim your beard (e.g. blades of the beard trimmer aren’t sharp enough) or even your nutrition. That being said, I’m sure you’re aware the food that you eat has a lot to do with your hair’s health. Same thing happens with your beard.
Beard tends to get softer as it grows longer. Once you pass the stage of stubble and you are growing your beard, the hair is quite rigid.
2. Beard isn’t moist enough
Just like your hair, you need to keep your beard well moist. I will dig into more details on how and what kind of products to keep it well moist. In addition, dehydration might also manifest on your beard in case you’re not drinking enough liquids throughout the day.
It’s the same with your skin. The less water you drink, the higher chances that your skin appears dry and dehydrated.
3. You don’t take care of it
Similarly to your hair, your beard needs some love too. Without proper care such as combing, washing, conditioning, you beard cannot be at its best condition.
What are the ways to soften your beard?
Products such as beard oil and beard balm can make a hell of lot of difference when it comes to softening. Shampooing and conditioning frequently plays also a big part in the daily care of the perfect beard. In addition to that, daily combing can also help in making the beard softer.
Besides applying certain products on your beard there are few things that you need to do frequently in order to make your beard softer. Your lifestyle and nutrition can help you big time getting a better and softer beard.
There are several foods that can help your hair become softer. The same goes for both facial hair and body hair. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids can really help you hair become softer. Such acids can be found in cold water fish such as salmon as well as in plant foods like walnuts or soybeans.
If you start consuming such foods, you could make a big step towards a soft beard, irresistible to stroking – which you shouldn’t do! Haven’t I taught you this already?
What kind of products can make your beard softer?
As indicated previously, we don’t have to leave everything to mother nature. There are many cool beard care products available on the market that can make your beard soft as a cat’s fur. There are also some alternative hacks that you can do yourself, at home, without spending too much money, in case you are on a tight budget.
Boar Bristle Brush
A boar bristle brush is a great tool for softening your beard. I would recommend against other type of combs. The main reason is that a natural boar bristle brush is easier on your facial hair compared to plastic hairbrushes. It’s not that you can’t find good plastic hairbrushes, but you need to be either lucky or pay a considerable amount of money.
A boar bristle brush, brushes your beard in such manner that the natural oils of your skin -sebum oil, are distributed evenly across the hair. This helps the beard get moisturized effectively in the most natural way. In fact, it’s one of the oldest methods that women used to make their hair soft.
On top of the moisturizing, a boar bristle brush can comb any dirt and impurity away from your beard that is keeping it dry and rough. Impurities on your beard may also be the reason why your beard is bushy and not soft.
And yes, I’m talking about the pepperoni pizza pieces from last night.
Note: An added advantage of combing your beard with a hair brush is also the massaging effect on your skin. This increases the blood flow, keeping the skin that holds facial hair healthy.
If you like a suggestion on what kind of brush you should choose, you can check on of the following two.
Shampoo & Conditioner
Shampooing and conditioning your beard should be a part of your daily beard care routine. Obviously, shampooing your beard cleanses it from any dirt that has build up throughout the day. Prefer mild shampoos that can scrub the skin while washing the beard. This helps exfoliating the skin as well. Combined with a conditioner, it makes the beard softer and shinier.
The conditioner now, helps the beard retain the necessary hydration that it requires. At the same time, it makes your facial hair softer and more manageable. On top of the softness, as with the hair on your head, the conditioner will reduce split ends which, as indicated previously, is a good reason why your beard is not soft.
Even though these are products that are specifically designed for beards and facial hair in general, this doesn’t necessarily mean that other products won’t work. Before you go ahead and buy these products, try using the shampoo and conditioner that you are already using for your hair. In the end, maybe you’ll be better off with them.
From my personal experience, I prefer using products that are produced specifically for facial hair mainly due to the odour. I really don’t want my beard smell like my hair. It’s like using your sock as a glove. It fits but it doesn’t feel quite right. But again, it all comes down to your personal preference.
So, you want suggestions?
If I had to select the most essential product to soften your beard, as well as for growth and maintenance, that would be the beard oil.
Beard oil is a great moisturizer and conditioner. On top of that, it’s the perfect deodorizer and cologne especially when it contains essential oils like teat tree, lavender, cedar wood, agar and many others.
When you first start growing a beard, beard oil can minimize the itchiness by softening and taming the facial hair. It’s highly recommended for both guys with thick beards and those who are just starting growing one. It moisturizes the skin and eliminates beard-druff.
The carrier oils do all the work here since most beard oil manufacturers include such oils that are ideal for hair softening, moisturizing the skin, promoting hair growth as well as treating skin conditions such as acne or eczema.
Even though many people using it as a moisturizer, beard oil can shape your beard especially if it’s long. By making the beard softer, this practically means that it becomes more manageable and straight. This way, you can kinda say that it could shape your long beard.
Not ideal, but it can still do a very good job.
Tip: Speaking of essential oils, try to avoid beard oils that contain fragrances especially if you have a sensitive skin.
If you don’t want to spend money for beard oil, you can consider doing it yourself at home. The process is fairly simple since it mostly needs mixing of carrier oils such as jojoba or argan with essential oils. Few drops of this, and couple of drops of that, in a small bottle, shake it and ready.
That said, if you’re not into DIY projects, you might want to check my other articles on beard oil before you buy one.
So, if you can’t be bothered making your own beard oil, check out one of the below beard oils.
Apart from a great moisturizer and conditioner, beard balm is great for shaping your beard. I was using it mostly for the shaping rather than the conditioning part. However, it’s supposed to be used mainly as a beard softener rather than for shaping.
The reason is the natural waxes that most beard balm contain. Some of them have a bit more beeswax than others. This means that while it makes a beard softer, it tames the unruly beast.
In my opinion, beard balm is more suitable for longer beard as it might feel a bit heavy if you massage it into the roots of your beard as you would do with the beard oil.
Nevertheless, beard balm does a great job for all 3 properties you might want it for (Moisturizing, Conditioning, Shaping).
There are beard balms with either natural sealants or synthetic. Natural sealants such as beeswax, shape and moisturize your beard and they make your facial hair softer and healthier. Besides, these are all natural ingredients. I wouldn’t recommend synthetic sealants especially if your skin is prone to irritation.
Other ingredients that can be found in a beard balm are butters such as cocoa, shea and mango that help the balm’s spreadability (I hope this is a word).
Wondering how does beard balm make your beard soft? Same way as beard oil.
Beard balm is something like a solid beard oil.
It contains the same carrier and essential oil as beard oil does. In fact, you’ll find similar oils to both type of products more often that you think.
What makes the beard balm different is the addition of two types of ingredients. (Natural) wax -most of the times beeswax, and butters such as avocado, cocoa and shea.
The wax gives the balm its solid appearance and the butters help with spread and melting of the wax. This is why you need to rub the balm between your hands until it melts right before you apply it in your beard.
As for the carriers oils, normally, the best beard balms contain one or a mix of argan, jojoba, coconut, sweet almond, olive. They’re all perfect for softening your facial hair, promoting beard growth and keeping your beard and skin healthy.
The essentials oils on the other hand, will give the balm a few more vitamins while providing it with scent.
If you still can’t decide on beard balms, you can’t go wrong with the below.
How do you make your beard soft and silky?
You know the reasons, you’ve got the products, now you’ll get to learn how to make your beard softer step-by-step. Ideally, you’ll adapt it as your daily ritual for better results.
So, here are the easy steps towards a soft beard.
1. Washing and Conditioning
You don’t have to shampoo your beard on daily basis but 3 to 5 times a week is a good frequency to get rid of the dirt you accumulated.
Once you finish with the washing, apply a conditioner and massage your beard gently just like you wash your hair. For best results, leave the conditioner on your beard for a couple of minutes and then rinse well with water.
Note: Try to be thorough with the rinsing. You don’t want to get any not-so-pleasant surprize if the facial hair dries with either shampoo or conditioner on it.
2. Apply Beard Oil
Ideally, you just finished the shower and you dried your beard well. Applying the beard oil right after taking a shower is perfect because the hair follicles are open from the warm water and the oil penetrates in the hair more easily.
- OK, so, once you’re done with the showering/beard washing, it’s time to get our hands dirty. Well, not so dirty.
- Make sure that you dry your beard well so that the beard oil can be easily absorbed by your beard and doesn’t get diluted with water.
- Grab the beard oil and pour a few drops on your hands. Don’t be very generous with the amount of oil. Just a couple of drops are more than enough to cover your entire beard. You don’t want to make your beard (appear) oily.
- Start from the ends of the hair and work your way through to your face. The beard oil will soften the beard and keep it well moist while moisturizing the skin.
- When you finish applying the oil, use the boars hair brush that we talked about earlier to help spread the beard oil evenly across the facial hair.
One other way to use beard oil, is to apply the drops on a boar bristle brush directly and then use the brush on your beard.
3. Time for some Beard Balm
If you are using beard oil already, you could potentially skip the beard balm. In essence, they serve similar purpose, making the beard softer and moisturizing it. However, I find beard balm more suitable for longer beards because of the more viscous solution which helps you style your beard.
But again this is from my experience and I never had a very long beard.
A typical beard balm recipe contains beeswax which is the ingredient that gives beard balm the shaping and holding properties.
- Using a beard balm is similar to beard oil.
- Wash your beard first and dry it well.
- Scrape a bit of beard balm and rub it in your hands.
- Next, go ahead and apply it on your beard and work your way again towards the face. Make sure you don’t skip rubbing your hands with the beard balm on your face.
- Grab a boar bristle brush and brush the beard so that the balm is evenly distributed across the beard. It’s not necessary but it could make the beard balm application simpler.
The beard balm gives more density to the beard and makes it appear thicker. Here, I’d like to add that I find beard balm better than beard oil for shaping a beard due to the ingredients difference we talked about earlier.
Few beard care kit suggestions for ultra soft beards
We already discussed how to make your beard softer and what kind of beard care products you require to get everything started.
I wouldn’t say that it’s difficult to get all the required products from different vendors. The only thing that is needed from you is time, and maybe a bit of patience to find the ones that make you happy.
So, if you’re looking for a complete solution right from the start, I gathered a couple of beard care kits that promise to make your beard softer than your freshly washed woollen sweater.
I decided to include only these kits that seem to offer a complete beard softening package. In my opinion, these are the three following:
- Zeus Deluxe Beard Grooming Kit
- Mountaineer Brand Complete Beard Care Kit
- Grave Before Shave Beard Gift Pack
- Beardsley in the Box Beard Care Box Set
I would recommend the first two if you’re looking for a beard softening kit that contains a good beard brush. The other two beard care kits are a more complete solution that are only missing the brush. All four kits are from reputable beard care product producers and you won’t regret selecting any of them.
Let me know if you select any of the above or you found another one that I could include in the list.
Quick tips that will help you keep your beard soft
- Drink a lot of water throughout the day. It’s not only good for keeping and making your beard soft but also for the overall health of your body.
- Don’t wash your beard and go out in the cold without properly towel drying it. This is one of the main reasons why your skin and beard gets dry.
- If you use any type of aftershave after you finish trimming with a beard trimmer, try to avoid those that contain alcohol. Alcohol will remove the moisture from your beard and as a result, it will have an impact in the softness of your beard.
- Trimming your beard after shower or beard wash, might result in reduced split ends. However, bear in mind that your beard and hair is longer after taking a shower. Therefore, you need to be careful when you trim it so that you don’t trim more than you expect.
- Make sure that you’re using a beard trimmer or a pair of scissors that are well maintained and sharp. Otherwise, they can chew your beard and damage it. This will result in split ends as well as in coarse and wiry beard. Sharp blades slice the hair rather than damaging it while cutting.
- Jojoba oil-based products are great for conditioning your beard and face. This type of oil is quickly absorbed by the hair follicles.
- Similarly to jojoba oil, products that contain argan oil are perfect to make your beard soft and why not, your hair as well. No wonder why many of the best beard oils contain argan oil as carrier oil which means that in many cases, it’s more than 90% of the mix.
- Another natural product that can make your beard softer is coconut oil. It’s been used for years in the personal care industry and lately, there’s a huge hype over hair and beard care products with coconut oil. Apart from its amazing properties, it smells great!
- Argan, coconut, jojoba, hemp seed, apricot kernel, olive oil and sweet almond oil can be used either as substitutes or as a blend to make the perfect natural beard softener. You won’t be disappointed.
- Boar bristle brushes have been used for centuries to make hair softer. They have a good backbone and due to their natural hair, are more friendly to your beard than synthetic brushes. Think about all the princesses that brushed their hair. What kind of brush do you think they were using?
- If you use a beard comb, make sure that it’s not cheap plastic. Cheap plastic combs can potentially damage your beard. Prefer sawcut plastic combs, horn combs or even wooden combs for your daily beard grooming routine.
Well that was it! I hope you managed to read everything up till here.
As I explained in a previous post, I have very thick facial hair and when I used to have a beard, things were a bit challenging in terms of maintaining it and keeping it soft. This was my daily beard softening routine and I hope it’s going to show you how to make your beard softer as well.
Looking forward to your comments and suggestions.
How do you soften your beard?
Image Courtesy: flickr.com/nationalportraitgallery