Say what you will, but beards are still trending. However, there is nothing worse than having a bad beard day or if you are persistent enough a bad beard life. And one state that can cause you to feel this way is curly beard.
When you make up your mind to grow a beard, you don’t really think about curly locks of hair on your face. But after couple of months growing it you realize that your beard resembles a steel scrubbing pad, and this is something that most of us don’t really look forward to.
But don’t worry, this is a pretty common thing. Some guys grow straight-haired beards, while others are stuck with curly beards, some of us like straight beards, while others prefer a curly locks of hair on their face. The problem arises if you are a straight beard guy, stuck in a curly beard body.
And I’m afraid that shaving is not an option… Or at least, this isn’t what we’re going to be discussing. After all, we’re talking about straightening your curly beard, not changing your style.
But as I already said, no worries, everything can be fixed.
For that purpose, I have prepared this article as a step by step guide which will give you a detailed understanding of how to straighten your curly beard and why this happens in the first place to tackle it effectively.
Why is your beard curly?
Before we go onto revealing the ways to straighten your beard, we have to understand the problem that is curly beard. Why are you cursed with a curly beard? Is it something you are born with, or is it something you are doing wrong?
In truth it can be any of the above. There are several reasons why your facial hair might be curly.
So put your hair straightener, or if you are feeling extremely manly the steam iron down, and let’s see why your beard gets that way.
As it turns out, having a curly beard might not be your fault at all. If your father, your grandfather, or the hairy aunt from abroad, has a curly beard the chances are that the genetic lottery has not been so kind to you, and you are bound to suffer a curly beard.
So how does this happen?
As it turns out there are perfectly logical explanations why your beard gets curly. The first one is the position of your hair follicle. Yes, I know this sounds rather ambiguous but let me explain:
We like to imagine the hair follicles as perfectly straight and perpendicular to the surface of our skin, this is how we often see them depicted. This would give you a perfectly straight Rapunzel type of beard, but unfortunately this oftentimes is not the case.
For most of us, ordinary mortals, our hair follicles like to grow at an angle, and to make matters even worse, for the most part the hair follicles don’t grow perfectly straight, but they are rather curved to some extent.
So the logic is simple, since your hair follicle is the birthplace of your hair, the more curved the follicle is the curlier your beard.
Note: Don’t be discouraged, if you haven’t yet started growing a beard, and you have a curly hair, it doesn’t mean that your beard will be curly as well. Give it a shot, because most people have different types of follicle shape on different parts of their body.
So if the hair on your head and chest is curly, you might have perfectly straight hair follicles on your face.
The second reason our genetic programming can determine our beard texture is the shape of the hair strand. And again, we are led to believe that our hair strands are always perfectly round, but for most people, other than those of Asian descent this is not true.
Usually people of Asian descent grow perfectly round hair strands, there are some exceptions of coarse. People of European descent usually have semi oval shaped hair strands, while people of African descent usually grow hairs that resemble flat oval.
So how does the shape of your hair strand determine the texture of your beard?
Quite simply, if your hair strand is round your beard will be straight, but if you have oval shape hair strand your hair will be curlier if the oval is flatter.
Not taking enough care of your beard
If your hairy aunt from abroad that we mentioned in the previous section does sport a perfectly straight beard, it might be that she is simply taking better care of it than you.
Owning a straight, shiny, thick mane, does require some looking after. And lucky for you, if your genes work in your favor, it is just a matter of some basic grooming that can give you that perfectly straight beard you have always wanted.
What does grooming have to do with curly beard? Well apparently a lot.
Probably the most common reason for curly beard, right after genetics, is over dryness. Once your hair strand looses a certain amount of moisture it would naturally curl-up. But luckily this can easily be avoided if you follow just some simple rules:
Do not shampoo your beard too often
This is probably the biggest mistake that every one of us is tempted to make. And even though we just want our beard to be clean, most of us don’t realize that by using a shampoo that is too harsh on our beards, or if we shampoo our beard too often, we will eventually strip off all the natural sebum oils that help lock the moisture in the hair strand. Most of us don’t realize that we need to wash our beards lot less than we think.
Ideally you should be shampooing your beard about once a week using a gentle and good beard wash which will cleanse your beard without over stripping it of all the natural oils. That is unless you are exposed to dirt and grime on regular basis. If this is the case it would be O.K. to shampoo your beard more often, but you will need to use products that can substitute the natural sebum oils that you wash off.
Avoid washing yourself with hot water
I know that a nice hot shower after a long day, sounds like a great idea, especially in the cold winter months. However if you want your beard to be straight and healthy you should avoid washing with hot water at all costs. And this leads us back to the sebum oil. Using hot water to wash yourself would cause the sebum oil to loosen up and wash off which will eventually lead to dry unruly beard.
Not drying your beard properly
And again, a very common mistake that most beard novices as well as some beard veterans make is insufficient or improper way to dry their beard off.
If you don’t dry your beard off completely after washing it, after some time mineral deposits from the water will start to crystallize on your hair strand. Besides creating numerous problems for your skin, these mineral deposits will cause your hair strand to curl while growing. So after you wash your beard you should tap dry it with a soft clean towel until completely dry.
If you have a longer beard and tap drying it just doesn’t cut it, you can use a hair dryer set on low heat to completely dry your beard off. Please note that using a low setting on your hair dryer to blow dry your beard is crucial, as blow drying your beard on high heat setting will cause the entire shaft of your hair follicle to dry out.
Another big mistake that we make when drying our beard is that we usually like to rub our beard with a towel. Rubbing our beard with a towel will not only rub off all the water but all the sebum oil along with it, causing our beard to loose moisture and eventually curl up. So always avoid rubbing your beard with a towel.
Beard Split ends
Yet another reason why your beard might be getting curly are the dreaded facial hair split ends.
Split ends occur when your hair strand becomes too dry and brittle. The tip of the hair will eventually fray causing a split end. Once your hair strand splits it will cause both ends to grow curling up in different directions.
The easiest way to get rid of those split ends is trimming your beard. After all regular trimming is necessary if you are aiming at an epic mane.
After you trim the split ends you will need to keep your beard soft and well moisturized to avoid further occurrence. So follow the advice given above, and use the products in the section below.
Not using products that make your beard soft
We have to admit that some of us look at growing a beard simply as a grooming shortcut. And yes, it is in a way.
Sporting a beard is much less tiresome than having a clean and close shaven face at all times, and not to mention all the cash you would save on those overpriced razor blades. But if you want to have straight beard, or at least look presentable some grooming is in order.
Not using beard brush or beard comb
Beard brushes, or beard combs are usually disregarded by most beard enthusiasts. However using a beard brush and a beard comb can help you straighten the curly mess on your face in more ways than one.
How to make your beard straighter naturally?
What we eat has a direct impact on our overall health, and this includes the health of our beard as well. Maintaining a healthy diet is a sure way to perfectly healthy, straight beard.
As I have already explained, one of the main reasons that your beard gets curly is over dryness which is caused by lack of sebum oils. Foods rich in Vitamin C and E can help promote production of sebum oil. Foods rich in Vitamin C are Lemons, peppers, oranges, brocolli, among others. While Vitamin E can mostly be found in peanuts, almonds, spinach, wheat etc.
Some of the fastest growing cells in your body are those in your hair and nails. In order to keep them healthy, grow faster and straighter you should encourage them by incorporating a protein rich food.
Foods that contain protein are fish, chicken, beef, eggs, dairy, or if you are vegetarian you can try eating nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts as an alternate source of protein.
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for the overall health of your hair as they prevent your hair from getting dry. You can find Omega-3 in salmon, flax seed, walnuts etc.
Using natural oils
As mentioned before, the sebum oil is essential for the health of your beard. But the constant face washing and showering will inevitably deprive your beard of the needed sebum oil. And as your beard gets longer, the more sebum oil is required to cover the entire hair strand. But unfortunately at some point your sebaceous glands will just not be able to produce enough. For that reason using oils that closely imitate the sebum oil that is produced naturally is essential to keeping your beard as straight as your genes will allow you.
Using beard oil will moisturize your hair strands causing them to eventually relax and at the same time add some weight to the hair, and allow gravity to take its course.
In addition to beard oils, you can also use beard balm which is denser, and will cause your beard to straighten even more, while doing the same job the beard oil does. And if your beard is really kinky you can even resort to beard wax, which is capable of straightening even the kinkiest hair strands.
However, if you don’t like spending too much money on specialized beard oils, you can make do even with regular oils that can be found in any kitchen.
Some of the most popular options are coconut oil, castor oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil. Even though these don’t have the added benefits of specialized beard oil recipes, they are proven as great sebum oil supplements.
Using a beard comb or a beard brush
Beard combs, and beard brushes are essential tools in your arsenal if you are combating curly beard.
A quality beard beard brush, made out of all natural boar bristle hair is used to evenly distribute the sebum oil that your skin produces across the entire length of your hair strands making it softer and straighter. It is also great for distributing any beard oils that you might apply to your beard.
On the other hand, beard comb is perfect for daily use for a few good reasons. These include training your beard to grow in a certain direction, untangling any knots that you might have in your beard, distributing the oils across the length of your hair strands to some extent, and most importantly helping your beard grow straight.
Using a beard conditioner
Even though it is not recommended that you shampoo your beard daily, you should definitely use a hydrating beard conditioner regularly especially while you shower.
Using beard conditioner will not only help cleanse your beard, but will do so in much gentler way that beard shampoo, while at the same time putting moisture back into your dry beard.
How to straighten your curly beard with a hair straightener?
I completely understand that using a straightening iron to get rid of the curls in your beard might be tempting, but I would not recommend doing this on regular basis. However doing this only for special occasions, where you want your beard to look a certain way, should not be a problem.
Word of caution, the extreme heat of the straightening iron will damage your hair causing it to break, and it can burn your face, so be careful. First thing you should do is choose the right straightening iron.
Try searching for small ones you need it to be short and thin so that you can control it better, and if you happen to stumble across one with a protective heat element all the better.
Now that you have picked-up the right straightening iron, the best way to go about straightening your beard is to straighten it with low heat. Keep in mind that heat is not good for your beard, as it dries it out and makes it brittle.
So keep the straightening short, on low heat, and after you are done you should definitely apply some beard oil to replenish it with moisture.
How to straighten your beard with a beard relaxer?
Another way to deal with your curly beard would be using a beard relaxing cream. This method will remove the curl in your beard permanently and give you a nice straight hair.
Yes, you have understood well, the beard relaxer will straighten out your hair permanently. And the best part is that it does not use any harsh chemicals to do so, in fact most of the beard relaxers are designed to strengthen your beard and make it appear healthier.
The most effective beard relaxers use ingredients like almond oil that is proven to promote healthy hair growth, shea butter that moisturizes and conditions your hair, and beeswax to help your hair retain moisture.
How to use your beard relaxer:
- Wash your beard with the relaxing shampoo and tap it completely dry.
- Divide your beard into smaller sections
- Using disposable gloves, apply the beard relaxer to each section separately, try not to get any on your skin.
- Using the disposable gloves massage the relaxing agent into your skin
- Use a fine comb to get the relaxing agent closer to the root of your hairs
- After 30 minutes rinse your beard out with water
- Blow dry your beard. DO NOT USE A TOWEL as this will remove the relaxer from your beard.
- Once dry, use a straightening iron to straighten any curls in your beard
- Once you straighten it all out, use the neutralizer to deactivate the relaxing cream
- Using the shampoo enclosed wash the agent off your beard three times, and rinse it off
- Apply the moisturizing conditioner and put on the plastic cap, leaving your beard alone for 30 minutes, after which you should rinse off the conditioner.
- Towel dry your beard and apply the sealer
- Blow dry your beard, and you are all done.
Please note that after some time, depending on your hair growth, the new hair growth will come out curly again, so after some time you will have to apply the agent on the new, curly growth, while making sure you don’t affect the already straightened growth.
Other ways to straighten your beard
The above mentioned are probably the least evasive techniques to straighten your curly beard. However if you are willing to put your trust in the science that is chemistry you might want to look into the chemical procedure.
As the name suggests, these methods use harsh chemicals that can potentially be dangerous if not used correctly.
So if you decide that you want to try using harsh chemicals that have a potential to burn your skin off, you should probably first find a competent hair professional.
In conclusion I just want to add, you should be proud of your beard, no matter if it is straight or curly it is what defines you. Straight beard might be just a passing trend, so be proud of your curly beard.
Looking back you can see that history has been defined by men who proudly displayed their well groomed curly beards. But on the other hand if you have straight beard that has been neglected to a point where it looks like a stainless steel scrubbing pad there are two ways to face it.
You should definitely consider either paying some attention to your unruly facial hair while maintain it in a proper state with quality grooming products, or if that does not seem like an option, just put it out of its misery and shave. I surely hope that you won’t choose the latter.