What to Know Before Buying a Beard Straightener

You’ve grown your beard out—it’s long, it’s burly, it’s... getting a little out of control.

Maybe it’s got a weird wave down the middle, or perhaps it’s really coarse and curly and has a rounder shape than what you were hoping for.

Either way, you’ve identified some areas with your beard that you want to tame (don’t worry, everyone has trouble areas with their beard, even Greg Berzinsky).

While researching how to solve your beard blemishes, you’ve likely come across advertisements for heated beard straighteners—those heated brushes that claim to instantly take your beard from gnarly to glorious.

It seems like the perfect solution, right? Well, that is until you start reading reviews on Amazon.

Here’s the deal, hair straightening brushes and flat irons aren’t new. But these products have more or less been exclusively designed for head hair.

Nobody was thinking about the bearded Berzinskys and Bandholzes of the world when slapping a heating unit inside a hairbrush—at least not until recently. With the growth in beard popularity over the past decade, a heated brush market targeting bearded men was sure to follow close behind. That time has officially arrived.

But, before you dive in and drop your hard-earned cash on that “miracle wand,” check out this full rundown on beard straighteners, including our reviews of a whole bunch that we tried out.

We’ll also give some thoughts on a couple of the more expensive straighteners being advertised solely as beard straightening brushes. Finally, we’ll give you a couple of methods for how to straighten your beard—one using a heated brush, and one using a good old fashioned blow dryer.

But, before we get too deep, we need to do a quick recap on heat and hair.

IS HEAT BAD FOR YOUR BEARD HAIR?

Before you go all-in on adding a beard straightener to your grooming routine, it's good to understand heat and hair damage.

We’ll be honest—finding a reputable answer to this question proved a little more complicated than anticipated. It’s flat out hard to find an answer on heat and hair damage that doesn’t come from a blog with a name like cutehairstyles.cute or lusciouslocks.beauty (these aren’t real sites—we think—but, you get the point).

All of the research we found had to do with head hair, but we imagine the results would be similar regarding beard hair. The most notable point we found was that 185 degrees Celsius (385 degrees Fahrenheit) was the sweet spot for using heat on hair. Everything above that temperature began to cause damage. Keep this number in mind when we start looking at temperature claims by some of the beard straighteners out there.

The other noteworthy thing is that one study found that blow drying at a temperature of 95 degrees celsius (203 degrees Fahrenheit) from a distance of 15 cm resulted in less damage compared to hair that was allowed to air dry naturally.

The critical takeaway here is yes, heat and using a beard straightener can damage your beard hair when misused. That said, you’ve got to be using some really high temperatures to cause problems.

TYPES OF BEARD STRAIGHTENERS

There are basically two different variations of straighteners to consider for your beard—hair drying brushes and heated thermal brushes. Of course, there are also flat irons, but we would highly discourage you from using one of those so close to your face.

Hair drying brushes are similar to a hairdryer in that they generate hot air, which is then blown out through the bristles, similar to a diffuser attachment. These brushes tend to be round, but there are flat paddle brushes that you can find as well.

Heated Brushes use an internal heating element that actually heats up the brush and bristles.

There are a couple of other terms to keep in mind when looking at blow dryers and beard straighteners.

Ionic
Here’s a quick chemistry refresh—water contains positively charged ions. Ionic dryers use negative ions to speed up drying time. The more time water has to soak into the hair, the more frizz it can cause. So, in theory, faster drying equals less frizz.

Tourmaline
Similar to Ionic but produces even more water busting negative ions.

Ceramic, Porcelain, Infrared
These buzzwords all more or less mean the same thing—even, consistent heating.

BEARDBRAND’S PICK FOR BEST BEARD STRAIGHTENER

There are a lot—we mean, a lot—of “beard straighteners” being marketed on the internet. Hell, you can’t visit a beard related website without being bombarded by advertisements for miracle beard brushes on your social media feeds afterward.

Now, a lot of these ads make false claims and rip before-and-after pictures of YouTubers and Instagram personalities. For example, We often see ads with Beardbrand’s own Greg Berzinsky in them—but Greg has never used the specifically advertised product.

We’ve even seen ads where the brush being used isn’t the same throughout the entire video. The point is, be wary of the fact that the beard straightening niche is particularly popular amongst those trying to make a quick buck.

We’ll admit, we haven’t tried every single beard straightening brush out there. But, we did head to our local Target and picked out nine heated brushes that we felt were in an appropriate price range—around $20 to $60.

Are there other options available online? Absolutely. But, sometimes, you just want to run out to the store and grab something quick. We’ll talk about a couple of other online options a little further down.

These are the nine heated brushes from Target that we tried out:

  • Revlon Salon One Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer
  • Bed Head Blow Out Freak One Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer Hot Air Brush
  • Revlon Ionic Technology Perfect Heat & Style Hair Dryer
  • InfinitiPro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Spin Air Brush Styler
  • InfinitiPro by Conair Dry & Style Hot Air Paddle Brush
  • Revlon Pro Collection Heated Silicone Bristle Curl Brush
  • Eva NYC Lavender Crystal Mini Healthy Heat Thermal Straightening Brush
  • Instyler Straight Up Ceramic Straightening Brush
  • Remington Pro 2-in-1 Heated Straightening Brush

Aside from functionality, we also wanted to determine if these straighteners were living up to their temperature claims. We used a thermal gun to test the various temperature settings on each brush. We’ll start with the hair-drying brushes and then move to the heated brushes.

HAIR-DRYING BRUSHES

Revlon Salon One Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer - $56.99
Our initial reaction to the Revlon Salon One Step is that this thing is big—maybe a little too big for beards (especially if your beard is on the shorter end. The One Step could be a good option for long head hair, but we wouldn’t recommend it for your beard. It’s just too much brush.

Bed Head Blow Out Freak One Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer Brush - $43.99
The Bed Head Blow Out Freak (yeah, that’s a hell of a name) is literally the same exact brush as the Revlon One Step. It’s slightly less expensive and a different color, but the model is identical. We’d recommend passing on this one for the same reasons as above—you know, in case the name alone wasn’t enough to dissuade you.

Revlon Ionic Technology Perfect Heat & Style Hair Dryer - $22.99
The Revlon Ionic Heat & Style Hair Dryer has a cool look and comes with a few different attachments. It can double as a standard blow dryer as well, which is clutch if you don’t own a blow dryer currently. We weren’t crazy about the bristle arrangement on the brushes, though. Another thing we found is that this thing is loud—annoyingly loud. We would probably stick with a good old fashion hairdryer and Round Brush over this guy.

Conair InfinitiPro Tourmaline Ceramic Spin Air Brush Styler - $39.99
What we really liked about the Conair InfinitiPro Spin Air Round Brush was that the brush spins. There are two buttons on the handle that make it rotate automatically in either clockwise or counterclockwise directions. If you’ve tried using a combination of a blow dryer and Round Brush to style your beard and can’t quite get down the mechanics of it, this Spin Air Brush Styler could be a good option.

BEARDBRAND PICK FOR THE BEST HOT AIR BEARD STRAIGHTENING BRUSH

InfinitiPro by Conair Dry & Style Hot Air Paddle Brush - $18.99
As far as hot air brushes go, the InfinitiPro Hot Air Paddle Brush would be our pick. When using it, it feels like brushing your beard with a regular brush, and there’s nothing complicated about it.

We ended up being really impressed with how easy this brush is to use and how effective it was as a beard straightener. If you don’t have a hairdryer, or if you just want to simplify your routine, the InfinitoPro Hot Air Paddle Brush is a fantastic option at a killer price.

Thoughts on Hot Air Brushes
Something to keep in mind with these air brushes is that all of them only got up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. If your beard is really thick and burly, or if you’re looking for a more dramatic, straightened look, you may not get the heat you need from these brushes.

That said, we were really impressed with the InfinitiPro by Conair Dry & Style Hot Air Paddle Brush, and at $18.99, it’s not a significant loss if it doesn’t work for you.

HEATED BRUSHES

Revlon Pro Collection Heated Silicone Bristle Curl Brush - $20.49
We had high expectations for the Revlon Heated Silicone Bristle Curl Brush when we first felt it. The silicone felt really great, especially at the price point. It was all downhill from there. Our biggest knock is that this brush claims to go up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit, but when we tested it, it maxed out at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The other problem we had is that when you turn it on, there’s no indicator to let you know when it’s ready for use. Based on these things alone, we would recommend steering clear of this one.

Instyler Straight Up Ceramic Straightening Brush - $49.99
The Instyler Straight Up Ceramic Straightening Brush was the most masculine—or at least gender-neutral—of all the options we looked at. The white ceramic looks great, and overall, this brush feels nice in hand and on the beard. Out of all the brushes we looked at, the Instyler has the most options for temperature settings, ranging from 330 degrees Fahrenheit to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here are the results from our testing with the thermal gun:

Temperature Setting: 330 vs. Actual temperature: 315
Temperature Setting: 350 vs. Actual temperature: 325
Temperature Setting: 370 vs. Actual temperature: 335
Temperature Setting: 390 vs. Actual temperature: 360
Temperature Setting: 410 vs. Actual temperature: 375
Temperature Setting: 430 vs. Actual temperature: 385
Temperature Setting: 450 vs. Actual temperature: 385

At the lowest heat settings, the temperature discrepancy isn’t that big, but by the time we got to the highest setting (450), we were looking at a difference of 65 degrees. Now, as we mentioned above, some research has shown that hair can be damaged when exposed to temperatures above 385 degrees—so, it’s not necessarily a bad thing that it doesn’t reach the advertised 450. And hair, like paper, burns at 451 degrees, so we would prefer to keep the temps safely below that level. Again, not really a bad thing, but it was disappointing to see the Instyler not live up to its claims.

That said, we still think it's a good option for a heated brush that can be used as a beard straightener. We liked that the handle and back are ceramic—it doesn’t get hot to the touch, and you won’t run the risk of burning your bathroom counter.

One other thing to keep in mind is that it has a really short 58” cord. If you’re tall and don’t have counter-height outlets, it could cause some issues.

Remington Pro 2-in-1 Heated Straightening Brush - $29.99
Similar to the Instyler, the Remington 2-in-1 Heated Straightening Bunch has multiple heat settings—Low (290 degrees), medium (360 degrees), and high (425 degrees).

When we tested Remington’s temperature claims, we found them to be 100% accurate. Again, at that high heat setting over 400 degrees, you do run the risk of damaging your hair. The medium setting should be enough heat to straighten your hair, but we would love it more if it hit that 385-degree mark.

The build on the Remington is sturdy, and we loved that it had a 70” cord, as shorter cords can be an issue for taller beardsmen as noted above.

If having multiple temperature settings is something you value, we would recommend saving the $15 and grabbing the Remington over the Instyler.

BEARDBRAND PICK FOR THE BEST HEATED BEARD STRAIGHTENING BRUSH

Eva NYC Mini Healthy Heat Thermal Straightening Brush - $35
If you can get past the packaging and color of the Eva NYC Thermal Straightening Brush, we found it to be an excellent option for beard straightening.

We loved the smaller size of it. Compared to all the other brushes, the Eva felt like the most appropriate to use on your face. The cord is a solid 68” long, so there are no concerns about not being able to reach your face with it.

Where other brushes give you multiple heat settings, The Eva keeps it simple in that it just has an on/off switch with one temperature setting. The box claims it goes up to 400 degrees, but when we tested it, it only hit 380. Again, we don’t think you need anything hotter than 385, so it’s probably a good thing that it doesn’t hit 400.

We found the Eva to do a really excellent job as a beard straightener, and with a $35 price point, it’s less of a risk than some of the more expensive brushes being marketed towards beardsmen.

However, the packaging and color of the Eva may leave you considering other options. We get it. This thing is very clearly marketed towards women—as you’ll find to be the case with most hair straightening products.

TWO OTHER BEARD STRAIGHTENERS TO CONSIDER

We see a lot of advertisements for “beard straightening brushes” online, and a lot of them look like cheap imitations or ripoffs of some of the products above. Be wary of those.

However, there are a few other heated brushes out there that are made explicitly by beard companies or men’s grooming companies that are being sold as “beard straightening brushes.”

The two most notable that we’ve come across are the Aberlite GO Heated Beard Brush and the Kuschelbar Hair and Beard Straightener.

We haven’t tried either of these brushes, so we aren’t going to do a formal review of each. There are plenty of reviews on both available on YouTube. Matt at No BS Beard Reviews did a thorough review of the Aberlite GO, and Dan C Bearded has done some videos about the Kuschelbar.

Based on what we’ve seen, here’s a quick rundown of each:

Aberlite GO

  • Cordless
  • 3 heat settings (310, 360, and 400)
  • Compact size
  • Retails at $90

Kuschelbar

  • More compact than the Aberlite GO
  • Not cordless
  • 1 heat setting
  • Retails at $100

When researching both brushes, we found nothing but glowing reviews for the Aberlite GO.

When it came to the Kuschelbar, we’ve seen more mixed reviews. Now, these are mostly focussed on whether or not it’s worth the price tag. The general consensus seems to be that it works well, but you can get the same results at a lower price point.

Based on everything we’ve seen, read, and watched, we would say the Aberlite GO is worth checking out if money isn’t a concern. The cordless feature is a really nice perk and completely alleviates our cord concerns with the brushes we did try.

Aberlite does make a less expensive corded straightening brush that is pretty comparable to the Eva.

Thoughts on Heated Brushes
We were pretty impressed with how effective the Eva was as a beard straightener. The Remington and Instyler were also pretty capable, and all three are reliable options. We’ve also seen and read great things about the Aberlite GO.

The thing to be wary about with heated brushes is the temperature claims and the actual temperatures. Because the heat source is being applied directly to the hair, there stands a higher chance of hair damage than using a blow dryer where you can put some distance between your hair and the heat.

If you’re not sure if a heated brush is for you, but you want to try it out, grab the Eva NYC Thermal Straightening Brush for a fraction of the cost of the Aberlite GO or Kuschelbar.

Last but not least, always use a heat protectant for your beard when using a heated brush.

A heat protectant is specifically designed to help prevent your hair from being damaged by heat. Using a heat protectant doesn’t mean you can start frying your hair at 450 degrees, though. Beardbrand products were not formulated to act as heat protectants.

HOW TO STRAIGHTEN YOUR BEARD WITH A HEATED BEARD BRUSH

This method for straightening your beard works with both hot air brushes and heated thermal brushes.

  1. Remove any excess water from the beard if you will be straightening it after showering. You want the beard to be pretty close to dry.
  2. Apply Beard Oil or Utility Balm like normal.
  3. Use a Beard Comb to fluff the beard to remove any tangles.
  4. Apply a heat protectant to your beard. A heat protectant is specifically designed to help prevent your hair from being damaged by heat.
  5. Turn the brush on and select the desired temperature (if there are multiple temperatures settings). 385 degrees is widely considered the optimal temperature.
  6. Allow the brush to reach the temperature setting.
  7. Begin brushing the cheeks, moving the brush downward in smooth, short motions. Always keep the brush moving and never let it rest in one spot. One or two passes through the hair should suffice, but experiment to find what works best for your beard—just be wary of over straightening.
  8. Brush the chin hair straight down, or if your beard is longer, you can brush the chin hair to the side using your jaw and cheek as a flat surface to straighten against.
  9. Work the brush down through the neck. For longer beards, you may need to get underneath the beard and brush the hair outwards.
  10. Once the hair has been straightened, use a Beard Comb to shape the beard hairs into place.
  11. Optional: Use a Boar’s Hair Brush to further shape the beard.
  12. If you want to add more hold, apply some Styling Balm.

When using heat to style your hair, the goal should always be to achieve the desired style with as little heat as possible.

One to two passes through the beard with a heated brush should be enough to straighten the hair while retaining a natural look. It is possible to create a dramatically straightened beard by applying more passes of the brush. But, at a certain point, it starts to look like a fake beard, so play around to find the sweet spot for your beard.

HOW TO STRAIGHTEN YOUR BEARD WITH A BLOW DRYER

You’ve probably seen this before-and-after image of Greg Berzinsky in those sketchy beard straightener advertisements we mentioned above. Well, here’s the video that that image was lifted from (illegally, by the way). As you’ll see, you don’t need a heated beard brush to style and straighten your beard. A blow dryer, Beard Comb, and Round Brush can work wonders using the techniques below:

  1. After showering, pat your beard with a towel to remove any excess water. You want the beard to be damp, but not soaking.
  2. Apply Beard Oil or Utility Balm like normal.
  3. Use a Beard Comb and fluff the beard to remove any tangles.
  4. Grab your blow dryer and set it to hot.
  5. Begin combing the cheeks, moving the comb downward in smooth, short motions. Apply direct air from the blow dryer to the hair as you comb.
  6. Comb the chin hair straight down, or if your beard is longer, you can brush the chin hair to the side using your jaw and cheek as a flat surface to straighten against.
  7. Work the Beard Comb down through the neck. For longer beards, you may need to get underneath the beard and brush the hair outwards.
  8. If you have a wavy beard, use a Round Brush to curl the hair in the opposite direction. Apply heat from the blow dryer while doing so.
  9. As the beard becomes drier, decrease the temperature of the blow dryer.
  10. Use the Beard Comb to shape the straightened hair into place. Apply cold air from the blow dryer to lock in the style.
  11. Optional: Use a Boar’s Hair Brush to further shape and style the beard.
  12. If you want to add more hold, apply some Styling Balm.

Note: If your beard is extra thick and curly, skip the Beard Comb and use a Boar’s Hair Brush while following all the same steps above, as demonstrated by Ben Wilson in this video.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Being able to style and straighten your beard is a great skill to have at your disposal. There is no method of beard straightening that works for every beard. Part of the growing process is experimenting with your style and finding what works the best for you.

That said, it’s also worth mentioning that it’s essential to embrace the beard that you can grow—curls and all. It’s common for men with curly or wavy beards to desire a straighter beard, but keep in mind that many men with straighter, wispier beards are envious of the thickness in yours—It's the old the grass is greener thing.

Again, here’s a quick recap of our picks for beard straighteners:

Best Hot Air Brush: InfinitiPro by Conair Dry & Style Hot Air Paddle Brush
Best Budget-Friendly Heated Brush: Eva NYC Lavender Crystal Mini Healthy Heat Thermal Straightening Brush
Best Expensive Heated Brush: Aberlite GO Heated Beard Brush Straightener

CAN A BEARD STRAIGHTENER REPLACE YOUR OTHER GROOMING TOOLS?

A heated beard straightening brush can speed up your grooming routine and help you achieve the beard style you’re going after.

That said, we wouldn’t recommend scrapping your other grooming tools such as your Beard Comb and Boar’s Hair Brush.

The benefits of using a 100% Boar’s Hair Brush go beyond styling your beard. Those stiff bristles help to exfoliate the skin beneath your beard, removing dead skin and helping to distribute sebum to your follicles. That’s a crucial step in keeping your beard healthy and nourished. You aren’t going to get that from a heated brush made with synthetics.

You also want to keep your Beard Comb to use for touchups throughout the day. Grab a Pocket Comb to keep your beard looking awesome when commuting.

SHOP 100% BOAR’S HAIR BRUSHES

TL;DR

We tried out a bunch of hot air brushes and heated brushes for use as a beard straightener. These are our picks for the best.

Best Hot Air Brush: InfinitiPro by Conair Dry & Style Hot Air Paddle Brush
Best Budget-Friendly Heated Brush: Eva NYC Lavender Crystal Mini Healthy Heat Thermal Straightening Brush
Best Expensive Heated Brush: Aberlite GO Heated Beard Brush Straightener

*We have not formally tried the Aberlite GO, but we have not found a negative review of it.

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Eric Bandholz, Founder