OK, so you’ve grown the beard you’ve always dreamed of and perhaps even paired it with a great-looking mustache. Other men are impressed and the ladies want to get close to you and, damn, life is good.
But it doesn’t end there.
In fact, the next step – maintaining your awesome look through proper beard grooming is just as important. It’s like owning the car you’ve always wanted. Once you have it, do you neglect it through poor maintenance? Do you forget to wash it for months on end? Of course, you don’t.
The following is a complete guide to how to maintain a beard. We break it down for you while providing the fundamentals of combing, brushing, washing, styling your beard, and more. Time to get serious, men.
Caring for Your Beard
As we’ve mentioned throughout our guide on how to grow a beard, a lot of the different parts of growing a beard revolve around properly taking care of it. You can care for it throughout the day with beard oil and balm. You can train the hairs with a boars bristle brush and a comb, which will also help spread the natural oil you produce, sebum, throughout your beard. You can use scissors to trim down your beard and mustache and get rid of split ends. Keeping it clean is as simple as using beard wash and softener a few days a week. So let’s dive deeper into making sure you don’t have any poop particles in your beard!
Like you may have already guessed, it’s a type of oil you use in your beard. It is a leave-in conditioning product designed to replace the oils the lose when washing your beard. Washing takes out all the dirt, but it also strips away some of the oils as well. There are now a lot of other companies producing beard oil, but they may cut corners and produce them differently than us. We don’t use any silicones, sulfates, or parabens in our oils to give you the best possible outcome for your beard. Silicons aren’t inherently bad, but they coat your beard hairs and prevent them from getting the nutrients they need, plus they required a little more effort to get out.
How to Apply Beard Oil
Typically you’ll want to apply beard oil once a day right after you hop out of the shower. Putting on oil right after you’ve been in water might not sound right, but hear me out. If you take a warm shower it’ll open up your pores, and allow the oil to be absorbed much better than it would have normally. Just make sure to pat your beard down with a towel before applying it. Depending on the size of your beard, you may need to use a few more drops to cover all of it. Huge beards may need 7 or 8 drops, whereas smaller ones may only need 3. Our 1oz containers may seem like a tiny amount, but since you’re only using a few drops a day it should last you around 3-5 months!
Beard care is constantly evolving. Products are appearing that have never been seen before, or maybe haven’t been seen for hundreds of years. Beard Balm is one of those new things. It’s still pretty new, so a lot of people may not understand what it is. There can be a ton of different names for it; beard balm, butter, lotion, cream, the list goes on. A lot of them are really similar, but are just marketed differently. For a balm is can be broken down into two different functions: conditioning and styling.
This is also a leave-in conditioner, similar to our beard oil. Since they have the same function, it isn’t necessary to use both. So pick one for the day and stick to it. A balm is gonna be a little bit heavier than a beard oil, but will provide a bit more conditioning, shine, hold, and longevity mainly because it is a solid based product that will melt and distribute more as it heats up. You can apply it once a day, around the same time you’d apply an oil. Right after a shower is always best since your skin is at its most receptive. Then if you’ve got a fancy evening planned, you can apply a small amount again just before you go out.
How to Use Utility Balm
To use it, just pull a little bit onto your finger. Usually about a pea size will suit you just fine, but if you’re hesitant than always go with less cause you can add more later. Start by rubbing it between your hands and work it through your beard and onto your skin. It’s essentially like a lotion, and will moisturize your skin and beard. Not all of it will come off on your hands, so it completely normal to put the excess in your hair or on dry parts of your skin. If you don’t want to clutter your counters, then utility balm is perfect. It’s great for your beard, body, and hair!
Having a beard isn’t all about making sure it’s clean and moisturized. Sometimes it can grow in strange ways, in different directions, or maybe just won’t lay flat. That’s when you can look to some of our helpful tools to train, trim, or guide your beard to be exactly how you want it. A main tool that’s super important to keep near you is a comb.
Beard & Mustache Combs
Our Cellulose Acetate Combs are designed to avoid breaking, cracking, and snagging on your beard. It really just avoids all sort of pain when grooming yourself. The combs are made in a very interesting way; the shape is cut out of an Acetate sheet then the teeth are rounded off with a pomace. That means the teeth are tapered and smooth for maximum comfort.
We have smaller combs that are designed specifically for your mustache, medium combs (pocket combs as we like to call them) that have both a narrow side and wider side that’s great for combing your beard or mustache on the go! We also have a standard size comb that’s meant to be used at home. It has the same parts as the pocket comb, but is larger and meant to be used when you’re getting ready in the morning and have more time to focus on grooming your beard. A little-known secret about these combs is that they can really help spread the products through your beard. Whether you use beard oil or balm, the comb makes sure each of your beard hairs gets coated. You still have to work it into the skin yourself, though.
How to Comb Your Beard
It seems obvious – every man instinctively knows how to comb his beard, right? It’s like we’re born with the ability to run a comb through our glorious mass of facial hair. But hold on – not so fast. After all, combing your beard does involve some technique if you want to make the most of your grooming experience. And it all starts with the tool itself: the comb. Your comb should have both wide and narrow teeth, and you’ll use the wide teeth for your beard – which is obviously thicker – and the narrow teeth for your mustache. The wider teeth will glide through your beard to make the combing process much easier.
OK, let’s get started.
Begin by holding your beard comb so that the teeth are pointing upward. You’ll want to hold onto your comb with a firm enough grip so that it doesn’t slip from your hand, but don’t grip it so tight that your knuckles turn white. Instead, use a relaxed grip – like you use your toothbrush – so that you’ll maintain the necessary amount of control while you’re combing. Next, begin by combing out the beard with an upward motion to “fluff” it out. The goal is to separate the hairs of your beard so that they can lay on each other evenly while getting rid of the bed-beard look.
Just a head’s up, you’re more than likely going to run into snags during the combing process. Snags aren’t necessarily knots in your beard, but are the result of strands of hair going in different directions and crossing over each other. When you come to a snag, don’t try to force it out, but instead gently pull it out with your comb. Remember, this isn’t a race. There aren’t bonus points awarded for combing your beard faster than the next guy.
After you’ve combed your beard out (including all of its layers), comb it back down. You start out with the fluff, but always comb it back down. You can even use your hands to apply the finishing touches after you’ve combed it down.
Boar’s Hair Bristle Brush
This is no ordinary, run of the mill brush. There’s no plastic bullshit to snag your beard and pull out some of the hairs. A boar’s hair bristle brush is made from, well, a boar’s hair. It’s great for training your hair to grow in the direction you want, as long as you brush it in that direction every day, or at least consistently. A comb doesn’t work as well for the early stages of your growth, as your hairs aren’t long enough to be redirected by it yet. The brush is more compact, and can get all the way to the root, thus it can make a huge difference in the way your hair lays naturally.
How to Brush Your Beard
Brushing is an aggressive way to groom your beard and beard brushes are used to train the hairs of your beard to go in the direction that you intend them to. That said, you don’t need to use a beard brush more than once a day; at most, use it twice a day because, again, it’s a more aggressive form of beard grooming. The best time to brush your beard is first thing in the morning when you’re dealing with the often tangled mess known as bed-beard.
Moreover, brushing it first thing will loosen any grime, dirt, or dead skin cells lodged in your beard, which you can then rinse out in the shower. Like with using a comb, you can start with brushing it “out,” but if you have a shorter beard – say, 1 to 3 months growth – it’s simply a matter of brushing it straight down and training the hairs to go in the direction you want them to go. You can even use your beard brush on your mustache.
Here are some other thoughts about brushing your beard:
Be careful using a brush on a short beard because you can irritate the skin. Once you have a little more hair to work with, you shouldn’t hesitate to use a brush.
As we’ve already mentioned, brushing your beard is an aggressive form of grooming. Too much of it will create split ends and can damage that facial hair you’ve worked so hard to grow.
Brushing acts as a natural treatment for your beard because it helps distribute your skin’s natural oils evenly throughout your facial hair.
Daily brushing helps to soften facial hair.
Brushing helps add volume – or give the appearance of volume – in the middle of long beards.
Don’t panic just yet, hear me out. Scissors can be a valuable tool in your beard arsenal. No, it’s not for completely cutting off your beard, but rather for trimming and shaping it up. We know that first cut is the hardest, but after that just stick to your plan and you’ll be good to go. It could seem overwhelming at first, but we trust you. Just know that you might get worried it won’t turn out well about halfway through, but you can always reshape it with your trimmers or get it touched up at the barbershop.
Cleaning Your Beard
A beard is still an extension of you, and can absorb the little particles that float through the air. So, it can get dirty and you have to clean it! Your routine can be as simple as just brushing it, or you can put a little more time into it. It’s all about personal preference, but nobody wants literal shit in their beard. No matter what product you use; wash, softener, or utility bar, you want to get it to your skin. Lather up in your beard, then work your way to get it to your skin.
Beards are similar to hair in the fact you don’t need to wash them every day. We recommend washing your beard about 2-3 times a week, but you can do it more or less depending on your level of activity during the day. But they have a completely different on the inside (they are much coarser) so using a beard wash will keep it healthy and clean without damaging it. Using regular shampoo will dry out your beard, causing it to become brittle and break.
Beard wash is designed specifically for your beard! It’s like Johnson & Johnson “no more tears” up in your beard. It’s gonna be clean as shit when you’re done. A beard wash has much more gentle ingredients, when compared to shampoo for your hair, so it won’t destroy your beard. Occasionally companies will just put regular shampoo in a beard wash container. To double check against this, check to see if the fragrance matches with the other products the company makes. If it matches, then you’re good to go. You can also google the product and its ingredients. A true beard wash will only yield beard wash results.
Very similar to regular conditioner for your hair, beard softener is just conditioner that is specifically designed for your beard! It’s meant to leave your beard feeling soft and velvety. When applying a softener, you want to focus on covering your beard hairs as well as the follicles. This is to help bring some moisture back to your beard. Then once you get out of the shower after using it, your comb is just gonna glide through like a knife in warm butter. Whether you use a shampoo or an actual beard wash, always follow up with a beard softener as your saving grace to keep your beard healthy, clean, and moisturized!
How to Use Beard Wash & Softeners
Applying beard wash and softener isn’t just an important part of your beard-grooming regimen, but your beard will thank you for it. Beard wash takes a kinder, gentler approach to cleaning your facial hair than the regular shampoo you use on your head and scalp because it has milder ingredients – including fewer surfactants, which is the reason your hair shampoo lathers up to resemble Santa’s beard. You won’t get the rich, foamy lather with a beard wash but, trust us, it’s thoroughly cleaning your beard.
To apply beard wash, simply put a small amount of it in your hand and then rub your palms together to spread it evenly on both hands and both sets of fingers. Next, use your fingers to apply the wash to the skin underneath your beard. This is an important point: beard wash primarily goes on your skin while beard softener is applied to your beard hairs. Here’s the other thing with beard wash - you don’t need to apply it every day unless you work in an occupation (construction worker, etc.) in which dirt and grime get into your beard on a daily basis. If you spend most of your day in front of a computer, then a daily beard washing isn’t necessary, unless you spill your lunch and dinner on it (hey, it happens).
Once you’ve applied beard wash, follow it up with a beard softener. A softener is like a conditioner you use in your hair and it’s designed to leave your beard soft and conditioned after you wash it. You’ll rinse it out when finished but you’ll be amazed how easily your comb glides through your beard after using a softener.
Put Some Style on It
We’re not all graced with the perfect beard of Adonis, Zeus, or Bandholz. Your beard might curl up in some places, it might have a wave, or it might just poof out. Fear not, there are ways around this! We briefly mentioned it early when talking about combs and brushes; there are things you can do to get your beard to sit exactly how you like it. But, if you need something a little more powerful we have a few products that can hold your beard in place.
No nobody likes to have a counter full of products, so we’ll help you keep that number low. We formulated styling balm from the ground up to not only be great at controlling your hair, but also to style your hair as well! This balm has a bit of a marshmallow consistency to it, which is gonna give you that bouncy look. You’re gonna want to apply it while your beard is slightly wet, then blow dry it on cool.
A little goes a long way, so you won’t need too much. It’ll be white when you take it out, but then rub it in your hands until it becomes clear, and apply it to the roots of your beard for maximum hold. It does have a small tendency to suck some of the moisture out, so be sure to use some beard oil beforehand so you’re good to go all day!
How to Style your Beard
A couple of things to keep in mind before styling your beard: 1) you need the proper tools, and 2) you don’t need as much time as you think. The whole process, in fact, shouldn’t take you more than three minutes, especially once you get the hang of it. The tools you choose are up to you, but we recommend using both a beard brush and comb, styling balm, sea salt spray, and a hairdryer.
You can start with sea salt spray, especially if your beard is of a medium texture and not overly coarse, but the spray is handy for all beards. Apply the spray to your beard when it’s still wet from your shower and then distribute throughout your hair with a beard comb. Sea salt spray will give you a more textured version of your natural beard.
After you’ve applied the sea salt spray, use a hair dryer for the styling process. A hair dryer helps take the excess curl out of the sides of your beard, which are often curlier and kinkier than other parts of it. We recommend using a half-inch diameter round brush in conjunction with your hair dryer as your work your whiskers downward to take some of the curl out of them. When you get to the bottom of your beard, roll the hair downward and under with your brush and use the hair dryer’s cold setting to give it a bit of curl while also setting the style you prefer.
Don’t forget about the stray hairs on the back of your beard (near your ears). Use your brush to roll the hair toward the back so that they don’t stick out.
OK, on to the mustache. If you’re wearing a “natural” mustache – i.e., not a handlebar or other style – use your brush and hair dryer to coach your mustache hairs in the direction of your beard. Something else to consider about mustaches: you may want to wash yours twice a day because it’s easy to get food and drink in it over the course of the day. Some of us even use straws for water, milk, and other beverages, but definitely not with coffee. Does anyone drink coffee with a straw? If you do, more power to you.
The final step is applying a styling balm. Don’t be afraid to use a generous amount of product, but how much you use is a matter of personal preference. Rub a dollop of balm between your palms to warm it up, then apply it to the outside of your beard. Next, rub it down to the base of your beard and into your mustache. Finally, use your beard comb to comb through the tops of your beard, but not all the way to the bottom. The important thing is that you style your beard so that it looks symmetrical.
While it sounds like a complicated process, it’s really not. You’ll be done before you know it while ensuring that you leave the house or apartment each day with a perfectly styled beard.
This stuff is similar to our styling balm we talked about above, but had a greater hold and can be used in your mustache, beard, and even your hair! A little tube of wax can last you a pretty long time. It offers a natural (medium) hold, and keeps it out of your mouth while you eat. It creates the shape, but doesn’t lock it into place. Just take a little bit out with your fingernail rub it together between your fingers, then apply it to your stache and work it into the style you want to achieve.
How to Apply Mustache Wax
Mustaches look great on their own or as a complement to that dazzling beard you’ve grown. Like a beard, however, a mustache can look a little less than its best – i.e., droopy, unkempt – without the proper care. I mean, seriously, what man feels good about anything that droops? But mustache wax has got your back, brother. It will get your mustache back in shape.
For the “natural” mustache look, get a dab of quality mustache wax on your thumb, enough to cover half a fingernail. Then work it between the tips of your index fingers to warm the wax up and make it easier to apply. Once it feels tacky, apply it to your mustache with both hands while starting from the center of your ‘stache and moving outward toward the tips. You not only want your mustache to look good, but you also want to shape it so that its hairs are out of your mouth and you can eat and drink coffee without your mustache getting in the way.
You may want to consider using a hair dryer to finish your mustache-styling session. The hair dryer will heat up the wax to make it a little more manageable. Use the low-heat setting to blows the hairs in the direction you want them to go, then switch to the cool setting to lock the hairs – and your style – into place.
Congratulations for joining us at the finish line and we hope you’ve learned some useful information along the way. The bottom line is that there is a multitude of options when it comes to maintaining a great-looking beard. With the right products and the right techniques for using them, such as those we’ve discussed here, we believe that your beard will be a source of pride and the envy of many. Beard on, friends.