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 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 a really nice car. 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
A lot of growing a beard revolves around properly taking care of it. You can care for your beard throughout the day with beard oil and balm. You can train the hairs with a boar bristle brush and a comb. This 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 also get rid of split ends. Keeping it clean is as simple as using beard wash and softener a few days a week.
As you may have already guessed, this is a type of oil you use in your beard to balance its hydration naturally. Washing regularly keeps the dirt at bay, but it also strips away some of your beard's natural oil. As a result, beard oil was developed as a leave-in conditioning product designed to balance the natural oils in your beard and on your skin.
We don’t use any silicones, sulfates, or parabens in our oils to give you the best possible outcome for your beard. Silicones aren’t inherently bad, but they coat your beard hairs and prevent them from getting the nutrients they need, plus they require more effort and chemicals to wash out. On top of that, they mask dry hair and split ends so you only have the illusion of conditioned hair.
How to Apply Beard Oil
Typically, you want to apply beard oil once a day right after you hop out of the shower. Putting oil on right after you’ve been in water might not sound right, but it actually is! If you take a warm shower, it’ll open up your pores and hair cells, which allows the oil to be absorbed more effectively than it would have otherwise. Just make sure to pat your beard down with a towel before applying it, as this works best with damp beards, not soaked ones.
Depending on the size of your beard, you may need to use a few more drops for major coverage. Huge beards may need 7 or 8 drops, whereas smaller ones may only need 3 or 4. Our 1oz containers may seem like a small amount, but since you’re only using a few drops a day, it should last several months!
Beard care is constantly evolving. Products are appearing that have never been seen before, such as beard balm (also known as beard butter, beard cream, or beard wax). It’s still pretty new, so a lot of people may not understand what it is. A balm can be broken down into two different functions: conditioning and styling. First, we'll talk about our conditioning Utility Balm.
Our Utility Balm also functions as a leave-in conditioner, similar to beard oil. Since they have the same function, it isn’t necessary to use both. Check out this article to see which one is best for you. A balm is going to be a little bit heavier than a beard oil, but will provide a longer-lasting conditioning effect as a result of its heavier texture. You should apply it once a day, around the same time you’d apply an oil. Right after a shower is always best for applying moisturizing products because your skin and hair are more receptive to nutrients. If you have a special evening planned, you can apply a small amount again just before you go out.
How to Use Utility Balm
For most beardsmen, a nickel's worth of balm will suit you just fine. If you’re hesitant, then always start with less (a little of this stuff goes a long way) and add more if needed. Our Utility Balm is made from natural ingredients that melt and solidify at varying temperatures, so sometimes the texture can be a bit grainy. Don't worry - that's totally normal!
Start by rubbing it between your hands until the grains dissolve, then work it through your beard and onto your skin. Not all of it will come off of your hands, so it's encouraged to put the excess in your hair or on dry spots of your skin. Utility Balm isn't only for your beard - its deep conditioning effects apply to your hair and your skin as well (to read up on all the different ways you can use Utility Balm, check out this article).
Taking care of a beard isn’t only about making sure it’s clean and moisturized. Sometimes it can grow in strange ways, different directions, or maybe just won’t cooperate. 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. The essential tool that’s important to keep on you or near you is a comb.
Beard & Mustache Combs
Our cellulose acetate combs were designed to prevent breakage and snagging on your beard. The combs are made in a little-known way: the shape is cut out of an acetate sheet, then the teeth are rounded off with a sanding stone. This makes the teeth tapered and smooth for maximum comfort while combing your beard.
We also have smaller combs that are designed specifically for your mustache, as well as pocket combs that have both narrow-toothed sides and wider-toothed sides that are great for combing your beard or mustache on the go.
Our standard-sized comb is meant to be used at home. It has the same components as the pocket comb, but it's larger to give you more control. It should be used when you have more time to focus on your grooming routine rather than on the go. Using these combs can really help spread products through your beard evenly and effectively. Whether you use beard oil or balm, the comb makes sure each of your beard's hairs gets coated with your preferred product.
How to Comb Your Beard
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. Wrong!
After all, combing your beard does involve employing specific techniques to make the most of your grooming experience. Your comb should have both wide and narrow teeth arrangements. The wide teeth are for your beard – which is obviously thicker – and the narrow teeth are for your mustache.
Begin by holding your beard comb so that the teeth are pointed upward. Use a relaxed grip – like you use your toothbrush – so that you maintain the necessary amount of control while you’re combing. Next, comb out the beard with an upward motion to “fluff” it away from your face. The goal is to separate the hairs of your beard so you can more effectively get rid of the bed-beard look.
Just a heads 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 individual strands of hair growing in different directions and crossing over one another. When you come to a snag, don’t try to force it out. Instead, gently pull it out with your comb. Remember, this isn’t a race. There are no bonus points awarded for combing your beard faster than the next guy.
After you’ve combed your bed-beard out layer by layer, comb it back down into the desired shape. You can even use your hands and some product 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 aren't any plastic bristles to snag your beard and pull out your hair. 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, and provides a ton of benefits to your skin and hair. The bristles have a scaled texture that is perfect for sweeping away dust and grime, evenly distributing the oil of your skin, and stimulating circulation in your scalp and face.
How to Brush Your Beard
You really don’t need to use a beard brush more than once a day. The best times to brush your beard are first thing in the morning to combat bed-beard, or when you're styling it fresh out of the shower.
Brushing it first thing each day will loosen any grime, dirt, or dead skin cells lodged in your beard from the previous day. Like using a comb, you start by brushing it “out,” but if you have a shorter beard – say, around a half inch – it’s simply a matter of brushing it straight down and training the hairs to grow in the direction you want them to. You can even use your beard brush on your mustache.
Here are some important notes about brushing your beard:
Be careful when using a brush on a short beard, because you can irritate the skin. If you have a stubble beard or only a couple weeks of growth, brush less frequently until you've grown it out some more.
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.
Although there are benefits, too much brushing can create split ends, damaging the facial hair you’ve worked so hard to grow.
Scissors can be a valuable tool in your beard arsenal. They're not for removing your beard or making huge adjustments on your own, but rather for trimming and shaping it up. We know that the first cut is the hardest, but after that just stick to your plan and you’ll be good to go. You may worry that home trimming 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
You do not need to wash your beard every day – that'll dry it out! We recommend washing your beard about 2-3 times a week, but you can do it more or less depending on your body chemistry and how active you are. Facial hair has a coarser, unique structure when compared to the rest of your hair, so using a specially designed wash is necessary to keep it healthy and clean, without damaging your hair or skin. Using regular shampoo will dry out your beard and skin – causing it to become brittle and break while your skin flakes.
Beard Wash cleans the beard hair and the skin underneath without using the harsher chemicals that one might see in a commercial shampoo from a drugstore. We've formulated ours to work specifically with your body's natural biology, so it's gentle enough for regular use but strong enough to keep your beard fresh and thoroughly clean.
Our Beard Softener is a paraben, silicone, and sulfate free answer to everyone who needs a reliable conditioner for their beards. Beard softener is used just like hair conditioner - let it sit in the beard while you shower, then rinse out before drying. This brings essential hydration back to your skin and hair, which can be compromised depending on how active you are or how often you need to wash your beard (I'm looking at you, chefs and baristas!).
How to Use Beard Wash & Softeners
Applying beard wash and softener is an important part of your beard-grooming regimen, and 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 scalp. It has milder ingredients that make for a gentler lather than you might expect.
To apply beard wash, simply put a small amount in your hand and rub it directly into your wet beard in the shower. 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 daily. 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 rinsed that out, apply softener thoroughly to your beard. Let it sit in your beard for a few minutes while you continue your shower, then rinse it out just before you finish. Leaving softener in your beard for a few minutes makes a world of difference in enhancing its conditioning effects.
Put Some Style on It
We’re not all graced with the perfect beards of Neptune, Zeus, or Bandholz. Your beard might curl up in some places, it might have a wave, or it might just puff out. Fear not, there are ways around this! As we mentioned earlier, 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.
We formulated styling balm from the ground up to not only be great at controlling your facial hair, but also to style your head of hair! This balm has a marshmallowy consistency, which is going to give you the volume you want without the weight of other styling products. You'll want to apply it when the beard is slightly damp, then use heat as needed.
A little goes a long way, so you won’t need too much in order to get a medium hold on your beard. If you experience a firmer texture than you're looking for, applying a couple drops of beard oil to your beard after styling will help alleviate some of that hold.
How to Style your Beard
A couple 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 more than a few 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 hair dryer.
If you want to try using sea salt spray in your beard (it's not for everyone!), you'll want to start your routine with it. Apply the spray to your beard when it’s still wet from the shower and distribute throughout your hair with a beard comb. Sea salt spray will give you a more textured version of your natural beard that has a bit more volume than it would otherwise.
Next, apply some utility balm or beard oil. Applying conditioning agents to damp hair allows them to be absorbed more effectively. We're also about to bust out a hairdryer, so these products will help protect your hair while you manipulate it with heat.
After you’ve applied the sea salt spray and conditioning agents, use a hair dryer for the styling process. A hair dryer helps take the unwanted curls out of your beard and gives it the shape you want. For larger beards, we recommend using a round brush in conjunction with your hair dryer to control the direction your beard curls. Check out this article on best practices for using heat to style your beard.
If you're styling your mustache, this would be a natural next step. Check out this guide for an in-depth take on styling your mustache properly.
The final step is applying a styling balm. 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 smooth out the surface of your beard and shape it appropriately. When applying a styling balm as a final touch, you're only looking to style and solidify the beard's shape – not coat every single hair.
Like with all things, this new routine may take some time to perfect. Every beardsman is different, so every beardsman will have their own routine that they grow to master. Be patient, and don't be afraid to experiment.
Mustache wax has a stronger hold than styling balm, so a tiny bit goes a long way when it comes to unshakeable hold. As a result, a little tube of wax can last you a pretty long time. It offers a naturally flexible hold and keeps hair out of your mouth while you eat.
Just scrape a little bit with your fingernail, rub it together between your fingers, 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.
For the “natural” mustache look, get a dab of quality mustache wax on your thumb - enough to cover half a fingernail. Work it between the tips of your index fingers to make it easier to apply. Once it feels tacky and malleable, apply it to your mustache with both hands while working 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 the hairs are out of your mouth's way for food, drink, and kissing.
Congratulations for joining us at the finish line! We hope you’ve learned some useful information today. There are a multitude of options when it comes to maintaining a great-looking beard. With the right products and the right techniques for using them, we believe that your beard will be a source of pride, confidence, and the envy of many. Beard on, friends!