How To Stop Picking Your Beard and Other Bad Habits

Urban Beardsman
How To Stop Picking Your Beard and Other Bad Habits

It’s one of the worst things a beardsman can do to his beard: pick at it all day. The reality is, it’s a problem many of us have. And sadly, it’s a problem that could ruin that majestic mane of yours so badly you’d have to shave.

I struggle with it on a daily basis. To this day I find myself tugging at my whiskers if my fingers aren’t busy. I don’t know why I do it. I guess it’s just a bad habit. The good news? Like any bad habit, there are ways to stop it. Some may work for you. Some may not. But they’re all worth a shot. Especially if they can keep you from shaving off that beard you’ve worked hard to maintain.

Why “picking” at your beard all day is bad

Fingering your beard can lead to some pretty bad things. First, if you do it enough, you can turn a pretty legit beard into a patchy one. Can you imagine? You grow a beard for months only to have to shave it off because you pick at it too much? That’s what some men may end up doing if they can’t stop plucking at their face fluff. It means starting over.

How do you stop?

Unfortunately, it’s not easy. You first need to know when you’re most likely to pick at it. Because a lot of the time it’s done on an unconscious level. You only realize your fingers are tugging away at individual hairs when you need your hand for something. For me, it’s when my hands are idle. Like, for example, when I’m watching TV.

Luckily, once you figure out what the trigger is, there are a few options at your disposal to keep your beard looking it’s best.

Tip #1: Idle Hands

One way is to sit on your hands. That way they’re not free to wander. If that doesn’t work, maybe putting them in your pocket will.

Tip #2: Comb It Out

Something else you can try is to keep something with you that’ll occupy those idle hands of yours, like a comb. You can keep a comb in your pocket, or at your desk at work. The idea is to have a comb somewhere near you at all times so you can keep those fingers from picking at your whiskers. And in my opinion one of the best combs on the market is made by Kent. I don’t know how, but it makes combing my curly beard feel like I’m putting a knife through warm butter.

Tip #3: Pay Up

If you don’t think that’ll work, maybe a stress ball would do the trick. Money is also a great motivator. If you make a rule that you must pay your friend/wife/significant other every time you picked at your beard, I’m guessing you’d break that habit pretty damn fast.

Other bad habits to stop

Before I jump into this section I want you to remember one thing: too much of anything can be bad for your beard.

Mistake #1: Overwashing

One of the bigger mistakes urban beardsmen make is washing that face fluff of yours too often. Sure, you don’t want to walk around with a dirty beard, but washing it too much is something you’ll definitely want to avoid. It can dry out your beard, which is actually less healthy for that beautiful face carpet than washing it two or three times a week.

Mistake #2: Using The Wrong Products

Along the same vein, don’t ever use a normal hair shampoo on your beard. A normal shampoo will make your whiskers about as dry as the Sahara. On the bright side, there are plenty of beard washes out there that are specifically designed to clean that hairy masterpiece of yours.

Mistake #3: Over-Combing

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this too: combing and/or brushing your beard too much isn’t good. Yes, I realize you may be thinking that I am contradicting myself because of what I said earlier, but believe me, I’m not. Combing your beard is fine. Combing your beard to get out of picking at your beard is fine. But combing your beard too much? Not good.

It’s important to remember that any habit isn’t going to change overnight. Baby steps, though, are the key. If you’re improving week by week, you’ll stop that bad habit of yours before you know it.

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  • Quite annoying it is.
    I was twisting and plucking my beard even while going through this article.

    Pranay on

  • I am having a huge problem currently with pulling my beard hairs out. I think it is work anxiety/stress, and before I know it I have pulled out about 4 or 5 hairs at a time. I’ve started to notice my beard is not as full and happy as it once was which is sad, I am tempted to just start again. I’ll try some of your tips first, like a gentle comb with my Kent comb every now and then when I get an urge and I have a stress ball on my desk which I will start squeezing too. One thing I struggle with is cleaning it – I have a beard wash and my beard doesn’t seem to like it, but I have combination skin. Is a normal bar of soap ok to use daily on it? Or should you only wash it every other day?

    Gareth on

  • This really is becoming an addiction for me, sometimes I just want to shave it all cus I can’t see myself not running my fingers through the beard if I have them. But I’m going to stop this habit, as much as I like to feel the hair, I’ll prolly die if I’m beardless. But I can’t be the only one who adores them in the mirror, I can still do that right?

    Cris English on

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