This article was originally written on Beard Profile, which is merging with the Beard Wiki. It is written by the same author and founder of both websites, but uses a different voice from what the Beard Wiki traditionally uses. Some of these transferred articles may or may not have sources included.
Those growing out their beard to any substantial length beyond stubble know just how tough and coarse their beard can become. While length can certainly help to make one’s beard softer, don’t expect the coarseness to change without a little bit of know-how.
In this article I’ll be giving some tips on just how you can treat your beard to make it soft — not only for your own comfort, but for the comfort of your significant other as well.
Not only will we go over a couple of methods of softening your beard, but we’ll also get into how you should attempt to maintain its softness and health for the long haul.
Just as I mentioned above, the length of your beard can help to make your beard softer overall. This is because as the hair shafts become longer, they also become more pliable, which makes them easier to bend and move with every touch. The downside to length, however, is that you’ll also be more prone to breakage and split-ends, which can reduce the look of your beard and make it look less healthy than you might want it to.
This is why we can’t just use length and have to rely on some external methods of softening the beard up.
This is one thing that can keep hair brittle and dry, if you’re over-washing your beard or using products meant for your scalp. Keep the washing to roughly 2-4 times per week if you can, and use something natural like a castile soap instead of shampoo that has harsh ingredients that will dry out your face and hair.
Remember, our faces are much more sensitive and prone to drying than our scalps are, so use products that aren’t so harsh.
When you see a recommendation of washing your beard only a few times per week, it doesn’t mean you can’t rinse your beard daily or even more than once per day with plain water. You can hit the shower and soak the beard and let the water run through it; this will be enough cleaning for the beard without having to add soaps or shampoos to it.
When drying your beard after washing, be sure to pat-dry it with a cotton or microfiber cloth. Don’t rub it aggressively as this leads to breakage, particularly while the beard is fragile from being wet.
Don’t confuse conditioning of your beard as the same thing with your head hair. While the concept is the same, the products should differ. Hair conditioners are too much for facial hair, mostly due to the sensitivity of our skin and how easy it is to clog pores.
Instead of using your hair conditioner in your beard, opt for a beard oil instead. Or better yet, a beard butter for extra conditioning and softness.
Condition your beard after you’ve rinsed or washed it, as this will allow the ingredients to better pass through your hair’s cuticle as well as into your skin via the extra permeation that the water allows. The skin’s barrier is quite resilient, which is why applying moisturizing products after showers is highly recommended.
To take things one step further, you can also try a deep-conditioning routine where you apply your oils or butter and then sleep with a neck gaiter over your beard. This will lock in the oils and allow them to absorb into the hair shafts as you sleep at night.
As we sleep at night, we move quite a lot. Couple this with using cotton pillowcases and these two things lead to both breakage and absorption of your beard’s oils directly into your pillow. As I mentioned above with the neck gaiter, that would help protect the oils and keep them in your beard and not your pillow.
An alternative to the neck gaiter would be to pick up a satin or silk pillowcase. The good thing about these pillowcases are that they are not abrasive to your hair, both on your head and on your face. They also won’t be absorbing the oils in your beard, whether that’s natural sebum or oil you put in as a conditioning routine.
Wrapping things up…
Softening your beard isn’t a tough job, but it’s something that needs to be proactively tended to. Don’t let your beard get unruly and unhealthy with neglect: take action now so that your beard looks on point and touchable for however long you choose to keep it growing.
Be the man that proves people wrong about the negative misconceptions that are alluded toward bearded men.
And as always. Beard onward, fellas.
In this video, I essentially go over what I’ve gone over in the article above. Some information will overlap within the videos I make, although the articles tend to have a little more detail due to the nature of how these two mediums work. Utilizing both the articles here on Beard Profile and the videos on YouTube should help you remember all of the tips and keep your beard looking on point.
For quicker reference back to the products we’ve listed in this article, you can find them easily below.