Ask any man why they gave up growing a beard and almost every one of them will give you the same answer – beard itch. Never mind the awesome beard that’s awaiting them, they just couldn’t stand the irritation for those few uncomfortable days. If you’ve grown a beard before, you’ll understand what it’s like for someone new to get through it. However, you’ll also understand that the rewards are well worth the momentary period of discomfort.
WHY DO BEARDS ITCH?
As you grow your beard, the ends curl and either start growing back towards your face, or lay down on your skin. The ends of your whiskers are sharp and pointy thanks to your razor cutting them at an angle. The discomfort you feel is when those ends make it back and start poking you in the face, causing you to scratch. Excessive scratching can turn your face red, even into a rash for some, and it’s at this point that some men head straight for the bathroom and shave the growth off. However, with a little patience and willpower, those ends will soften and become dull as the beard grows out.
WHAT CAN I DO DURING THIS UNCOMFORTABLE PERIOD?
Long gone are the days when you just had to ride it out like our forefathers. We’ve come a long way, and there are many beard growing and maintenance products that ensure we can grow the best beard possible. It’s vital we take the time to understand how we not only grow a great beard, but keep it healthy and vibrant as well.
Clean your beard
Beards are robust, but still need a little TLC every day. They are at the forefront of many daily activities, resulting in foreign and natural objects becoming trapped within. These objects, such as dead skin cells, rogue hairs, daily grime, and body oils can cause irritation to the skin if left to move about and fester. To take care of your beard and keep it clean, you’ll need proper soap and shampoo designed especially for beards. Hair on your head is different to hair on your face, and regular shampoo can dry your skin and clog your pores. So don’t use it – it’ll do more damage than good.
Replace the nutrients
Moisture and nutrients can be lost during the cleaning process, no matter what products you use. Proper beard soaps and shampoos will minimise this loss, but you’ll need a beard conditioner to replenish and invigorate the hair. Again, don’t use head hair conditioner for the same reasons you shouldn’t use head hair shampoos. Beard conditioner will make your beard soft again, reducing the impact of those pointy hairs poking at your skin, and your beard is less likely to tangle when it becomes longer and fuller.
Use beard oil or beard balm to moisturise
Applying beard oil is the best way to moisturise your beard. It will add weight, give it a lovely scent, and a nice sheen. Alternatively, using a beard balm is another excellent option, and the only way you’ll know which one is best for you is trying them for yourself during your daily routine. Moisturising is a non-negotiable; it simply must be done, no excuses.
MY BEARD STILL ITCHES!!!
To maintain a clean and healthy beard, you should follow the above steps even after you’ve grown it to the desired length. However, for some men beard itch is still a concern even after they’ve grown it out. If this is the case for you, there are a couple steps you can take to relieve the irritation.
Remove ingrown hairs
Ingrown hairs are a common issue, even if you’ve gone to great lengths to maintain a healthy beard during the growing phase. Use a good pair of tweezers to remove the hairs, and if you don’t have a steady hand to do it yourself, ask someone to do it for you.
Brush your beard
This should go without saying, but make sure you brush your beard hair regularly. As soon as you’ve got any sort of length in your beard hair, you should brush it regularly using a top quality beard brush or comb. This will train your hairs to grow in the desired direction, and provide it with some shape and style, reducing the risk of ingrown hairs and whiskers poking you in the face. As an added bonus, brushing your beard feels absolutely incredible!
If you’re growing your beard and going through this irritating period, stay strong and ride it out. Just remember there are many men going through exactly the same discomfort, so don’t be one of those who shave it off if you really want to grow a beard. Most men are so happy once they get through this period, while others regret shaving it off as soon as they do it. Like most things in life, great rewards come after a little hard work, and beards are no different.