Growing a beard might seem like an easy and natural process, but a lot goes into maintaining healthy facial hair and skin underneath it. That shouldn’t put you off of it but inspire you to do your research and know how to take good care of your beard.
Just like with hair, the way your beard grows and behaves will depend on your genetic predisposition and the way you treat it. If you’re growing out your beard for the first time, you may face some common problems that could make the process a bit more difficult, but don’t let that sway you. Let’s talk go through some of the potential complications and help you figure out how to keep your beard healthy and shiny.
Itchy Beard & How to Deal with It
There are many reasons for an itchy beard, especially when growing it out, and the most common cause is dry skin underneath it. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution here: wash your beard and face more regularly.
Washing your beard once or twice a day is the sweet spot and it will help your skin stay clean and hydrated. There’s a variety of specialized beard shampoos that you can use to gently remove all the dirt from it. It’s a good idea to also use a face moisturizer that suits your skin type. Gently tap your beard to somewhat dry it (it should stay slightly damp), then follow that with quality beard oil and beard butter conditioner to keep your facial hair as healthy as it can be.
There could be other reasons your beard is itchy, like seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, or sycosis barbae. If you’re taking great care of your beard and aren’t seeing any improvement, consider seeing a dermatologist for a professional opinion and treatment.
Dealing with Beard Acne
If you’re prone to breakouts, and you’d like to have a beard, remember that facial hair can also cause acne. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid bearding up, rather that you should take extra care to ensure the skin of your face, as well as your beard, are doing well.
The good news is that keeping your beard and skin clean and moisturized will help a lot both with itchiness and beard acne. If you’re dealing with red bumps and clogged pores that show up under your beard, you should add exfoliation to your routine. It’s enough to exfoliate the skin under the beard only once or twice a week to minimize the chance of acne appearing.
Another option is to use retinoids and salicylic acid to treat the acne you already have and to prevent new ones from appearing. Try not to touch your face and beard too much because that can cause dirt and bacteria to wreak havoc on your skin, so better to avoid it altogether.
Dandruff in any form is not something you want in your hair or in your beard, but it can happen. If you’ve battled dandruff before, chances are it will show up in your beard. No need to panic, just like with your hair, there are shampoos, conditioners, and oils you can use to get rid of the problem.
Since beard dandruff is a very common problem, there are quite a few products out there that can help you mitigate it. The best way to go about this is to use a beard shampoo and conditioner specifically made to deal with this issue. Look for options that have 1% hydrocortisone or ketoconazole in them – both could help you get rid of the beard dandruff once and for all. You should still use all the hygiene tips mentioned earlier in the article, and just add anti-dandruff beard shampoo to your routine.
Navigating the Patchy Beard Syndrome
Another stumbling block in growing out a gorgeous beard is the uneven growth of facial hair. This could make the beard look patchy and make you feel self-conscious about it, discouraging you from having a beard at all. It’s important to remember that you notice this more than anyone else, so don’t let the possibility of a patchy beard stop you from growing one.
Unlike other issues we covered, this condition can’t be completely fixed by incorporating new specialized products into your beard care, because it’s often related to genetics, hormones, and diet. The best thing you can do in this situation is to wait for your facial hair to get longer so that the patches are less noticeable. Brushing it regularly and keeping it trimmed and neat will make your beard look even and looked after, which is the ultimate goal.
Consider adopting a holistic approach to managing your hormone levels, which can directly affect beard growth. Healthy lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress reduction, can have positive effects on your overall health and, consequently, your beard growth.
Addressing Ingrown Hairs
Regular shaving can cause ingrown hairs, particularly on sensitive facial skin. These can look similar to acne and zits and even become painful if left unattended, but getting rid of them requires a different approach.
Regular exfoliation and using a cleanser can prevent ingrown hairs. Shave after showering when your skin is soft, and use pre-shave oil or lotion to soften your facial hair. Shave slowly, following the grain of your hair, with a clean, sharp razor to reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs and keep your skin looking fresh.
The most important lesson in beard care is not to give up on it as soon as you hit a hurdle, and just shave it off. Try out different products to find what works for you, dedicate some time to your beard care every day, and you’ll see signs of improvement before you know it.
Olivia is a full-time health intern with a passion for writing and simplifying information on health, beauty, and wellness that comes from her firsthand experiences. With an academic background in healthcare and a love for writing Olivia’s writing style is characterized by its ability to simplify intricate information. Drawing from her time as a nursing intern, she infuses her work with personal anecdotes and practical advice, giving readers something to relate to. During her free time, she likes to strum the ukulele.