Beard hair often doesn’t play ball. It’s an unfortunate fact, but it’s true. It’s notorious for growing in directions you’d rather it wouldn’t, and it can drive bearded men insane. But there are actually five things you try today if you notice that some of your beard hairs grow sideways:
- Brush it regularly – train it to grow the way you want
- Comb it regularly – detangle to keep it straight and flat
- Use grooming products – balms, butter, waxes, etc.
- Trim evenly, and in the right areas
- Let it grow longer – it may just surprise you
That’s the good stuff in a nutshell. I want to delve into each of those tips a little deeper.
It’s unlikely that all of these tips will work for you. But it’s extremely likely that at least a couple of them will. The best advice would be to try them all out and see which ones work best for your specific beard.
Plus, if you’re interested, check this article out to find out my most recommended beard trimming and grooming products of the year.
5 Tips For Men With Beards That Grow Sideways
1. Train the beard with a beard brush
Starting to brush early is important for more than one reason. Yes, it does keep that beard looking neater, flatter, and straighter in a more “temporary” sense.
Sure, it’s phenomenal for re-distributing natural sebum, beard oil, and other grooming products. The benefits of brushing a beard are well-documented.
But there’s one benefit that’s more long-term, and boy does it make you want to do it more.
Brushing regularly in a certain direction trains those hair shafts to grow that way over time. It doesn’t happen overnight, but after a while, it does learn.
For example, if you notice that a collection of strands within your left cheek beard seems to grow sideways, brush them the way you want.
But do it the same way every single day. Overbrushing is something you want to avoid, but you can’t go wrong with doing it once a day.
After a while, you’ll notice that more of those hairs face and lie in the direction you want. Usually, this isn’t sideways. It may be straight down, it may be towards your chin.
But most importantly, it looks more like the way you want it to.
2. Comb it regularly
A beard comb is more useful once the beard grows a little more. After 2 to 3 months of solid beard growth, a beard comb would be a worthwhile investment.
There are two things a quality wooden or cellulose acetate beard comb can do better than a beard brush can. These two things are detangling and styling.
As a beard grows longer, the deeper hairs can escape the reaches of a beard brush’s bristles. The relatively long teeth of a beard comb can get right in there and detangle them.
It can also perform some of the more intricate beard stylings you want to do. This is something the densely packed bristles of a beard brush may not be able to do.
Here’s what it can do for a beard that grows sideways.
Detangling a beard is essential if you want to keep the hairs straight, flat, and facing the way you want them to. It allows the beard brush to work more effectively without having to deal with tugging and pulling against tangled hairs.
A longer beard can benefit greatly from the use of a good beard brush and beard comb working in unison. They enhance each other’s effects beautifully.
If you’re looking for a solid beard comb, I recommend Hunter Jack. It’s super-lightweight, anti-static and comfortable to hold. Check it out on
3. Balm, butter, wax, etc.
You may have noticed the recent surge in beard grooming products on the market today.
Oils, pomades, waxes, etc. It can be overwhelming.
Although it may seem like overkill, these products do work in subtly but importantly different ways.
They have different ingredients, consistencies, and levels of hold.
Beard oils, for instance, are great for nourishing and moisturizing the beard hair and the skin underneath. However, it has a minimal level of hold, and so isn’t great for straightening out hair that lies sideways.
Butters, Balms, and waxes, on the other hand, can hold hairs in place.
From left to right, they have an increasing level of hold, with beard butter having the least, and wax the most.
The one you choose usually depends on two things – the amount of hold you need, and the consistency you want. Butters may have less hold, but feel less heavy than balms and waxes. They’re also heavily moisturizing, which may be what you want.
Waxes are great, particularly if you have a complex style that needs a strong hold. But they feel heavy to use.
But regardless, applying some product on to hair that lies sideways, then massaging, brushing, or combing it the way you want, can work wonders.
You may need to touch up now and again, and beard combs are useful for that on-the-go purpose.
4. Trim carefully and in the right areas
Letting a barber handle this task is often the safest, particularly when you’ve got specific needs involving sideways beard hair.
Trimming too short in areas where you have a higher proportion of hairs that face in different directions can make it seem more obvious.
A little trick that’s sometimes hard to pull off is to vary the length using the adjustable size guard of your beard trimmer. This way, you can keep the areas of your beard you’ve noticed misbehaving slightly longer.
Doing this makes those areas look thicker, and the unruly hairs less noticeable. It can be difficult to do but becomes easier with experience.
If you’re looking for a beard trimmer, the number of options can be pretty overwhelming. The Brio Beardscape is a good option for more serious beardsmen – ceramic blades, an LCD screen, and great length options. Check it out on
If, however, you’d prefer an “all-in-one” trimmer that’ll allow you to trim your beard effectively, as well as your body, the Philips Norelco Multigroom would be a much better and more cost-effective option. If you need a trimmer or you’re just interested, take a look at it on Amazon.
But getting back to the point..
A neck beard that grows sideways is a common complaint. The solution to this is often simpler – trim it. The neckbeard shouldn’t extend beyond a well-defined neckline in any case.
Visualize a line passing through a point two-finger widths above the Adam’s Apple, extending from earlobe to earlobe. This is a rough but often useful guide to use.
This should ensure that the neckbeard doesn’t extend too far down towards the chest, which usually looks untidy. But it also ensures that there’s enough hair on the neck to support the fore beard from the middle and the sides. This ensures the beard still looks full from the front.
5. Let it grow
You’d be amazed by how a lot of the beard problems men complain of tend to disappear after letting it grow a little longer.
Hair that faces sideways is not only more common at shorter lengths, but it’s also more visible. It’s an excellent reason to just let the beard grow a little longer.
Letting it grow a little longer, sometimes even just a few millimeters, can make it less noticeable.
It also allows gravity to do its thing and over time the weight of your growing beard will pull these hairs in the direction you’d like them to face.
A particularly awkward phase of beard growth is between 2 to 4 weeks of growth. It itches and looks patchy. But it’s also when you notice more hairs facing in different directions. Getting through this rough patch is important for multiple reasons, and this is certainly one of them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does beard hair grow sideways?
Some beard hair grows sideways due to the direction the follicle is facing. There isn’t a whole lot that can be done about this direction.
In other words, it will always grow out in that direction initially. If you were to shave it and let it grow out again, you’ll notice it growing sideways yet again.
But the fixes in this article will help you train, move, and hold the beard hairs in the direction you want them. Although they don’t do anything to change the initial growth direction of the hair, it definitely helps over time.
The different tips I’ve given you work in different ways, but they all have the same end-goal in mind.
What do I do about my beard growing sideways under my chin?
This either refers to hair on your chin itself (the fore beard) or the neckbeard. The same tips in this article apply. Trimming a well-defined neckline will always help make this less noticeable.
Letting the fore beard grow longer also makes it less noticeable by hiding any unruly hairs beneath it. The weight of the beard will also help straighten things out.
Getting to grips with how your beard likes to grow is an important aspect of the journey. A common problem is men getting fed up within the awkward phase and trimming prematurely. They don’t get a chance to see where their beard goes from there.
Knowing what direction your beard likes to grow in different parts of your beard and at different stages of growth is important.
It’ll help guide your trimming technique, length, brushing direction, choice of product, and more.
Hopefully, this article has given you a good overview of what you can try out to fix this common scenario. Just know that there are things that can be done. It’s just a case of finding something that will work for your specific beard.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.