I’m probably not the first person to have informed you of the many benefits of brushing your beard. But there’s a good chance that no-one has actually laid it all out for you.
A simple boar bristle beard brush can revolutionize your bearded journey. It can transform a limp and lifeless beard into one that exudes power; strength, style, substance.
I’ve listed the ten most important benefits you need to be aware of. Hopefully, this article will serve to convert the undecided into firm believers of the beard brush.
Make note of how the benefits range from improving texture, to improving looks, and beyond.
However, bear in mind that these benefits are specific to boar bristle beard brushes. Synthetic, nylon brushes just don’t carry the same benefits and do more harm than good. We’ll be discussing that later on.
But without further ado, let’s get started.
10 benefits of brushing your beard
1. Exfoliates the skin
Let’s start by talking about the bottom – even beneath the beard itself. Proper skin care is essential when it comes to serious beard grooming. A beard and the skin underneath it go hand-in-hand. Dry, flaky skin can ruin a beard’s appearance quite easily.
The bristles of a boar bristle beard brush don’t just work the strands. They double-up as physical exfoliants and remove impurities from the skin.
This includes dirt and dead skin cells.
Removing this layer of gunk is magical for multiple reasons. Men often neglect exfoliating, unfortunately, as it isn’t seen as a typically “masculine” grooming habit. But it really is a bearded man’s best friend.
It reduces flaking, as well as beard dandruff. In doing so it gives the beard a much healthier and better-moisturized appearance.
Beard dandruff can not only look unsightly, but it can also be a pain to wipe off your clothes and surroundings.
Exfoliating also makes the beard easier to trim. When this layer of gunk clogs up or mattifies the bases of the hairs, trimming simply irritates the follicles and causes discomfort.
Shaving is even worse.
If you’re sold on exfoliating, you can supplement it by using a chemical exfoliant as well. These are pretty cheap to buy and easy to just use as a face wash. But don’t over-do it.
Exfoliating too often can actually cause skin irritation. Limit it to two or three times a week.
Brushing a beard you can do every day, however – the exfoliating effects are good, but not as powerful.
At the end of the day, it was made for beards – not skin. It’s just a nice little bonus.
2. Stimulates natural sebum
Sebum oil is produced by the skin. In large quantities, sure, it can give an unwanted, greasy appearance. This is why regularly washing your beard with a good beard wash is still essential.
But the reason you do want some of this oil there is because it does make the beard look less dry and coarse.
This, in turn, makes it look fuller and healthier, and feel softer.
As the sebum coats a hair shaft, it moisturizes and softens it. So it’s a good idea to try and maintain a healthy balance of sebum on your beard. The way to do this is by avoiding overwashing and also ensuring you use a beard wash with natural, gentle ingredients.
Brushing your beard is said to stimulate the release of natural sebum from the skin.
This occurs as the bristles physically brush against it. In doing so it helps to accelerate the effects, and prevent the oil from clogging at the base of the hairs.
3. Trains the beard to grow the way you want
Beard hairs are notorious for growing in all sorts of directions. It often just refuses to play ball. It sticks out, clumps together, grows sideways and so forth.
Although the general direction of specific areas of the beard is the same, these stray hairs that rebel do ruin the look.
Sure, brushing a beard will flatten and straighten these hairs out. It’s the main way in which a simple beard brush makes a beard look so much neater. It “forces” these beard hairs to face in directions they’re supposed to.
But there’s more.
Over time, as you become a more seasoned beard brusher, your beard will learn. It will grow in the direction you’ve trained it to. What this means is that with repeated brushing you’ll have to brush your beard less than you had to previously.
Knowing what direction to brush your beard is a whole other article. But, in general, it’ll train your beard to grow downwards instead of outwards.
One thing to bear in mind – when I use the term “force”, I don’t suggest that you need to be rough or heavy-handed. One of the beautiful things about a boar bristle beard brush is that boar hair is very similar to human hair. Because of this, it very easily navigates its way through beard hair without too much pulling or tugging.
Using excessive force can do more harm than good. It causes breakages, split-ends, and unnecessary hair loss.
This is another reason why brushing too often is also harmful.
But yes, beard brushing will teach your beard how to behave. Tame it like no other tool can. It’s why starting to brush early is essential.
4. Reduces patchiness
A patchy beard is a source of frustration for many, many men. Fullness is a beard trait that’s given just as much importance as length, and softness.
There is little evidence to suggest that brushing a beard can stimulate growth. But not enough. A
lthough many men swear by it, we just can’t say for certain. However, if it truly does, then this would reduce patchiness.
But what brushing a beard also does is un-clump, and de-tangle. Beard hairs do clump together, particularly when oily or unwashed.
I find it worst first thing in the morning after waking up. When beard hair clumps together, it looks patchier than it otherwise would.
The bristles of a beard brush are great at separating clumped and clogged up hair. As it does so, it makes the beard look fuller and evener.
Brushing over these little bare patches with longer strands of surrounding hair is also an excellent way to make them less noticeable. Another great benefit of brushing your beard.
5. Distributes oils and products
You’ve probably noticed the huge range of beard grooming products out there right now. Oils, balms, waxes, pomades, etc.
These seemingly spreadable products tend to not distribute themselves very well. Especially without some extra assistance.
Beard oil is a great example. It’s no secret that good beard oil can work wonders for your beard by making it soft, smooth, and smell amazing. But when not distributed properly it can cause beard hair to clump and clog, leading to a greasy and patchy appearance.
Brushing after applying beard oil is a great way to evenly distribute that beard oil. It doesn’t only ensure that your whole beard is nourished equally. It also ensures that oil is transferred efficiently from the roots of the hairs, along the shafts, and to the tips.
This light coating is what makes the beard look healthy and well-moisturized.
6. Reduces itchiness
Growing a beard can be an awkward experience at times. Particularly in the earlier stages of growth, “beard itch” can be a nuisance. It can drive a man insane if not dealt with properly.
Brushing the beard regularly and effectively can reduce this itch in more than one way. Firstly, by physically exfoliating the skin it removes dirt and dead skin cells that would otherwise cause irritation and itching.
Brushing also flattens hairs that stick out. Particularly when short, these awkward hairs can prickle against the skin and worsen itching. Brushing deals with this too.
Finally, by distributing natural sebum across the beard, brushing helps to moisturize the beard and the skin that lies beneath it. A well-moisturized face and beard are much less likely to itch.
So if you’re currently suffering from beard itch and looking for a solution, brushing your beard could be the way out. It has the potential to make those awkward stages of growth a lot more comfortable.
Therefore, it also makes you a lot less likely to give up on your beard prematurely.
7. Reduces breakages and split-ends
It’s no secret that a regularly brushed beard is less likely to develop breakages and split-ends. This is mainly due to two reasons.
As explained before, brushing the beard re-distributes natural sebum from the base of the hairs, along the shafts, and to the tips. This is a layer of protection that reduces the risk of breakages and split-ends. So brush regularly, avoid over-washing, and this sebum will serve you well.
Straight, flat, untangled hair is also less likely to tug and pull. For this reason, brushing also minimizes the risk of breakages and premature beard hair loss. Keeping a beard neat isn’t just for aesthetic reasons. It’s also crucial for the protection of those hair shafts.
But please, do be mindful of over-brushing. Brushing too often is a mistake many beginners make. They presume that the benefits will simply be multiplied if they do it more often.
Over-brushing increases the risk of breakages and split-ends by a general mechanism of wear-and-tear.
The brushing tool you use also impacts how many breakages you may get. Boar bristle beard brushes are much less likely to cause them than synthetic brushes. Not all beard brushes are equal, gentlemen.
8. Weeds out weak hair
Not all hair shafts within a beard are in the same stage of growth. It’s highly likely that at any one point, there is a significant proportion of hair that is on the verge of falling out. This is normal.
If you ever run your fingers through and find a mouse-like, bent hair, its days are likely numbered. Removing it wouldn’t be difficult, and would actually be a good idea.
These weak hair shafts don’t do you any favors. They’re notoriously hard to keep in place and make a beard look shabby.
400;”>Running a beard brush through is a great way to remove these hairs that are on the verge of falling out anyway. This leaves behind only the strong, healthy hairs, which improves the look overall.
9. Makes beard softer
Simply making the hairs straighter and flatter will make the beard feel softer overall. Yes, that means over time, with training the beard will feel softer in the long-term as well.
That layer of natural sebum that brushing distributes so effectively also makes the beard feel softer. This makes sense because without moisture and nourishment a beard feels dry and coarse.
A little bit of natural oil not only improves the look, but also the texture of the beard hair.
Although this isn’t technically softening the beard itself, the exfoliating effects of brushing actually soften the skin underneath. This can overall feel a lot smoother when you run your fingers through your beard. It also reduces flaking and beard dandruff, which improves the texture overall.
10. Easier to style
A freshly brushed beard is much easier to style. This is because the hair is flatter, straighter, and untangled. This is one of the key benefits of beard brushing for sure.
Whatever style you want to achieve, there’s a good chance that applying a little butter, balm or wax will help.
It helps hairs stay in place and behave. But it’s much more effective when the hair itself is brushed first.
If your beard is longer, it’s more likely to tangle. This is particularly true of the deeper hair that’s harder for the bristles of a brush to reach.
In these circumstances, a beard comb would be better for both styling and de-tangling purposes. Using a brush together with a comb is a very powerful combination.
This is why a good sequence of grooming practices would be to apply beard oil first, then brush it, and then apply your styling product. Using them in the right order ensures you see the maximum benefit from each of them.
Does beard brushing stimulate growth or not?
This question is asked all the time. I do wish there was a straightforward answer. Unfortunately, there’s still not enough evidence to say whether or not brushing a beard stimulates growth.
That doesn’t stop people strongly believing it, though. Many men swear that brushing their beard regularly has sped up the actual growth of their beard. Ways in which it might do this include improving blood flow and stimulating the natural release of oils from the scalp.
But if you’re looking for a reason to brush your beard, this shouldn’t be it. The benefits already listed in this article are more solid and should be more than enough to encourage you to do it.
Why a boar bristle beard brush is essential
As I mentioned before, not all beard brushes are equal. You may have seen the synthetic beard brushes on the shelves with their nylon bristles. Although these brushes are generally cheaper, they do more harm than good.
They tug, pull, and damage the integrity of the hair shaft. They’re also generally uncomfortable to hold and look amateur-ish.
A good boar bristle beard brush such as this one by Seven Potions is beautiful in more than one way.
The bristles are much more effective at re-distributing oils, which as I explained above is crucial for the look, feel, and strength of your beard hair.
As I mentioned above, boar hair is also very similar to human hair. Because of this, it glides very efficiently through beard hair, and causes minimal tugging and pulling.
For this reason, you don’t need to use much of your own force when brushing. The beard brush does most of the work, and you simply have to guide it.
There you have it. Hopefully, by now, you’re completely sold. I’ve listed the main benefits of beard brushing – boy has it helped me. It’s an art you improve upon over time. The more you do the better you get. But funnily enough, as I’ve explained, the more you do it, the less often you’ll have to.
The look, the feel, and the strength of your beard could benefit hugely – there’s no excuse not to do it these days. Beard brushing, together with beard combing and the application of beard oil have become pillars of modern beard grooming.