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Why Brushing Your Beard With A Toothbrush Is Destroying It

July 31, 2023
Why Brushing Your Beard With A Toothbrush Is Destroying It

Beard brushing. You’ve heard of its benefits and want to know whether any tool will do. Unfortunately, some beard “grooming” habits do more harm than good. So, should you ever consider brushing your beard with a toothbrush?

Brushing a beard with a toothbrush can be harmful in more than one way. The nylon bristles themselves are capable of damaging the integrity of the beard hair shafts. Also, the static they produce usually causes an unacceptable amount of frizz. The disadvantages are similar to those of a synthetic nylon beard brush. 

Ultimately, although it may seem like a cheaper and more practical option, it isn’t worth it. 

As always, the only brush you should ever consider running through your beard is a good-quality boar bristle beard brush. They’re relatively inexpensive and a worthwhile investment. 

If you’re still on the fence, toothbrush in hand and ready to have at it, please read on. I’m about to lay it out for you so hard you’ll never even want to dream of it. 

4 Reasons You Should Never Brush Your Beard With A Toothbrush

I’ve given you the skinny. Now let’s dive deep into the full-fat. 

1. The static

The nylon bristles have a habit of generating and holding on to static charge

By using a toothbrush you’ll be denying yourself one of the main benefits – neater, flatter, and straighter beard hair.

Instead, you’ll be frizzing it up, potentially making it more untidy than it otherwise would be.  

Boar bristle beard brushes are much less likely to produce static. In fact, many of them market themselves as being specifically anti-static. It does make a difference. 

2. The nylon will damage

The force of synthetic nylon against beard hair can be damaging. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exactly glide effortlessly through it. 

Using any sort of synthetic material to groom a beard can cause friction, and friction causes problems.

We’re talking breakages and split ends.

So, although brushing your beard with a toothbrush may seem like a quick and practical way of “neatening it up”, you’d be better off not using anything. 

Over time, it will start looking more and more untidy.

3. It just isn’t very effective

Consider this an elongated full stop in my rant against brushing beards with toothbrushes. 

The beauty of beard brushing is that it’s a quick and simple way to “professionalize” your beard grooming.

Simply running a boar bristle beard brush through your beard will neaten it, straighten it.

Synthetic nylon cannot do any of this effectively. It begs the question, why use it at all? 

If a man is reluctant to purchase or use a boar bristle beard brush, I’d strongly recommend not brushing the beard at all. It may end up looking mighty untidy, but overall it will end up healthier than if you were to use nylon. 

This is the case whether you use a toothbrush or one of the many cheap synthetic nylon “beard brushes” available on the market today. 

shirt under hoodie
From Deposit Photos

Are All Toothbrushes Equally Bad For Brushing A Beard?

Most commercially available, mass-produced toothbrushes are constructed from plastic handles and nylon bristles. 

So for the most part, yes, they are. Nylon has no place in your beard grooming routine. 

This leads me nicely to the next section. 

Why A Boar Bristle Beard Brush Is All You Need

Boar hair is surprisingly similar in consistency to human hair. This is one of its main advantages. 

It’s able to glide effortlessly through your beard, causing minimal friction and damage along the way. It minimizes breakages, split-ends and hair loss. 

Boar hair is also phenomenal at gently coaxing beard hair to grow in the direction you want it to. This “beard training” is something that should be started at the earliest opportunity

The sooner you start, the better. 

To summarize, boar hair is phenomenal at gently neatening and training the beard hair.

So why do some men choose to brush their beard with a nylon beard brush, or even worse – a toothbrush?

Well, the main reason is that it’s cheaper. But not that much cheaper. You can get a good boar bristle beard brush (Amazon Link) for a very reasonable price.

If you were going to try and save money, a beard brush shouldn’t be where you do it. 


It’s damaging.

Get yourself a good boar bristle beard brush and you’ll most likely notice the improvement immediately. But know that the main benefits are long term.

You will reap the benefits from the small, incremental steps you take to nurture your beard now for many months to come.