There was a time, not at all long ago, when many men grew out their beards simply to avoid the chore of shaving.
Today, beards are grown purposefully and they have become more like permanent accessories for men – a focal point that can easily make or break the whole look.
Unfortunately, even beards have bad hair days and if you have a bunch of unruly beard hairs, that can throw a wrench into your day.
Thankfully, for every problem, there’s a solution. Erratic beard hairs shouldn’t derail your plans, or detract in any way from your majestic beard.
I’m here to guide you through tips and tricks to keep beard hair from sticking out. Let’s first dive into the root causes (pun very much intended) of why beard hair sometimes sticks out in the first place.
By the way, check this article out to find out my most recommended beard grooming products of the year. A tool kit to take things to the next level.
Why beard hair grows straight out sometimes
Regardless of how experienced you are in beard ownership, the reality is that beard hair sometimes grows straight out. This can be due to several different factors:
- Over-trimming your beard. If you’re not mindful of the length you trim to, individual hairs can become so short they can’t physically lie down. This is especially true of hairs along the chin and jawline, and in the mustache area.
- Not trimming your beard often enough. Split ends are very real and very ugly. If you don’t trim often enough, hairs become split and brittle, causing them to stick straight out.
- Not using the proper – or any – grooming products. Beard hair, while likely more coarse and perhaps a different color than the hair on your head, is still hair. It needs to be washed and conditioned at the very least. Doing so will moisturize the hair follicles and help them to lay properly.
- Consuming a poor diet. It’s true that you are what you eat. Just as being dehydrated or eating junk can wreak havoc on your skin and have not-so-pleasant effects on your belly, so too can it affect your beard. Staying hydrated and eating well will naturally lead to healthier beard hair.
Now that we’ve discussed some potential underlying beard issues, let’s move on to tips for preventing beard hairs from sticking out.
7 Ways To Keep Beard Hairs From Sticking Out
1. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
Regardless of how short or long your beard is, regularly scrubbing it and the skin underneath it is one of the most critical steps to overall beard health.
The motion of scrubbing increases blood circulation in the face and removes a layer of dead skin cells. This stimulates the hair follicles and allows them to sprout and lie in a more natural position.
Once a week, when you’re already washing your beard should do the trick. Regular exfoliation helps to avoid “beardruff” – beard dandruff – as well.
2. Let The Hair Grow Longer
Growing out a beard is an exercise in patience and willpower, especially in the early stages.
No matter how tempted you may be, instead of repeatedly trimming beard hairs that won’t lie flat, try letting them grow a little longer.
Ideally, you should leave your beard completely untouched for 4-6 weeks. This will allow you to see your beard’s natural pattern and density and help you to choose a style that suits it.
Not only can repeated trimming irritate your skin and cause ingrown hairs, but even a few millimeters in added length can make beard hairs behave better.
3. Trim Your Beard – With Scissors
Wait, didn’t I just say to let your beard grow longer? Yes – but trimming with beard scissors is different.
Be very careful and avoid the temptation to use trimmers. Scissors give you much more control and precision than a trimmer can, and you do not want to risk removing large chunks and ending up with a patchy beard.
To scissor trim, comb your beard upwards, so that it fans out like a lion’s mane, then comb it back into place. See where hairs stick up and stand out, and snip those with your scissors. This is an excellent way to check your beard for unruly hairs that tend to stick out.
Having a pair of high-quality trimming scissors in your grooming arsenal is critical. Don’t even think about using regular scissors. Pairs designed specifically for facial hair have ultra-sharp blades and shorter shears, allowing them to get into hard-to-reach places on your face.
4. Brush & Comb Your Beard Regularly
Frequently brushing and combing your beard is the best way to train it to lay nicely and keep beard hairs from sticking out.
A brush with boar hair bristles is the most effective choice for training your beard and keeping it looking its best. Boar hair brushes evenly distribute the natural oils produced by hair follicles.
This helps soften facial hair and in turn, enables it to grow and lie in a downward direction.
Using a boar hair brush also cleans your beard of dirt, sweat, and debris while exfoliating the skin underneath it.
Finally, just like with scrubbing your beard, brushing or combing it regularly increases blood circulation and stimulates hair growth.
5. Level Up Your Trimmer
How can you have a great beard without a great trimmer? Trimming properly, and with a proper trimmer, is half the battle to keep beard hairs from sticking out.
Just like trimming scissors, having a high-quality trimmer is crucial to your beard’s health. Beyond just investing in a superior trimmer, it’s important to make sure it’s always properly cleaned and sharpened.
Dull blades will break hairs rather than cut them, leaving you more prone to split ends and hairs going in every direction.
Plain and simple, you get better results when you use a better trimmer.
6. Trim Only Clean, Dry Hair
Although it’s tempting to trim your beard when it’s wet, don’t. Avoid putting any products in your beard prior to trimming as well.
While men often trim in the shower or immediately after a workout before showering out of convenience, wet hair gets compressed and looks different than when it’s dry.
This makes it far too easy to trim too short and as we went over earlier, too-short beard hairs are the most likely to stick out.
7. Use the Proper Products
Balms, waxes, pomades, oils – men have a lot of choices when it comes to products promising overall beard health and to keep beard hairs from sticking out.
It can be a bit daunting, but the best approach is to try as many products as possible until you find the ones that work best for you.
To start, you should wash and condition your beard every few days (and don’t forget to exfoliate!). You don’t want to do it every day, as that could strip beard hairs of the natural oils they need to grow.
Conditioning regularly especially helps to moisturize the hair and encourages it to lay right from the beginning.
While there are countless shampoos and conditioners formulated just for beard hair, you can get away with using your regular ones. Again, beard hair is hair the same way as the hair on your head is.
However, that rule does not apply to products such as beard oils, waxes, balms, and so on. With these items, there are some specific ingredients you want to look for to promote healthy, even beard growth.
Avoid silicone-based concoctions. While it helps with the shine factor of the hair, silicone doesn’t actually provide any nourishment at all. Instead look for products containing argan, jojoba, grapeseed, or almond oil, which will soften the beard hairs and help them grow and lay nicely.
Beard oil, in particular, should be applied every day, and ideally, twice a day. Not only does this help condition the beard hair and skin underneath it, but it will help shape it and make it more manageable in the long run while keeping beard hairs from sticking out.
It’s important to understand that not all beards are created equal. Some men grow beards quickly with almost no effort, and some men have to try every trick in the book to produce even modest whiskers.
Remember that if you’re new to growing a beard or the beard growth itself is new, hairs are going to be more unruly and more likely to stick out, as they haven’t been trained yet.
Proper facial grooming is step one in maintaining a healthy beard and promoting the hairs to behave. Wash, condition, and exfoliate your beard and face underneath it on at least a weekly basis. Knowing how to trim and how often to do it are also important.
Regularly training your beard with brushing/combing and using high-quality beard oils will prevent beard hairs from sticking out. This is particularly true of new hairs as they just begin to grow in.
With a bit of patience, consistency, and preventative maintenance, you will soon have a healthy, jealousy-inducing beard. And seriously, isn’t dealing with some stray hairs now and then better than having to shave regularly?