You’ve tried it before, then gave up. But now, again, you’ve been kicking around the idea of growing that beard you’ve always wanted. Then, within weeks, or even days, of letting that stubble begin to sprout, you can’t take it anymore, and you start fishing through your bathroom garbage can for that disposable razor you swore you no longer needed.
It’s the biggest obstacle standing between your bare face and the glorious mane it deserves — the itch. I’ve been there, my friend, but don’t despair. I’m here to assure you there are things you can do to stop that stubborn beard itch. Trust me, once you get beyond it, your new beard will become your guiltiest pleasure.
The first thing you’ll need to do when embarking on the path to beard-dom is breaking some habits, and start a few new ones. For instance, as a clean-shaven lad, you’re probably used to washing your face every day. That’s understandable, especially if you struggle with issues like acne.
However, remember that soaps and shampoos strip oil away from your skin and hair, and that dryness is going to result in an itch, especially when you’re just starting a forest on your face.
A healthy beard relies on healthy skin, so let’s get down to the science of it all, shall we? The sebaceous glands in your face produce a beneficial natural oil, or sebum, which is pumped straight into the follicles, keeping them healthy and vibrant. Sounds like the sort of beard you’d like to have, right?
Washing your face and beard dries them out, and that itches. So, what are you supposed to do, not wash your face? That’d be gross. Of course, you can wash your face. But unless you work in a coal mine or some kind of slime factory, you shouldn’t need to wash your beard more than once or twice a week.
When you’re in the shower during the off days, just give it a rinse. When you do wash it, avoid products that will leave you dry. Not only will a dry face result in irritation, the dead skin cells will flake off into your beard — what we in the business call beardruff. It’s a look you don’t want.
If you’re into woodsy scents — and who isn’t? — find yourself some pine-tar soap. You’ll feel the clean, and it actually has stuff in it that’s really good for your skin.
I know you’re already excited about your new beard, and you probably want to pamper it with products, even on the days you’re not washing. If so, co-washing, or conditioner-only washing, may be for you. There’s a number of decent rinse-out beard conditioners on the market. And while the benefits are marginal when compared to a leave-in conditioner—like beard oil, which we’ll get to — at least they provide some moisture and smell good.
Let’s continue building your toolbox, man. Sounds masculine already, doesn’t it? Whether you’re in it for the long haul, or just want to maintain a short beard, you’ll need beard oil, son. It replaces the natural oil we lose when washing, which means avoiding itch.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of search results. Just make sure the one you choose consists of all-natural ingredients (oils), and that if it’s scented, only essential oils should be employed. If a product description lists “fragrance” as the ingredient relied upon for scent, and not essential oils, they’re hiding something from you. There’s probably alcohol in it. Think of the worst hangover you ever had. Now imagine doing that to your face.
Yes, gentlemen, I’m afraid that means no more aftershave for a delicious-smelling mug. Instead, give in to the loving ways of an all-natural beard oil, like the one we created with essential oils. Not only will it keep your beard extra fresh, it will also promote beard growth. A dime-sized amount of the oil deployed by the fingers and palms will do the trick. You’re welcome.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, and are intent on having the healthiest, softest facade possible, try co-washing, or even deep conditioning, with coconut oil. I’m not talking about those little tubs sold by shampoo companies for 99 cents. I mean all-natural, organic, cold-pressed coconut oil. Real beard-snob stuff. So get out of the hair-care section and into the cooking aisle if you really want to treat your cookie duster.
If you’re a believer that there’s always room for more tools, let’s talk about getting you a beard brush. I know what you’re thinking: “But my beard is so short right now. Why would I need to brush it?” Well, I’m getting to that…
Not any brush will do. Avoid plastics that will tear your beard apart at the microscopic level, causing split-end damage. Find one that’s made with boar bristles. And while you’ll certainly need a brush for styling down the road as your tickler blossoms into maturity, brushing is especially beneficial during the early stages.
The bristles will stimulate those sebaceous glands in your face that we talked about earlier, directing the natural sebum to your own whiskers. The brush will also keep your face free of any dead skin cells that may have accumulated, thereby averting the risk of embarrassing beardruff, and dodging a bullet.
To scratch off the last section from your itch-free beard routine, you’ll want to apply some beard balm. We created what might just give you the un-itchiest beard ever. In fact, it might even stop other people’s itchiness just by looking at it.
With your new arsenal now stockpiled, you’ll be keeping your fuzzy chin up through that stubborn beard itch which has cut short the lives of too many unrealized beards that came before it. Now get out there and let that thing grow, kid!
Author Bio – Alex Rogers
Alex is a beard aficionado who loves everything to do with men’s style and grooming. After discovering how much difference simple style and grooming made to his life; he started his blog and brand Norse Grooming to share valuable tips & products with others.