Have you ever had a beard so sharp that it hurt when you touched it? Probably not, but I’m willing to bet that you’ve touched your beard before and found it to be tough, overly coarse, and just plain uncomfortable; or perhaps you’ve had the more common experience of having your partner kiss you, only to recoil with an “Ow!” because your beard stabbed their lips.
If you’ve experienced any of these problems, then you need to learn how to soften your razor-sharp beard. Don’t worry, it’s quick and easy, and the best part is that it doesn’t need to hurt at all. In fact, once you soften a razor-sharp beard, you’ll find it’s much more enjoyable to run your hands through it.
There are four ways we can soften a beard:
Way #1: Trim your beard to remove sharp, coarse points from the end of the hairs.
Way #2: Clean and wash your beard on a regular basis to keep it soft, clean, and radiant.
Way #3: Apply beard oil on a daily basis to moisturize your beard, as well as the added benefit of caring for the skin underneath.
Way #4: Treat your beard with a softening beard balm that you can leave in throughout the day.
The best thing about softening a razor-sharp beard is that you don’t need to follow every one of these techniques. For the best results, they should be combined but if you begin to use even one of these techniques then you will see a noticeable difference in the sharpness of your beard. To learn more about each and how they work to soften your beard, keep reading.
Way #1: Trim
One of the things that causes your beard to feel sharp is the presence of split ends. One or two split ends won’t be a big deal; but when there are a lot, it leaves your beard feeling sharp and uncomfortable. The best way of dealing with split ends is to trim your beard, although this can actually increase the amount of split hairs you have if you are trimming it too often.
To avoid overly stressing your beard, try to trim it only once a week. Too often doesn’t help any, but once a week is the perfect schedule to vastly reduce the amount of split ends you find yourself dealing with. But just as you don’t want to trim it too often, you also don’t want to trim it the wrong way.
Only trim your beard after cleaning it. This may be a simple wash to remove any gunk that has built up in it or it may be after a shower with a full cleaning routine of shampoo and conditioner. Regardless of which you use, the cleaning step is important. It is also important that you don’t trim it when it is still wet.
We use warm water to soften our beard hairs before trimming or shaving, but we don’t want them to be dripping wet. This is great for a shave but not for a trim. We remove all of the hair when we shave, so we purposefully want to remove as much hair as we can. We also trim for shape and size to keep our beard neat. A wet beard appears larger than it is, and this makes it extremely easy to trim off more than we intended.
Make sure that the scissors you use to trim your beard are extremely sharp. Sharp scissors make a clean cut, but dull ones tear at the hair rather than cut. This just produces more split hairs, thus making the whole endeavor pointless. Dull scissors can make a beard sharper, not softer. So only trim once a week and use sharp scissors for the best result.
Way #2: Clean and Wash
Cleaning and washing your beard are essential. In fact, you should already be doing this because nobody likes a dirty beard. It’s just plain unhygienic. Beyond simply cleaning your beard and making it look nicer, washing your beard will help you to soften it as well.
Shower with warm water rather than hot water and prepare your beard for cleaning by first using a comb or your fingers to massage the hairs and the skin underneath. This will help to remove dead skin and any excess oil that is present. While this oil does help our beards to look great, too much of it makes it look greasy and it makes it harder to properly moisturize the hairs.
However, we don’t want to wash our beards so often as to completely remove the beneficial effects of these oils. Cleaning with water isn’t harmful this way, but washing with shampoo too often is. Make washing your beard with water a daily or bi-daily habit, but only use shampoo three times a week.
If you don’t have a beard shampoo, you should get one. A pack like this that includes a conditioner is also a wise investment. You want to use products designed for your beard because beard hairs are not the same as the hairs on your head. A properly formulated beard shampoo will also clean the skin under your beard, which is awesome.
To use beard shampoo, first use your hands to work water throughout your beard. Use your fingertips to massage the shampoo into your beard. This massaging is actually beneficial beyond the shampoo, as massaging your beard in this way will help blood to flow to it better and this increases the rate of growth.
Let the shampoo sit in your beard for a couple minutes and then wash it out. Make sure you thoroughly remove any of the product, as beard shampoo left throughout the day will have the detrimental effect of hardening it. If you are only shampooing, next you need to dry your beard, and this should be done by patting with a towel rather than rubbing with one, as rubbing will cause irritation.
Beard shampoo is best paired with a beard conditioner. Again, make sure that the conditioner you use has been formulated for use with a beard rather than the hair on your head. Check the ingredients to see if the conditioner has vitamin E in it, as these conditioners will do a better job of softening the hairs.
Massage the conditioner in like you did the shampoo, leave it in for a couple of minutes and then thoroughly rinse it out. Again, dry by patting rather than rubbing.
Way #3: Beard Oil
Beard oil is yet another product that makes it easy to soften your beard. Made from a mixture of a carrier oil and essential oils, beard oil not only moisturizes your beard (and the skin beneath it) but it also leaves your beard smelling great. The carrier oil makes the base of the product, with the essential oils providing the scents. Since the carrier oil is the piece that does all the work, people with sensitive skin can purchase unscented beard oil.
When you begin using beard oil for the first time, you will notice the beneficial effects of it almost immediately. Your beard will feel less itchy and will have a fresh shine to it. After a couple days, you’ll notice that there isn’t any more dandruff around your beard. This is because the cause of the dandruff is the same thing that is making your beard sharp.
Beard oil serves as a moisturizer. The hairs in a dry beard are awfully sharp and coarse but even worse is what happens to the skin underneath then. Dry skin cracks and flakes, and this produces your dandruff problem. You can use a beard oil to add moisture back to your beard, and this in turn acts like a beard softener.
For the best results, make sure that your beard is dry before you apply it. When you get out of the shower, you want to let your beard dry before you apply any oil. A wet beard doesn’t absorb the oils properly, they are absorbed unevenly and a lot of it runs off with the water.
To apply beard oil, simply put a couple drops into your hand and then massage it into your beard. Again, the massaging of your beard increases blood flow and this increases growth rate.
Way #4: Beard Balm
Beard balm is one of the best and easiest ways you can soften your beard. In fact, the whole reason that beard balm exists is to soften. A good, high quality beard balm will work as a leave-in conditioner, and it can even replace the need to use beard oil.
Before using a beard balm in your facial hair, first wash it thoroughly as we previously discussed. You want to remove any grime that has gotten caught in your beard before application. However, just like with beard oil, you also want to ensure that your beard is dry prior to working a balm into it.
Beard balms are made from shea butter, which works to both moisturize and soften the hair of the beard. This is combined with an oil, such as almond oil, which helps to keep your facial hair looking great and strong. Finally, beard balm also uses beeswax. The beeswax in a balm is much lower in quantity than in a beard wax, so it will offer a weaker hold in comparison. The beeswax helps to trap moisture inside of the hair, which leaves it feeling much softer than it otherwise would.
Many people like to use an unscented beard balm as it causes less issues with sensitive skin. However, if you want to get a scented beard balm then look for one that gets its scents from essential oils rather than synthetically made scents. Essential oils are natural and much better for your skin and your beard. Synthetic scents are much more likely to cause irritation, and they have been known to even weaken facial hair rather than soften it.
To apply beard balm, use your fingertips to take a little out of the container. It might be quite tough at first. If it is, rub it between your fingers to warm it up and soften it a little before applying. Begin at the bottom of your beard where it meets the neck and work it upwards throughout your beard, using your fingers to massage it into the beard so that it completely covers the hairs and reaches the skin beneath.
It only takes a couple minutes to apply beard balm, but you leave in throughout the day. It has the effect of softening your beard hairs and giving you better control over the shape and style of your beard.
For the best results, apply a beard oil to your beard first and then use a beard balm afterwards. This will help to trap the oils in the hairs for the maximum softening effect.
Why Is My Beard Sharp?
Your beard may be sharp for one particular reason or a combination of several. One of the biggest issues is split ends. Ends split for many reasons such as harsh weather or too much trimming. Ironic, considering trimming is how we fix the problem as well.
Another issue is that your beard doesn’t get enough moisture, or it gets the wrong kind of moisture. We apply products to our beards to replace this moisture, but it can be lost several ways. Temperatures that are too low will leave it dry while temperatures that are too high will cause you to dehydrate, and this dries your beard from the inside out.
It is also important to try to use soft water. Hard water, which is simply water with a lot of minerals in it, is bad for your beard. Rather than cleaning it properly, it actually can make it even dirtier, and it makes it hard to fully rinse out any products you might have used in your beard that day or in that shower.
Finally, your beard might just be sharp because you don’t take care of it properly. It’s a harsh lesson to learn, but beard care is always a must.
Can Diet Be Used To Soften a Beard?
Actually, yes. It might be surprising, but it shouldn’t be. Consider, after all, that diet affects beard growth (as we looked at here). If diet can increase growth, it just makes sense that it would play a role in texture as well.
If you want softer beard hair, eat more foods that contain a lot of biotin in it such as fish, eggs, or avocado. You should also get plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids, also found in fish, nuts, and beans.
Vitamin A will make your beard look healthier, as well as make it softer. Eat more kale, sweet potatoes, and asparagus for a major boost in Vitamin A.
Remember how we just mentioned dehydration? The most important thing for softening your beard is to drink plenty of water. You want to drink at least a couple liters a day. If you only follow one piece of diet advice, follow this one. It is the most important tip, so much so that the rest don’t matter if you ignore this. As a bonus, drinking water is super healthy for the rest of your body, too!
How Do I Soften My Beard Before Shaving?
The best thing to do is a combination of warm water and wet shaving. We explored wet shaving at length here but, in short, it is shaving with either water or a cream. For sharp beards, use shaving creams.
The best thing to do to soften your beard for a shave is to either run it under some hot water in your shower or to use a hot towel press. Soak a towel in hot water and hold it against your beard for thirty seconds to a minute. The heat helps to open up your beard hairs so that they absorb the water, and this has the effect of making them both larger and softer for an easier cut.
A razor-sharp beard may be uncomfortable but fixing it sure is easy. Each of the steps we looked at above are steps that you should be taking anyway. Cleaning your beard, trimming off split ends, applying beard oil, and beard balm are all techniques that should make their way into your regular beard maintenance routine.
Consider using a comb or beard brush as well. A good combing will help to remove loose and unhealthy hairs, so those rougher, sharper hairs are removed while the softer, healthier hairs are left behind. This doesn’t so much soften the beard hairs as much as it removes the sharp ones.
If you have an overly sharp beard, following these steps will fix the issue. Plus, they’ll leave you feeling great. That’s a win-win in my books!
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