Beard splitting is a common issue among many beard groomers, especially those with long beards. If you are currently facing this issue, and nothing seems to work for you, no matter how and what you do, I have good news for you!
But first, why does your beard split in the middle? If it does, you will want to know why.
Your beard splits due to factors, such as genetics, forcefully rubbing your beard with a towel, high temperature from a straightener, vigorous brushing/combing, and harsh chemicals from products, among other things.
When splitting occurs, the hair at the center of your chin will grow slower than the other parts, creating a gap. This post will be looking at why your beard splits and how the problem can be addressed.
What It Means For Your Beard To Split In The Middle
Beard splitting can also be referred to as forked beard or French fork. When your beard gets to a certain length without adequate maintenance, it becomes dry or damaged. This will cause a split. Also, if your beard becomes brittle and coarse, the follicles’ tip will splay and break, causing splits.
Let’s think of your beard as a plant. What happens if you leave growing plants under the scorching sun with no access to water? The plants will start to wilt and eventually dry out and die. The same thing goes for your beard. If your beard isn’t well hydrated with no access to moisture, you will start welcoming beard problems such as an itchy beard, patchy beard, and splits. Although this isn’t the only cause of split beards, you will see other causes as we progress.
When you have split, your beard will look and feel rougher, though splits are becoming a thing of fashion. Some men now keep natural splits as a way of making a fashion statement. Besides making style statements for some, having a split beard may come naturally when your beard grows longer than 14 inches. Let’s take a look at the common reasons why your beard splits in the middle.
Why Does Your Beard Split?
Splitting is a common issue among beard groomers, so you are not alone if you are facing the same issue. There are so many reasons that cause your beard to split, and the common ones are listed below.
Our genetics is a major determinant of how our beard grows. Genetics plays an important role in anyone’s life. If you’ve had relatives with a forked beard, you will likely have one too as your beard grows longer.
Bias In Combing/Brushing Your Hair
In an attempt to groom your beard into the shape you want, you may have unintentionally been biased in the way you brush your beard. You may be focusing your brush/comb on the sides of your beard, with less attention to the middle. This will cause a split in the middle since it’s getting less attention.
When it comes to grooming and maintaining our beard, we’ve had some biases. When brushing a certain side, you may have held your beard at a different angle. Perhaps, you may be spending more time on the left part of your face. If you keep doing this every day, it will contribute to having a prominent split beard.
If you pay more attention to your grooming routine, you will be encouraging a balanced beard length over time.
Applying Either More Or Less Heat On The Middle Or Sides Of Your Beard
If you use a beard straightener or hair dryer on your beard, chances are you could apply too much heat on a particular part of your beard compared to other parts, which could lead to your beard splitting.
Though we pride ourselves as bearded gents, we can be quite ruthless while grooming our beard. Some of the actions we take to maintain our beard could also introduce a fork to the beard. These actions include:
- Forceful rubbing the beard with a towel
- Different chemicals from beard products
- High temperature from dryers and straighteners
- Vigorous brushing of the beard several times a day
- Excessive waxing, oiling, and washing.
Most times, I feel amazed that we still have a single beard on our face after all these beard maintenance processes. Although the beard is quite remarkable, any of the above actions could lead to breakage and then beard split.
How To Stop Beard From Splitting In The Middle
If your beard split is caused by genetics and you probably can’t fight genetics, that doesn’t mean there are no solutions. You can still minimize the forking of your beard and manage the effect of a beard split.
How then do we prevent or minimize beard forking? Let’s discuss it…
Braid The Middle
A quick way to minimize beard split is by braiding or plaiting in the middle of your beard. This will help pull together most of the hair surrounding the gap where your beard is split and then hold in place.
There are three approaches that you can apply here.
- The first approach is by making a braid to hold your beard in place after showering and then allow it to air dry while the braid is still there. You can lose the braid and comb your beard before you go out.
- The second approach is to make a braid in the middle and leave it overnight. You can undo it in the morning before heading out for your daily activities. Holding the middle of your beard is a way of forcing your hair to grow towards the middle and close the gap.
- The third method is quite simple. Just make tiny braids in the middle to hold the two forks together. You can keep the braids hidden or make it less obvious if they are tiny.
You could give any of the above methods a try and see what works best for you.
Wear A Beard Ponytail
In our search to manage splitting beard, we came across a method to help manage a fork beard by creating a ponytail with your beard. You can use an elastic band to hold your beard together in the form of a ponytail after having your shower and allowing it to dry out. No worries, you don’t need to wear it all day – remove the ponytail before you step out, and your beard should hold together.
You can also do this in your free time at home or during the weekends when you don’t need to go out.
Using Beard Wax With A Stronghold
Another way of controlling a forked beard is by using beard wax products with a strong hold. When using wax to control your beard split, pay attention to products with an extra hold to make it more effective, especially if you have a full-length beard.
Just like you would need a mustache to stay upright or twirl and remain so while resisting gravity, movements, or wind pressure – that’s how hard you will need your beard to be. Therefore, wax with a strong hold cannot be overemphasized. Although beard oil or balm are known as styling agents, using a strong hold wax will be preferable.
Once you find the right wax that works for you, you could begin working on getting the right amount of wax needed on your beard by reducing the product’s strength. Once you find the right balance, you can stick with that.
What if you want to use beard oil at the same time?
|We’ve got you covered. Read our full article on How to Use Beard Oil and Beard Wax Together.|
Use Quality Beard Products, Maintain A Good Grooming Routine, And Let It Grow Out
Our final method of controlling forked beard is to try growing out a significant amount of beard and see if it solves the splitting issues. A lot of beard issues can be resolved by having a good grooming routine and keeping a clean and healthy beard. You will be amazed that poor beard maintenance can cause many issues, and a beard split could be one of those issues.
Applying quality beard products that contain natural ingredients will help you grow and maintain a healthy beard. Keep your beard well moisturized and conditioned to prevent and manage the split beard, and don’t forget to add a good comb to your grooming kit while you are at it.
Finally, you should be patient and allow your beard to grow out. The weight of your beard when it grows will help bring it together and look whole again.
The beard split is also known as French Fork, and weird as it may sound, it is a style well sought after by many, and in recent times the forked beard seems to be making its way back to the modern fashion world.
Although many bearded men have spent time and resources to groom, their beard might start splitting in the middle. Nevertheless, our easy fixes should help you regain your confidence and desired beard look again.
I prefer the option of growing through the problem rather than trimming the sides to match the beard. Remember that proper beard care and a little creativity is the secret to solving this problem.
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