Itchy beard? Try these top fixes
What to do about an itchy, dry beard
Growing out your beard can be an exciting experience — until the dreaded beard-itch begins. At best, an itchy beard will have you picking, pulling and scratching at your jaw during the worst moments: job interviews, dates and during office-wide Zoom calls.
At worst, dry facial hair skin can make you want to reach for the razor and shave the whole thing off, ruining months of growth. So: what’s a guy with an itchy beard to do?
Fortunately, itchy skin beneath your beard and beard dandruff are relatively common problems, and there are proven ways to tackle them. With a great care routine and the right beard oil, soap and balm, you can kiss your endless-face-scratching-syndrome goodbye forever.
First, let’s look at why itchy beards happen, and then we’ll discuss how to effectively manage them.
What’s causing my itchy beard?
While annoying, an itchy beard is rarely a permanent problem. The first mistake most men make is that they treat beard maintenance the same way they do general hair care — despite the fact that beard hair is very different. For the most part, your beard has thicker cuticles than your head hair, and as a result, those hairs cause more inflammation when they break through your skin. Without any maintenance, beard irritation is usually the rule, not the exception.
This is especially apparent if you’re just growing out your beard for the first time. Your body isn’t used to so much skin inflammation all at once, and it’s going to take some time for it to get used to the process of continued growth.
At the same time, if you used to shave frequently, your body probably got accustomed to the exfoliating process of removing dead and dry skin with a razor. Now that you’re no longer shaving every day, that skin’s going to build up for a while, leading to dandruff. So, if you’re a first-time beard grower, just hang in there, as some of your itchiness should resolve by itself over time.
With that said, you can’t completely neglect your beard-itch and expect it to go away on its own. Products such as beard oils and beard balms — which we’ll go over in just a second — are the key to making sure your beard doesn’t get irritated and grows in full, even and thick.
How should I take care of my beard?
1. In order to prevent itchiness, it’s important to first understand how not to treat your beard. You might think you’re managing your beard effectively by drenching it in harsh soaps and unnatural balms — unfortunately, lots of over-the-counter drugstore products only irritate your beard further, leading to inflammation, red skin, itchiness, dandruff and peeling. So, if you’re washing your face with body soap or using a cheap bottom-of-the-rack beard oil, ditch those right now.
2. Next, you’ll want to make sure you dry your beard fully when you’re finished taking a shower or rinsing your face. While it might sound counterintuitive, standing water in your beard can actually dry it out further and cause damage to your hair follicles. After wetting it, rub your chin down with a soft towel to prevent excess dampness and moisture.
3. Lastly, even though you’re not shaving your face daily anymore, it’s important to continue exfoliating your beard. A beard brush or comb can help you keep your beard groomed, full and even while removing loose hairs and dead skin.
What products are best for my beard?
Beard maintenance can help tamp down some of your chin itch, but for true relief, you’re going to want the right selection of beard oils, balms and soaps. The only problem? Not all products are made the same. Keep reading for the kinds of factors you should consider before picking up your next oil, balm or soap.
First, let’s go over beard oils. Beard oils are designed to help moisturize and hydrate both the hair on your face and the skin beneath it. However, you’ll want to steer clear of greasy, comedogenic, pore-clogging oils, which can make your itch worse. Look for products that are naturally sourced: an ecofriendly beard oil that’s free of harsh chemicals is going to be much better for you than cheap, artificial products.
Next, for long-term relief, invest in a great beard balm. Beard balms are what keep your beard feeling moisturized, clean and healthy throughout the day. Adding a natural, ecofriendly beard balm to your morning hydration routine’s going to help you scare off any lingering beard-itch permanently.
Finally, it’s important not to undo all your progress by washing your beard with a harsh body soap. Instead of grabbing the two-dollar rack soap from the corner store, opt to wash your beard with a specially designed beard soap.
You might not think it’s worth investing in a separate soap just for your facial hair, but, again: your beard hair isn’t the same as other hair on your body. Washing it with harsh soaps will only irritate it further, leading to dandruff, irritation and more. If you’re serious about preventing dandruff and scratchiness, a triple-combo of oil, balm and soap will help you get the job done.
We promise you can fact check us on this: a full, lush beard that’s well-groomed and maintained with the right products is leagues better than a red, irritated chinstrap full of dandruff.
Don’t let a bad itch get in the way of your beard
Beards are amazing for a thousand reasons. They’re meant to make you feel confident, classy, well-groomed and unique. What they’re not supposed to do is make you tug at your face nonstop while fighting off embarrassing skin breakouts and dandruff.
Invest in yourself. Get clean with your beard care routine and pick up a selection of oils, balms and soaps that actually work. Do that, and we promise you’ll start feeling confident about your beard again in no time.