It seems there is a beard brush brand for every beard out there. How to narrow it down to the three best is not easy.
How do you know if it’s any good? What should it be made out of?
I’ll answer these questions and more and also give you a list of a few of the best beard brushes that you really can’t go wrong with.
I know what else you’re asking. Do I even need one?
The answer is a definite, YES. So read on to find what the best beard brush is for you and your facial hair!
Before you dive in, you should read our other article on the difference between a beard brush and comb to determine if you even need a one or if you are better off with a beard comb.
If you don’t have time to read the whole article then you can go right to the product page for the brushes below.
What are the best beard brushes made out of?
What the beard brush is made out of makes a huge difference in its ability to properly groom your beard.
For a long time guys would use a military brush to straighten out their beard. They didn’t realize it, but they were doing a lot of damage by using one.
Old school military brushes, as well as cheap beard brushes, use a type of plastic for the bristles. This plastic gets rough and ends up tearing up the beard. It causes static electricity which ends up leaving your beard very hard to style and form to your wishes.
What is the best material for beard brushes?
The material used in the body doesn’t really have an effect on your beard. It is still important to consider, though for other reasons.
Primarily, quality of construction.
Assuming you want to keep your beard for more than a few months, you need it to last for years.
The most common material will be wood for the best beard brushes. It lasts a long time, looks classic and natural and is not expensive.
The problem with wood beard brushes is that they are susceptible to getting water logged and cracking.
Obviously a bathroom or locker room is a very humid environment with lots of areas with water pooling up that can damage the wooden body.
Use extra care to keep your brush dry.
Even keeping it in a cabinet in a humid atmosphere can lead to it getting moldy. Make sure it is somewhere that gets fresh air.
Years ago, before the beard trend really began in earnest, I had a plastic body beard brush for use in the barbershop.
Good luck trying to find one now, though!
I have only really seen wooden ones, but occasionally a plastic one pops up now and then.
The advantage of plastic is that it is impervious to water. The downside is that they can break if they fall onto a hard surface.
There are two types of bristles common for beard brushes.
Natural and synthetic.
Natural can run the gamut, but the best material for bristles are made out of boars or horse hair.
At this point, I feel like boar’s hair is far more common. I can’t think of a brush that I have personally seen that uses horse hair but I know they exist.
The boar bristles are great because they are rigid, yet flexible. They are not prone to weathering like plastic bristles.
Synthetic bristles are a great choice for vegans or even Halal when horse is not available.
The problem with synthetic is that plastic can fall under this umbrella.
Always avoid plastic bristles. As I explained they are horrible for your beard.
A material that is a good substitute for boar bristle is a fiber made out of the agave plant. It looks and feels just like boar so there is no sacrifice in quality if you are looking for an animal cruelty free alternative.
Other features to look for in the best beard brushes
It may seem like all the best beard brushes are the same.
This is not the case.
There are a few factors that differentiate them. One may not necessarily be better than another if they are both made out of quality materials.
But, people do have preferences so different features will suit different users based on how they like things.
Everybody has different size hands. A beard brush should be comfortable to use so it is important for people to find the brush that best fits their hand.
The size of the body is likely going to be the biggest determining factor in the comfort of the brush.
There are two main types of shapes you will find.
There are the oval ones that you palm, just like the military brushes. You simply hold the brush in the palm of your hand and basically use your whole hand to brush your beard. These will come in various sizes as I just mentioned.
Then there is the typical brush shape with a handle that you grip all the way around and the bristles are on the head.
Again, neither is better than the other. This all boils down to personal preference and what feels more comfortable.
How long the bristles are is also something you need to keep in mind. You want the bristles to go through most of the thickness of the beard. You aren’t just trying to brush the outer hairs, you need all of the hair to be brushed so you can smooth out the follicles, distribute the beard balm or oil and keep the shape of your beard uniform.
If you have a long beard, then you obviously need a brush with longer bristles. If your beard is short and you plan to keep it short, then shorter bristles are ok. But, if you plan to grow your beard, it makes sense to go with a length of bristle that will keep up with your beard as it grows so you don’t end up needing to buy another brush later on.
How much you want to spend is a major factor in your decision. The prices run the gamut from ultra cheap to pretty expensive considering it’s just a brush.
Keep in mind that you do get what you pay for. You don’t want to go too cheap, though there are some budget options out there where you can get decent quality for not too high a price tag.
The more you spend the better you usually get.
When you spend to the higher limit of your budget, you’ll get:
- Better quality materials that look good and will last longer.
- Better care in manufacturing, like more bristle density, rounded edges for comfort, etc.
- Well thought out design that will make for a more comfortable grooming experience.
Best Beard Brushes by Category
Best Synthetic Brush for Vegans | Golden Beard
You want a brush that doesn’t inflict any pain or suffering on an animal, but that doesn’t mean you don’t care about how it works.
That’s the great thing about this vegan/Halal beard brush. You won’t even notice the difference when you use it compared to its boar or horse hair bristle counterparts.
This looks like a typical hairbrush with a handle that you can get a nice grip on, with the bristles located at the head of the brush.
The profile is very slim so you can move it around easily to get the beard going the exact direction you want it to.
Some people don’t like using handled brushes on their beard, because they are sometimes too hard to maneuver. This is a nice compromise.
Of course, if you really don’t like the handle and want a vegan option for the oval palm sized brush, there is the Cebra from Amazon.com.
The slim profile also helps for use on a mustache so you can style that too.
There are three rows of bristles with a slight amount of space between where they are inserted into the body.
So, it is dense, but not so dense that the bristles won’t go all the way through your thick beard.
They are also packed in very well so they won’t shed and fall out on you. These will stay in there for years, no problem.
They are also long enough that you can get right down to the skin if your beard is under an inch and a half thick.
They are medium rigid with some decent flex, but with enough backbone to get the job done. People that prefer softer bristles will be a bit disappointed as these are not very soft though it is advertised as being soft to medium. I put this firmly in the medium category.
The bristles themselves are made out of agave plant and the body is made out of elegant pear wood with a nice natural finish.
Though the slim shape is not for everybody, the make and quality of this beard brush is very high. It is made in Germany, so you should expect nothing else but the finest craftsmanship.
You can groom your beard effectively and guilt free since there is absolutely no sacrifice in the quality of the performance due to it using vegetal based bristles.
Best Soft Boar Hair Bristle Brush
Hundred Beard Company
Grooming your beard should be a comfortable and relaxing experience. Some guys may like the feeling of rough bristles against the skin to feel the exfoliation, but many like it to be soft and luxurious.
Using 100% boar bristles, they found the right rigidity to feel soft on the skin and at the same time be able to stand up to a thick beard.
This is also due to the fact that they are not quite as densely packed as some can be.
This is very important when it comes to soft bristles. It may seem like they got cheap and wanted to use less, but the reality is that a densely packed beard brush will have a hard time penetrating the thick beard hair. As a result you will only succeed in brushing the outer layer of your beard.
The length of the bristles is about an inch.
You should expect a bit of shedding for the first few times you use it. With slightly dense packed bristles, there is some shedding that is normal. What isn’t normal is when they become sparse due to the shedding, which, thankfully doesn’t happen with this brush.
This is a nice oval shaped body that fits right into the palm of your hand. There are two dugouts on the side for your thumb and fingers to get a nice grip.
The thickness of the body is around ¾ of an inch and it has a nice concave shape on top.
I love the stain used for a darker look which ends up having a nice patina after you’ve been using it for a while.
It feels good on the skin, goes deep into the beard and can really get your beard balm and oil evenly distributed.
The shedding is disappointing but not a deal breaker considering the low price.
Best Firm Bristle Brush
Seven Potions Boar Bristle Brush
For those guys that are not looking for a luxurious and soft feel of the bristles, but would rather have the backbone of firm bristles to get the job done faster than the Seven Potions will be the best beard brush for your needs.
As I mentioned, you’ll get some very firm bristles with little flex. These hairs are cut from the area closer to the neck and down near the skin. These hairs have not been exposed for long so they are not frayed and softened.
The density is around medium I would say. I have seen denser bristles but feel like this is just right. With the firmness, these bristles would be able to get through the thick hair of a beard without an issue even if they were denser, but I don’t feel like they are too thinly spread overall.
The one area I feel is a drawback is that the length of the bristles is only around ¾ of an inch. For most beards this will probably be enough, but some guys with very thick, lumberjack style beards may not feel the bristles against the skin.
This is a smaller brush than you may be used to if you have ever used a beard brush before. At two inches across, the oval shape fits very squarely in the center of the palm.
This small size makes it very maneuverable to be able to get all the way around the beard comfortably.
If you like minimalist products, then you will like the simple, natural aesthetic of the pear wood with light brown stain.
You’ll definitely notice the edges of the body will eventually develop a darker patina after you’ve been using it for a while.
There are no grips dug out of the sides, as the width is narrow enough that you won’t need them to get a nice grip on it.
Best Small Round Travel Beard Brush
You don’t have to only use this neat little round brush when you are on the road. Even for everyday use, it can be one of the best beard brushes for the guy who likes having a small brush.
With medium firm bristles, this is a very comfortable brush to use. Not only do the bristles have enough backbone to get right through any thick beard, but they are also about an inch long. If you have a really big beard this will get right down to the skin, no problem.
For such a small brush, you get a lot of bristle density so there is no shortage to get your beard groomed properly.
At just 2.4 inches around, it is a perfect, small circle. It fits nicely in the hand and can be maneuvered easily to use it on just about any beard.
The depth is about 1.8 inches, of which the bristles take up a little more than half of that.
It can be gripped any number of ways since it is so small.
It is small enough to pack into even a backpack so even when you’re out in the wild, your beard doesn’t have to look like the wildlife.
The price, the look of the walnut wood for the body, plus the ease of use makes this a real winner when it comes to beard brushes.
Use it everyday or keep it as a back up to take on your next business trip.
When to use a brush
Let me first say that there is no wrong time to use a brush. You won’t be making any fatal mistakes by using a brush at the “wrong” time.
But, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind to get the most out of your beard brush.
Using your beard brush in the morning is generally going to be the best time of day to brush your beard. Your skin has been shedding at night and you will want to make sure you don’t have any flakes trapped in your beard.
You’re also likely to have a pretty messed up beard first thing in the morning so it pays to give it a once over before you leave the house so you look presentable.
Of course, there is no harm in brushing before bed, but you will likely still need to do it in the morning.
The next best time to brush your beard is after using a beard oil or balm. Read our tips on how to use a beard balm to know exactly how to use the beard brush with a balm. The reason to use the brush right after you’ve applied it to is to evenly distribute the oil all throughout our beard. As well as to hydrate and exfoliate your skin underneath.
A time that you want to avoid using the beard brush is right after the shower. You can apply the balm while your beard is damp, but before you use the brush, make sure it is dry. If your beard hair is wet, you may end up pulling some of your hair out since it will get stuck in the dense bristles.
How to take care of your brush
Even the best beard brushes need to be kept maintained. It is easy to do so don’t get nervous thinking that I am about to add another item to your already too long to do list.
It’s important to keep it clean so it stays fresh and doesn’t attract bacteria.
After each use, take a comb and run it through the bristles of the brush to get all of your beard hair out.
Probably once or twice per week, you’ll need to do a deeper clean. Especially if you are using a beard product like a balm or oil. Even if you don’t use a product, dead skin and sweat can accumulate in your brush.
To give it a deep clean, take a cotton swab and run it through the base of the bristles in between the rows. This will get up any of the gunk left behind from when you use ran a comb through it.
Then wash it in a sink filled with warm soapy water. A shampoo is good. Avoid using dish soap though.
After you’ve washed it, make sure to leave it in an area where it can air dry quickly.
Keep it with the bristles down so the water doesn’t accumulate on the wood which can end up ruining it.
Such a simple product, but so important to the health and look of your beard.
With the best beard brushes you not only are able to keep your beard styled, but you will also be exfoliating your skin and distributing either the beard oil or your natural sebum throughout the beard which will keep it very healthy.
Any one of the brushes on the list will be the best beard brush you need depending on your preferences.
You really can’t go wrong with any of them.
Got any questions about beard brushes? Or do you have a favorite you would like to recommend to our readers? Then drop a note in the comment box below and we will get back to you soon!