Now that the beard trend has brought with it a multi billion dollar industry, there are a lot of specialty products that men are being led to believe they have to have. Women have been dealing with this phenomenon for years.
In the sea of beard products, there is one that definitely does need to have a place in your grooming arsenal. The boar bristle brush.
It is a very simple product that is exactly what your beard needs. A boar bristle beard brush is extremely important as it actually does give your beard a lot of benefits.
What does a boars hair beard brush do for your beard?
In this article I am going to give you all the details to take away any confusion. By the end of the article you will understand why you shouldn’t just go for any old beard brush if you want to have a properly groomed and healthy beard.
Why you should brush your beard
Before I address the actual brush, let me explain the reason you need to brush your beard to begin with.
- Less Itchy – Itchiness is the number one reason some men can’t grow their beard to the length they want. They can’t get past that itchy phase. One of the best ways to stop the itch is to brush your beard. Your natural oils get soaked up into the beard hair and leave your skin dry underneath. Brushing the beard also gets to the skin and helps stimulate blood circulation. This increase in blood flow helps the skin stay plump and feel less itchy.
- Smooths Out the Beard – When you are brushing your beard regularly, you are retraining the hair. Not just to grow in the direction you want, but also to grow straighter. If you have frizzy beard hair no matter how much beard oil or balm you use, then the brush will train it to grow straighter and reduce the frizziness. Since the brushing also distributes the oils on your beard, whether your natural sebum or from your beard product, your beard is stronger and less prone to split ends and breakage.
- Exfoliates – Your skin needs to shed its old dead cells from the top most layer. This will keep your skin healthy and less prone to feeling dry and itchy. It is harder to exfoliate when your face is covered with hair. Using the brush will help you rid your skin of its dead cells.
- Promotes Hair Growth – Since your skin is fundamental when it comes to growing facial hair, it stands to reason that the better you take care of it, the faster and stronger your beard will grow. Healthier hair grows faster, so having those oils distributed and your hair getting stronger will lead to improved hair growth.
- Add a Healthy Shine – When you distribute your sebaceous oils or the oil or beard balm then your hair will have a healthier glow. The light will reflect off of the hair in a way that makes it look more vibrant and less dull.
If you’re wondering if you should use a beard brush or a beard comb, then read this article that gives you all the information you need to determine which is the best boar bristle brush or wooden comb for you.
And if you think you can’t grow a beard, think again! With the help of this article on how to grow a beard and the right beard brush, you can have a great looking beard.
Why use a boar bristle beard brush?
Many brushes are made out of either plastic bristles or a hardened nylon. Either of those spells disaster for a beard.
You literally would be better off to not brush your beard at all than to use a brush made with those synthetics.
Stronger, straighter beard
If you could look at the bristles under a microscope you would see that they are mostly frayed and have rough edges.
What you are essentially doing then is shredding your beard hair with those rough edges of the plastic bristles. You’ll end up with weaker facial hair, a frizzier beard and lots of split ends.
This is the biggest reason to use a boar bristle brush for your beard, and even your hair on your head.
Better for your skin
The best boar bristle brush also is more gentle on your skin so it actually massages your skin. A plastic bristle brush has sharper points and ends up scratching your skin and irritating it.
When your skin is massaged and not irritated it stays plump rather than inflamed. This inflammation can lead to your pores getting clogged which increases the risk of ingrown hairs. A boars hair beard brush gently cleans out your pores and lessens the risk of ingrown hairs.
Plastic or nylon bristles end up creating static electricity. Not only does this make your beard look frizzy, but it makes it impossible to brush away the particles in your beard as they get charged with static too.
Using a boars bristle brush will remove the dirt, dust, dead skin and yes, even particles of food from your beard effectively. This keeps your beard looking and even smelling fresh and clean.
How to choose a boars hair beard brush
There is a huge selection of beard brushes to choose from. They may all seem the same and lead to analysis paralysis when you are trying to find the best boar bristle brush for your beard.
There is a difference, though as you will find out.
Soft, Medium and Firm Bristles
There are varying degrees of firmness when it comes to the bristles. It is something of a personal preference, as to how firm they should be.
Comfort does play a big part in your beard grooming routine as when you are not enjoying the feeling of the brush against your skin then you may not brush it as often as you should.
If you have sensitive skin then you should go for the softer bristles.
But, one area where it shouldn’t be able personal preference is when you have a very thick and curly beard. In this case you will want to go for a firm bristles to make sure you get through the beard effectively.
To understand how firm a bristle will be, look for first cut or second cut. First cut bristles are firm and rigid and are great for thick beards. Second cut bristles are softer as they come from the tips of the boars hair which have been softened from exposure to the air. Just like your beard that gets softer as it grows and is exposed to the elements.
How many bristles there are means how dense the brush is.
If your beard is particularly thick, then a densely packed bristle will have a hard time getting through and brushing out the individual hairs. Not only that, but it might end up damaging your beard if you have to apply too much force to get the brush through.
Keep this general rule in mind when you are thinking about the density:
- Patchy and thin beards should be brushed with dense bristles
- Medium beards can be brushed with dense or less dense
- A thick beard needs to be brushed with lightly packed bristles with more space between rows
If the density of the bristles is not mentioned on the label of the box for the brush, then take a look at the picture or the brush itself. Looking at it from the side, if you don’t see much light passing through then it is fairly dense.
Looking at it from above, if there is space between the rows and you can see the wood underneath then the density is lower and should be good on medium and thick beards.
When you brush your beard, you want to make sure the bristles get all the way down to the skin.
Most boar bristle beard brushes will have bristles that are between a half inch and an inch in length. This will be more than long enough for most beards. If you have a really thick beard that stands out from your face of more than an inch, then it may be difficult to find the right brush.
Also, the bristles should be various lengths with some being less than half the length of the longest ones.
Since you are penetrating layers of hair, you want to make sure that each strand is being properly brushed which means the different lengths will help there.
How to take care of a boars hair beard brush
Since these bristles are made out of an actual animal’s hair, it pays to keep it in good condition. If you neglect your boars hair beard brush, then you will notice a faint musty odor similar to a wet dog that hasn’t been washed in a while.
After every use, you should use a fine tooth comb to remove any of your facial hair that got stuck in the bristles.
Then once a week or so, take a cotton swab and rub the area between the rows of bristles on the body to remove any build up of dead skin and beard product.
Finally, wash the bristles in warm soapy water to do a deep clean. Use any shampoo for this but avoid dish soap.
Then, let it dry with the bristle side facing down so the water drips away from the body. Then once it is dry keep it in a dry area and avoid letting it sit in any puddles.
The Best Boar Bristle Brush for Beards
Zeus Boars Hair Beard Brushes
In my mind one of the best brands for beard brushes is Zeus. They put a lot of care into their products and have a lot of little details covered.
Since beards are not a one size fits all kind of thing, I really appreciate the fact that they have a whole line of brushes that will suit every type of beard and personal preference.
These brushes are made in Germany so you can expect a lot of care is put into them.
Here are some of the best ones:
First Cut Firm Boar Bristle Brush
Best For: Medium thick and long beards that need a firm bristle that is still gentle on the face.
Density: The bristles are about medium dense so they can penetrate into the beard down to the skin even if your beard is thick.
Height: The bristle height is ⅝ inch which will be good for just about any length beard apart from the very longest and thickest. For most guys, this is plenty long enough.
Made out of beautiful and warp resistant pear wood, this is also one of the largest boar bristle brushes for beard out there.
You can also get a second cut version also from Amazon.com for those with thinner beards and more sensitive skin
First Cut Firm Boar Bristle Brush with Handle
Best For: Medium thick and long beards that need a firm bristle that is still gentle on the face.
Density: The bristles are about light to medium dense so they can penetrate into the beard.
Height: For guys with very thick beards the height of the bristles is 7/10 inch. This is a bit longer than the oval version.
If you prefer to have a little more control when brushing your beard you should try this boars hair beard brush with handle. If you are growing a mustache then this is especially helpful.
Made out of the same sturdy pear wood as their other beard brushes, this is stylish and durable.
You can get a second cut softer bristle from Amazon.com, too.
The craftsmanship, the different options available and the premium materials all add up to make Zeus Brand the best boar bristle brush in my mind. Since there is one for every type of beard, then you can’t go wrong.
Alternatives to boars hair beard brush
I think it is safe to say that it is not a good feeling for the boar to have his hair removed. Though, I will add that boar is eaten widely in Europe and the rest of the world, so it isn’t likely that they are being slaughtered just to make beard brushes.
But, if you are vegan, Halal, Kosher or simply against using animal products in your cosmetics or grooming tools, then there are some ways around it.
You definitely should not opt for the plastic or nylon bristle brushes as I have already mentioned.
There are some vegetal based alternatives that act just like boars hair bristles that most people would not be able to differentiate.
Nowadays there are beard brushes that use bristles made out of the agave plant. Not only is it animal cruelty free, but it is also sustainable.
One of the leading brands that use these natural bristles is Golden Beards. The fiber is the equivalent to a soft to medium firm boar bristle beard brush. The density is also around medium so it is good for thick beards.
You can take a look at it on Amazon.com if you are looking for a good boars hair alternative.
I hope this article about boar bristle beard brushes has helped you realize that not all beard brushes are created equal. It may seem like no big deal, but if you want a great looking beard you need to use the right products.
In the barbershop where I work, I see a lot of guys that don’t brush their beard at all. When I ask why so many of them told me they didn’t see a difference. That can only mean they were using the wrong type of beard brush.
Go with a boar bristle brush and make sure you pick the right firmness and density and you are on your way to a glorious beard!
Got any questions that weren’t answered in this article? Let me know by adding a comment in the box below. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can to help you out!