If you have a beard, you’ve almost certainly experienced itchy beard. Even just two weeks of growth can be enough to cause an uncomfortable, irritating itchy beard. Don’t throw in the towel and reach for the razor to shave it off just yet. There is a solution!
How do you stop and prevent an itchy beard?
What specific techniques and products work best for beard care to soothe dry skin under a beard?
I’ve got all the information you need.
Say goodbye to bad beards and say hello to a smooth, clean beard that looks good and feels better!
What Causes Bad Beards Itch?
When you shave, you leave a sharp edge on the end of each hair inside its follicle, the tiny tube that contains and shields each hair. When the hair grows out, this sharp edge can scratch the follicle, causing it to itch. When you’re growing out a beard after shaving for a long time, all of your follicles across your face can itch.
Dry skin, also called xerosis, can be caused by dry or cold weather or immersing your skin in hot water, especially during a bath or shower. Shampoos and soaps can wash off your skin’s natural oils, drying your skin and making for bad beards with loads of beard itch.
Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema can also make your skin chronically dry, causing bad beards. I will include information about some of the skin conditions that can lead to beard itch in a moment.
Ingrown hairs happen when a hair that’s been shaved or cut grows back into its follicle, instead of out. This causes the follicle to get inflamed and make your beard itch. This is more likely to happen to you if you have tight, curly hair.
You’ll notice ingrown hairs when the follicles get red, bumpy, itchy, and sometimes painful around the areas that you’ve shaved. Make sure you take care of your skin to avoid ingrown hairs to prevent itchy beard.
Skin Conditions That Can Cause Bad Beards Itch
Pseudofolliculitis barbae is the inflammation that happens when facial hairs growing from their follicles cut your skin inside the follicle or curve back around into your skin as they try to grow out. This condition often happens in association with shaving facial hairs and can cause razor bumps.
The symptoms of razor bumps are like those of folliculitis. Your face may look red, bumpy, and develop pus-filled blisters which is far more painful than just having an itchy beard. Unlike most cases of folliculitis, razor bumps in pseudofolliculitis barbae are caused by noninfectious irritation, and not any kind of infection. Razor burn and razor bumps are different conditions, though they can have similar symptoms.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that can make your skin scaly, red, and flaky. It’s also known as dandruff when on the scalp, and can cause severe itchy beard.
This condition most commonly affects your scalp, but it can also happen on your face in and around your beard, especially if you have naturally oily skin. Symptoms include yellow, greasy scales and red skin. The flakes may fall off when you rub your beard hair or facial skin.
If you have either of these conditions you should contact your doctor. You may need to see a dermatologist.
Some beard oils that contain castor oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil and clary sage oil can help fight any bacteria. You may be able to avoid a doctor visit my using a beard oil first or by trying a pure castor oil directly on the face like this one from Amazon.com. These issues are more serious than any bad beards itchiness.
How to Stop Bad Beards Itch
Preventing itchy beard is actually very easy.
Here are the 5 steps to keep your beard soft, healthy and free from itchiness. These tips work on beards of any type, age and length.
Step One: Wash Your Beard
The first step to an itch-free free beard is to keep it clean.
Every day we lose many dead skin cells, the beard traps them and prevents them from falling away. Trapped dead skin cells will make your skin itchy and irritated.
In addition, throughout the day your beard will catch on dirt, left overs from your meals, and other types of debris.
This is why you must wash your beard and keep it clean. But you need to do it correctly.
Beard hair is androgenic. Without getting too scientific, it has to do with the effects of testosterone on your hair. Androgenic means you can’t just use the same type of soap or shampoo on your beard as you would on your head.
Don’t clean your beard with traditional hair shampoos or body soaps. They will strip the natural oils from your facial hair, dry your skin and make it itchy.
There are two ways to wash your beard:
- Use an actual beard wash. Choose one that is all natural and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.
- Even just using water will help you keep your beard clean. You can get away with only washing your beard a couple of times per week (which I definitely recommend anyway) by giving your beard a thorough rinse in the shower. Rub your skin and beard vigorously with your fingertips to get the dead skin off and out of your beard.
Step Two: Moisturize
Keeping your skin moisturized under your beard is just as important as keeping the actual facial hair hydrated.
The skin underneath your beard is susceptible to dandruff, dryness, irritation and leads to itchy beard.
To keep it hydrated and plump will not only allow it to supply your beard with what it needs, it will also feel a lot more comfortable and less prone to itchiness.
If the skin becomes too dry, your body will produce more sebum, which is your body’s natural oil that will coat and nourish your beard. Which is a good thing, but too much leads to acne. Since your skin doesn’t breathe well under a beard, this acne will cause all sorts of problems under your beard.
This is when beard oil helps since it is specially designed to nourish, hydrate and help maintaining a healthy looking beard. Choose a beard oil with jojoba if you are washing your beard since it mimics sebum more than any other type of oil. I highly recommend this one from Rocky Mountain Beard Co. from Amazon.com.
You don’t need to put too much oil, actually few drops are enough. Definitely avoid using too much to keep your beard from looking greasy. Though this one I linked to gets absorbed very easily.
If you want to know more about beard oil, then click this link to read the full article about what they do and which one is best.
You could also use a beard balm if your beard is longer. I wrote a detailed article about beard balms that you can read by clicking here.
Step Three: Keep It Trimmed
It may not seem logical to trim your beard when you are trying make it grow. But trimming the dried and split ends will help prevent itchy beard.
I am only suggesting that you trim a millimeter or two to simply cut away the frayed ends.
You will find conflicting advice if you are doing research on itchy beards. Some say that you shouldn’t trim your beard until it reaches 8 weeks of growth. I am not one who believes that. As an ex barber, I have dealt with many types of bad beards and my clients saw good results from trimming their beard after only 3 or 4 weeks of growth.
If you don’t already have a beard trimmer, then you will need to get one. This is true even if you plan to grow it long as trimming your beard is an integral part of your beard care.
There are many good ones available, but the one I recommend for men who want an easy and effective way to trim their bad beards through all the stages of growth should try the Philips MG7720 from Amazon.com. It has many accessories to evenly trim your beard as well as other grooming tools. You will get a lot of use out of it in addition to grooming your beard.
Step Four: Brush It or Comb It
There is some debate about whether you should be combing or brushing your beard.
After you’ve read the article I just linked to, then decide for yourself which one is better for your beard and then make sure to make it part of your routine.
Not only do they help keep your beard looking great and train it to grow in a single direction, they also promote beard health, reduce itchy beard.
Plus, brushing your beard feels like you’re giving yourself a face massage!
You want a brush with a solid, comfortable wooden handle. You also want the brush to be made from 100% boar’s hair. The unique structure of the boar bristle carries sebum from the skin to the end of the hair shaft.
Sebum is a natural oily substance created by the follicle. By spreading the sebum across the entire hair strand, boar bristles repair dry hair and add shine.
Only boar bristles have these benefits. Plastic or vinyl bristles have micro fissures which can damage your beard.
A boar’s hair brush is often more expensive than a plastic or vinyl one but it is worth the extra up-front cost. Also, a high-quality brush will usually last a lifetime.
If you want to know which beard brush is the best, then click here to read the full review I did of the top boar bristle beard brushes.
Brush your beard before and after every wash. Brushing before washing loosens up any dirt, grime and other debris. Washing your beard will be much more effective after that.
I recommend brushing your beard after applying beard oil, it will help spreading the oil evenly throughout your beard.
Don’t brush it while your hair is wet, however! You’ll end up damaging the hair you worked so hard to improve.
Step Five: Eat Healthy Food And Drink A Lot Of Water
Eat a diet rich with Beta-carotene, Vitamin D and Biotin. Foods like sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, squash, and peas are all rich in Beta-carotene and Vitamin A.
Your body converts Beta-Carotene into Vitamin A, which promotes healthy sebum. Vitamin D stimulates new hair growth by creating new hair follicles. Finally, Biotin helps your body create keratin, which is a protein that is the building block of healthy hair and nails.
Beef, oysters, spinach, lentils, and pumpkin seeds are all rich in zinc which is an essential vitamin that helps repair the skin and will reduce itchy beard.
Almonds, broccoli, fruits, spinach, green peppers, sunflower seeds, mangos, and peanut butter are all foods that will benefit your skin and beard and reduce how itchy it feels.
If you feel you are not getting enough of the right nutrients from eating a healthy diet then try a beard growth supplement that contains all the essentials in very high doses to give your beard and skin a healthy boost. Beard Grow XL from Amazon.com is a very popular supplement that will aid your beard in many ways including reducing itchiness.
Don’t let an itchy beard keep you from growing the beard you’ve always wanted.
The five steps above will help the growing process stay comfortable and easy starting from the very first day. Regular washing, moisturizing and conditioning will keep your beard and skin smooth and itch-free.
Look, I know how bad the itch can be as I tried growing a beard and just simply couldn’t get past that itchy and uncomfortable stage. I didn’t know much about beards then (This was pre internet) so I just shaved it off. Don’t do this yourself. You don’t have to deal with an itchy beard if you follow those steps I outlined above.
Growing a beard is a big commitment. But with the right preparation, you can avoid the major problems.
If you have any questions about itchy beard or how to stop beard itch then leave a message in the box below and I will answer as soon as I can!