You finally decided to take the leap to grow a beard, but are you aware of the upcoming micro-battles you might face along the way? Growing your beard may not be an easy feat. In fact, if you are reading this article, it is likely you are already dealing with or have at some point encountered a nasty bout of beard itch.
Growing the perfect beard is not without its hiccups along the way. Beard itch, dry skin, and beardruff can quickly boil up a cauldron of self-doubt and trigger the desire to just shave it all off.
NOT SO FAST! Beard itch does not have to signal the end of your beard growth journey. There are a few actions you can take to grab hold of your beard itch. Before we dive into any of those solutions, it’s essential to understand why your beard itches.
What Causes Beard Itch?
Beard itch can occur at various stages of the beard growth journey. Additionally, it can have a range of intensity. However, at the beginning of your beard growth journey, it tends to be most noticeable as those facial hairs begin to break through your skin in large quantities. As this evolution occurs on your face, irritation and inflammation take hold. The combination of these events triggers an involuntary response of itching.
Let’s examine the additional causes of beard itch.
Ingrown hairs can emerge when a cut hair grows back into the follicle rather than outward, leading to folliculitis and, yes, beard itch. Ingrown hairs are red, bumpy, and sometimes painful.
Dry skin is another culprit. This phenomenon can happen at any time for a variety of reasons. Winter weather plays a significant role in triggering dry skin. Other factors such as medications, facial soaps, and even your choice of hair shampoos can change your skin’s moisture levels.
Medical conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can also contribute to beard itch if left untreated.
Skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis are well known for their impact on your scalp, but some men also experience this condition on their face. Red skin and yellow scales serve as the hallmark for this skin condition. Flakes sometimes fall off upon any contact with your skin, and of course, itchiness is a problem.
Poor Hygiene and Exfoliation Practices
For beard veterans, common causes of beard itch in guys with fully grown beards often center around the failure to exfoliate, clean, and moisturize their beards consistently. Exfoliation helps to remove dead cells that accumulate on your skin.
Folliculitis is the inflammation of hair follicles occurs due to ingrown hair or a clogged hair follicle. It can also happen when there is a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. Folliculitis can lead to itching but also tenderness, pain, and redness.
How to Stop Beard Itch
The good news is that you are not doomed to live with beard itch for the rest of your life. If that were the case, we would never see another man with a beard sprouting from his face. The easiest path to curing beard itch will be to address the source of the problem.
If you suffer from eczema, psoriasis, or another underlying skin condition or taking medications that may be contributing to your problem, treating the cause is critical to your success. For all other issues, here are a few tips for you to consider.
Choose Products with Natural Ingredients
Choose products that contain natural ingredients. Being purposeful in this action will reduce the chance of exposure to chemicals that may further irritate your skin. Keep an eye out for products that contain drying ingredients such as alcohol.
Instead, use products that contain essential oils and carrier oils that are not likely to trigger and nasty reaction. Examples of carrier oils include coconut, avocado, olive, almond, argan, and grapeseed oils. Examples of essential oils may include clary sage, tea tree, cedarwood, and lemongrass.
Use Beard Wash
The first thing you can do to improve your symptoms is to adopt a beard wash as a component of your skin and beard care regimen. Yes, even if you only have stubble, you will want to adopt a good beard wash that can cater to your skin and face’s needs.
Beard washes contain a nice blend of natural ingredients, including shea butter and conditioning essential oils that will help to soothe your skin and soften your facial hair. Even if you are not a guy who jumps in the shower each day, regularly washing your beard will do wonders in helping you to cure beard itch.
Steer clear of using hair shampoos or products that contain harsh chemicals on or near your face. Hair shampoos contain chemicals that not only strip your beard but rob your skin of its natural sebum oils. Always rinse with lukewarm water. Using lukewarm water will help to open your pores.
Use a Beard Conditioner
Beard conditioners are a fantastic way to moisturize your beard and the skin beneath to stave off dry skin. Jojoba, argan, tea tree, and amla oils all contribute to naturally hydrate your skin and condition your beard. Using a beard conditioner will help you to keep split-ends to a minimum and fuzz beard under control.
Another positive side effect of using a beard conditioner is that it will soften your beard, keeping skin irritation minimum.
Take the Time to Dry Your Beard
After washing your beard, take steps to dry your beard appropriately. Not allowing your beard to dry thoroughly can contribute to itching and skin irritation. You can use the low heat setting on a hairdryer to dry your beard or use a towel to dry the excess water from your skin and beard.
If you elect to use a hairdryer, be sure to stick with the low heat setting. Heat can be damaging to your facial hair if you are not careful. The last thing you want to incur is brittle facial hair. It can cause shedding and patchy beard if you are not careful.
Moisturize Your Beard with Consistent Use of Beard Oils
Balms and beard oils can help to provide much-needed moisture to your face and beard. Each of the products contains the necessary blend of natural ingredients to rid you of inflammation, irritation, and dry skin. After washing your beard, apply beard oils to keep the area conditioned.
When applying beard oil, keep in mind that as your beard grows, you may have to adjust the amount of oil you use to be proportionate to your beard’s thickness and length. That dime-size amount of oil you started with nine months ago may prove to be insufficient now. Adjust as your beard grows.
Invest in a Beard Comb and Beard Brush
Invest in a good beard comb and beard brush. These two beard care tools are useful for more than merely styling your beard. A wooden wide-tooth comb helps remove tangles, prevents ingrown hairs, and evenly distributes hair oils from root to tip.
Beard brushes offer similar benefits to beard combs. Boar bristle beard brushes help to distribute your beard products from root to tip. Additionally, they serve as a natural exfoliant that helps remove dead skin cells, dirt, and debris that can clog pores and lead to folliculitis. Beard brushes help to prevent product build-up.
Allow Your Beard to Grow
If you are at the beginning of your beard growth journey, try to avoid trimming or shaving this hair with an electric razor to shape for at least a month. Attempting to shape or trim your new beard too soon may cause follicle damage. Instead, use beard scissors to keep things under control for a little while. Electric razors are excellent for providing a clean and uniform cut, but scissors can effectively manage those stray beard hairs.
Finally, you cannot go wrong with improving your diet. Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight against free radicals, which can damage your facial hairs’ structure, leaving them susceptible to split-ends, shedding, and patchy beard. It can also help ensure that you have the necessary nutrients to fight against inflammation and other symptoms that might contribute to problems with your skin.
Now that you know the causes of beard itch, you can take action to treat beard itch. One of the most manageable steps you can take is to own your beard care regimen. Beard itch does not have to plague your face forever. Confronting the problem head-on is the only way to overcome it without having to kiss your beard goodbye. Hygiene consistency will be vital to preventing bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Also, supplying your beard and skin with adequate moisture through conditioning beard oils will be critical in preventing and treating beard itch.