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Jack Scrimshire

Jack Scrimshire

My Beard Hurts – Why?

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My beard hurts and feels tender! Why?

This may be hard to believe but there are a lot of men out there who encounter a painful sensation under their beard and in the roots of the beard hairs. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re one of these men.

In fact, there was a time when I had this issue and when I resorted to my knowledge base of everything I know or ever will know (a.k.a. Google), I couldn’t find anything on the subject. With beards emerging for the first time in a long time and growing in popularity, there just isn’t much information out there about this subject.

So, today I’m hoping to change that! If you find this article and you’re struggling with this issue, I hope I can help you get past it.

As with any of our “How to treat (insert beard problem here)” articles, the most important part of curing and preventing beard pain is understanding where it comes from in the first place.

Beard pain can be caused by a few common issues, and fortunately they’re fairly easy to treat. We’re going to break down each cause and how to combat it, so strap in and get ready to take on those painful follicles and beard hairs!

Lack of Moisture in the Beard

Lack of moisture in your beard can lead to all kinds of problems, including painful roots. When your beard dries out it starts to itch and produce a build up of flakes and dead skin cells. The irritation caused by scratching at your itchy beard will lead to pain, and the build up of flakes and dead skin cells will actually clog your pores, leading to ingrown hairs and even infected follicles. More on that part later.

A lack of beard moisture is a common problem among bearded men, but it’s unbelievably easy to treat. All you have to do is incorporate a solid beard care routine including a morning routine that conditions and styles, and an evening routine that traps moisture in your beard overnight.


Dehydration causes similar problems as a dried out crusty beard does, but the treatment of it comes from internal hydration. When you aren’t getting enough water or your alcohol, coffee, or tea consumption is causing you to be dehydrated your beard and the skin beneath it will start to dry out. Ensure that you’re taking care of  yourself and try to drink at least 103 ounces (13 cups) of water a day to maintain a healthy level of hydration.

Shampoo Residue

When you wash your beard, you need to be extra careful to wash out all of the soap. When you leave soap on your beard, it can irritate the roots, leading to dryness, irritation and flaking. Simply make sure you spend extra time rinsing out beard wash after using it and always follow it up with an oil to prevent the wash from over drying your beard.


In more serious cases, there is the potential that the beard pain and sensitivity you’re experiencing is due to a case of folliculitis, or infection of hair follicles. This is fairly common but requires careful attention to treat it and prevent it going forward. Folliculitis is characterized by clusters of small red bumps or  pimples that appear around hair follicles, itchy or burning skin, tender skin and follicles, or even a large swollen bump or mass near your hair follicles.

Serious cases of folliculitis will need to be treated by a doctor, possibly with antibiotics, but most cases should go away after a few days. If you encounter a minor case of folliculitis, avoid shaving the area, clean it thoroughly using antibacterial soap, and avoid contact with the area. If the condition doesn’t go away on its own after a few days, see a healthcare professional.

In Conclusion

Painful tender beard hairs are common but fortunately are simple to treat. Take care of yourself and make sure you identify the cause and treat it appropriately and the painful beard hairs will start to take care of themselves! Simply put, for most cases of painful beard follicles, a proper beard care routine and healthy levels of hydration will get rid of those painful beard hairs.

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“Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.”

-B.R. Ambedkar