Beard Grooming 101: The Complete Guide to Beard Care

What to Expect From This Guide

Here at Cremo, we have put together a complete guide for all your beard grooming how-to’s, from what to include in your beard grooming kit to trimming your beard and remedies to common issues any beardsman may face.

Table of Contents:

  1. Section A: Getting Started
  2. Section B: Grooming
  3. Section C: Shaping and Trimming
  4. Section D: Styling
  5. Section E: Grooming Tips For Different Beard Lengths
  6. Section F: Beard Troubleshooting
  7. Takeaway

Section A: Getting Started

It goes without saying that the first step to grooming your beard is first growing one. If you’re making the leap from clean-shaven to facial hair, check out all of our best tips on how to grow a beard.

When should you start grooming your beard?

You should start grooming your beard as soon as you decide to grow one. While you will want to resist the urge to trim, style, or completely shave your face for the first 4-6 weeks to allow the hair to grow in evenly, that does not mean you have to wait that long to start applying a beard care routine and beard care products.

Why are Grooming Habits Important?

Healthy beard habits are important because they help keep your skin and facial hair healthy and at their best. Nice beards don’t just appear; they take time, patience, and a proper care routine.

Taking the time to care for your facial hair comes with significant benefits:

  • It makes you look better, duh
  • Prevents dry, itchy skin and unwanted buildup of oils
  • Consistency in your grooming routine helps train your hairs lay the way you want them to, making grooming easier overall

Beard Grooming Products and Tools

What should be in your Beard Grooming Kit?

Starting with the right products and tools is the first step toward caring for your beard. We have created a list of staple beard grooming products we recommend for beginner bearders to experienced ones.

Beard Grooming Kit
  1. Beard Balm
    • Moisturizes, conditions, styles, and softens your beard
    • Superior blend of moisturizing shea butter and sunflower oil to promote growth
    • Beeswax ‘locks in’ moisture that releases slowly for the best beard all day long
  2. Beard Oil
    • Custom blend of carrier and essential oils that restore and condition your beard
    • Hydrates your hair follicles and absorbs into the pores of your skin
    • Feels light and fresh on your skin and facial hair
  3. Beard Shears
    • Great tool for beards of all lengths
    • Made of the highest quality steel that stays sharp to give you precision and control
    • Even include a mini comb and case perfect for travel
  4. Beard Comb
    • Great for detangling beard hairs and getting rid of knots
    • Dual-sided design makes it efficient for every part of your beard
    • Aids in shaping facial hair and distributing those oh so important natural oils
  5. Beard Wash
    • Nourishes facial hair and the skin underneath
    • Gentle formula removes dirt and unclogs poors without stripping beard of natural oils
    • Rich lather and complex uncommon scents make washing your beard enjoyable
  6. Beard Brush
    • Reaches beneath the beard hair pulling away dead skin, built-up oils, and loose hairs
    • Ergonomic wood handle fits perfectly in your hand for optimal movement and control
    • Firm natural boar bristles absorb and evenly distribute product and detangle even the toughest knots
  7. Beard Softener
    • Condition and soften beard hairs making managing them easier
    • Penetrates thick facial hairs with a superior blend of vitamins and minerals
    • Combats dryness and leaves hairs looking smooth and feeling soft to the touch

Next, let’s go over how to introduce these essentials into your beard care routine.

Section B: Grooming

dail beard care routine

Create a Beard Care Routine

Daily Morning Routine

Every Few Days or Weekly

These are just the basic steps of grooming a beard that you can build on. When caring for your beard, it is essential to keep in mind every beard is different. Don’t be afraid to try new products and switch up your habits till you find what works best for you.

Let’s dive right in to some of those healthy grooming habits.

Healthy Beard Grooming Habits

Keep Your Beard Clean

We recommend washing your beard about 2-3 times a week, but that may need to be adjusted based on your skin chemistry and how active you are.

Since the hair on your face can be much coarser than the rest of the hair on your body, you will want to avoid using regular shampoo to clean your beard. Cremo’s specially designed beard wash formula contains no harsh irritants to strip away your natural oils, unlike some regular shampoos.

We also recommend following up your wash with a beard softener at least once a week to add much-needed moisture back into your skin.

beard shampoo
cremo crown

Gentleman’s Grooming Tip

Even if you aren’t working with a fresh clean beard every day, wetting or rinsing your beard before starting your beard maintenance can help you gain control of that bed beard quicker and refresh those facial hairs.

Properly Dry Your Beard

The longer water stays on your beard, the more tension and stress is put on your hair follicles, so taking a few add drying into your grooming routine is worth it. .

Option 1 - Towel And Air Drying

If your drying tool of choice is a towel, you will want to make sure you are gently patting, not rubbing your beard dry. Your hair follicles are weaker when wet, so it is very important to be gentle with your hair. Vigorous rubbing can not only damage hair follicles but also tangle and possibly rip out your beard hairs.

Option 2 - Blow Drying

We know all beards are not created equal, and for some beardsman with thicker, curlier hair, breaking out the big blow drying guns might be necessary to keep your beard under control. Check out our full step-by-step guide for tips to safely blow dry your beard. This method might seem like it takes more time, but you are knocking out drying and styling your beard all in one.

cremo crown

Gentleman’s Grooming Tip

To avoid any sort of heat damage on your beard, you will want to make sure that your blow drying is at the coolest temperature setting. Holding your blow dryer 6-10 inches away from your face and constantly moving it around will also prevent any risk of drying out your skin and beard.

Soften Your Beard

Prickliness, beardruff and itchiness are all signs that your beard is in need of moisture. Applying hydrating products and having consistent grooming habits can help reduce discomfort. Read up on what causes a scratchy, dry beard and the best ways to soften your beard hairs.

cremo crown

Gentleman’s Grooming Tip

Beard stubble is often the prickliest when the sharp edges of the hairs are emerging from the skin. Patience and beard oil are the best remedy here. Give the hairs a few days to grow out until they are ready for the above softening steps.

Apply Beard Oil

Beard oil truly is a beard’s best friend. Not only is it simple to apply, but it keeps your beard and skin moisturized, soft, and easy to manage. PLUS, it smells great and gives your beard that extra shine that tells everyone you take care of it. If you only have time for one product in the morning, beard oil should be your go-to.

Start by rubbing it on your hands and applying it directly to your beard, using your fingers to work evenly through your hair and down to your facial skin.

When Should You Apply Beard Oil?

The best time to apply beard oil is right after you hop out of the shower or wash your face/beard when your follicles are nice and open. Beard oil is designed to replenish the natural oils you lose when you wash your beard.

How Much Beard Oil Should You Use?
  • New Beard (first few weeks) - 1 to 2 drops
  • Mid Length (few weeks in) - 3 to 4 drops
  • Long Beard (established) - Could be up to 7 drops
cremo crown

Gentleman’s Grooming Tip

You will want to start with a small amount of beard oil and work your way up to more significant amounts depending on your length. Too much beard oil to start can leave your beard looking and feeling oily. Just a little bit will do ya.

Brush And Comb Your Beard

Learning how to brush or comb your beard properly will increase the overall health of your beard. Brushing your beard hair first thing each day or when towel-damp adds volume, softness, and shine to your hair while distributing your skin’s natural oils and exfoliating the skin below. Beard combs glide through wet strands safely while detangling and styling longer beard hairs with ease.

What is the difference between a beard brush and a beard comb, you ask?

A brush works best for shorter beards in their early stages, while a comb is excellent for a longer, more established beard. A beard brush is perfect for “training” your hair and directing it where you would like it to grow, while a comb is the ideal tool for styling and detangling your longer facial hair or mustache. However, once you have an established beard, they make a great beard grooming pair, and we recommend having both in your grooming kit.

cremo crown

Gentleman’s Grooming Tip

You will want to focus on applying medium pressure while brushing so that you aren’t just gliding through those hairs but also exfoliating the skin underneath as well.

Beard comb vs beard brush

Grooming doesn’t just stop with healthy habits and beard-specific products. Beard hairs grow at all different rates so it's important to regularly shape and trim your beard to keep it looking its best.

Section C: Shaping and Trimming

First: Shape your Beard

You will want to have a plan before you put any kind of blade on your nice, full beard. Consult this handy face shape chart after your first month of growth and choose a shape that compliments your face shape. Selecting the correct beard shape is key to looking your best. The goal is for your beard and jaw to act in harmony to create a nice oval shape. Check out our complete guide to shaping a beard for all the tips and tricks.

face shapes

Gentleman’s Grooming Tip

For your first shape up, choosing to consult your local barber is a great option. They can walk you through the shape that will work best for your face and beard goals. From there, you can follow the lines and shape they outlined for you at home.

Next: Line Up Your Beard

Now it’s time to put the beard shape plan into action. Using your beard comb as a visual line guide, grab your clippers to remove any rogue hairs above or outside the shape lines you have chosen for your cheeks, neck, and sideburns. Focus on making both sides of your beard symmetrical, trimming off a little hair at a time to even out both sides. Defining the neckline and cleaning up your neck can be particularly difficult - too high you have an instant double chin, but too low you are rocking the neckbeard.

Beard Lines that define beard
cremo crown

Gentleman’s Grooming Tip

Symmetry is a big part of lining up and trimming your beard. A Beard Shaping Tool is a great tool to have in your beard maintenance kit and makes it easy to achieve a consistent cut every time. It’s always best to start small, take a little hair off, and go back for another round.

Last: Trim Your Beard

A regular trim will maintain your chosen shape, stimulate healthy beard growth and ensure a thicker, fuller beard. Start things off by running a comb or brush through your beard to untangle strands and direct hairs downward. If you are happy with the length, you can grab your beard shears to snip any stragglers and trim the stache. A beard trimmer is best for larger sections of longer lengths. Follow along with our How to Shape and Trim your Beard Video, or check out our complete trimming guide for visuals and step by step.

We recommend trimming your beard in the style that you wear it. If you straighten your beard, you will want to trim after you straighten (more on that in the next section). If you prefer a more natural look, trim your hair after it has been washed and dried. Hairs tend to shrink up a little as they dry so trimming while wet can lead to uneven lengths and a shorter trim than you originally planned. Keep reading to explore the different ways you can style your beard depending on your goals.

cremo crown

Gentleman’s Grooming Tip

Make sure that you trim with the grain of your hair. This will make your beard look fuller and help hide a patchy beard. Going against the grain can actually thin out your facial hair.

Section D: Styling

How you choose to style your beard is a personal preference. Some men prefer a more natural look using a few beard products, others prefer a more refined shape by applying light heat to straighten and eliminate dips and curls.

Naturally Style With Product

Work beard balm or styling balm into your beard to wrangle and moisturize stubborn, stray hairs. Grab your beard comb to gently smooth flyaways and direct the facial hair. You may even need to flatten or shape challenging sections with your hands and fingers. This technique is called hand shaping. Focus on creating visual symmetry and even out any natural irregularities. You may even want to grab your beard brush for one last run-through.

Lastly - Don’t forget about mustache grooming. With the smaller side of your beard comb, part your mustache in the middle and direct the hairs outward on either side. Established mustachers may need to utilize the twirling technique by rubbing a little balm or wax between the thumb and index finger and twirling the ends of the stache- much like snapping your fingers- into the desired style.

Straightening Your Beard

If your facial hair is particularly coarse and curly, introducing heated tools like a blow dryer or a beard straightener can help you gain control and refine your beard style. While there are some misconceptions surrounding using heat on your beard, a consistent beard routine can be effective and useful if applied safely.

As you work on mastering the options below, the straightening formula you will want to remember is Heat + Tension = Direction.

Option 1: Heated Brush

A heated brush applies heat directly to the strands via coils located in the bristles. Creating tension with the brush, you can direct the hairs the way you would like them to lay. For straightening problem areas or eliminating dips/waves in your beard, brush hairs out the side to straighten using your face as a backboard to create tension, then brush them back down to lay flat. Read our step by step guide to using a heated brush on your beard.

Option 2: Blow Dryer and Comb

A blow dryer paired with a beard comb is one of the most versatile heating tools to add volume and straightness to your beard. This method leaves your beard with a more naturally styled look. Holding the blow dryer at least 6 inches away from your beard, create tension with your beard comb starting with brushing the main body downward. Then create volume by directing hairs upward and then back down to polish off your look. Check out our full guide to straightening with a blow dryer.

Beard Straightening Formula

Section E: Grooming Beards of Different Lengths

Grooming Beards of Different Lengths

Stubble to Short Beard Grooming

Man with a short beard

Stubble to short beards are defined as 1 mm to about 5.5 mm

Timeline: First 4-6 weeks

Best Products for Short Beards

  • Beard Oil (1 to 2 drops is all you need at this stage)
  • Beard Brush
  • Beard Wash

Short Beard Care Tips

Don’t wait to use beard products

Many beginner bearders make the mistake of thinking beard products and maintenance are just for established beardsman. Keeping up on beard care from the beginning will minimize discomfort, itchiness, and dry skin.

Start applying beard oil to your skin as soon as you decide to start growing one! Beard oil penetrates directly into the skin keeping your beard moisturized from the inside out preventing a lot of beginner beard problems like itchiness and beardruff. Make sure to brush and wash your beard stubble regularly as well to rid your beard of dirt and exfoliate to remove dead skin cells.

Be patient

While the first few weeks of growing your beard can be uncomfortable, just know it will get better. Growing out your beard will take time. The average beard grows about one-half inch per month. It is best to avoid trimming, styling, and giving up on your beard for the first 4-6 weeks. This will allow your beard to grow in full and give you a real idea of what you are working with.

Mid-Length Beard Grooming

Man with Mid-Length Beard

So now you have a beard! Mid-Length beards are classified as 7 mm to 14 mm

Timeline: 2 - 3 Months

Best Products for Mid-Length Beards

  • Beard Oil (apply 2 to 4 Drops)
  • Beard Balm
  • Beard Brush or Beard Comb
  • Beard Wash and Beard Softener

Mid-Length Beard Care Tips

Know your goal

Once you get past your first month of growing, you will most likely have a pretty wild beard that is ready for some shaping and trimming. Make sure you know your beard goal before you grab your shears or razor.

If length is your goal, do your best not to trim your beard majorly and only touch up the lines on your neck, sideburns, and cheeks to keep it looking well kept. Nobody likes a neckbeard, trust us.

If you like your length and you are ready to clean up your beard, there is no shame in heading to your local barber to get you all shaped up. They can walk you through the best lines and beard shape for your facial features, and it will be much easier for you to keep in check at home. Otherwise, check out our beard trimming guide for a step by step to follow on your own.

Be consistent with your beard care

Just like most things, consistency with your beard care is where you will see progress. Keeping your beard moisturized, clean and styled will increase the health of your beard. The healthier the beard the better it will look and the easier it will be to style and maintain.

Long Beard Grooming

Man with Long Beard

Long Beards are anything longer than 18 mm

Timeline: 4 to 6 months of growth, or more

Best Products for Long Beards

  • Beard Oil (apply 7 or more drops)
  • Beard Balm
  • Beard Comb AND Beard Brush
  • Beard Wash and Beard Softener

Long Beard Care Tips

Train your beard from the beginning

Growing a long beard is all about creating the proper foundation. Training your beard hairs from the beginning to grow the way you want will make your beard journey easier. Brushing and combing regularly directs the hair to lay you want and shortens grooming time if done consistently.

The longer the beard, the more moisture it needs

We can not stress enough the importance of beard oil and beard balm in your grooming routine. Beards, especially long ones, actually wick moisture causing your skin to dry out faster. The longer the beard, the more product you will need to replenish moisture back into your facial skin.

Depending on the length of your beard, you might need to use up to 7 drops of beard oil.

Beard balm is also an excellent pair with a long beard since it takes longer to absorb and can give those long beard locks moisture all day long. Learn more in our post, “Beard Balm: What is it and do I really need it?

beard length grooming timeline

Section F: Troubleshooting

The Issue The Signs The Grooming Remedy Recommended Products
Flyaways Wild strands sticking straight out of your beard Patience combined with firm hold products, often these wild strands will disappear within 24 hours if left alone Beard Brush, Beard Balm
Curly Beard Hairs and Beard Waves Curly beard hairs can be uncomfortable and impossible to style, likewise most men will have problem areas that can’t be tamed with just products Properly applying light heat and tension to straighten and style beard hairs Beard oils, heating tool (blow dryer or beard straightener), Beard comb
Beard Split Ends Coarse, brittle feeling beard Examining beard strands and trimming off split ends, preventing heat damage with beard oil and proper heat application Beard Shears, Beard Oil
Beardruff Flakes of dry facial skin in your beard Hydrating your beard and facial skin Beard Oil, Beard Wash, Beard Softener
Patchy Beard Or Bald Spots Uneven patches of growth or bald sections of your beard Applying thickening cream can promote healthy growth for your beard, some men prefer to find a beard style that compliments how their facial hair grows Thickening Cream, Beard Brush
Itchiness Dry facial skin and hair can cause your beard to feel itchy and uncomfortable Keeping facial skin and beard hairs moisturized and soft Beard Oil, Beard Softener
Beard Acne Pimples that appear in and underneath your facial skin Properly cleaning facial skin and hair can prevent beard acne, a gentle exfoliator once a week can help clear pores and loosen dead skin cells Beard and Face Wash, Gentle Exfoliator

Common Beard Grooming Issues & How to Fix Them

The Issue: Flyaways

All beardsman are bound to encounter wild strays that stick out of their beard along their beard journey. This is just part of the process, especially during awkward stages of growth.

The Grooming Remedy

Patience is the best remedy for flyaways. You are most likely going to be the only one that notices that stray hair and while your instinct might be to grab your beard shears and snip the difficult strand, just remember you cannot trim your way to a longer beard. Often these wild hairs will flatten back into your beard within 24 hours. It’s best to reach for a beard brush and some beard balm to hold the unruly stray into place or to disguise the flyaway by fluffing out the hairs around it to make it less obvious.

The Issue: Curly Beard Hairs and Beard Waves

Beard hairs are naturally coarser than the hair on your head. Genetics and the tightness of the chemical bonds in your hair cause some men to have curlier hairs than others. Curly and wavy beard hair can be hard to style and control.

The Grooming Remedy

A combination of a consistent heat routine and firm hold products like beard balm can flatten out those curls and waves. Heated brushes can isolate hard-to-handle spots using heat and tension to straighten strands. Read all about safely applying heat to your beard and all the benefits that come with the technique.

The Issue: Beard Split Ends

A split end is the hair fibers splitting through the end of the hair’s shaft fraying off in multiple directions. Split ends tend to make your beard feel scratchy and rough. Over aggressively grooming, overusing heat, improper brushing, dull trimming tools and all kinds of other things can also cause split ends.

The Grooming Remedy

Check your beard for split ends often by using your hands to feel for rough spots and damage. If you find a split end, grab your favorite pair of sharp shears and cut right above the damage to remove it. You can also prevent the number of split ends in your beard by doing simple things like applying beard oil before heat and never forcing a brush or comb through a knot as that can cause breakage.

The Issue: Beard Dandruff (Beardruff)

Much like your scalp, the skin under your beard can be prone to flaking and dryness -referred to as beard dandruff - if not taken care of properly. This is most common for men with medium to long beards. All kinds of things can cause dry facial skin from washing with products that are too harsh to the environment where you live.

The Grooming Remedy

Beardruff can be a good indicator that your beard is thirsty and dehydrated. Applying beard oil will bring moisture back to your skin and fight flaking. Make sure you are washing your beard properly and including conditioner or beard softener to replenish moisture. How you are drying your beard is important too. Depending on the PH level of your water, simply air drying your beard can actually suck the moisture out of your beard and make dryness or flaking worse. We recommend towel drying or blow drying your facial hair. Brushing your beard can also help distribute natural oils into your skin and loosen the dead skin cells that might be trapped in your beard.

The Issue: Patchy Beard or Bald Spots

Along the way of any man’s beard growing journey, he might find himself with uneven patches or balding spots in his beard. The most common causes are age, genetics, hormone imbalances, and potentially balding. While some causes you don’t have control over, there are still solutions you can try to promote beard growth and beard fullness.

The Grooming Remedy

Check out our patchy beard blog post. For most men, beards fill in overtime, but if you have been patient and are still suffering from thin patches, it's time to grab thickening beard cream or one of our other suggested beard products to fix the patchiness and make your beard thicker. Some beardsmen even choose to own the patches and pick a beard shape that flatters the natural imperfections that give their beard character.

patchy beard before and after

The Issue: Itchiness

A common complaint when growing a beard, especially when just starting out is itchiness. Beard hair is coarser than the hair on your head, so the sharp edges can prick the skin as they grow causing itchiness and discomfort. Beard itch happens most often to new beardsman and beardsman with longer beards.

The Grooming Remedy

Keeping your beard hairs and the skin underneath nice and hydrated with beard oils and beard balms is a great place to start when stopping beard itch. Softening the hairs with beard softener helps coat the hairs and skin to lock in moisture.

The Issue: Beard Acne

Men with beards are vulnerable to acne as bacteria, dead skin cells, and natural oils can clog pores. Pimples can also be caused by ingrown hairs irritating the skin beneath your beard.

The Grooming Remedy

Properly cleaning your skin and facial hair regularly can do wonders in preventing acne under your beard. Using beard soap with a gentle exfoliator once a week can help loosen any build-up that could clog pores. For some men, beard oil can cause a breakout, so taking a pause can give your skin time to clear up. You can also try drinking plenty of water, keeping your pillowcases clean, and trying not to touch your face, especially with dirty hands.


Whether you are just starting out or you already have an established beard anytime is a great time to start building a beard care routine. Most men don’t need to spend more than 5 minutes a day on their beard care. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different products and techniques until you find what works for you. The key to caring for your beard is knowing your beard and customizing it to fit your personal needs.

While we have outlined many techniques and tools, there is no need to dive into all these right away. Start small with a few essential products like beard oil and beard wash then expand your grooming kit as needed along your beard journey.

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