How to Train Your Beard
As beardsmen, we are very conscious of the lines of our beards, particularly the hairs that might stray outside those lines. You’ve probably noticed that beard hairs need effort and training to fall the right way. While everyone has different beard textures and hair types, there are specific measures you can take to train your beard hairs to lay the way you want.
While some men turn to light heat or even shaving to tame their beards, others prefer to use beard-specific products and tools paired with discipline and perseverance to gain control of their beard hairs. This article touches on what it means to train your beard hairs, why they grow in different patterns, and how to get your beard hair to lay down flat.
Training your beard requires discipline and patience. While there is no way to change beard hair direction permanently, you can temporarily direct your hairs to lay how you want them with daily brushing, applying high-quality beard products, and practicing the self-control to not chope off every stray hair while trimming your beard instead focusing on split ends and damaged strands.
Like any type of training, the more you do it, the easier it will be. Starting early in your growth process and adding these training techniques into your grooming routine will save you time and energy in the long run.
Why Do Some Beard Hairs Stick Out?
- Genetics - The texture, dispersion, angle, and growing speed of your facial hair can all be traced back to your ancestors. Genetics can be responsible for hair being scattered, clumped, or growing in different directions, leading to uneven distribution of hair and hairs that stick out oddly. Chances are someone else in your family has experienced the same situation or beard struggles as you.
- Awkward Phases - Throughout your beard journey, you will encounter periods of development where your beard is not staying how you would like it. Beard hairs grow at different rates and directions, leading to your beard puffing out, growing outward instead of down, and all kinds of other situations. While every beardsman’s journey is different, awkward stages of growth are something we all have in common.
- Length - The shorter the beard hairs, the harder they are to direct. The longer your strands get, the more weight they have to pull them downward. Trimming your beard hairs too short or too often can leave you with even more unruly hairs that can be impossible to train or lay flat.
- Improper Beard Care Routine - Your beard can look disheveled without a regular shower and post-shower care routine to clean, condition, and moisturize your strands. Using products not specific to facial hair can leave your beard and skin underneath it dry, give you beard dandruff, and make your beard itch. When facial hair gets dry, it changes the texture making it less flexible and more challenging to direct downward. Cue the flyaways.
- Trimming Too Often Or Too Little - Leaving damaged hairs or split ends on your beard can lead to hairs that stick out like a sore thumb. Keeping areas with hair growing in different directions at a longer length can help hide imperfections, like a patchy beard, and you grow a thicker beard. Trimming unruly hairs or patches of hair can make them more noticeable. Finding a balance between patience and grabbing for those beard shears is critical. Remember, you cannot trim your way to a longer, fuller beard!
- Weather - The elements have a significant influence on your beard. Extremely hot or cold temperatures can cause your facial hair and skin to dry out, affecting your beard’s texture and curliness.
What Exactly Does Training Your Beard Mean?
First, let’s clarify the common question: Can you change the direction your beard grows? The answer- you cannot. The shape and angle of your follicles determine the texture and direction your hair grows. It is impossible to change the orientation of these without surgery.
While you cannot permanently change the direction your hair grows, you can temporarily adjust your hairs' direction with repetitive brushing/combing and consistent use of beard products. Doing this consistently with a solid beard care routine will train your hair and make your beard sit how you want on your face easier.
Why It’s Important to Train Your Beard
Here’s why it’s important to train your beard:
- Makes your beard easier to style and manage
- Gets your beard in line from the beginning of your beard journey
- The more consistent you are with routine, the better your beard will react
- Keeps your beard looking tidy
- Combats the awkward stages of growing a beard
Steps to Train Your Beard Hairs
Utilizing the beard grooming strategies below will help tame your hair and, when done consistently, help achieve the look you are going for easier. Find which combination of tools and products work best with your beard.
1) Brush/Comb Your Beard Consistently
The large surface area and dense bristles of a quality beard brush create friction and grab stray hairs to put them in line. Focus on brushing the hair the way you want it to grow and lay. Brushing also distributes natural oils that are easier to style and train. Read about the benefits of brushing your beard. Repeating this daily, just like any other training, is where you will see the progress.
A beard comb detangles any intertwined beard hairs and pairs nicely with longer beards. While we recommend having both in your grooming kit, a beard brush is more effective at directly training beard hairs. Read up on the difference between a beard brush and a beard comb.
2) Apply Beard Grooming Products
Choosing products made specifically for beards will give you the best results when wrangling stray hairs.
Beard Wash - Washing your beard 2-3 times a week keeps your beard clean and easier to work with, without drying out
Beard Balm or Beard Wax - Firm hold products like these “lock” beard hairs into place so you can shape them how you want and tame wild strays
Beard Oil - Prevents your beard hairs and the skin underneath from drying out, keeping them flexible and ready to style.
Beard Softener - Adding beard softener or leave-in conditioner to your routine once or twice a week can give your beard hairs extra weight and moisture to keep those fly-aways inline
Check out Cremo’s full line of beard products to start collecting your beard grooming kit.
3) Find A Balance Between Growing and Trimming
Gravity and patience play a part in training your beard. Like the hair on your head, the longer the strands, the more weight to help direct them down to lay where you want on your face. A good mantra to keep in mind is “Training over Trimming.”
That means finding that perfect balance between healthy upkeep trims when needed and over-trimming. Avoid cutting off every single stray hair. Instead, focus on trimming the split ends and damaged strands while implementing other methods to wrangle healthy strays. It takes less time to try using different products or even combing your hair in other directions than growing that length back.
While you can’t change the direction your hair grows, you can use combinations of the techniques outlined in this article to style and hold your beard hairs in place temporarily. Ultimately, the more often you apply them, the easier it will be to direct those hairs and keep your beard looking tidy.
If your especially curly or frizzy hairs aren’t controlled through these measures, you might want to introduce beard straightening into your routine.