From gentle exfoliation to light hydration, your brush choice could mean a perfect beard
Men who are serious about their beards need to get serious about their beard combs. A proper beard comb enhances more than just your style; it protects your skin and beard hair from unnecessary damage.
Discover the reason why your barber has a veritable arsenal of beard combs, brushes, and gets paid to craft GQ-worthy beards. Then you can learn how to maximize the volume and vitality of your beard at home!
Brushes Vs. Combs for Beards
Beard combs and brushes each serve their purpose, and there’s a time and a place for both. Figuratively speaking, your beard brush is your paintbrush and your beard comb is your pen.
When you’re in the early stages of growing your beard, you’ll want to start with a brush. A beard brush helps to train your whiskers to grow in the desired direction. It also helps exfoliate your skin so you don’t wind up with any painful ingrown hairs.
Beard brushes add a bit of fluff and volume to your new beard. However, when it really starts coming in, a beard comb will become your personal stylist.
Beard combs detangle and direct your whiskers. Put the finishing touches on your look by using a beard comb.
Types of Beard Combs for Your Hair & Skin Type
Beard combs are not one-size-fits-all; your unique beard hair type requires its own special comb! Let’s go over the different types of beard combs available, so that you can make an educated purchase.
Wood Beard Combs
Wood beard combs are a classy looking option, but that’s not where the benefits end. Wood beard combs are often made of hardwoods like oak and bamboo. They’re durable, they don’t cause static, and they’re usually gentle on sensitive skin and fine hair.
If you go the wood route, make sure you purchase a high quality beard comb. Low quality wood combs may splinter, causing your hair to snag – ouch!
Metal Beard Combs
We’re not going to lie – metal beard combs look pretty cool. They would certainly be Fonzie’s first choice (if he had a beard). If you have tough skin and coarse hair, a metal beard comb might be just the scratch for your itch.
On the flip side, metal beard combs often have sharp edges on the teeth. Sharp metal edges may cause split ends and breakage. Metal beard combs can also cause static, making for a rather frizzy beard.
Avoid metal beard combs if you have dry or sensitive skin. Metal may cause microtears in your skin, opening it up for infection. It may also pull dry, dead skin into your whiskers. Beard dandruff is not a good look!
Plastic Beard Combs
Isn’t a cheap, run-of-the-mill plastic comb good enough? The truth is, if you really care about your look (and you should), skip the drug store’s $1 comb deal.
Plastic beard combs cause more static than any other beard comb. Even with sufficient beard oil, static can wreak havoc on your beard.
Unlike metal and wood combs, the teeth on plastic combs are pliable. This means they don’t detangle your beard well. These bendy teeth simply can’t provide the precision that other combs can.
Lastly, plastic isn’t something we want to keep putting back into the environment. A high quality wood or metal comb is a more sustainable option.
Cellulose Acetate Beard Combs
Not all synthetic beard combs should be thrown out (or recycled) with plastic beard combs, however.
Cellulose acetate is a durable, rubbery material. It doesn’t cause static and it’s gentle on your whiskers and skin. This is especially important for men with eczema or dry skin.
Wide Tooth or Fine Tooth?
Many beard combs have both wide and fine teeth at opposing ends. Serious beardsmen have both a wide tooth beard comb and a fine tooth beard comb.
Wide teeth are excellent for coarse beard hair. Men with fine hair may have particularly wooly sections of beard, such as the space between the chin and the neck. Wide teeth are able to straighten out these unruly sections with ease.
Fine tooth combs are better for men with soft, thin beard hair. They add precision for more refined styling.
Even men with large, coarse beards should have a fine tooth comb in their arsenal. Why? To perfect their mustaches, of course! A fine tooth comb can help you style your ‘stache and trim any unsightly flyaways.
How to Use a Beard Comb
You may think there’s nothing to it; and yet while combing your beard is not an incredibly complicated procedure, you may be surprised (and frustrated) by your first attempts.
The fact is that training your whiskers to do what you want them to takes time. Beard hair is thicker and coarser than head hair in general, and it seems to have a mind of its own.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Here are some tips and tricks for a perfect comb.
1. Prep Your Beard
Just like painting, you’ll want to start with broad strokes before you add detail.
Start with a wide tooth comb, teeth pointing up. Brush the hair from your neckline toward your chin. Then, with the teeth pointing down, brush the sides downward.
This process will give shape to your beard and detangle any knots.
2. Add Style
If you use beard oil (and we recommend that you do), this is the time to apply it. Beard oil conditions your beard hair, making it look and feel softer. It also leaves a protective coating on your beard that prevents damage and makes your beard look shiny and healthy.
Beard oil is especially important for men with dry skin as it moisturizes your hair at the follicle. This helps your hair grow stronger while keeping your skin healthy.
Rub some beard oil on your hands and fingertips and sweep them through your fluffed-up beard. Move your fingertips in the direction of the desired shape of your beard.
Once your beard is lightly oiled, use a fine tooth comb to refine the top layers of your beard. This will help eliminate any static and flyaways.
If you still struggle with strays, you may need to do some light trimming to tighten it up.
3. At Last, the ‘Stache
Now that your beard looks sharp and groomed, it’s time to style your mustache.
You can use a little extra beard oil or a pea-sized amount of cruelty-free and vegan mustache wax to enhance your mustache.
First, use a fine tooth beard comb to brush your mustache straight down. Examine your mustache for any excessively long hairs and trim them. You don’t want to look like you just finished off a feast of spider legs!
Then, comb one side of your mustache out toward your cheek in a downward, sweeping motion. Repeat on the other side.
With a bit of mustache wax, use your fingertips to twist, twirl, or straighten the sides of your mustache. Alternatively, you can add a little bit of beard oil and comb the sides of your ‘stache downward to blend seamlessly with your beard.
Comb Your Beard!
But not too much; we recommend combing your beard no more than three times per day to minimize micro-damage.
Always be sure to clean your comb before and after use. This will help prevent any acne from growing in your beard follicles. Acne could inhibit the health of your beard.
Now go forth and shine, you bearded lion!
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