How To Get Rid Of Beard Itch in 5 Steps
So you took the plunge, and decided to grow that fashionable, luxurious beard that you have been thinking about doing for years.
You look great, feel great and it's bringing confidence to your life.
But then you start to notice white dust appearing on dark clothing. Then you notice your face starting to itch.
You try to ignore it, but over a few weeks, the amount of irritation grows, causing even more beard dandruff, and possibly an increasingly visible and painful rash.
So the bad news is that you are suffering from beard itch. What do you do? Can it be stopped, or has your new beard been ruined by the need to scratch like a dog with fleas?
Will A Beard Always Itch?
There is some good news here. Although your beard could always itch, generally, the scratching will naturally over time.
Part of the growing process, and the adjustment, is the itching of the skin. So beard itch is completely normal.
With some simple grooming, and following some top tips, it's perfectly possible to minimize even the worst beard itch to the point where you don't even notice it.
So let's take a look in detail, at the ways you can help to minimize beard itch, and get on with your life.
1. Keep your beard clean
Basic daily grooming will go a long way to help with minimizing beard itch and the dreaded beard dandruff problems.
Washing your beard will keep it clean, keep the skin in good condition, and stop the build-up of particles in the hair.
It's not just external things that collect in the beard, your skin sheds cells all the time, thousands of them every single day, straight from your face. With the hair on your beard acting as a barrier, unless you wash these away daily, they build up, creating problems with dandruff, and blocked follicles.
It's simple to clean your beard daily. Just get your hands on a dedicated beard shampoo and conditioner. Then gently rinse it in warm water, washing in all directions.
Make sure the water is lukewarm, because that's the best temperature for your skin.
Finally, Pat it dry, don't rub it vigorously with a towel, that just creates abrasion which can bring back the itch and dandruff. But do make sure that you dry your face and hair thoroughly, as damp skin can dry out and become even more itchy. If you are going to use a moisturizer, a great time to do it is while the skin is still warm from using the warm water to wash it with.
2. Use a moisturizer
Using a good quality moisturizer will keep skin soft, and minimize scaly skin, which causes dandruff and itching.
It will also help to keep your beard hydrated, and minimize daily problems.
You could just use moisturizing cream or lotion, but it's recommended to invest a bit more money in a specialist beard oil, or beard balm.
Moisturizing daily has two benefits:
- It will keep your beard and skin moisturized
- It will help to keep your beard looking good, and allow you to shape it
Even a few drops of beard oil, or good quality beard balm, applied each day, will help to keep your beard soft, keep it looking good, minimize dandruff, and if you pick the right one, keep the hair follicles healthy.
A good quality beard balm, or oil, that can keep follicles healthy will include something like jojoba oil. Oils like this are high in natural antioxidants, are anti-inflammatory, and are also naturally antibacterial. So always look for a beard oil balm, that contains this type of oil.
3. Trim your beard regularly
Just like the hair on your head, the longer it gets, the more prone you will be to the hair splitting, and being in poor condition.
It's not rocket science to work out that the longer and more wild the hair growth is, the worse it will itch. It will start to retain more debris, and be more difficult to keep in good condition.
Make sure you use a high quality beard trimmer to achieve a good, clean cut. This is important, and the cheaper the beard trimmer, the less well it will cut the hairs cleanly, and will leave potential damage.
Another top tip while you are trimming your beard is to look for ingrowing hairs. When you spot one, use a pair of clean, accurate, tweezers to pull those little blighters out cleanly.
You'll learn to spot ingrown hairs by the small circles of red and inflamed skin that they create. The hair will be in the middle of that. Sometimes you may need to pull away the top layer of skin to get at the hair, which is why it's essential everything you use is clean.
4. Brush or comb your bearded daily
One of the simplest things you can do to improve the condition of your beard and skin, to reduce beard itch is to brush, or comb it on a daily basis.
There are three main benefits to brushing your beard every day:
- You physically remove dandruff and other debris
- You stimulate the hair follicles
- It straightens the hair and helps to reduce frizz and split ends
You won't get a great result, unless you purchase a high quality beard brush or comb.
There are plenty out there, which are specifically designed for facial hair. A good quality beard brush will have the following characteristics:
- They will be made with strong, high-quality bristles. These are usually synthetic, but the best of beard brushes tend to be made with natural boar or horse bristles. We would actually always recommend boar bristles, because they can retain the oils you use, meaning they will help to condition as well as untangle the hair.
- The handle will usually be made of high-quality wood, which feels comfortable in the hand. An experienced beardsman will know just from picking a brush up, whether it will work for him, and it will take a bit of trial and error with more than one brush, to find the one that most suits you.
5. Create your own natural beard masks
No, we aren't talking about making a little burglars mask your beard to wear when you go out. A mask is a combination of ingredients that you work into the beard and underlying skin, to improve the health and condition of your beard.
A good quality beard mask will contain butters and oils which not only help to protect and condition the skin and hair, but that will also contain natural anti-inflammatories, and antibacterial agents, to protect the hair follicles.
Some commercial beard balms and beard butters contain oils that have these natural benefits, but for the avoidance of doubt, you are looking for oils like:
- Coconut oil
- Shea butter
- Jojoba oil
- Neem oil
Basically, oil is high in short-chain fatty acids. Do a search on Google, and you will find the oils that contain these. The short-chain fatty acids have natural anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties which can help protect the hair follicles. Healthy hair follicles mean healthier skin, and healthier beards, which all equal less itchiness.
The great news is that the ingredients are incredibly cheap, which is why a lot of people don't bother buying a commercial product, and create their own instead. Using the ingredients we've already talked about, this is really easy:
- Put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of Shea butter, a few drops of Jojoba oil and a few drops of Neem oil, into a plastic container. You can also add an essential oil if you'd like a nice smell.
- Microwave for a few seconds to thoroughly soften the ingredients, then mix them together well.
- Decant the liquid into a small, screwtop container.
- Scoop out a small amount once it has set, rub it in your hands to start to turn it to liquid again, and then apply it to your beard and face. Work it into the beard, so that the underlying skin and follicles are also covered.
- Leave this beard mask on for around two hours, and then gently wash off using a mild shampoo.
- Following that simple process twice per week will really help to minimize the effects of beard dandruff, and reduce tangles and beard itch.
And Finally, Don't Be Dirty!
The underlying skin and hair follicles can be damaged through bacterial growth and dirt.
On top of that, the hair can become greasy and matted if it is not kept clean.
Apart from regularly washing your face and beard, you should also make sure that you wash your bedlinen.
Dead skin cells, bacteria, grease, and other nasties all hide in your bedlinen. You then spend eight hours a night rubbing your face in them.
So changing your bedlinen every few days will help to increase the quality of your grooming routine, and minimize the displeasure you will experience from beard dandruff and beard itch.