Everyone loves a beard, right? Everyone.
Well, almost everyone. Your beard is not necessarily a feature favored by your girlfriend or whomever you choose to make time with for a make out session.
While her pleas for you to shave it off can sound like whining, try to put yourself in her shoes. Imagine a steel wool pad raking across your pretty, smooth, hair-free little chin with each kiss or nuzzle. Not sexy.
If you still cannot empathize, try making out with the inside of one of your elbows for a moment. Feel the scruff. Get to know the scruff. It is not pleasant.
If you have finally realized that a beard can be a romantic buzz-kill, then maybe it is time to soften it. If you can successfully make those little steel wool pokers a bit more cuddly, maybe she will get a bit more cuddly, too. Maybe you will even get to keep your beard, whatever you named him.
The Cause of the Prickle
Beard hairs are usually prickly to others because they are dry and lack the oils necessary to keep them soft. Additionally, you may need a trim to get rid of split ends and knotty masses. Yes, your beard does need more than soap and water. In fact, stop using soap, altogether.
Before jumping into conditioning and brushing, start with that trim. You may want to visit a barber for a good once-over on the split ends and to even out the growth. Or, you can try doing this yourself. Keeping the ends trimmed helps it look much better, feel better and pass through some rough scrutiny of the nocturnal sort.
Below are a few routines you can try, to see which most effectively softens your beard. When trying these routines, give each about two weeks before judging. It takes time for your beard hairs to adjust to moisturizing. Changes will not necessarily happen overnight. When you do see results, keep that routine going permanently for permanent softness.
– Shampooing and Conditioning
– Beard Oil and Balm
– Drying and Brushing
1. Shampooing and Conditioning
For this routine, wash your beard daily with cool water only for six days. Follow that cool rinse with conditioner only. Use a high quality, moisturizing conditioner. Rinse in cool water. Do not ever use hot water, as it leaves hair brittle, dry and frizzy.
One day per week, use a quality, sulfate-free, paraben-free shampoo with warm water. This argan oil shampoo from Pure Nature Lux Spa is a good choice. Follow this with a quality conditioner that you can leave in your beard for several minutes. Rinse in cool water. Remember to not use any hot water on your beard, ever.
On that one day per week you shampoo and condition, apply jojoba oil to your beard after it is dry. Use only about three to six drops of this oil, rubbed between your palms and fingers, then through your beard. Work the oil through the roots to tips, also applying at your skin for moisturizing at the follicles. This oil will also provide a nice sheen to your beard, making it smooth and great smelling for your girl.
2. Beard Oil and Balm
Every morning, after washing your beard and face with warm water, add a few drops of beard oil to your palm and rub your hands together. It is important to use warm water as it will ready your pores for absorption of the oil. Comb your hands and fingers through your beard, running the oil from root to tip. Remember to massage it into your skin beneath your beard, too. This moisturizes your beard and skin.
Each evening, rub a small bit of beard balm between your palms until it is warmed. Then rub the balm through your beard. This helps fight split ends and knotted hairs. Quality beard balms contain three key ingredients in their formula. Those are shea butter to condition, almond oil for growth and beeswax to soften and seal in moisture.
Not sure what to use? See the top 13 best beard oils and where to buy them.
3.Drying and Brushing
Invest in two brushes. First, you will need a good beard brush for the shower. This will exfoliate the skin under your beard and helps to stop itching and flaking. It also removes dead skin, excess oil and buildup.
The second brush should be a boar’s hair brush like this one from ZilberHaar. This is a very soft brush good for spreading healthy oils from roots to tips of your beard hairs. It also stimulates the skin for new growth. It is always important to brush the direction you want your beard to lay.
If you want to dry your beard using a hair dryer, do so on low heat. Dry and brush at the same time, in the direction you want your beard to lay.
Each of these grooming methods will improve your beard’s softness, growth and appearance. They will also improve your chances at some beard on non-beard time. With proper grooming of your hairy best friend, you can actually stand a chance of keeping both the beard and the girl. That is, if you still want to keep both.