Thick, thin, patchy, or full, much of your beards appearance is completely out of your control.
But not all of it…
One common question that a lot of beardsmen have is around straightening their beard.
From simply asking ‘how to straighten beard hair’ to wondering if ‘products to straighten beard hair exist’ we will tackle this issue plaguing so many beardsmen head on.
From physical methods to products that will help straighten out your beard follicles, here are all the steps necessary for a straighter looking beard.
Before A Beard Can Be Straightened It Must Be Cleaned Properly
Before you bake in yesterday’s pollutants, dirt, and excess oils into the shaft of your beard follicle, it’s really important to clean out your beard…
(don’t worry this isn’t a commercial, there is some important facts going on here)
Unfortunately, on the side of many labels, it never specifies what type of beard style that this could be used for when it comes to cleansing your face…
I got news for you guys:
It’s basically good for only those who completely shave their face (i.e. ladies) and those who have an incredibly short stubble.
The kicker when it comes to these cleansers is that they are incredibly good at stripping away both dirt and oil from the surface of your skin.
But unfortunately for any sizeable beard, and one that needs straightening (i.e. yours), you can’t afford to use a standard bar of soap in tandem with the straightening methods outlined below, simply because it will completely dry out your beard leaving you with a brittle mess.
Instead, what you want to use on your beard before you straighten is beard soap.
These are designed a bit differently than a traditional cleanser.
Largely absent of any sort of harsh chemicals, beard soaps will gently wash your face and beard while largely complementing the natural oils (i.e. sebum oil) found on the surface of your skin.
As you will discover in just a minute, you will see why it’s so incredibly important to maintain the moisture levels within your beard prior to straightening.
Drying Your Beard Once You Exit The Shower
Once you have used a beard soap, when you step out of the shower, it becomes incredibly important on how you dry your beard.
First and foremost, you want to make sure that you pat dry your beard.
If you like to rub it vigorously, there are a few things wrong with this method.
First, you will likely tangle up the follicles, especially if you have a longer beard subsequently making it a bit trickier to straighten.
Secondly, the over rubbing of your beard could also cause breakage and pulling of your hair which could lead to general volume loss, and in severe cases, bouts of patches on your face.
Blow Driers Aren’t Just For The Ladies
There is no loss of dignity when using a blow dryer after the shower.
Whether you are trying to get your hair ready in a pinch, or simply attempting to achieve a straighter beard, they can be a useful tool to your arsenal.
When using a blow dryer there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind:
Don’t go too crazy with the heat.
While you might want to get the task done as soon as possible, you need to only turn the heat to medium.
Too low of a heat and you will be sitting there for too long drying your beard, and too hot of air and you may overly dry your beard which can lead to not only dryness on the surface of your skin, but also brittleness of the beard follicle that could ultimately lead to split ends.
Now when it comes to blow drying your beard there is a key method that you need to keep in mind when going through the motions – and that is up and out.
When drying under your chin, you want to get your favorite beard comb, and then continuously comb it outwards (i.e. away from your body) while pointing the blow dryer to the freshly combed area to decrease drying time.
Keep doing this motion for the entire neck and chin area until it’s nearly dry.
As your beard gets nearly completely dry, you will then want to get a comb and begin going in a downward motion.
During this step you will want to straighten your beard as much as possible with a comb in order to set your shape for the day.
For many men, they can likely stop here and be done with straightening their beard.
But for those with incredibly untamed whiskers, you want to keep reading:
A Flat Iron Will Be The Most Effective Method To Straightening Your Beard (But Also The Most Labor Intensive)
While a blow dryer may be readily available in your bathroom already, whether you use one for your hair (or from your girlfriend or wife), another tool that will actually achieve better and straighter results will be a flat iron.
Flat irons are an absolute beast in hammering out even the most unruly and curly of beard follicles.
When it comes to flat irons though, you have to be careful for a few reasons.
Here are a few cautionary steps:
- When heating up the flat iron, be sure that it’s on a flat water-free surface and keep any kids away.
- Secondly, when using a flat iron, you don’t ever want to let it rest on a part of your hair follicle for too long. Doing so will yield disaster for your beard in many ways. This excessive heating of your hair will either completely kill the shaft leading to nearly immediate breakage or severely warp the follicle leading to unintended styling consequences.
- Don’t use a flat iron while your beard is still wet, you will effectively boil the water along the shaft which will cause steam damage. Steam damage will destroy the integrity of the hair follicle and will need to be cut in order to be resolved.
But with all its downfalls, the flat iron will yield the straightest results.
To use a flat iron the operation is pretty simple:
First and foremost, you will want to blow dry your hair so it’s completely dry.
Since a flat iron is effectively two hot plates that are being pressed together, any water found along your hair will lead to steam damage as we eluded to earlier.
Once your beard is dry, you will first want to comb it downward to initially straighten it out.
Once combed, you will then want to open the flat iron and get it as close to your skin as possible (be careful not to touch your skin as it will burn you) and then close the clamps.
As soon as the iron has been closed, you will then want to make a slow downward motion towards to the tip of the follicles.
Never, ever, stop at one point to flatten any wiry hairs.
Doing so will lead to further damage and warping of the follicle.
Continue doing this motion until all your beard follicles have been completely flattened and your beard is looking straight.
If you don’t have a flat iron readily available, we would recommend a smaller one so you will have much more control when compared to the wider plates that are designed for top-of-head use.
This flat iron from AmoVee is a great option given its compact nature.
Conditioning Your Beard With Balm To Retain A Straighter Follicle
So, you might have just worked to completely straighten out your beard, now what?
This step is a bit tricky and one that can be a bit optional for some men.
If you were straightening your beard just for a single occasion, you can likely just leave it as and skip on any conditioning product (i.e. oil or balm) for the day.
However, if you are straightening out your beard on a regular basis, it’s critical that you get some sort of moisture and nourishment on both your beard and skin.
Repeated straightening will be incredibly tough on the follicle and therefore an application of beard balm should be considered.
Beard balm contains all the great ingredients that beard oils have (i.e. carrier + essential oils) in addition to butter and beeswax.
But beyond the moisture for both your skin and beard, the critical component in beard balm that you will like is definitely going to be the beeswax.
Beeswax in a beard balm gives a very light to medium hold, and therefore should help to keep your beard looking straight long after you had used a blow dryer or flat iron.
Be gentle with the application and start from the base of the follicle and make your way to the ends.
Also, be sure to only apply beard balm after using a blow dryer or flat iron, application prior may yield unintended consequences.
Is That All you Need To Know When Straightening Your Prized Beard?
Pretty much, yes!
You will now have a much straighter and well-kempt looking beard that you ever did before!
For more great bearded guides on Tools of Men, check out our highly curated beard content catalog.