Thick, thin, patchy, or full, much of the appearance of your beard is entirely out of your control.
Men who decide to grow a beard often wonder how they can make it appear straighter and if any products can assist in straightening these naturally curly hairs.
Here are a few solutions at your disposal:
A Straight Beard Must Be a Clean Beard
Before you bake in pollutants, dirt, and excess oils into the shaft of your beard follicle, it’s essential to clean out your beard correctly.
However, when cleaning your beard, avoid using a standard bar of soap, as it will likely lead to dryness as it will strip away dirt and oil. Natural oils that your skin produces are vital in keeping your beard both soft and nourished.
Instead, what you want to use on your beard before you straighten is beard soap.
Beard soaps 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 complementing the natural oils found on the surface of your skin.
Drying Your Beard Once You Exit The Shower
After you have cleaned your beard, make sure that you pat it dry rather than rubbing it.
- Pat drying your beard will prevent the follicles from getting tangled. This is important, especially if you have a longer beard, as it may be tougher to straighten.
- Over rubbing of your beard may cause breakage of your facial hair.
Blow Dry Your Beard
Whether you are trying to get your hair ready in a pinch or simply attempting to achieve a straighter beard, a hair dryer be a helpful tool to your arsenal.
When using a hair dryer, there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind:
Don’t apply too much heat.
While you might want to get the task done as soon as possible, just turn the heat to medium.
Too low, and you will be sitting there for a long time. Too high, and you may cause dryness to both your skin can beard.
Now when it comes to blow-drying your beard, there is a key method 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.
Keep making 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 your comb and begin going in a downward motion.
During this step, you will want to straighten your beard with a comb 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
While a blow dryer may be readily available in your bathroom already, another tool that will achieve better and straighter results will be a flat iron.
Flat irons can manage the most unruly and curly of beard follicles.
However, when it comes to a flat iron, you must be careful.
Here are a few cautionary steps:
- When heating the flat iron, be sure that it’s on a flat water-free surface and keep any kids away.
- When using a flat iron, you don’t ever want to let it rest on the part of your hair follicle for too long. Excessive heating of your hair may ultimately kill the shaft or warp the facial hair permanently.
- 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.
But with all its caveats, a flat iron will yield the straightest results.
When using a flat iron, the operation is pretty simple:
- Step 1: Blow dry your beard.
- Step 2: Comb it down to straighten it out.
- Step 3: 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.
- Step 4: Make a slow downward continuous motion towards the follicles’ tip.
- Step 5: Continue making 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 broader plates that are designed for top-of-head use.
Conditioning With Beard Balm To Retain Shape
So, you might have just worked to straighten out your beard completely; 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 regularly, you must 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 and essential oils) in addition to butter and beeswax.
Beeswax in beard balm provides a light to medium hold.
Be gentle with the application and start from the follicle base 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.
Comb to straighten once applied.
Is That All you Need To Know When Straightening Your Beard?
Pretty much, yes!
You will now have a much straighter and great-looking beard!
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.