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Some years ago no one would have ever thought that there will be a wide variety of beard products on the market by 2019. That peaky thing in your face that the girls used to complain about, all of a sudden became the style symbol number one. Even a moustache is absolutely in again! But all of a sudden you need to think about grooming, barbershops and beard products. Or also about an itchy skin under the beard, dandruff and maybe even a little “stinky beard”? No worries, we’ll find answers to all of the above in this blog post about beard treatment. Let’s dive deeper into why a beard needs treatment, what treatment you should use and how you should choose your products.
Why your Beard needs Treatment in the First Place
Well well. Like with every other part of your body, hygiene is an important topic. I’m guessing that you wash your hair several times a week, right? Then why should it be different with your beard? Your facial hair actually needs some extra attention, as the hair is growing thick and densely. This will make it more difficult for your skin below your beard to breath and to shed. Here a little side notes: Our skin completely renews itself within 28 – 42 days. The dead skin cells on the surface need to take off eventually and if they can’t, you can imagine that it can get messy. If you want to learn more about the structure of our skin you find this in my blog post about Human Skin. Every hair grows out from a hair follicle which has a sebaceous gland attached to it. The sebum or oil produced by this gland nourishes our hair and skin with natural oils and we never want to get rid of it completely. Nevertheless, we also don’t want the residues of old sebum on our skin, as this can clog up the pores.
Why your Skin itches below your Beard
Ever had that itchy sensation below your beard? Yeah, which man hasn’t? There are three reasons why your beard might be itchy. Read on to find why your beard is itchy!
When you shave your facial hair, the hair gets cut off in a straight line. Depending on the quality of the blades, they pull the hair slightly up when cutting. The hair then retreats itself under your skin surface and has to work its way back up, out through your skin. This can itch and will pass, as soon as the hair grew out and loses its sharpness over time. The “older” your beard will get, the better groomed it is, the softer it will be.
As with every dry skin, dry skin under your beard will start to itch. Above I have told you about our natural sebum (oil) that nourishes our skin and hair. If our skin, and hair by that matter, is stripped from that oil it gets dry and prone to irritation. The itch is here, your skin screaming for nourishment. Here you can also experience small flakes of dandruff coming off your skin when you scratch. Don’t confuse those flakes with real dandruff, though! This is just the dry skin cells of your skin flying off. If you want to learn more about dry skin vs. dandruff, read this blog post about our Scalp.
If you have an itchy beard but not because of the upper two reasons, you are likely to have an unhappy beard. I am not sure how to say this diplomatically, but unhappy beards are beards that don’t get a lot of love from their master. By this I am asking you very specifically; How often do you wash, groom and pamper your beard? Has anyone ever made a side comment about some food residues in your beard or you might have noticed it be a bit stinky? It’s time to give your precious beard some love, boy!
How you should Treat your Beard
Online you will find complete beard treatment rituals, habits, tips and videos – some include up to 6 steps!! If this is a bit a lot for you (I, as a woman, completely understand), follow my easy beard treatment tips below.
Wash your Beard on a Regular Basis and use your Common Sense
How often you should wash your beard is of course up to you, but I suggest 2 -3 times a week. I think that the more important thing here is HOW you wash your beard. The tips of your facial hair are maybe easier to wash than to get down all the way to your skin but believe me, it’s worth the work. So be sure, when you wash your beard, to always cleanse the skin below the beard with the wash. I mean, if you wash your hair (probably with a regular shower gel J), you also wash your scalp, right? As the skin on our face is a bit more delicate than the skin on other parts of our body, be sure to use a gentle wash. A gentle wash doesn’t contain harsh detergents (e.g. SLES) and has a skin neutral pH (4.5 – 5).
There are also exfoliating products for beards out there (do you believe it??). The idea behind scrubbing your beard is a deep cleanse, that removes dead skin cells more thoroughly than a regular beard wash. My proposal is the following: Do you have issues with ingrown hair, itchy skin below your beard because of oiliness/hygiene, then you can add an exfoliator to your routine once a week, Do not use exfoliators if you know that your skin is itchy because of dryness! This will make things worse, trust me.
Nourish your facial skin and hair
As you have no cleansed your beard and the skin below well and stripped it of a part of its facial oil, be sure to give some nourishment back! Why you are choosing here is absolutely up to you. There are Conditioners, Moisturizers, Oils and Butters – take the product you feel most comfortable with.
- Conditioners are usually rinse-off products. This means that you have to apply it on your wet hair and wash it off after a couple of minutes.
- Moisturizers are usually leave-in products, so you can apply them and don’t have to wash them out.
- Oils and Butters are similar in their composition but differ in their touch & feel. The beard oil will be liquid and the butter will be hardish – like hair wax. But both consist of different types of natural and synthetic oils, just that solid oils are called butter or waxes. Got it? You will get a shinier beard with oil, but more nourishment with the butter.
No matter for which product you want to go, just be sure to massage it into the beard and all the way down to your skin – that’s the part to need nourishment the most!
If you have any questions about beard treatment or a product, leave me a comment below!