Beard 911: Dry, brittle, flaky facial hair

I live in a cold, dry climate and my beard naturally lacks moisture so I have to bolster my hair’s minimal moisture with conditioners, oils, and balms.  Many beard oils are available on the market today and most of them are pretty good.  Things to look for when selecting a beard oil or balm is an avocado, almond, grapeseed, or coconut oil base.  These oils are similar to the oils in human skin and hair, and are therefore more easily absorbed than other oils.  Organic, all-natural, and vegan oils are readily available if those kinds of things are of importance to you but that all comes down to personal preference and I am ill-equipped speak to yours.

I make my own beard oil and beard balm from scratch using a variety of carrier and essential oils, beeswax, and natural conditioners.  In a future post I will be providing a few recipes and sources for supplies in the event that you want to try your hand at making your own beard-care products.  For now we’ll focus on the process of repairing damaged hair and keeping it supple and healthy.

The first step on your journey to a healthy beard is to trim all of the dry, split ends away with a pair of barber’s scissors.  A decent pair can be had for 15 bucks on Amazon or at your local drug store.  If you’re particular, you can find a pair just for your beard.

To begin you’ll need a beard wash.  The hair on your face is very different from the hair on your head, and regular shampoo can dry out and severely damage your beard.  Again, I make my own beard shampoo but there are many quality products available for purchase as well.  Look for a gentle, castille soap based product, or simply use liquid castille soap.  As far as commercial products go, I fancy Bluebeard’s Beard Wash.  It does a great job cleansing without drying out my hair, it smells great, and it contains deep conditioning oils that repair damage.  Apply your beard shampoo, homemade or commercial, just like your normal shampoo.  Your beard may require a couple of weeks to adjust to the new soap, but once it does you’ll be thrilled with the results.

Once you’ve washed your beard with a gentle shampoo you need to use a heavy conditioner in the shower during your normal routine.  I don’t make my own conditioner, and instead use Mane N’ Tail conditioner, originally made for horses.  The best thing about Mane N’ Tail is that it’s made to be rinsed out like most human conditioners, or left in the hair all day which is my preference.  I chose this conditioner because it’s less expensive than making my own conditioner and it works like a dream.  A little goes a long way, and I’ve only had to buy one bottle in the past year.  If the idea of using a veterinary product on your face is weird for you or if your beard is in really bad shape, Bluebeard makes an intensive repair rinse-out conditioner that works wonders despite being pretty pricey.

Once your beard is trimmed, washed, and conditioned, you can towel dry it and comb in your favorite beard oil.  If you’re new to the world of beard oil, I suggest Badass Beard Care’s Sandalwood and Vanilla .  It is specifically formulated to stop beard itch, nourish hair, and minimize dry flaky skin.  I’m intrigued by The Blades Grim‘s “Smolder” oil, but I haven’t had occasion to try it.  If you check it out, please drop me a line and let me know what you think.

I follow up my homemade beard oil with a beard balm made from beeswax, lanolin, and conditioning oils.  Balm not only seals in the moisture from the oil but also helps style and tame bushy beards like mine.  When I don’t have my own concoction, I use Wild Willie’s Beard Butter.  The consistency is good for my course facial hair, it smells amazing, and I like the effect it has on my beard’s texture.  I always comb in my balm to ensure even distribution throughout my beard.

I also take vitamins to promote hair growth and I’ve noticed a colossal difference.



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