5 Main Beard Problems and Healthy Beard Tips to Help
Growing and maintaining a beard that you’re happy with can often be more challenging than you first thought, right?
Keeping your glorious display of facial hair both healthy and handsome can bring up some problems that are frustrating, and well, a bit of a pain in the face (pun, entirely intended!).
In this post I’ll cover the following 6 main beard problems and offer some practical beard health tips and advice to overcome them.
Common Beard Problems:
- Itchiness and irritation
- Dry, flaky skin or beardruff
- Coarse, dry beard hair
- Unpleasant beard smell
- Hair loss and patchy looking beard
So, if you’re suffering from any of the afflictions above, read on sir.
As a holistic therapist, my background is in helping people feel better both physically and emotionally, and as a personal care product formulator, I approach product development from the same point of view - How can I help my customers feel better overall with this product?
So while you might think that the look and feel of your beard has nothing to do with the rest of your general health, you might be surprised.
Itchiness and Irritation
Itchiness and irritation occur when the skin underneath the beard becomes inflamed and aggravated. This can happen, for example, as a result of a reaction to the actual hair growth on the face with the hair follicles becoming inflamed, to dehydration of the skin, to exposure to harsh beard care products,or to emotional and physical stress. At this point I would recommend the use of a product that has anti-inflammatory properties to calm the inflamed skin. We like to use Meadowfoam Seed Oil in both our Handy Beard Balm and Beard Oil alongside essential oils of lavender, frankincense and bergamot amongst others - all of which work towards keeping the skin smooth and free from irritating itchiness.
You can read more about our Beard Oil here.
Just like on your scalp, the skin under your beard can become dry and flaky, which results in an undesirable dandruff-like effect, or beardruff as it is referred to. It becomes visible as small white flakes as it falls onto your shirt or jacket, and It occurs as a result of the skin becoming overly dry. It can however, be addressed by moisturising the skin, as well as conditioning the beard hair, thereby reducing the dry, scaly effect of the skin. If you’re stressed, perhaps not getting enough sleep, or generally dehydrated and not drinking enough water, then it will be reflected in your skin and you’ll be more prone to conditions like beardruff.
Our AromaBuff Beard Oil is made using natural oils such as Jojoba, which is very like the skin’s own sebum which helps to balance the skin, as well as argan oil which is something of a wonder oil with its moisturising, protective, anti-aging and antioxidant benefits. These oils are helpful in addressing beardruff - you can find out more about our all-natural beard oil and its skin loving ingredients here.
A really good way of improving blood circulation to both your skin and beard hair follicles is to spend a couple of minutes every day massaging your face and beard. Using strong circular movement with your fingers, massage encourages better blood flow to the area, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to circulate more freely, getting rid of cell waste products, and promoting better skin and hair health. You can also stimulate the area using a beard comb like this one. The wooden teeth of the comb can be pressed gently onto the skin encouraging improved blood circulation which will keep skin and hair healthy.
Massaging your face and beard, as well as your scalp will not only feel great, but will help to lower stress levels, as well as reducing muscle tension. Ultimately, your beard will thank you for it as it will look and feel much better.
Coarse, Dry Beard Hair
Often a man’s beard can look bedraggled or unkempt simply because the hair is coarse, and not smooth, making it stick out at odd and unruly angles, or settling in clumps.
This can be due to the beard hair being dry and brittle, or because synthetic beard care products, (and ones that contain mineral oil,) are drying it out further, instead of nourishing it and protecting it.
The hair shaft is porous and absorbs moisture, as well as the products that you use on it. Sometimes if the hair is overly porous, it absorbs moisture but then loses it really quickly again as it cannot hold on to it, leaving it dry and brittle. Other times, the hair pores become coated and clogged, once more leaving the hair dull and in poor condition and unable to absorb proper nourishing and conditioning ingredients - so you need to find the right balance.
The plant oils like organic castor oil, and beeswax in our Handy Beard Balm allow your beard hair to be nourished and conditioned as well as helping to absorb and retain moisture, improving the hair texture and strength. This balm can also be used all over your face as well as on your hands, protecting against harsh weather, and keeping the skin supple and moisturised.
Unpleasant Beard Smell
Just like the hair on your head, if not washed and looked after, your beard can also begin to smell less than fresh. Add to that food smells, perhaps coffee or cigarette smoke, as well as the stale breath effects of mask wearing, and you’ve got yourself a beard that might repel people, as opposed to attract.
It’s important to wash your beard as you would your hair, however a beard-specific shampoo or soap is recommended instead of normal shampoo so as not to harshly strip the beard hair, which could damage it.
This was another factor that I took into consideration when I was formulating the AromaBuff beard care products - as an aromatherapist, I wanted to use essential oils that would have a beneficial action on the skin and beard, as well as having an attractive overall fragrance.
Essential oils can have anti-bacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, some also have skin healing benefits as well as helping to calm inflammation and promote better blood circulation in the area in question. Their fabulous fragrance is an added bonus, helping to keep your beard smelling fresh and gorgeous.
Hair Loss and Patchy Beard Appearance
One of the most common complaints a man can have about his beard is that it’s patchy looking, and doesn’t grow evenly all over. This means that the overall appearance can be scraggy and lacking in fullness.
Some of this may be down to genetics, which is a bit more difficult to overcome, however there are things you can do to help with overall hair growth for a more even appearance.
Hair growth can be affected by things like your diet and your stress levels. Remember, when you’re experiencing stress in your life (of any kind), your body activates its flight or fight mode, and unfortunately today’s lifestyle means that it doesn’t switch back to relax mode very easily.
Fight or flight means that more blood flow will be diverted to your body’s muscles - enabling a quick getaway from a dangerous situation. Activities such as hair growth are not considered necessary bodily functions to escape a stressful situation, so your body doesn’t pay much attention to it. Hence when you’re stressed, you might experience hair loss, as well as uneven beard growth.
This is where face and beard massage can come in helpful again. The massage encourages better blood flow with all its oxygen and nutrients to the area, and also serves to promote relaxation levels, thereby providing better conditions for hair growth.
A diet rich in essential fatty acids as well as the likes of Vitamin C will help to encourage better collagen production which is necessary for healthy skin, and therefore hair growth.
Olive derived squalane is wonderful in helping the skin’s elasticity and suppleness, sinks in really easily and in the feedback I have received from my clients, has encouraged a stronger hair growth. I have included it along with a specific therapeutic blend of essential oils in both the AromaBuff Beard Oil and Handy Beard Balm to help promote wellness both on a physical and a mental level, and ultimately a healthy, handsome beard.
I would love for you to love how your beard looks and feels - no more itch, no more irritation, no more beardruff, no more stale smell, no more patchiness - only a handsome, glorious beard that feels great and looks even better.
You can read more about the AromaBuff Beard Oil here, and the Handy Beard Balm here. They also come in a beautiful set, alongside our sustainably sourced, double sided pear wood beard comb, which you can see here.
If you have any comments or questions about your beard and how to look after it, please feel free to comment below.