THE BEARD BRUSH
Understanding the role of the beard brush
in attaining proper & careful beard maintenance
in attaining proper & careful beard maintenance
No matter the quality of the brush that you pick up, there are still key things to keep in mind when maintaining a healthy beard. First and foremost, the type of beard product that you use within your beard is critical.
If you are experiencing itchiness or general irritability while growing your beard, this is due in large part of your skin drying out due to your beard literally sucking up all the sebum oil from your sebaceous glands.
Therefore many beardsmen use a products such as beard oils and beard balms, and to a lesser extent, beard butters. These products contain carrier oils, that do a terrific job in providing all the moisture and nourishment is lacking.
You have likely been using or have used carrier oils in the past since they are incredibly common in all natural beauty products such as shampoos, high quality shaving creams and soaps, and even lotions as well.
Carrier oils are derived from nuts and seeds such as jojoba (being the most common of all carrier oils), argan, grapeseed, and sweet almond to name a few.
Therefore if you are just simply using a brush with no complimentary products such as a high quality beard oil or balm, we strongly recommend that you add one of these products to your beard maintenance collection.
Even the best beard brushes will only perform subpar in trying to both make your beard look great while also feel great as well.
Looking At The Different Fibers That Make Up Beard Brushes
Beard brushes just like beard combs and even shaving brushes, come in all different types of fibers. However, generally speaking the most popular beard brush fibers are going to be the following:
The defacto standard for beard brushes is without a doubt will be those comprised of boars hair. Boars hair prevalence is so wide spread and popular with beardsmen everywhere due to its complementary features to both your beard and beard related products.
One of the unique and advantageous properties of boars hair is its ability to naturally retain oils when the bristles come in contact with them. This natural retention is key to ensuring that that with every stroke of the beard brush, you will get an even coating of oils throughout your beard. This will ensure that your skin and the entire shaft of your beard follicle, both appear healthy and feel incredibly smooth. This will ultimately help to reduce the risk of beardruff and beard itch.
As we eluded for a moment in the previous section, given the tremendous benefits of carrier oils, a brush bristle that can evenly coat your beard will oils, such as one made with boars hair, will always be preferred by fellow beardsmen.
Horsehair, on the other hand, is a bristle type that is starting to make its way back in to men’s (and women’s) beauty products. Back around World War I there was an anthrax scare which greatly reduced the use of horsehair in all sorts of products, including shave brushes, therefore completely irradiating this great fiber from the medicine cabinet.
However since then, we are seeing beard brushes comprised of horsehair starting to take hold.
Horsehair, like boars hair will hold quite a bit of oil when brushed through the beard therefore making for a great coverage of oils along your beard follicles.
But there’s a catch. Horsehair typically is not as rigid as boars hair, therefore making this fiber a bit better suited for men with thinner and shorter beards.
The last bristle type that beardsmen may rely upon will be synthetic brushes. Typically made from a plastic or wooden spokes with plastic nubbed ends, synthetic brushes will cater to the animal conscious beardsmen.
With all the terrific advantages given to both boars and horsehair brushes, synthetic brushes have really struggled to find their way within this corner of the market.
With the key advantage of re-distribution of oils within your beard that you experience with animal hair based brushes, synthetic brushes just simply can’t perform nearly as well. Therefore given this current shortcoming, we have not reviewed any synthetic brushes as part of this review guide.
Just to note:
Whether the bristle is made from boars hair, horse hair, or synthetic, one thing to be mindful of when selecting a brush is the cut of the actual bristles. Optimally you don’t want to have a brush has bristles all at the same length.
The purpose of the offset bristle length is to ensure that with each stroke of the brush every hair is being groomed all the way down to your skin. This is key to further ensure even distribution of oils within your beard.
In addition to the bristle type of the brush, you will want to make sure that you do clean out your brush on a regular basis to ensure long term performance and sanitary reasons.
A good rule of thumb is to simply clean out your brush about once every week or two. This will help reduce the occurrence of tangles with your beard that can lead to breakage and general snagging when using a brush.
A Quality Brush Doesn’t Mean You Can Brush RegularlyNo matter the quality of the brush that you use on your beard, whether its a high end boars hair bristle brush or something that was picked up from the corner drug store, its important to keep this simple rule in mind:
Don’t brush your beard more than a few times a day.
Over brushing of your beard will lead to a lot of unnecessary stress on the root of the follicle, of which may cause follicle breakage and of ultimately having the hair completely pulled out as well.
Typically, you would want to brush your beard before you head out the door (assuming you have already applied a beard product to it). The second time you may want to brush your beard is in the evening if required for a special occasion.