This is a guest post courtesy of Paul Agelidis, the Founder and Owner at Revolucion, a cigar, tobacco and men’s gift shop in beautiful Vancouver, BC.
If you’re having trouble keeping your beard well groomed, so the hairs look wild, tangled, dry, thin, or dull, it might be because you’re not using all of the right tools. There is a wide variety of tools and products that are specifically designed to help with specific issues related to grooming facial hair.
Beard Brush or Comb
Depending on how long your facial hair is, you should either have a comb or a brush to help groom your beard and mustache regularly. If your beard is particularly thick or curly, even the best beard comb will lose its effectiveness once the hairs are longer than a couple of inches. At that point, you should switch to a beard brush that uses boar hair bristles, the best kind of brush bristles for thick and curly hair.
Both combs and brushes help straighten and train your facial hair to look more straight or have more volume, while also helping promote better health for your hair. The bristles for your comb or brush should be very firm since facial hair is thicker and more coarse than the hair on your head. They also help stimulate your skin and hair follicles, encouraging more natural oil production while also evenly distributing the oil through your beard.
Beard Oil & Balm
What works well in combination with a brush or comb is beard oil. It emulates what your natural hair oil does, but adds other natural chemicals and oils to help shape the hairs, improve its appearance, and maintain hair and skin health. It’s especially useful for people whose beards look and feel dried out and brittle. First, apply the oil to the beard and massage it in gently but firmly. Then, take your comb or brush and run it through the hair until it looks evenly distributed.
If you want something that is a bit better at shaping a harder to control and/or longer beard, you should try beard balm. They contain a lot of the same sorts of ingredients as beard oil but are more of a cream or butter than liquid oil. The difference in consistency helps maintain better hold for your beard after you brush it into the shape you want.
Beard Trimmer & Razor
If you want to maintain a cleanly shaped beard, especially for shorter beards, you’ll want some kind of trimmer and/or razor. A good beard trimmer will come with attachments to trim the hair at various lengths, so you can pick the length you want. You can also use it without an attachment to keep a clean line along your neck or on your cheeks. Trimmers are far more convenient and easier to use than hair clippers for this sort of task.
If you want to maintain a clean shave in a fine line on your neck, or along your cheeks or cheekbones, a razor may do the job for you even better than a trimmer. You may need to trim the hairs down a bit before using the razor, but a good razor can give you a much sharper and closer shave for those parts where you don’t want any facial hair at all.
Beard & Mustache Shears
If you want more direct control of your facial hair or if you want something better for trimming your mustache, then you’ll want a good pair of shears. You’ll want a set designed for facial hair because of how much thicker it is compared to the hair on your head. Facial hair also tends to be more difficult to hold in place as you try and cut it, which is why good beard shears come with microscopically serrated blades to grip the hairs in place better as you cut them.
If you just want shears to trim your mustache you can make do with a smaller sized set, but have a comfortable size for your fingers to maintain better control. If you want shears for your beard as well, you’ll want a larger, longer set to be able to maintain a clean, even level cut. You’ll also want to combine it with a good comb to straighten the hairs as you cut them to an even length.
An underrated tool for grooming and shaping your hair is a good hair dryer. A good one will have multiple temperature settings — preferably, at least hot, medium and cool — with the hot setting not being so hot that they give your beard heat damage. With the right temperatures, you can tame your facial hair into the shape you want much more easily.
Hotter temperature helps loosen the bonds in the hairs, so you can brush or comb them into the direction or shape you want. Then, you switch the dryer into the cooler setting to help the bonds re-establish themselves quickly so they hold that same shape. You’ll also want one with a few different power settings so you can isolate smaller areas without overheating or over-blowing the hairs.