Have you ever wondered how to make your beard soft and how to reduce the effects of a beard that feels wiry and almost too thick?
Maybe it’s your girlfriend or wife who hates that rough beard brushing up against her face.
Or maybe you yourself hate the fact that your facial hair feels like barbed wire hugging your cheeks.
Whatever the case; we have provided you this smooth list of methods to naturally soften facial hair and make it silky again.
If you’re here for some fast answers, here are the quick facts:
- The secret to a softer beard is sealing in moisture from showering.
- This is best done by applying beard oil right after towel dampening the facial hair.
- Follow up by applying beard balm 2-3 hours after the oil to further seal moisture.
- Trimming occasionally prevents beard split-ends and helps keep the mane soft.
A coarse beard can be caused by many factors, but most often it’s a combination of poor beard care routine and just simply; a beard that grows super thick.
Other factors like the cold weather can also make previously soft beards turn into barbwire. Men who move into colder climates can often attest to this.
Table of Contents
How to Make Your Beard Softer Naturally
1. Start with a Wash and Hydrating Conditioner
Your washing routine can either make or break your beard.
If you wash too often with a normal scalp-hair shampoo (common beard mistake), you are bound to dry out your beard, strip it from all the natural sebum oil, and over time, make your facial hair dry and itchy like a desert.
To soften your facial hair instead, consider starting from a simple trick of not showering too often, or at least not washing the beard too often.
Experts say that the healthiest and best-looking beard is usually a 3-day beard.
That’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind, as you should be washing the mane 2-3 times per week at the maximum.
The normal scalp-hair shampoo is chock-full of chemicals that can harm the beard growing hormones. It also powerfully strips the natural sebum oil from the skin, which isn’t ideal.
On the beard hair roots and the skin underneath, natural sebum oil is really important for maintaining the softness, while it also keeps beard dandruff at bay.
But what kind of beard washing products to look for?
You should look for washes and conditioners that are 100% free of harmful man-made chemicals and don’t contain any of the natural ingredients that may hurt the beard (some essential oils, for example, are known antiandrogens, you don’t want to use those).
Product-wise, your best bet is to choose the Scotch Porter Washing kit, which has the good beard wash and conditioner available for purchase in the same bundle.
2. Use Beard Oil Right After Washing
One good trick to do right after washing the beard for maximum softness is to apply beard oil to a facial hair that is still moist and only gently dampened with a towel.
This seals in the moisture and helps you maintain the soft beard feeling you normally have after the shower.
And really the original idea of beard oil was to replace the natural oils that you lose when washing the face.
So what better moment to apply it other than right after you hop out of the shower?
While there aren’t any specific beard softener oils, the best oil for making your mane silky smooth has to be jojoba oil.
The reason being that the eicosanoid acid in jojoba is closest to the natural sebum oil of the skin, while its also rich in vitamin E, which can help nourish the skin and prevent beard dryness.
What you should avoid are beard oils rich in polyunsaturated vegetable, nut, and seed oils (almond oil, canola oil, sesame oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower oil, etc). This is because polyunsaturated fat is prone to lipid-peroxidation, meaning that those go easily rancid on the skin when exposed to light, heat, and oxygen, which causes them to harden.
3. Apply Beard Balm for Even Softer Beard Results
Beard balm should be seen as a more nourishing and thicker form of beard oil.
To maximize the softness of your facial hair, consider using about a pea-sized chunk of beard balm 2-3 hours after you showered and applied beard oil.
This helps to create a protective waxy barrier on top of the already sealed-in moisture and beard oil that you used previously and helps to maintain the softness for several days afterward.
There are some products on the market which specifically state that they would be “beard softening moisturizer” or “softening balm”, but after looking at the ingredient lists, those offer nothing special that would make your beard softer than “normal” beard balms would.
In fact, most beard balms suck anyway, since they use polyunsaturated oils in the formulation, which eventually make your beard coarser through lipid peroxidation of the poor quality vegetable oils.
4. Trim the Beard to Remove Split Ends
Like the hair on top of your head, the beard also is prone to split ends.
When your beard hairs are brittle and coarse long enough, they eventually fray.
On longer beards, the natural production of sebum oil is rarely enough to moisturize the whole beard, so the ends get dry and brittle, and eventually produce a split end.
Aside from all the above pointers (oil, balm, quality beard shampoo, and conditioner) you can reduce and remove the split ends by occasionally snipping them off, aka. trimming the beard. This provides a beard softening effect that is pretty much immediate.
The best way to do this is with some quality beard & mustache scissors, and by using a beard trimmer that has sharp enough blades and plenty of power to neatly cut the mane without snagging or pulling (poor-quality trimmer and a bad job at trimming can increase, not reduce, the split ends).
5. Bad Beard Products Give you a Rough Beard
I mentioned above how polyunsaturated fatty acids go rancid and harden up when exposed to light, oxygen, and heat.
This process is called “lipid peroxidation“.
Because of lipid peroxidation, oil-based house paints used the be made from vegetable oils back in the day.
The high number of polyunsaturated fat in them would react with oxygen, heat, and light, causing the paint to go “rancid” and stick & harden into the wall.
Sadly, many beard products use these same type of high PUFA oils, and your facial hair, it’s out there, prone to light, oxygen, and heat.
It doesn’t take long for them to go rancid (if not rancid already in the bottle) and harden up, hurting (not helping) the process of softening the beard.
This is not the only reason you should avoid all beard products manufactured from cheap vegetable oils.
So if you really want to make that beard softer, then consider getting beard products that are very low in PUFA and mixed with stable monounsaturated and saturated oils & fats.
This post is too short to explain all the details and compare oils in beard products, which is why you should look into our big review of the best beard products in 2019.
Well, there you go. Some quick, simple, and natural methods to make your beard soft as silk.
Simply put, you can achieve the smoothest beard of your life by:
- Showering with beard shampoo and conditioner.
- Applying beard oil immediately after the shower.
- Further moisturizing the beard by applying balm 2-3 hours later.
- Trimming the beard occasionally to prevent split ends.
- And avoiding poor-quality beard products.
That’s it. Thanks for reading and keep on beardin’.