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Beard Brush vs. Beard Comb: How To Use And Which To Pick?

When you're building your beard care kit, you'll likely see combs and brushes featured often. How do you know which one is right for your facial hair? Beard brushes and combs both serve the same purpose, but they each have their own benefits. Depending on factors like the length of your beard, hair texture and volume, you'll want to choose the right type of best beard brush, comb or both. We'll also show you exactly how to use a beard brush and use a beard comb.

The art of manscaping takes time to master, but we believe in you, young grasshopper. You might make a few mistakes as you navigate the confusing world of male grooming tools, but we're here to help you learn about the pros and cons of each to help you decide on a weapon of choice.

bearded men bikers talking

Should I Brush or Comb My Beard?

The first thing to ask yourself is, "What does my beard naturally look like?" It might be all glossy and supple after some beard balm and beard oil is applied, but how does your facial hair growth impact the state of your beard in all its natural glory?

Beard brushes and beard combs are both there to serve one purpose - make your whiskers look as distinguished and dapper as possible. But healthy, stylish beards don't just happen. They take work, and the craft has its own unique set of tools that each provide their own unique results.

How To Choose A Beard Brush and Beard Comb

Now that you know how important a beard brush and comb can be, we're going to tell you exactly how to pick the best beard comb and brush for your whiskers. Got a question about wood? Horn? Plastic? What are vegan options? We answer all your questions here. A beard brush vs beard comb isn't a tough decision when you follow the guidelines we're going to share. For example, if you use a beard comb, you will get different results from when you use a beard brush.

How To Pick A Beard Brush

how to brush beard

Let's begin by taking an in-depth look at a beard brush and its functionality. Thick bristles, boar hair for example, are fixed to a handle typically fashioned from wood or a synthetic material, like plastic. Ox horn has also popularly been used as a handle material due to its root in ancient Chinese medicine. Chinese practitioners believe ox horn helps improve the quality of a person's blood, and better circulation leads to a healthier, fuller beard.

The beard brush's shape can either be a traditional rectangle with an extended handle or smaller, oval design that fits into the palm and makes close-cropped maintenance even easier.

The beard brush bristles are the most important part. Natural brushes are made from horse hair or natural boar hair to make natural boar bristles, which distribute sebum across the face and into the hair follicles when you comb beard. You want a beard brush that is both flexible and has firm hair bristles, like a boar hair brush. A flimsy beard brush will not give you the durability and stability necessary to train beard hair to grow the way you want, but one that's too stiff will cause irritation and possibly even facial hair breakage.

For someone with a thin or patchy beard, synthetic materials might not be as gentle as natural beard brushes. This isn't the case for every beard brush, of course, and we advise you to thoroughly investigate each product before you buy. Online reviews are your best friend for beard hair brushes and combs.

Choosing A Beard Comb

A good beard comb has slender teeth that make it ideal for a longer, thick beard or whiskers that require a more robust grooming and styling practice. Beard comb teeth come in two varieties: wide or narrow. Wide-tooth beard combs are ideal for lads with longer, thick beards while their narrow tooth comb counterparts are suitable for blokes who keep their facial hair short, have naturally thin beards or are working on growing out a patchy beard.

We recommend purchasing beard combs made from either wood or horn. While there are plenty of plastic and metal options on the market, neither of these are ideal for a couple of reasons, consider a wood comb instead. First, cheapness. We're not talking about how much you paid but how the product is actually made and how well it performs. A plastic beard comb has fragile bristles that will easily break and tend to generate static; this leads to a frizzy mess that no man wants to deal with when they brush and comb their beard. Metal brushes can do the same, but they're also not advised because they tend to have duller teeth that do no favors to your beard follicles or the skin underneath as part of your beard care routine. Beard combs also fit into a pocket or bag and are handy to have with you at all times.

Benefits of Brushing Your Beard

In addition to feeling good, brushing your beard can also do a lot of wonders for your facial hair. Here are some of its benefits:

  • Brushes can provide excellent exfoliation and deep conditioning when you wash your beard.
  • A high-quality beard brush helps distribute the natural oils on your face, leading to healthier hair and stimulating beard growth for men with thin or patchy beards.
  • They're great for anyone who prefers dry styling versus combing after the shower.
  • Beard brushes create a thicker look and overall produce greater volume; they're also more equipped to help tame stubborn beards of the bushy variety.
  • A beard brush can be used to train the direction of hair growth when you're in the early stages of growing a beard and working on nourishing that baby beard.

We don't suggest using a beard brush if you haven't been growing your facial hair for at least three months. Using a beard brush with a practically bare face or stubble will likely just be scratchy. If you want it for skincare purposes, though, it could be useful to remove dead skin cells and bacteria that lead to acne and ingrown beard hairs.

Men who prefer shorter beard styles will also benefit from a beard brush over a beard comb. The fullness they create can improve the quality of the hair while maintaining a natural luster and smooth texture.

Benefits of Combing Your Beard

Beard combing comes in handy when it's time for a trim or you get into styling. Long-bearded lads will always need a good comb in their beard care kit because it provides the level of precision and control they need to style their facial hair well. Beard brushes are still useful, and you should include it in your repertoire of bearded delights when you take care of your beard, but you may find yourself naturally gravitating more toward a comb if you grow out your whiskers and start rocking a longer or more intricate style.

Beard combs also provide the following benefits:

  • Expert detangling while removing knots without breaking or ripping hair. Remember to always work from the bottom-up to comb your beard.
  • Greater accuracy and precision when trimming or styling your beard with scissors.
  • Ideal for using to detangle and comb beard hair fresh out of the shower.
  • Even distribution of beard oils and beard balms.

Men with mustaches will be particularly fond of a narrow tooth comb due to its precision and gentleness. When combing long beards and mustaches away from the mouth, a beard comb is preferable as it's easier to control and therefore less likely to pull or snag, unlike a thick bristle beard brush.

How Do You Comb and Brush Your Beard?

Now that we've gone over the difference between a beard brush vs. beard comb, it's time to learn how to properly learn how to use a beard brush vs comb. You can't just start yanking a beard brush through your whiskers all willy-nilly! Think of the precious hairs and how hard they've worked to grow. You don't want to just rip them out like they're nothing, do you? You're not heartless, right? Don't worry, we already know that (don't ask how). To help you ensure that you treat your beard with the care and respect it deserves, here is a handy, step-by-step guide on how to use a beard brush vs beard comb, regardless of your weapon of choice.

Step 1: Brush When You Get Up

Brush your beard in the morning to start your day off on a good note. If your facial hair is long enough to look a bit wild in the mornings, then you'll already know why brushing after you get out of bed is a necessity. The same applies for combing. Use short, gentle strokes that follow the natural direction of your hair, and take care while doing it. Brushing too quickly or with too much pressure will lead to skin irritation and broken hair, regardless of brush and comb used or hair bristles. Brush beard once a day.

If you've built up some tangles or knots throughout the day, a little grooming before bed could be helpful, too. But don't get into the habit of overcombing or brushing your beard. This can weaken the integrity of your beard and damage hair follicles, leading to thinning, patchiness and, in the worst case scenario, hair loss.

Step 2: Don't Forget to Wash

bear wash

Whenever you take a shower, make sure you treat your facial hair kindly by using a specialized beard wash. Never, ever use regular shampoo or, even worse, all-in-one body wash on your facial hair. Our eyes are watering just thinking about it. You, sir, need a beard wash that was made for your face.

The Bearded Chap's beard wash features our own specially made beard shampoo that both softens and strengthens hair at once (pure magic) and soothes and moisturizes your skin. We also make beard soap, which provides the invigorating freshness of our bottled washes into a slightly rugged but always charming bar of natural soap.

Your beard wash should be made from natural ingredients that are hand-picked to ensure your facial hair is never stripped of its natural oils and moisture. That's what keeps your beard looking its best, after all. If you need a product recommendation, consider our Rugged Original Beard Wash, which is made from 100-percent natural Australian ingredients and just so happened to win the award for Best Beard Wash at the 2017 Swedish Grooming Awards.

Step 3: Don't Forget the Aftercare

Once you've washed all the dirt, filth, sweat and tears from your beard, it's time to go a step further and apply a generous helping of nourishing beard oil. Conditioning your beard keeps it smooth and prevents itching.

bear balm

We offer several variations of our beard oils, so you can choose a blend that sports your preferred scent. Whether you go for the refreshing lime and juniper aroma of our Gin & Tonic beard oil or the refined spice of our limited edition Tobacco & Vanilla beard oil blend, applying beard oil with a brush or beard comb will keep you smelling great and looking your best all day.

Once you've showered and gotten ready for the day, it's also a good idea to apply some beard balm. Beard balm will allow you to touch up your style throughout the day and ensure you only look like the most refined of the bearded chaps. For our mustachioed comrades, a mustache wax can help you smooth, sharpen and even twist your mustache to perfection.

Step 4: Train the Beast

Your beard is not the master, you are! It takes time to teach those stubborn hairs to cooperate, and some lads have to really work at it. Use your chosen products and beard brush or beard comb to brush your beard in the direction that you are growing a beard in. Doing this every day will help stimulate better hair growth, and you might find that you need to trim less when your hairs are finally cooperating. They'll be so grateful you're finally using the right tools that your whiskers just might settle down and start behaving. Amazing what a little kindness and beard oil can accomplish for your beard follicles, not to mention beard brushes and beard combs in your beard grooming kit.

Step 5: Trim as Needed

Don't over-groom your beard. Many men who are just venturing into the vast, lawless territory of growing out their facial hair make the mistake of constantly trimming. They think that if they constantly snip and shape their loose hairs that their beard will emerge sooner and look even better. As much as we'd love to see an enchanted beard that grows overnight, we know it takes work, patience and self-restraint to have good facial hair.

That means only trimming with the right beard scissors and beard comb when you need to. If you're filling in a patchy beard, it will be harder for you to avoid trimming the stragglers, but hold off! Give your beard time to grow, and work on strengthening the hair and nourishing your skin in the meantime with beard oil and beard brushes as part of your grooming routine.

What Direction Should You Comb Your Beard?

bearded men in front of the mirror

You might read that question and think, "Down, duh," but you'd be wrong. For many men, combing upwards is actually advised as it creates a fuller beard and even adds width. For those with narrow chins or high-set foreheads, upwards combing can help create facial symmetry while emphasizing your natural bone structure. Blokes with oval faces have the best hand of all since they can style their beard in pretty much any direction and look fantastic.

If you want to grow a beard to hide a small chin, then upwards brushing will again help create fullness and add width. If your face is naturally wider or you have full cheeks, then brushing downwards toward the jawline will help create a slimming effect.

The length of your beard should also be taken into account here; those with short, thin beards who want to create thickness should brush upwards. Those with long beards who want to should brush downwards to emphasize length and upwards to create volume.

Keep working at your beard, and you'll be able to develop a beard care and beard grooming routine that works for you.

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