Just like the hair on your head, your beard requires regular maintenance and care to keep it looking and feeling its best. You’re likely already familiar with beard grooming products like oils, balms, waxes, and washes, but you can also level up on your beard game even more by simply combing it.
Benefits of Combing
Adding combing to your daily beard grooming routine will not only enhance the appearance of your beard, it will also help keep it healthy. Here are four great reasons to pick up the comb.
1. Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs are both painful and embarrassing, but they can be easily prevented by simply running a comb through your beard. Hairs become ingrown when they grow sideways or bend back and grow into the skin, rather than outward and upward. Combing your beard will align the hairs and ensure that they all grow in the right direction, so you can avoid the discomfort and nuisance of ingrown hairs.
2. Keep Your Mouth Clear
It’s no secret that your beard and mustache are a magnet for crumbs and other food particles. Combing the hair around your mouth will ensure that your follicles stay free of unwanted snacks. As an added bonus, regular combing will help train the hairs to grow around your mouth so you won’t constantly be tasting mustache with your meals.
3. Maximize your Moisturizing
Those moisturizing oils and balms you’re using are great for your beard, but you aren’t reaping the full benefits of these products if you don’t also use a comb. Combing your beard after applying a moisturizer ensures that the product is distributed evenly throughout the hairs, keeping both your beard and the skin underneath it soft and free of irritation.
4. Train Your Hair and Look Amazing
All the product in the world won’t do diddly for your beard if you don’t comb it. Combing aligns and straightens the hair, and over time will train your hairs to grow in the direction and style you comb it. Your beard and mustache are also much easier to style if they are tangle-free. A healthy beard is a sexy beard, and regular combing will ensure that your beard is clean, touchable, and distinguished.
Choosing a Comb
Not all combs are created equal when it comes to your whiskers. Whether your partner has been reminding you to brush your beard, or you want to look your best for a first date or interview, don’t rush out and buy the cheapest comb you can find. To find a comb worthy of running through your beard, you’ll want to compare different sizes and materials. Our team of follicular experts at The Bearded Bastard recommends sticking to combs made of wood or cellulose acetate (natural plastic).
Wood is the comb material of choice for many a hirsute gentleman, and for good reason. Wooden combs have wide teeth that easily glide through beard hairs, without snagging or breaking them. They are anti-static, so they won’t cause hair to snap or get frizzy. These combs also aid in the process of moisturizing, as the wood will absorb both your skin’s natural oils and your beard products. This will not only moisturize your beard from root to tip, but will also condition the comb itself. Much like seasoning a cast-iron skillet, conditioning a wooden comb will keep it in great working condition and will lend the wood a nice color and smell as well.
Wood combs are widely available, highly customizable, and often handcrafted - there’s no reason why a functional accessory can’t also be a work of art! For those Ron Swanson types who appreciate functionality, craft, and natural materials, we recommend the Big Red Beard Comb No. 53 and our own Bearded Bastard Comb.
Cellulose acetate is a natural plastic which is manufactured from purified natural cellulose. Cellulose is derived mainly from either cotton or wood pulp. Cellulose acetate feels similar to manmade plastic, but behaves very differently in comparison. Acetate is lightweight and inexpensive but is static-free and significantly more durable than plastic.
For quality acetate combs, we recommend picking up one of the many excellent Kent combs available. Choose from the 81T Mustache Comb, the 5T Coarse/Fine Comb, or the compact OT Coarse/Fine Pocket Comb.
Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to find a quality comb that works for you. Keep those whiskers straight, fellas!