There are bad beard habits…and then there are bad beard habits. Perhaps you’ve seen the viral video of the guy eating ramen and sriracha out of his “Bowl O’Beard”? Using your beard as a bowl is undoubtedly creative, but probably not the best way to promote long-term beard health. You don’t need to do anything as innovative (read: reckless) as the Bowl O’ Beard to cause damage, however. Simple, everyday bad habits, like scratching and picking your beard or using hair shampoo on beard hair, can be extremely damaging to your whiskers.
DO NOT USE REGULAR SHAMPOO – The Case for Beard Shampoo
Shampoo is shampoo, right? On the surface, it seems like a great idea to deep clean your beard with Head & Shoulders. It’ll leave your beard smelling coconut fresh, but you’ll pay the price. Regular shampoo is formulated with a cocktail of harsh ingredients like cetyl alcohol and sodium chloride. The ultimate objective of hair shampoo is removing sebum, or your skin’s natural oil, from your hair. This helps you avoid that filthy, greasy look. But your beard needs that sebum to survive. Using anything other than beard shampoo on facial hair completely strips it of any moisture, leaving your hair dry and brittle, and leaving it at risk for excessive breakage.
Beard shampoo is the necessary alternative. It contains natural ingredients, like coconut and jojoba oils, that condition and moisturize while also cleansing. Proper hydration promotes healthy growth and also keeps the skin underneath your beard moisturized. You’ll still end up with a great-smelling beard—just without the risk of killing it.
Scratching and picking your beard
This is a bad beard habit born out of boredom. You don’t know what to do with your idle hands, so you run them through your beard over and over. It seems like a harmless way to keep your hands busy. And after all, what else are you supposed to do with a full beard? But scratching and picking your beard can cause serious breakage.
The repeated tugging can cause your beard hair to fall out, leaving you with unsightly patches. It’s one thing to have a patchy beard in the early stages of growth. It’s a whole different animal to have patches when your beard is fully grown. Your only option is to shave and start again—all because you don’t know what to do with your hands.
If you want to stop pulling out your beard hair, eliminate the distractions. One reason you might tug on your beard often is the prevalence of tangles. There are plenty of spots in those whiskers where you can get your fingers stuck and play around. Combing your beard fixes this issue. With a couple drops of beard oil and a premium beard comb, you can detangle and style your beard. Then, you’ll have less reason to come back to it. You can even comb it out when you feel the urge to tug on it.
Or, if grooming isn’t the right solution for you, you might need to invest in a stress ball or, if all else fails, just sit on your hands.
Other bad beard habits are less damaging but still important to avoid.
Brushing with a hair brush: This is the same concept as using hair shampoo and not beard shampoo. A hairbrush is designed to detangle much stronger hair. On your beard, it leads to breakage. Invest in a beard brush or comb instead.
Bad neckline trimming: Achieving a killer neckline is a skill that takes practice. Learn how to do it right or consult a professional.
Not moisturizing: The easiest thing you can do to protect your beard is moisturize it. A dime-sized drop of beard oil every morning is all it takes to prevent irritation, itching, and beard dandruff.
Bad beard habits can sometimes be funny (i.e. the Bowl O’ Beard), but in most cases, they can signal the start of irreparable damage. Make some changes to your routine today to keep your beard healthy tomorrow.