Beards attract a lot of attention, but you want to attract the right kind of attention. For black men, beard care is different. That’s just a fact.
Whether you are looking for ways to keep your beard looking fresh or considering growing a beard for the first time, you need to know precisely how to maintain it.
As a black man, I know that beard care for black men is unique, and I am here to help you get the best results, so you can enjoy this look.
Why Beard Care for Black Men is Different
For black men, beard care is different because our hair is more coarse and curly. That means you are more likely to encounter skin irritation related to grooming and growing out your beard than other men.
When you grow out curly hair, you are more likely to have ingrown hairs than men with straighter, finer hair. Ingrown hairs are common for several reasons. First, when you shave, you create a “sharp” edge on the strands. These hairs then curl back and get stuck in your skin.
The result is nasty looking pimple-like bumps and irritation. However, there are things you can do to treat and prevent ingrown hairs.
Your beard might also take longer to grow. So, you will need to be patient if you want to achieve a full beard. Know that the effort is worth the reward.
Growing Out Your Beard
If you want to grow a beard, you first need to commit to it. At first, your beard might be patchy. However, with proper maintenance, you can make it look much better. If you give up early on, you will never achieve a thick beard that you are comfortable wearing.
For black men, beard care is all about healthy skin. So, when you are starting out, it is vital to make sure your skin is healthy, moisturized, and exfoliated. Make sure while your beard is growing out that you wash your skin daily with a high-quality face wash.
You should also use an exfoliating scrub when you first start growing out your beard. Then, every few days, in the beginning, use the scrub to help prevent dead skin buildup and flakiness.
You should also moisturize your skin at least once and preferably twice a day. A good moisturizer does more than just keep your skin smooth. It prevents a host of skin-related issues, and it helps skin appear healthier.
Having great skin will help you be confident as you grow your beard, and it will help you avoid irritation that many men encounter as their beard is initially growing out.
Nutrition is an integral part of beard care for black men. Eating a proper diet helps you to see better growth results. You want to make sure you are eating plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids. Some of the foods that are high in these healthy fats are:
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Canola oil
Drink Plenty of Water
It is also essential to drink plenty of water. Water hydrates your skin, which helps to prevent ingrown hairs. It also increases blood flow to the surface of the skin, which will help your hair grow faster.
You might be wondering what working out has to do with growing facial hair, but working out helps you to maintain healthy testosterone levels. Testosterone is critical if you want to produce a full, healthy beard. So, it is essential to add physical activity to your life.
Most people are aware that stress has many adverse effects on your physical health, but it also harms your appearance. High stress increases cortisol, which reduces testosterone. Stress also affects your immune system, which means breakouts and ingrown hairs will take longer to heal.
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is essential because when you sleep, your body repairs damage. You might also want to make sure your room is completely dark when you sleep because when you are in the dark, your body produces the hormone melatonin. Melatonin helps to protect your hair follicles, and it promotes hair growth.
Keep Your Beard Healthy
Once you grow a beard, you have to keep it healthy, so it looks good. An unkempt beard is a significant turnoff. It does not portray a desirable image, and it is the first thing people will notice when they see you.
Washing Your Beard
You should wash your beard daily to keep it in good shape. Cleansing daily is essential because even if you do not touch your face, dirt and pollutants get on your hair and skin. If you do not remove them daily, they can cause major skin problems.
Breakouts at the hair follicle can cause hair loss that, when left untreated, could become permanent. So, it is always a good idea to keep your facial hair and skin clean.
When cleaning your facial hair, regular shampoo is not the best option. Most shampoos have chemicals that can dry or damage your beard. Instead, it is a good idea to use products made for facial hair.
Products formulated for use on your face will clean the area without stripping the natural oils that protect your facial hair and keep it looking healthy. For black men, beard care is about finding the products that work best for you.
Even cleaners made for black men will not work for everyone. So, you might need to try several before you find the right option.
Moisturizing Your Beard
In addition to cleaning, you need to moisturize your beard. There are beard oils you can use to maintain a fresh look.
It is important not to use anything that is too oily or that breaks your skin out, though. A little goes a long way.
If you are into natural products, coconut oil is a great beard moisturizer. The essential oil helps to keep your hair in excellent condition, and it combats skin irritation as well. The drawback of coconut oil is, if you use just a little bit too much, it ends up looking greasy.
If you do not like the way coconut oil works, try a specially formulated beard balm or oil instead.
Trimming Your Beard
Trimming your beard is an essential part of beard care for black men. Even if you want a longer beard, you should regularly trim to keep a fresh look. It is better to trim your beard before it needs to be trimmed because, by the time you need to cut it, there is likely already damage.
It is a good idea to go to an experienced barber. They have training, so they know how to cut the hair, so you get the best results. Experts suggest weekly trims, though, which can get expensive.
If going to the barber every week is not in your budget, you can do it yourself. However, I suggest you at least go to a barber first to let them shape it.
Once you have the shape you want, you can maintain your beard at home yourself with a pair of stainless steel beard scissors and an electric beard trimmer.
If you do decide to cut it yourself, be patient. If you do not have the time to take it slow, wait until you have more time. It is better to wait to groom than end up with uneven results.
Combing and Brushing Your Beard
Combing and brushing are both essential steps in beard care for black men. It is important to comb your beard regularly because it helps to prevent hairs from becoming tangled. You should also brush your beard daily with a boar bristle brush.
Boar bristles are natural and soft, so they do not cause damage. Brushing helps to promote growth by increasing circulation to the hair follicle. Plus, it helps to distribute natural oils that protect your beard evenly.
When choosing a comb, you should make sure the teeth of the comb are smooth. A comb with smooth teeth prevents pulling, which causes split ends or even damage to the hair follicles resulting in loss of hair.
Common Beard Problems and Remedies
Regardless of how well you maintain your beard, at some point, you will encounter issues. So, it is crucial to know how to fix them. Many people lose confidence when their beard does not look the way they want, so they shave only to regret it afterward. You do not want to fall into that trap.
Uneven Hair Growth
Your beard is not always going to grow at the same rate. Some areas might take longer to grow in than others. The good news is a good barber can cut your hair, so the longer areas mask the shorter areas. Brushing and combing your hair also helps with this issue.
Ingrown hairs should not be as big of a problem once your beard grows a bit. You can get them after you get your beard trimmed, though. However, combing frequently helps to move the hair strands around, so they do not get stuck under the skin.
If you do get ingrown hairs, gently lift the hair with a sharp pair of tweezers. Do not pick at the area because you can cause an infection. You can also apply a warm washcloth to the area to soften the skin, which should help you lift the hair out. Once you get the hair out from under the skin, any bumps should go away fairly soon after.
If you have flaking or dry skin, there are likely two reasons. Either you are not moisturizing enough, or you are not cleaning your beard well enough. Buildup can develop under your hair, causing unsightly flakes. However, you can quickly remedy this by thoroughly washing your beard.
Beard itching is a common ailment men face at all stages of growth. Some of the reasons you might experience itching are:
- Hair growth
- You need to clean your beard more frequently
- A reaction to chemicals
- You need to moisturize
Paying attention to the times when you experience itching can help you decide what course of action to take. If you are in the beginning stages of growing out your beard, you likely just need to give it a little time.
If you have dry skin, you might need to moisturize, or you could be experiencing irritation from a product you are using. If you moisturize and still have itching, you might need to find different products to use.
Folliculitis is irritation or an infection of the hair follicles. It can develop on any part of your body. However, it is common in areas where there is friction or where you frequently have ingrown hair. You can also get it from unclean grooming tools.
If you have folliculitis, it is crucial to treat it because it can permanently damage the hair follicles. The result is a patchy beard, and no one wants that.
You will need to clean all of your tools regularly and treat your beard with an antibacterial wash. Folliculitis is often persistent, so you have to be consistent to remedy it.
Breakage is particularly frustrating. It can develop over time, and before you know it, your beard is uneven. If you start to develop this problem, you might need to moisturize more frequently. Black men, beard care, is unique because our hair requires more moisture to prevent breakage.
It is also a good idea to pay attention to how often you touch your face. Without realizing, many men frequently touch their beard, which can cause breakage and a host of other problems.
It is true that a lot goes into growing and maintaining a beard. However, beards are a sign of dedication, and they are a symbol of your masculinity and power.
Growing a beard shows people you have a level of commitment to your appearance that not everyone has. Everyone is not able to properly maintain a beard, but when you do, people take notice.