Beard Brushes & Combs (32)
Choosing the Right Beard Brush / Comb
Longer beards can certainly look impressive, whether you’re going for a nineteenth century gentleman or a full on Viking look. But while a beard may be less effort than shaving every day, as those whiskers grow, it can seem like they’ve got a mind of their own. And nobody told you that dry hair can itch -- on both your own face and your partners.
A beard brush or comb is a definite must for men with longer facial hair. A good brush can bring your beard to the next level, making it feel more comfortable and look less tangled or even longer. And by removing the dirt and detritus that can get trapped in the hair, they can make cleaning your beard far easier.
Plus, there’s a reason that women have been brushing their hair for millenia. Hair follicles -- even facial ones -- sit next to glands that produce an oil called sebum. Brushing draws this oil out and makes your beard softer.
It seems like there’s an infinite choice of beard brushes and combs on the market, and it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a quick guide to everything you need to know.
First, some basics.
To brush or to comb?
The first thing you’ll need to decide is whether a brush or a comb is right for you. Brushes are better for dry and bushy beards -- they catch more hair, carry sebum better, and are ideal for working in beard oil, moisturizer and other products.
If your beard isn’t too long or you’re looking for precision styling, a comb might be the best choice for you. They also work better than brushes for finer facial hair. If you generally do your beard grooming after a shower, combs work better with wet hair.
Types of beard brush:
If you’ve chosen to go with a brush, you’ll need to take both the handle and the bristles into account.
Handles generally come in either wood or bamboo or plastic. While many men prefer the feel of a wooden brush in their hand, it’s not the most durable of materials when it comes to water. If you keep your brush or style your beard in the bathroom, you might want to go with a plastic handle. Coated and varnished woods fare slightly better when it comes to water damage, but you can’t beat plastic for durability.
You’ll have two choices when it comes to bristles -- boar bristle or synthetic/plastic. Boar is almost always best, as plastic raises static when it passes through your hair. This can result in a truly unruly beard that needs far more product to keep it in line.
Not only do boar bristle brushes raise less static, they conduct sebum better, giving you the benefit of a far softer beard.
Caring for and maintaining your beard brush:
To get the most out of your brush, wash it with soapy water at least once a week. You might want to use a separate cleaning brush to remove any stray hairs -- if you don’t have one, a humble hard toothbrush can work wonders.
However, if you’re dead set on a wooden handle, you’ll need to be extra careful. Consider just wetting your brush or toothbrush and running it through the bristles instead.
Types of comb:
When it comes to beard combs, the two most important considerations are materials and tooth width.
Combs are generally made from either plastic, wood or rubber. Plastic combs suffer from the same drawbacks as plastic brushes when it comes to static -- while they’re the cheapest combs out there and often the hardiest, you’ll be sacrificing smoothness for durability.
Wooden combs are of course prone to water damage, but they can make for a far better grooming experience. They’re generally static free and come in a variety of wood types -- select sandalwood for a soothing, outdoorsy smell.
Rubber represents a great compromise between the two. While they’re not exactly static-free, they fare far better than plastic, and they’re easier to clean to boot. Plus, they’re hard to beat when it comes to removing tangles -- great for those who tend towards the caveman look.
When it comes to tooth width, both is often best. Wide tooth combs work well for bushy beards and detangling, while fine tooth combs are great for precision styling. Unless you’re keeping your facial hair cropped short, it’s great to have the two in your toolkit. Thankfully, combination combs are also available.
Caring for and maintaining your comb:
Like brushes, combs should be washed at least once a week. Fine tooth combs often benefit from a scrub with your trusty toothbrush, and wooden combs need extra care around water.
Is the brush enough? Examining the extras
Though brushing and combing your beard is certainly best practice, best results are come with a combination of good tools and product. Again, every beard is different, and with so much to choose from, we’ve broken down some of the basics:
BEARD OIL: The classic and most popular beard conditioning product out there, beard oil is a mixture of a carrier oil (usually coconut oil, grapeseed oil or argan oil) and essential oils like sandalwood and lemon oil.
Not only does beard oil moisturize your facial hair to leave it softer, in conjunction with a good brush or comb it’s also great for removing dandruff, flakes of dead skin, and even the remnants of the last bowl of soup you ate. However, it can be pretty messy.
BEARD BALM: Is there anything beard balm can’t do? A combination of beeswax, natural butters (like shea butter) and essential oils, this styling product isn’t nearly as popular as it should be. Not only does it condition your beard, the wax makes it great for shaping, and it’s far less messy than beard oil to boot.
BEARD WAX: Whether you’re styling handlebars or just looking to tame some flyaway hairs, beard wax has you covered. As the name might suggest, beeswax is the main ingredient and there are some essential oils added. But unlike beard balm, a little goes a long way. You’ll get a much stronger hold, but beard wax doesn’t have the same conditioning effect.