Beards can grow in a load of different directions. You may have first noticed the direction of your beard growth while shaving. When your hair is short touch the hair to try to work out which direction the growth is. It can be frustrating when your beard is just not lying in the direction or form that you want it to. In this article we are going to talk about all of the different options for training your beard to grow down and in the direction that you want it to.
You can train your beard to grow downwards by using a combination of approaches. This includes wetting, combing, pinning, heating, and using products on the problem areas of your beard.
Let’s take a look at the question of can I train my beard to grow down? You may be surprised at how many options you have for tackling this issue.
Can you train a hair follicle?
We have to make sure that we understand what we mean when we talk about training your hair. Hair growth direction cannot be changed. The hair follicles are preformed mostly due to genetics and so you cannot simply change the direction of the hair growth by brushing or using products.
When your beard is short the hair growth direction is extra obvious. That is because the hair has not gotten long enough to be able to be bent into any sort of position. So what we really mean when we are talking about training hairs is using a combination of approaches which will allow you to keep the beard hair sitting in a downward direction throughout the day. In other words the direction of the growth may point upwards but the hair coming out of the upwards pointing follicle will eventually lay downwards.
Quite often cowlicks are a problem for people with particularly wild hair growth direction. If you want to find out more about cowlicks and what you can do check out my other article – beard cowlick, everything you need to know [with videos] – click here.
Let’s take a look at all of the options for training your beard to grow in a downwards direction.
Options for training your beard to grow downwards
The options I’m going to present below can be used in conjunction with each other to increase the effectiveness of each of the approaches. Remember that we are not looking to change the direction that the hair follicle pointing but rather we are trying to get the hairs to sit in a certain direction after they have reached a length where they can be trained into position.
Let’s take a look at the first option which is regular combing.
Combing is one of the most effective and simple ways that you can try to train your hairs to sit in the direction that you want it to sit in. However, just raking through your beard with a comb will not be the thing that trains your hair – if you are too rough you will end up breaking the hairs and create a thin beard.
I recommend that you invest in a natural hair boar hair brush and comb the hair into the position that you want it to sit. You need to work the hair at least three times a day:
- in the morning after a shower – when the hair is wet carefully brush the hairs into their final position. Then as the hair is drying repeat the process. You need to be careful with wet hair as wet hair is the easiest to break.
- In the afternoon – take your natural boar hair brush and repeat the process that you did in the morning. If you need to dampen the hair with a little bit of moisture which will help the hairs sit back in place. You can use a mister or a damp cloth to moisten the hairs.
- Before bed – about an hour before you go to bed repeat the process of brushing your hair into the shape that you wanted to sit and hold the hair in position while you gently blowdry the hair. You can also choose to wear a beard covering or beard hammock while you are sleeping to make sure that you don’t undo the good work that you have done throughout the day.
This approach will make sure that your beard is sitting in the right position throughout the day but will need to be backed up with something a little bit more substantial. We will talk about these options with you in the following options.
In my opinion the best way to train your hairs to sit in a certain position is to use combing in combination with heat treatment and other techniques such as pinning and products.
One of the most reliable and easy ways to ensure that your beard is sat in the right direction is to use hairpins to hold the beard in place.
Obviously, this can only be done on beards that are long enough to be able to pin into place. I recommend that you pin the beard hair in the morning before you head out for your day. This can be particularly useful if you do not have a hairdryer or you do not have enough time to blow dry your hair.
You can use hairpins on your beard as it dries naturally after a shower and a shampoo and condition. You can even get ready for work as the hairpins hold your beard hair in place.
A top tip is to use non-crease clips to pin their hair in the do new direction. Click here to be taken to Amazon to find the creaseless clips.
If you don’t want to buy hairpins you can also braid or Platt the hair into position while it is drying. This is as simple as either tying a small elastic band around the section of the hair to keep it in place or by doing a three stranded Platt over the affected area. You can also use beard weights and cuffs if you need a little bit of extra weight on the end of the hair.
Make sure that you are able to keep the pins in the hair for more than 30 minutes to ensure that after removal the hair sits in the right place. If you don’t have 30 minutes while it is a drying you can use a heat treatment such as a beard straightener or a hairdryer.
Using a heat treatment on a beard is a common practice for many men. That is because using a beard straightener or hairdryer is a great way to reproducibility straighten and hold a beard in place. If you want to know more about beard straighteners and heat treatment check out my other article – should you straighten your beard? – Click here.
Using a heat treatment on your hair modifies the bonds that create the hair shape. Simply heating the hair up and holding into shape modifies the bonds which allows the hair shape to be changed. This is only a temporary solution to creating change in hair growth. As soon as you get the hair wet the bonds will return to their natural formation and so the shape of the hair will be restored to how it was before the heat treatment.
There are two methods for using heat:
- hairdryer – use a hairdryer on a medium or high heat to dry the hair as you hold it in to the final position.
- Hair straightener – you can buy a dedicated hair straightener that is designed to heat and comb your hair into position. They can take two forms either as to flat irons that are pressed together with the hair in between or they are combined with a brush to apply heat while you are combing. Either are good as long as it works for you that is all that matters.
You have to be careful though when using heat. Heat styling creates cracks in the protective cuticle (outside layer) of the hair. This makes it vulnerable to damage from chemicals and sunlight. If you use heat styling all the time the cortex layer becomes degraded which results in dry, frizzy, and fragile hair.
So even though straightening your hair with heat treatment is very effective you must be careful that you don’t overdo it. Once you have your beard in the right position you can utilise products such as beard oil, beard balms, beard wax, or a dry texture spray. This will mean that the hold will last throughout the day.
Products are the backbone of a great looking beard. They can turn a good looking beard into a great looking beard. And provide the hold so that you can train your beard to grow downwards. Here are some of the best things that you can use to train your beard hair.
Dry texture spray
A dry texture spray is a texturizing finisher for hair. Typically it is used on long women’s hair to provide a volume boost, lift and hold. But not all formulas are the same. Some texturizing sprays add shine others are intended for a matte look. I would recommend using a matte look dry texture spray and use it very sparingly on the problem areas.
One of the best text rising sprays for beard at the moment is from Gibs Grooming. It contains a combination of ingredients that when you spray onto your beard provides a dry texture that helps soften the beard hair and hold it in place. Click here to be taken to Amazon to check the current price.
Beard balm and wax
Beard balm contains a holding element such as wax. There are so many great benefits that a good beard balm can provide to your beard. One of the best ways to make beard balm is by combining wax, sheer butter, coconut oil, other oil, and essential oils in your own DIY recipe. Check out my YouTube video where I go through the best DIY beard balm recipe that provides nourishment and hold to train your beard to grow downwards:
By creating your own beard balm you can vary the amount of wax in it so that it provides more hold while you are training your beard. I would recommend against using only beard oil because as soon as it is absorbed it will no longer provide you with hold.
If you do not want to make your own beard wax then you can purchase it from honest Amish at a reasonable price. Look for a beard balm and wax that are made of only natural ingredients and have a high wax component. The more wax in it the easier it will hold your hair’s in position.
Another really impressive way of training your curly beard is with a beard relaxing cream. This is a chemical treatment for your beard and will semi-permanently give you a nice straight beard.
How to use a beard relaxer and straightener
Using a beard relaxer and straightener is incredibly simple. It is something that you can do at home. You can fit it into your weekly or monthly routine with ease. And if you can you shampoo and conditioner you can quite easily use a beard relaxer. Here are the basic steps:
- wet your hair in the shower like you would usually do when shampooing your hair
- apply the relaxing shampoo from the roots to the tip of the hair – divide your beard into smaller sections if you have to.
- Use a fine tooth comb to get the relaxing agent to evenly distribute throughout your beard
- leave the beard relaxing shampoo in for about 30 minutes – go about your normal showering routine
- after about 30 minutes rinse your beard with water to remove the majority of the relaxing shampoo
- once a note of the shower blow dry your beard on a medium heat setting
- use a straightening iron to straighten out any of your curls
- apply the neutraliser to stop the relaxing cream from working and lock your straight beard hair in place
- using the shampoo that came with the beard straightener cream wash your beard three times.
- Towel dry your beard and apply the sealer – this is to seal in and lock the hair in a straight position.
- Finish drying your beard how you would normally do so for example, with a hairdryer, and the process is complete.
Your hair will stay straight for a relatively long time and the new hair growth will be curlier than the straightened part. You can repeat this process once the new growth makes up about 25 to 50% of your beard.
Using a beard relaxer is a fantastic way to remove one step from your weekly maintenance schedule. This semipermanent approach allows you to be confident that your beard will remain straight for many weeks.
The last way, and the most invasive way, is to use a cosmetic surgery procedure to change the direction of your hair follicles. By using a process called follicular unit grafting the cosmetic surgeon can remove and change the direction of the hair growth. Although, there is no guarantee that the hair will retake in its new position.
Surgery should be your last option as it can go wrong and cause more damage than the issue that you were going in there for. This does not mean that people do not want it and a study from 2013 shows that facial hair is able to be transplanted using a procedure called follicular unit grafting and also by using the smallest recipient sites possible to insert the graphs. The study looked at eyebrow, goatee, mustache, and beard transplants. The key points from the study are:
- angulation is a critical point to achieving aesthetic results – the surgeon has to make sure that the recipient sites are as set a shallow angle as possible to the face to create the best results.
- There is a certain danger zone in the beard where pumps can occasionally form. It is located in the vertical central column extended from the lower lip to the chin. Bumps can occasionally form from hairs transplanted in this area.
As long as you speak to a qualified and registered cosmetic surgeon who has done this procedure many times before you shouldn’t have any issues beyond that which is normal for cosmetic surgery.
In this article we have tried to answer the question: can I train my beard to grow down? The answer is that yes, you can train beard hairs to grow in a certain direction once they get past an inch or so in length. The longer they are the easier they will be to train into a certain position. You cannot change the direction that the hair points as it is growing as that is determined by genetics and only a surgical intervention will move those hair follicles.
Using a combination of all of the approaches above (other than surgery) will be one of the most effective ways that you can train your beard to grow downwards. You have an option of combing, products, pinning, chemical straightening and heat treatment to choose from.
Good luck with training your beard hair to grow downwards I’m sure that with the techniques mentioned above you will have a successful result!
I am an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialing different beard styles, I want to share the tips and tricks that I have learned along the way!