Do Beard Care Products Prevent Split Ends?

Developing split ends in your beard is inevitable. Whether or not you have a short beard, medium beard, or long beard, having split ends is a natural part of beard hair ageing and weathering. No matter how well you condition your beard, heat tools, brushing, colouring, and weathering effects or play an important part in causing beard split ends.

Beard products do prevent beards from developing split ends. Finding quality Beard products made with natural ingredients will moisturise and nourish the hair keeping it conditioned and split end free.

The only real way to treat split ends is to cut them off. Cutting off the dry and damaged ends of your hair will stop the split and become a site for further damage and migrating up the shaft of the beard hair.

The best beard care products that can help prevent split ends include:

  • sweet almond oil
  • panthenol
  • Argan oil
  • Coconut oil
  • avocado mask

A lot of these ingredients are found in beard oils and butter. Using the individual ingredient is also very effective at preventing split ends. Using beard tools and combs that have been machined and designed to be kind and gentle on the individual beard hairs is another way to reduce the frequency that you experience beard split ends.

What are split ends

Split ends result from a fraying hair shaft due to excessive heat, mechanical stress and dryness. The beard hair will likely feel dry, and they will look like the ends of an unravelled rope. The issue is that the typical styling and maintenance routine can very quickly turn a healthy beard into one full of split ends.

Every bearded person will have to deal with beard split ends at some point. I often find my beard split ends when my beard hair’s fallout. I notice the end is frayed, indicating that I need to jump on top of the issue immediately.

I have waited before treating beard split ends in the past, and the problem worsened exponentially. Acting sooner will solve a whole lot of issues later down the line.

How do you know if your beard has split ends?

The easiest way to know if your beard has split ends is to look at the beard hairs falling out. I lose approximately 20 beard hairs a day and often see them as they escape. Taking a moment to appreciate the condition of the beard hair as it falls out will allow you to identify any issues such as split ends.

Sometimes the issue can be very slight, and I often find myself using the zoom function on my camera or a small magnifying lens to take a closer look at the ends of the beard hair.

What causes beard split ends?

There are a variety of common issues that can cause beard split ends. Your genetics plays a very important part in your beard growth, and a 2015 study showed that Afro-textured hair is particularly prone to damage. This higher risk is due to its oval-shaped hair shaft and slower growth.

The most common causes of beard split ends include:

Using heat tools

Using heat tools on your beard is a fantastic way of controlling the style and shape of the beard throughout the day. Unfortunately, its mode of action is to place a lot of heat onto the shaft of the beard hair.

The ends of the beard are where the heat can easily become concentrated, which can cause extreme dehydration very quickly.

I love my heat tools but making sure I use them responsibly does not cause more issues than they create is always an interesting balancing game.

Over-washing

Over washing your beard is something that can cause significant issues with dry beard hair. Making sure that you use a dedicated beard shampoo is important to retain some of the natural oils that your face creates.

Head shampoo is formulated for a much oilier part of your body. The harsher formulation strips oils much more efficiently and can leave your beard dry and prone to split ends and further damage.

Environmental exposure

Exposing your beard to UV rays, dust and pollution, heat, and dry air can also dry out the ends of your beard significantly so that they are more prone to becoming split.

If you work outside and your beard is regularly in the sun or subjected to a dusty environment, it can very quickly become dry, and you’ll notice that your beard quickly develops split ends.

Hot water

I love a hot shower, but it could be causing damage to my beard.

Really hot water causes many issues with your beard. The hot water and steam can easily wick away the moisture deep inside your beard hairs. The cut ends of your beard are particularly vulnerable to hot water.

Make sure that your beard does not come into contact with incredibly hot water during your shower. You should minimise its exposure to steam as well.

Wet hot beard hairs are very easy to break.

Not much trimming

I find it particularly difficult to balance the frequency of trimming with growing my beard. Regular trimming will help reduce the number of split ends in your beard by removing them.

I recommend trimming your beard once a week to remove the dead and dry ends of your beard. Remove as little as you can to continue growing your beard hair. Understanding exactly how much you need to remove to balance the split ends problem with continuous growth may take a little bit of trial and error.

Not using the appropriate products

Later in this article, we will talk about all of the products and home remedies you can use to treat split ends in your beard. I recommend trialling different moisturising and conditioning beard products and swapping up their usage throughout the year.

If you are from a hot and dry climate, you may need a deeper, more conditioning treatment in the hottest part of the year.

What prevents beard split ends?

Once your beard becomes full of split ends, the only way to get rid of them is to trim the hair and cut them off. Deep hydrating beard mask’s and treatments are often marketed as a split ends cure. They can create much more conditioned and healthy hair, but they cannot reverse split ends.

However, there are plenty of ways to reduce the likelihood of developing split ends using products.

Beard care products that will help prevent split ends

There are a variety of individual ingredients and specially formulated beard products to reduce the prevalence of split ends in your beard. Beard oil, butter, and leave-in conditioners are particularly useful for looking after your beard. They often contain a huge array of ingredients, and typically at least one of them will be there for maximum nourishment and beard conditioning.

If you want to maximise the hydration effect in your beard oil, butter or conditioner, make sure that the formulation contains at least one of these ingredients.

Shea butter

Shea butter is extracted from the nuts produced from the sheer tree. It has many awesome properties and can provide a deep hydration treatment for your beard. There have been plenty of scientific studies into the use and benefits of Shea butter.

It can help you beat beard dandruff, your beard gets stronger, fight bacteria and fungus in your beard and may even add slight sun protection to your beard hair.

Adding any product to your beard that contains Shea butter will certainly help you reduce the likelihood of your beard developing split ends.

Sweet almond oil

Sweet almond oil is full of useful nutrients for your beard hair. It contains magnesium, calcium and zinc. Using this on your beard will help improve the condition of the beard hair and will deeply penetrate the shaft.

Putting it on your fingertips and massaging it deeply into your skin will also help fight beard dandruff.

A top tip is to use warm sweet almond oil on your beard and leave it in overnight. If you want to know more about what you can leave in your beard overnight, check out my other article.

What should I put in my beard overnight

Panthenol

Panthenol is a chemical substance that is also known as vitamin B five. It can be produced from animal and plant sources and is often used in hair and beard products.

Many beard and hair products contain panthenol because of its proven ability to create shine and softness. It can provide a very thin barrier on top of the shaft of the hair to prevent your hair from drying out during styling or UV rays.

Argan oil

Argan oil is natural plant oil derived from the kernels of the Argan tree’s fruit. The Argan tree is native to Morocco, but it has spread across the globe because of its properties and popularity.

Argan oil is found in a range of different beard oils and is known to contain about 98% of fats which can get into the main shaft of the hair.

To use Argan oil, all you have to do is use it as your beard oil. Use the argan oil straight after showering. Drop approximately 3 – 5 drops of beard oil into the palm of your hand. Rub it between your hands and them in downwards motions. Focus first on the direction of beard growth. Then work the oil into the underside of your beard against the growth. Don’t rub for too long during the application – keep going long enough to distribute evenly! Brush the beard lightly and shape the way you want your beard to sit for the day.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is fantastic for hair because it has been well documented to seep under the hair cuticle’s which can be made more efficient using the application of heat.

Once the coconut oil has seeped to the inside of the hair, it can nourish and protect the strength of the inner core.

To use coconut oil effectively, all you have to do is soften the oil, apply it throughout the hair and leave it for at least 20 minutes. Simply washing it out with a mild shampoo afterwards is a fantastic way of doing a dehydration treatment which you can do at home.

Avocado

it is unlikely that you will find a beard oil or butter that contains fresh avocado. But you can create your own very easily.

Avocado has natural fats that nourish your hair. They contain natural oils and good fats that are good to eat, too! Avocado is a great source of biotin, which can help hair and nails grow.

2015 study found that the minerals in avocado oil may help seal certain hair cells, causing them to look shiny. Here’s how it works:

  1. Mash avocado until it is smooth
  2. Wet your beard fully
  3. Spread the avocado oil on your beard hair and use a wide-tooth comb to distribute it.
  4. Let it sit in your beard hair for at least 20 minutes
  5. Wash your beard with shampoo and conditioner as usual.

You can also add other ingredients to this beard mask, such as coconut oil, olive oil, egg, Aloe, banana, honey, and oatmeal. Each of these additions has its benefits – so feel free to play about with a mask that helps your beard!

Check out my other article for more dry beard solutions, where I go through 15 dry beard solutions that work.

dry beard solutions

Tools that can help prevent split ends

Besides cosmetic products, you should consider purchasing tools that can help prevent split ends, such as a machined comb and natural bristle brush.

Kent Comb

One of the easiest mistakes to make whilst styling and to maintain a beard is using a beard comb that damages the hair.

I did it for a long time – I used a cheap comb that was injection moulded.

 The injection-moulded nature of the beard comb meant that the edges of the teeth had a very tiny seam, making it easy to scratch away at the hairs and weaken the outer layer.

If you want to avoid this, you need to look for a comb that has been manufactured by being machined out of a single piece of material, either wood or plastic.

Kent beard combs are the best plastic combs since they have been manufactured to protect the beard. I’m amazed at the array of different combs available online – click here to choose your favourite comb.

Natural bristle brush

You can use a natural bristle brush to distribute all products and ingredients through your beard. I recommend using boars hair brushes, but any flexible brush will do.

The flexible brush will ensure that your beard is not put under any particular breaking strain as it will flex and bend along with your beard hair. I find them perfect for controlling the outer layer of the hair and lightly brushing them into position.

The final word – can beard products prevent split ends?

In this article, we have been through all of the products that can significantly improve and prevent the appearance of beard split ends.

Ensuring that any product you buy has one of the ingredients in this article will make it much more likely, you will avoid any significant beard split ends problems. Jumping on split ends as soon as you see them mean that the damage will not progress further up the shaft of the beard hair.

Split ends are an easy to identify warning sign that you should invest more time and energy into conditioning and moisturising your beard hair.

The Author


Andy Stapleton

Andy is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. He has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He is an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialing different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!