Bearded men put their hair through a lot. From daily pollutants and UV exposure to over washing and styling using heat tools – everything has the potential to damage your beard if you overdo it. Like most things in life, heat tools are useful for beard control when used in moderation.
Repairing a heat-damaged beard involves stopping using the damaging tools as quickly as possible and crafting a daily routine that incorporates many hydrating products. Shea butter, coconut oil, and sweet almond oil are all great products for repairing a heat-damaged beard.
This article will go over how to repair a heat-damaged beard and everything you need to know about whether or not straightening is worth it.
It is most likely that your beard will become heat damaged through styling tools such as ceramic plate straighteners and heated beard brushes. Alternatively, your beard may be heat stressed from exposure to high temperatures from hot climates greater than 35° C or from exposure in hot sauna sessions.
Once you notice your beard becoming dull, dry, and easy to break, it is time to jump on the issues and fix your heat damaged beard.
How to identify heat-damaged beard hair
There are several obvious signs that your beard gives you when it needs help. After using a heat tool too often, your beard will become harder to manage, and there are some physical and easy to identify symptoms to look out for.
Your beard may have these issues after becoming heat damaged:
- Rough texture – run your fingers over your beard, and it should feel smooth. Any roughness indicates a dry beard.
- Split ends – if you have a significant number of split ends (hairs that looked like frayed rope on the ends), it is time to fix your heat damaged beard.
- Colour changes at the end – you may notice a significant colour change at the hair’s ends. Sometimes these look like little white nodules.
- Significant hair breakage – one of the later stages of significant heat damage to beard hairs is breakage.
Your beard may show all for just one of these symptoms. However, acting quickly will be your best option for keeping your beard healthy and damage-free.
How to fix a heat-damaged beard
A heat-damaged beard is relatively easy to fix if you act quick enough. Here we will go through all of the stages for repairing your heat damaged beard and set expectations for what you can expect and the timelines involved for repairing heat damage in hair.
1. Isolate the problem
The first thing to do is to identify the source of the heat. The problem is relatively easy for most bearded people using beard tools.
If you do not use beard tools and your beard is still showing signs of heat damage, you should isolate the issue as soon as possible. It may be that your beard is dry and easily damaged because of:
- Constant exposure to high temperatures during the day – if you work outside in particularly high temperatures, your beard could be drying out throughout the entire day.
- Regular exposure to hot water while showering – some people I know like incredibly hot showers, and regular exposure to very hot water will also accelerate the drying out of your beard.
- Extreme UV index exposure – if you live in a country with a very high UV index, it is likely that your beard will become damaged at the cellular level from the production of free radicals deep within the shaft of the beard hair.
Once you have decided on which action or combination of issues your beard is regularly facing, you must make every effort to eliminate or engineer a solution to stop exposure to that heat source.
Wearing a beard scarf or wrap and using a UV protection spray could be part of the solution to helping exposure-based heat issues.
Should you suspect your heat tool is causing beard heat damage, stop using it immediately.
2. Trim off irreversible issues
Once a beard has become damaged, the science of damage can become a site for further damage.
It is important to trim off any irreversible issues such as beard split ends and shaft breakages.
Trimming off the issues may look like you are destroying your beard, but you will be doing the right thing in the long run. Removing the potential source of further damage will reduce the likelihood of the dryness migrating further up the hair and give you a nice hard cut for stopping further issues.
3. Use an emergency treatment
Hair masks and deep conditioning treatments are often rich in Shea butter and Argan oil. It can help bring back the shine to your beard, and moisture-rich conditioners that contain coconut oil and avocado can help your hair return to its moisturised, lustrous former self.
The quicker they penetrate the hair, the faster the oils can work deep in the hair fibre.
4. Change your daily routine
Once you have performed an emergency treatment, you should change your daily routine to incorporate more deep hydrating products.
If your current beard balm or beard wax doesn’t include some of the ingredients listed above, you can easily melt them into your existing products or apply them as individual ingredients to your beard hair.
It is preferable to mix your DIY version of commercial beard oils if you are short of time. You can do this by buying the individual ingredients or buying a commercial product and then mixing in extra coconut oil. Combining the ingredients will help keep your daily routine manageable and make it much more likely to perform the routine every day.
5. Don’t give up too early
Once you have set the foundations for repairing your heat damaged beard, you should not give up on its recovery too early.
It can take a very long time to repair a damaged beard.
In my YouTube video below, I talk about how long it takes to repair a damaged beard, and it can take much longer than you think.
How long it takes to repair a damaged beard depends on the level of damage it has sustained. If your beard has only just started becoming dry and dull, you have about two weeks of deep hydrating treatments to endure before you start to see your beard return to its regular quality and healthiness.
On the other hand, if you have been putting off treating your beard and you have noticed that it is particularly damaged, you will have a much longer time to persist with your treatment before you start seeing results.
Do not give up your daily routine, even if it feels futile initially. Consistently doing a good daily routine will return your beard to its former glory – trust me, it’ll just take a little bit of time.
Does straightening your beard damage it?
Many people damage their beard hair through heat when straightening their beard. I cover all of the considerations you need to make about straightening your beard in my other article. Click here to find out whether or not you should straighten your beard and the top tips for doing it safely and sustainably.
The good news is that you can straighten your beard regularly without damaging it irreversibly.
Using a hair straightener on your beard is a simple but effective way of taming even the wildest of beards. However, the truth of the matter is that beard straighteners can damage your hair if they are used too much.
Any extreme heat treatments can quickly dry out beard hair and leave it in a worse state than it started in. The daily use of a straightener can exacerbate dry hair problems.
Extreme heat makes it more vulnerable to split ends, breakage and frizziness. The more heat you use and the more often you use it, the worse it will become. It’s like a vicious cycle of bad hair treatment.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t use beard straighteners safely and productively. It means that you have to be more conscious about the heat and how often you use beard straighteners.
Bubble hair damage
In severe situations of overheated hair, bubbles can occur in the hair shaft. This condition was originally reported in 1986, and it was given a more detailed description in 1992. A research study was conducted in 1994 to investigate the origins of bubble hair. They discovered that overheating the hair can develop gas bubbles in the hair.
According to the study, bubbles can form in the hair if you use a temperature roughly 30 degrees hotter than a usual hairdryer. This effect can also be caused by a beard straightener set to a too high temperature.
Because of the refraction of light, the bubbles can change the colour and lighten the beard hair.
Other options for straightening
If you do not want to use heat to straighten your beard, you could consider a few other options. You can use these options to give your beard a complete break from the high heat, which heated beard brushes and beard straighteners could impart.
You can use chemical straightening for straightening out a particularly curly beard. The great thing about this approach is that you only have to treat your beard every few months, and it will also save you time during your daily routine.
Be careful not to overdo any chemical interventions as they will also try out your beard quickly and could end up damaging your beard far more than heat tools.
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 distribute throughout your beard evenly
- 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 to seal in and lock the hair in a straight position.
- Finish drying your beard how you would normally do, for example, with a hairdryer, and complete the process.
Your hair will stay straight for a relatively long time, and the new hair growth will be curlier than the straightened part. Once the new growth makes up about 25 to 50% of your beard, you can repeat this process.
Some natural options may help you straighten out your beard using products you already have in your home. The great thing about using natural and readily available treatment options is that you can mix and match the treatments until you find something that works specifically for your beard.
People have developed the recipes in this section over many years, and you may be able to find one that works for you.
- Coconut milk and lemon juice – use coconut milk and lemon juice on your beard twice a week for two months to relax and straighten your beard hair. Mix 1 cup of coconut milk with five tablespoons have lemon juice, two tablespoons of olive oil and three tablespoons of cornstarch. Please apply to your beard and allow it to sit in there for at least 20 minutes before washing out using your normal beard washing routine.
- Milk and honey – mix one whole cup of coconut milk and add one tablespoon of honey. Mix the ingredients and then distribute evenly throughout your beard hair. Allow it to sit in your beard for at least one hour before washing it out using your regular beard shampoo.
By doing these interventions regularly, you may be able to use your beard tools less and minimise the risk of heat damaging your beard hair.
The final word – heat-damaged beard
This article has been over everything you need to know about a heat-damaged beard. It is likely to come from and the symptoms you need to look out for.
Acting quickly will enable you to fix the problem in a relatively short amount of time. Ignoring a heat-stressed beard will exponentially worsen the problem, and you may face many months of care and attention before it returns to normal.
Please don’t give up on your intervention too early and change your daily beard maintenance foundations to keep your beard away from heat stress and looking its best.