As you are growing a beard and it gets longer and longer you start noticing all of the hairs poking out from your face. Hang on a minute… All of the photos and Instagram shots that are looking at have perfectly flat beards – how do I get that? You may be asking yourself. In this article I’m in a show you all of the ways that you can get your beard to lay flat. There is no one silver bullet for this type of issue. You are going to have to combine a range of different solutions until you find the best combination of interventions for getting your beard laid down.
Getting your beard to lay flat is going to require some experimentation. You should use a combination of growing it out, anti-static combs and brushes, applying heat using beard straighteners and hairdryers, and backing that up with good quality organic beard products.
Before we launch into all of the solutions forgetting your beard to lay down you need to understand exactly why your beard doesn’t lay flat – the reasons may surprise you…
Facial hair won’t lay flat? Here’s why…
This is a very common problem amongst beard growers. Everyone wants the perfect Instagram of all beard but the majority of people are not willing to put in the effort to get it. Before we launch into the solutions we need to have a quick review of things that may be causing your hair to become unruly and poke outwards on your face.
Static is caused when two materials rub against each other. This can be formed when you are brushing your hair or it can be the simple act of rubbing hair against your clothing. The process of creating a static charge results in the transfer of electrons (negatively charged particles) from one material to another. The object that loses electrons gets a positive charge while the object that gains electrons receives an overall negative charge. Because like charges repel each other your hairs become charged and want to get as far away from each other as possible.
If you feel like static is one of the reasons why your beard hair is particularly unruly you can use oils, and ionic hairdryer, and antistatic spray, and a good quality conditioner – which normally has conductive polymers to stop static frizz – to get your beards to lay flat.
If your beard is dry it is more likely to end up with a static charge. Not only does having a dry beard result in fizziness through static electricity it can also cause the beard hairs to become damaged and dull.
This damage to the cuticle or ends of the hair invites more damage and the vicious cycle continues until your beard looks unruly and sticks out all over the place. Dry beards are easy to remedy using good quality products and limiting the amount of heat treatment that you apply to your beard throughout the week. Straighteners are awesome but you should limit their use as they can cause unwanted dryness in beards.
Uneven oil distribution
If your beards won’t lay flat it could be that the roots and the tips of the beard hairs are completely different in terms of their hydration and amount of oil they have. This is one thing I have noticed with my beard.
If I’ve not washed my beard for a couple of days I find it harder to control my beard hairs and get them to lay down. This is because the tips of the beard hair are dry whilst the underside of the beard closer to the skin remains oily or damp.
This means that the shorter hairs lay flat and the hairs which have become dry on the ends poke out from the main bulk of the hair. To remedy this it’s as easy as washing deeply with a good quality beard shampoo or soap and conditioning your beard fully and completely after showering. Repeating this process every couple of days is what makes your beard homogenous and awesome.
I also noticed that my beard becomes particularly hard to get to lay flat once I have not trimmed for about a month. Even regular trimming doesn’t guarantee that you will cut all of the hairs on your beard the same length. Beard hairs are curly and some can escape trimming for quite some time before they come problem hairs and start poking out a lot.
If you have not had a trim for a while your beard may have different length hairs across the entire surface of your face and you should seek professional help for shaping up your beard and the lines. Also, if you find that you are regularly finding super longhairs you may want to use a pair of scissors every few days to trim off the long sections of beard. I do this every couple of days and find that it’s enough to keep on top of the beard hairs which are particularly long and go unnoticed.
Now that you know all of the reasons why your beard may not be lying flat here are the 13 options that you have for keeping your beard laying flat. Like I said in the introduction this will require that you trial a few of these and keep a tab on which ones work the best for you. This is not a one solution cure so combine until you get the results that you want.
Grow it out
There is an ongoing joke on my YouTube channel that says that pretty much the solution to nearly every beard problem is growing it out. If you find that your beard hairs are not laying flat it may be that they are simply not long enough to lay flat against your skin.
As the beard hairs grow able automatically fall downwards due to their own weight. Also, I find that the beard hairs fall downwards when they have the weight of the other beard hairs on top of them.
If you think your beard problems are due to short beard hairs or you need to do is simply wait two months without trimming or cutting. I recently went through a three-month growth cycle and even though it was challenging to not chop away at my beard the end result was very pleasing and that I had a more substantial and easy to groom beard at the end of it.
Use a good shampoo and conditioner
Use a good beard shampoo and conditioner! In the early days of growing a beard it can be tempting to use a head shampoo on your beard. The problem is that head shampoos are formulated completely differently to face shampoos. If you are not using a shampoo which is specifically for beard you risk removing all the natural oils that accumulate on your beard.
In a recent video on my YouTube channel I looked at the two most popular beard wash brands to compare and contrast their effects on my beard.
One thing that I noticed about the Honest Amish beard soap was that it resulted in a much more controllable beard because of the number of essential oils and butters which were part of the ingredients list. I recommend that you get yourself a bar of honest Amish beard soap to test this theory for yourself.
Static free combs and brushes
Another reason why your beard may be sticking out is because you are introducing a load of static through the use of plastic combs.
Do you remember – in high school – the static electricity experiment where rubbing a piece of plastic with a cloth results in a significant build-up of electrical charge? You are doing the same thing with your beard hairs if you are not using a low static brush or natural bristle options.
As your beard grows and gets longer, I recommend that people invest in three different types of brushes and combs so that they can effectively remove the tangles from their beard:
- a plastic comb – the plastic comb should be a low static and machined comb which has no sharp edges at the coming interface. I really recommend the Kent fine tooth beard comb as it is sawcut and is made from a low static material.
- A wooden comb – a small wooden comb is perfect for carrying about with you during your daily life as well as using as your main comb. I like to use a comb which is made from a thin bit of wood and can easily fit in my bag or pocket. A wooden comb does not impart a static charge onto your hair as your brushing it ensures that the frizziness is not due to static.
- A natural bristle brush – getting a natural hair, all bristle brush is a really excellent way to put final touches to your beard style. The added stiffness of the ore hair means that it’s an easy and effective way to tuck away those pesky flyaways hair and also allows you to distribute products such as beard oil and other styling balms easily. One of the best natural hair beard brushes at the moment is the ZilberHaar Beard Brush.
Using these combs and brushes will make sure that your beard remains tangle free throughout the day and that it won’t be painful when you are raking through your beard in the morning.
Another thing that you can do to reduce the amount of static in your beard is to use a microfibre towel on your beard rather than your regular towel you use for your body. Click here to be taken to Amazon’s check at the best price on a pack of 10 microfibre salon towels.
A microfibre towel helps reduce the beard drying time by wicking the water out of the beard more effectively. Also, it is soft and gentle on your beard so you can be assured that you are not causing any damage while rubbing it all pressing against your beard.
To use the microfibre towel efficiently you should reduce the amount of hard-core rubbing that you are doing throughout your drying process and replace it with pressing the towel against your beard. This stops the torsional strain on the beard hairs and results in less damage.
Comb with heat
One of the best options I have found for controlling my beard is to use a hair straightener whilst brushing my beard. This means that I can control the amount of heat gets applied to my beard whilst also achieving a flat looking beard style.
This is the process I use for combing my beard with heat:
- get my hair completely wet in the shower with or without shampoo.
- Towel dry my beard hair lightly while still leaving it a little damp.
- Apply beard oil throughout the entire beard. Make sure that I get from root to tip.
- Then I use a hairdryer on my maximum setting to hold the hair in place with a comb while drying it.
- I then reduce the heat and use a boar hairbrush to tuck the outside hairs into the beard.
- Whilst continuing to brush my hair with a boar hair brush I remove the heat completely to a cold blowdry and continue until my beard is completely dry.
This process has been developed over a number of years and continues to provide me with a very flat beard.
Use a beard straightener
Using a beard straightener is a very effective way to make your beard lay flat. However, daily use of a beard straightener can cause you to dry out your beard and cause extra frizziness which is hard to make your beard lay down.
If you’re not sure about whether or not using a beard straightener is right for your beard check out the information in my YouTube video when I go through everything you need to know about making the choice for straightening your beard.
Using a beard straightener is easy it’s effective and the very easy to travel with. These benefits mean that I think a lot of beard overs rely on a beard straightener too much and end up with dry and brittle hair that gets frizzy the more they use the beard straightener.
However, used properly it beard straightener is an effective and inexpensive tool that every beard grower should own to get their beard to lay flat and in the style they want it. For a full run down on whether or not you should strain your beard check out my other full article which answers a load of your beard straightening questions – click here to learn the secrets…
Pinning while drying
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.
Lastly, you should consider using a range of products for getting the beard style that you want. If you are looking for a long lasting hold throughout the day then you should look beyond beard oil for maintaining and optimising your style.
You have to go beyond oil
Beard oil is an important component of growing a beard. It plays a role in hydrating your beard, reducing beard dandruff, and overall providing a shine and nourishment which, when done daily, means your beard looks awesome for longer.
Don’t get me wrong I feel like it does have an important role to play in managing frizziness and hair sticking out but I think that you need to go far beyond beard oil to get the look and hold that you need.
Beard oil lays the foundations of making your beard look great but you need more products to make sure that the style is lasting. Beard oil does not contain any beeswax or other hold agent for keeping your beard looking awesome throughout the day. That’s why you need a beard balm or wax.
Dry texture spray
A dry texture spray is a fantastic finisher for your beard. Typically, in the past, is being used on longhair to provide a volume used and left stop some text rising sprays at shine whilst others are intended for a matte look. In recent years there have been dry texture spray is formulated for beards and I recommend that you take a look at the one from Gibbs grooming (click here to see more info about this product).
Not only does a dry texture spray help soften the beard but it also provides a certain level of hold to keep in place. If you find that a beard balm or wax is not doing it for your beard you should try a dry texture spray on your beard hairs.
Beard balm and wax
Beard balms and waxes contain beeswax. There are so many great benefits to a good beard balm but if you are looking for your beard to stay flat against your face having the wax component is so important.
The good news is that is incredibly easy to make your own if you can melt chocolate in a bowl you can make your own supply of beard balm for a fraction of the price of commercially available balms. Check out my YouTube video where I run you through everything you need to know about making your own beard balm:
If you find that beard balm is still not providing you with the right level of hold throughout the day you can opt for a beard wax. The difference between a beard wax and a beard balm is the percentage of wax in the product. A beard wax has much more beeswax and therefore you should wash your beard more often to prevent it from building up inside your beard and causing your beard to look greasy and heavy.
For some people reading this blog a beard wax is not good enough that’s for you need a super strong moustache wax.
Mustache wax (strong hold)
A moustache wax is probably one of the strongest holes out there. A good moustache wax will hold your handlebar moustache up against gravity throughout the day. You can also use it sparingly on your beard to provide the ultimate level of hold.
I recommend as you are using this moustache wax on your beard that you slowly increase the amount little by little. The worst thing that can happen to your beard is that it ends up looking very oily and heavy. With moustache wax that is this strong a little goes a very long way.
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.
So, there are all of the ways that you can get your beard to lay flat if you are struggling with an unruly and unkempt beard.
You should consider using a combination of these approaches so that you end up with a maintenance recipe that works perfectly for your beard. This recipe will change over time as your beard gets longer and you may find that you have to adjust your routine and/or products to get the beard that you desire. That is one of the awesome things about growing a beard is that is continually changing and you have to adapt and overcome new problems as your beard grows.
Approach this like an experiment and I guarantee that you will have a lot of fun along the way! Happy beard growing!
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!