How do I refresh my beard? [9 simple options]

The daily wear and tear on a beard can easily make it look dull and lifeless. Alternatively, on the other end of the spectrum, your daily activities may actually make it look wilder and frizzier. In my experience, my beard very quickly becomes dry and sticks out due to increased frizziness. Refreshing a beard in the middle of the day or at the end of an action-packed weekend is surprisingly simple as long as you know the simple tricks to get your beard looking shiny and healthy quickly.

Refreshing your beard involves removing any crime that has built up, replenishing the moisture and natural shine, coming out the knots, and using products or trimming to quickly redefine the lines.

Refreshing a beard only takes a few minutes to do properly and it starts with one very simple but basic rule – remove the issues before you add anything to your beard.

Let’s talk about that in more detail, below.

Rule of thumb: Remove before you add!

When our beard isn’t looking quite right the first thing we tend to do is run to products or additions to our beard to return it to its previous glory. I am also guilty of looking for the “simple fix” by reaching for my beard oil, my beard balm, or another product.

The simple fact of the matter is that adding stuff to your beard can increase the greasy appearance – particularly if the products contain hold elements such as bees wax or other natural gums.

So, instead of reaching for your favourite product remember to remove any issues which are causing your beard to look dull and tired.

Removing any impurities or grime (including built-up product) is one of the most effective ways to refresh your beard. Taking the time to shampoo your beard will return more benefits than simply slathering on more products.

You could even use a simple dry shampoo (like gels and sprays) which come out as a quick fix. This can be particularly handy if you are camping or need a quick spruce up before an important event and you cannot get home after work. We will cover my favourite dry shampoos for a beard, below.

Once your beard has been returned to its cleanest form you can then use your favourite moisturising and conditioning products, such as beard oils and balms.

The top ways to refresh your beard

Here are the top ways that I refresh my beard. It could be that I needed to look great for a function, it could be that I’m short of time and just need to do the bare minimum to get it looking its best.

Sometimes I find that it is the simplest interventions which can cause the biggest gains for my beard. I often find that giving it a quick comb over with a wooden comb can be the easiest ways to tame the hairs and push all of the flyaway hair is back into the lines of the beard.

1 Wooden comb

Purchasing a good quality wooden comb is fantastic for the midday comb of your beard.

The great thing about wooden cones is that they do not introduce extra static into your beard and you can carry them with you anywhere. I have a very inexpensive wooden comb with a leather pouch which I can chuck into my bag, in my pocket, or in my carry on luggage if I’m travelling.

In order to use a wooden comb most effectively I have found that I need to work the comb slowly through my beard hair and use it at a more acute angle so that it pushes the beard hairs back into the beard rather than encouraging them to come out of the beard.

Brushing your beard does a variety of style actions but it can also help in a number of different ways:

  • a quick brush can remove debris and grime – beard dandruff and other dirt and grime is picked up naturally throughout the day can get stuck in your beard. Using a wooden comb can remove these from your beard.
  • A wooden comb can redistribute sebum – sometimes I find that the roots of my beard are oily than the tips and a quick prune with a wooden comb helps me to redistribute the oils throughout my beard.

Throughout the day you also press on your beard and cause it to change shape. A quick brush with a wooden comb can return the beard to its perfect and more natural lying state.

Using a good quality wooden comb is something that your beard will thank you for!

2. Dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is a hair product which reduces oil, grease, and dirt in hair. The great thing about dry shampoos is that you do not have to have any water nearby and is applied to your beard while it is dry.

Dry shampoo can be carried with you while you are travelling and many find that it is perfect for touching up a beard after a particularly grimy or sweaty day.

Dry shampoo uses alcohols and starch based ingredients to mop up the oils and other grime which elects in your beard.

Removing these oils, and all of the other grime, makes it appear cleaner and fresher. The dry shampoo can also contain a fragrance which can help make your beard smell better.

Using is very simple and all you have to do is spray the dry shampoo about 6 inches away from your beard and get it directly into the roots using your fingers. You can then comb it out all use a cool blast of air from a blow dryer to remove it.

Be warned that dry shampoo is not a magical product and it can only work so well on particularly grimy beards.

3. Beard balm

Before you reach for any products, like I talk about above, make sure that you are not just adding more issues to your beard by using a beard balm.

That said, beard balm is something that I can apply to my beard (in a very small amount) to control the flyaways and the dryness of my beard.

Typically, I use beard balm in the morning to hydrate my beard and provide some style hold but I have been known to apply a minuscule amount in the middle of the day to keep my beard looking fresh.

It’s important that you do not overdo it and you also work it through your beard by using a wooden comb or natural bristle brush.

4. Beard oil

Adding Beard oil to your beard in order to refresh it is a double edged sword.

On one side, it provides a healthy shine and short term style hold that can get you past some of the frizzy issues of your beard.

On the other side, if you use too much of it your beard can quickly look greasy and too shiny particularly if the Beard oil contains a significant amount of jojoba oil which is preferentially absorbed by the skin rather than the hair.

If you do want to use a Beard oil in the middle of the day I recommend using a coconut oil or Argan oil based Beard oil which will allow the oil to absorb into your hair quickly.

A number of times I have used my DIY Beard oil (which contains a lot of jojoba oil) in the middle of the day and people and even asked me if my beard is wet… Embarrassing but a good lesson to learn from.

Instead of using Beard oil in the middle of the day I swapped to applying a small amount of beard balm and, with any product, less is more if you don’t have the luxury of waiting for 10 to 20 minutes while it absorbs into the hair.

5 Deep wash

One of the easiest ways to refresh your beard is to give it a deep wash. A deep wash of a beard is one where the entire beard is submerged in water and the shampoo is worked through the beard from root and skin to tip.

This approach can be done in a public restroom but is much better performed in the comfort of your own home.

To perform a deep wash you need a beard shampoo and access to warm water in a basin.

Simply fill up the basin with warm water until it fills to a level that you can comfortably submerge your entire chin. I like to put my entire beard into warm water up to my nostrils.

Use your fingers to separate the hairs to make sure that the water goes completely to the roots of your beard.

Then, massage in your favourite beard shampoo and let it sit in your beard for at least 10 minutes. It can get messy and wet so I recommend putting a towel around your shoulders to keep the water off your clothes.

After 10 minutes, simply re-submerge your beard and make sure that you get in deep to your beard. Dry as normal and remember to apply a small amount of your favourite beard moisturising product or beard conditioner.

6. Cold water

if you want to know more about washing your beard with just water you should check out my other article – can I wash my beard with just water? The ultimate guide for washing your beard – click here for article.

Can I wash my beard with just water

Simply immersing your beard into cold water can do some incredible things – you don’t even need shampoo.

Water is fantastic for your beard. Not only is water great on the outside of the beard and helps remove water-soluble dirt and grime from the outside – drinking water is arguably the best way that water can help your beard.

Drinking water and staying hydrated will help your body remain at its best and keep your beard hydrated and ensure that all of the important nutrients are delivered to the root of your beard hair. Your beard can only grow as well as the health of your body and therefore drinking water is a vital component to a healthy looking beard.

Never wash beard – No poo beard method

If you want to try washing your beard with just water this is the best place to start. This water only technique is one of the simplest available and it costs nothing and his super travel friendly. The first thing I recommend is to use warm water throughout the cleaning process. This is required to clean away any excessive oil that has built up underneath your beard. You will need to use warm water regularly and it may not feel like it works at first because you are so used to the clean feeling of using shampoo. But stick with it and after a few weeks you will get used to how your beard feels.

This process is best used by someone who doesn’t experience particularly oily skin and has never had an acne problem. People with oily facial skin may also require some other ingredients to clean out the oil and other dirt and grime that sits at the base of the hair. Some people use baking soda to achieve a better clean and to remove the sebum (facial oil) that builds up on the skin.

7. Peppermint and citrus oils

I find that refreshing my beard also requires a tingly feeling that can be provided by products that include peppermint and citrus oils.

The peppermint can provide a nice refreshing feeling to your beard and skin and, when it is used as part of a cleaning process it can be the best thing to leave your beard feeling refreshed and healthy.

Not only do peppermint and citrus oils provide a tingly feeling after you have you finished washing your beard but they can also provide a very nice natural sense which can last for a very long time. Never underestimate the power of a good smelling beard some people are very sensitive to smells and can pick up mustiness from a mile away.

8. Give it a quick trim

Sometimes even a wash and a quick product application cannot so if some of the hardest flyaways and static caused by a dirty and grimy beard. A clean and fresh looking beard also means that the lines are well defined and provide a good contrast against the background. Trimming is the only way to achieve that.

I highly recommend travelling with a pair of scissors so that you can quickly trim away the flyaway hairs from your beard.

I believe that a Beard’s style maintenance is 85 to 90% trimming. If you need to quickly refresh your beard focus on the outside lines and your bottom lip line of the moustache.

Lines

Quickly refreshing the overall shape of your beard and the bottom line will be the way to quickly refresh your beard and keep it looking sharp. I typically do this with a pair of sharp scissors and it only takes me a few minutes. Remember to brush out your beard before you trim it so that you can be sure that it is set in the right position before you start removing hair.

Lips

The cleanliness of your moustache line also reflects on the freshness of your beard.

I know that when I listen to someone speaking I often look at their mouth and if they have a beard I look at their moustache.

Cleaning up the bottom line so that it forms a solid shape and solid line at the bottom edge of the moustache will help refresh your beard quickly.

With both of these quick trends you are improving people’s first impressions of your beard quickly and refreshing it without the need of a massive trim up.

Even removing some of the most stubborn flyaway hairs can be a simple technique for getting your beard looking awesome in a few snips. I know that when I have taken away even for five hairs from the problem areas of my beard it improves the look a lot.

9. Make it smell great

Freshness is not only about the way it looks and feels. – it is about the smell too!

When you are out in public it is very unlikely that people touch your beard – although, I have had people run up and grab the hair on my chin.

There are a number of ways to make your beard smell as good as it looks including:

  • aftershave
  • dry shampoo
  • lemon juice, rosewater, and hibiscus oil
  • other products

Keeping your beard smelling as good as it looks means that when you are in close proximity to people they will not be put off by any musty smells which may emanate from your beard if it has been a couple of days since its last wash.

Never underestimate the power of a great smelling beard.

Summary

In this article, we have gone over everything you can do to refresh your beard in a quick and easy fashion. Carrying a minimum of a wooden beard cone can be the only thing you need to refresh your beard but, having access to water, dry shampoo, all your favourite products can also add a quick refresh to your style and perceived freshness.

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!