How do you tame a thick beard? Insider secrets!

Lucky you! Many people would absolutely die to have a thick beard. However, I also have a thick beard and I know how hard it is to keep it looking fresh and tame. Some days, my beard just seems to fall into place, and it behaves throughout the day. However, other days, I just cannot seem to tame the wild hair is thus sticking out from the side. And, for some reason, it’s just doesn’t lie in a flat or symmetrical way. In this article, we are going to go over all the most important ways that I have found to tame my thick beard.

Taming a thick beard relies on extra maintenance and effort. Ensuring that your beard is clean from root to tip, is lined up professionally, and you have a well adhered to daily maintenance regime (with good quality beard balm and wax) will make your beard look better than ever before!

Certain genetic markers create very thick beards. Men of middle eastern and Greek heritage seemed to be able to grow a very thick beard very quickly. Also, some men with African heritage can also grow a very tight, very curly, thick beard.

The maintenance of a thick beard varies significantly from that of a thin beard. If you are lucky enough to be the owner of a very thick beard you need to make sure that you have the best products, the best trimmers, and the best daily routine that you can come up with. Here, we are going to go over these aspects in detail so you can be assured that your beard will look awesome throughout the day.

Properly apply beard products

The first thing that you should check is that you are properly applying beard products. I know that with a thick beard it is very hard to evenly distribute products throughout the entire volume of the beard.

Beard oil, beard balm, and Beard wax, is very easy to smear on the outside hairs of the beard and miss the inside hairs if your beard is particularly dense. This means that you’ll beard product does not have the full effect that it can on the beard. These beard products each have their own benefits such as moisturising, nourishing, conditioning, and acting as an entry microbial and antibacterial agent for your beard.

The way you overcome this issue is by applying the product to your beard in stages rather than in one big sweeping motion.

You should consider dividing up your beard into sections and applying beard products with the tips of your fingers into each part of the beard until you have completely covered the hair from root to tip.

Obviously, sometimes you don’t want complete coverage (as in the case of a Beard wax) but in other cases you do want complete coverage to make sure that your beard is receiving the full benefits of the product. For example, if you are using a beard conditioner you want to make sure that it is getting to every single part of your beard.

Also, you shouldn’t skimp out on the quality of the beard product. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on good quality beard products you can always make your own.

Use good quality beard products or DIY!

Using good quality beard products from a manufacturer that you know uses good raw ingredients and has fantastic reviews is how you tame your thick beard!

Brands like beard brand, honest Amish, and Viking revolution always contain fantastic ingredients but they do come at a premium price. If you don’t want to pay as much for your beard products you should consider doing a DIY solution!

Check out my YouTube video where I go through everything you need to know about making your very own DIY beard balm:

You can see that it is a very easy process and as long as you can melt chocolate on a stove you can create your own beard balm that will be sure to contain quality ingredients. I also like this approach because I can change the ingredients to match what I want from the products to make my beard look better.

If you want to make your own beard oil it is as easy as mixing oils together. Using a simple mixture of jojoba oil, Argan oil, sweet arm and oil, coconut oil, and a few drops of your favourite essential oil you can make a big batch of your very own beard oil that cost a fraction of commercially available beard oils.

Trimming up your beard more often

If you are lucky enough to have a thick beard you should trim up your beard more often than the average person. Trimming and lining up a beard takes a little bit of practice if you want to do it yourself but with these skills you can save a fortune on trips to the barber.

Don’t get me wrong, going to see the barber is fantastic every so often and when you need a massive trim up. But I have been doing my own beard trimming for the last three years and I really have enjoyed the learning process and I think my beard looks much better because of it!

If you want a full rundown on how to trim your beard check out my other article – how to trim a beard and keep your beard looking sharp – click here to be taken to this article.

The important areas to focus on if you have a very thick beard are:

  • the neckline – you shouldn’t trim your neckline too high and it should sweep down from in front of your ears to the natural crease in your neck as it bends. Find your beard neckline by placing two fingers just above your Adam’s apple and trimming to the place that your top finger falls to.
  • Sideburns – sideburns should be the perfect connector between your head and your beard. If you have short hair on the top of your head you could blend from the thickness of your beard to the shortness of your hair all you can decide to have a straight line. However, no matter what you choose you should line up the beard as it lies in front of the ear. This clean line will make it look much better.
  • Sides and cheeks – size and cheeks are easy to maintain by sweeping downwards on your face and likely trimming with scissors. Trim up the cheek line to the point of maximum density and that is where it will look the best.
  • Moustache – the moustache style is completely up to you. There are a huge variety of styles and I recommend that you trial each type. However, if you have a really thick beard a full fit moustache is the perfect accompaniment. It doesn’t have to be long if you don’t want it to be.
  • The bottom shape – this is one of the biggest decisions you need to make. I recommend saving an image board of the beards that you like and imitating that. The bottom shape of your beard whether it is angular, or curved, is what will give you your distinct style. Particularly if it is thick and long.

Trimming a thick beard relies on making sure you have the right trimmers for the job!

Use the right trimmers!

For a full rundown of the best beard trimmers four thick coarse hair check out my five insider pics – click here. Here is a quick rundown on the best beard trimmer four thick coarse hair which I recorded for my YouTube channel:

Make sure that you buy a beard trimmer which is corded and not battery. I have found that having a corded trimmer means that it will always be at maximum power. Very important if you’re always trying to cut through thick beard hair.

Don’t buy cheap – you’ll regret it

Yes, we have all been there!

When we start looking for products and we stop looking at the features and quality of a product and we end up comparing on price!

“…this one has all of the features I want BUT THIS ONE is half the price…”

Trimmers that are half the price are half the price for a reason. Most of the time that reason is that they have been made to break. Planned obsolescence is a real concern when you are looking for quality products.

Do your self a favor and re-frame that thought process. Sure it’s more expensive but you’ll only have to buy once every 20 years…not every couple of years like with the cheaper products.

This will cause you a lot of hassle in the long run – especially if you have a thick beard!

Get replaceable blades!

The most important part of a trimmer is the cutting surface and blades.

It you have thick hair – it makes sense that they will dull quicker than someone with lighter or thinner hair.

If you are looking for a great beard trimmer for thick coarse hair, I’d encourage you to only get trimers with replaceable blades. Also, because you can take them off you can clean the hair from underneath the blades and oil it up well – something I do once every couple of months!

Replace them about once a year and you’ll be sure of a proper cut every time!

Here is my pick for the best beard trimmer for taming thick beard hair:

Accepting that some days it isn’t perfect

Taming a really thick beard can be difficult. And because it requires an extra amount of care and attention, some days I just don’t feel like it.

One day I can get out of bed and my beard just seems to behave itself perfectly and look awesome in photos. Other days, the exact opposite is true. Taming a thick beard is very difficult and you should accept that on some days it is just not possible, given the amount of time available, for your beard to look as good as you it to.

If today is one of those days – don’t worry tomorrow will be better.

Use good quality beard straighteners

Every bearded person once a team beard. And a good way to shortcut all of the effort that is required is to use dear straighteners or other heat treatment to straighten your beard.

There is no reason that you shouldn’t straighten your beard. However, overuse of the street now on high heat all more than a couple days a week can leave your beard dry, full of split ends, and very frizzy. If you have a thick beard this will be your worst enemy. A dry beard is an unruly beard.

Check out my YouTube video where I talk about whether or not you should straighten your beard. I look at all of the insider pros, cons, and tips which will keep your beard looking awesome even if you decide to straighten your beard regularly:

Using a hair straightener on your beard is the simple but effective way of taming even the wildest of beards. However, the truth of the matter is that beard straighteners, if they are used to much, can absolutely damage your hair.

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. This makes it much more vulnerable to split ends, breakage, and freezing us. The more heat you use and the more often you use it the worse the problem will become. It’s like a vicious cycle of bad hair treatment.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t use beard straighteners in a safe and productive way. It just means that you have to be more conscious about the heat and how often you are using the beard straighteners.

It’s all about selecting the right straightener for you.

Brushing the right way!

Brushing your thick beard will either make or break its style. If you find that you are brushing aggressively – stop!

No matter how thick or dense your beard the rougher you are with it the more damage you are going to impart into the cuticle and the shaft of the hair which will make it dry out and become damaged even quicker than normal.

Some men like to brush against the grain of their beard and this can be the perfect recipe for breakages and increased hair falling.

This is the right way to brush your thick hair:

  • use a good quality wooden, plastic, or natural bristle brush – make sure that you buy a brush or cone that is specifically for hair. This means that it is machined rather than cast. Cast combs have sharp edges which can easily cut into the hair.
  • Use beard oil – beard oil has so many awesome uses but if you find that you are always having to battle through a tangled beard you can apply a few drops of beard oil directly to the beard or into the natural bristle brush for it to pass through the hairs more effectively and with less effort.
  • Use a conditioner – if you want to comb your beard out make sure that you are using a good beard conditioner after you shower or a good leave in conditioner while you are styling your beard in the morning. Do not be tempted to brush out your beard in the shower as wet hair is easier to break than dry hair.

Follow these simple tips and your thick beard hair will be much easier to groom than before.

Don’t let it get too dry or oily!

Because you have a very thick beard your beard is prone to becoming oily or drying out quicker than other beards. A healthy beard is one where there is a fair amount of air flow which will stop anaerobic bacteria from growing at the base of your beard.

You will have to do play a very active role in making sure that the hair is the same from root to tip.

With a thick beard there could be a lot of sebum (natural face oils) that gets stuck at the surface of the skin. You can do this by regularly washing your hair and ensuring that the shampoo makes it to the base of your hair and then following up the stripping of the oil with a good leave in conditioner or beard oil.

A beard with oily roots and dry ends will quickly become unruly – so pay extra attention to how uniform the beard feels at the base through to the tips.

How can I control my thick beard?

If you have a thick beard and you want to control it you have to go far beyond beard oil or simple conditioners. A thick beard requires products that have a certain amount of wax (commonly beeswax) which provides that extra fold.

A good product does not completely cover up a good style cut into the beard. Control of your beard will be 80% trimming and about 20% product use. Here are the best products that you can use for a thick beard.

Beard balm

Beard balm contains a certain amount of wax which will give you a good level of control throughout the day. The balm component in this product is normally a Shea or cocoa butter which acts as a leaving conditioner which will nourish your beard for a few hours after application.

A beard balm is a fantastic choice if you want to maintain style but also impart a moisturising effect on your beard at the same time.

Beard wax

If you only want the hold beard wax is the right thing for you. Thick beards need stronghold and using a dedicated beard wax to hold in the flyaway hairs and unruly wispy hairs is a good option for you.

Do not overuse this product as it will quickly make your beard look greasy and heavy. Use it sparingly, even on a thick beard, and it can add the level of control that you want without looking like your beard is wet.

Summary

There are all of the ways that you can tame a thick beard. A thick beard is a blessing and a curse at the same time.

Ensuring that your beard is clean from root to tip, is lined up professionally, and you have a well adhered to daily maintenance regime (with good quality beard balm and wax) will make your beard look better than ever before!

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!