How to comb under chin [The definitive beard combing guide]

Combing your beard is a staple of beard ownership and management. Combing has a wide range of benefits for hair all over the face. But combing under your chin can give some extra benefits to the look of your beard, such as making it look fuller and less see-through. As your beard gets longer, you will need to pay particular attention to how you comb and maintain your beard. Your daily maintenance schedule will be the thing that dictates how awesome your beard looks on a daily basis. Here is a guide to provide the best information about maintaining your beard through combing and how to comb under the chin.

Combing under your chin involves using a good quality natural bristle brush and using a combination of brushing up and down. When your beard hair is much longer under your chin brushing up and towards your chin is going to give you the best results.

Here, is the most detailed guide on brushing and combing under your chin as well as general brushing and combing beard maintenance advice. Here is how to comb under chin:

Which way do you brush your beard under your chin?

Understanding which way you need to brush your beard under your chin depends very much on the length of your beard and the style that you are trying to create. In 2013, a popular beard forum asked to their members what direction do you comb/brush your “under chin” hair? The results were surprising. The members had the option to choose from forward (towards your chin), straight down, back (towards and along your neck), I don’t brush it, or other. The results are as follows:

  • forward (towards your chin)        25%
  • straight down    21%
  • back (towards and along your neck)  33%
  • I don’t brush it   11%
  • Other    10%

That’s pretty crazy to me that 11% of beard owners do not brush under their chin hair. But as we would probably expect, simple forward and backward brushing dominates the results. But which one is better?

If you have a beard you have probably tried both things – brushing forward and backwards – for me brushing forward allows the beard to look nice and full. Although, other people have said that it makes their beard look pretty scruffy.

So, the jury seems to be out at the moment. But here are a few options for whether you should comb your beard up or down.

Do you comb your beard up or down?

Whether or not you comb your beard up or down depends on a number of factors and the best direction will be different from person to person. It could be, that you have a really long beard and that brushing in any direction results in a nicely tamed and styled beard. It seems to be that people with medium length beards see the biggest effect from brushing in different directions. That is because the hair under the chin plays a vital role in making the beard look full and thick. That effect gets less and less as the chin hair and side hair grows longer.

Here are the factors that will determine whether brushing forward or backwards is better for you:

  • the hair length – medium length beards can benefit most from being brushed forward as it makes the beard look fuller and thicker. Shorter beards do not have the length for the neck hair to be particularly visible. Longer beards seem to be agnostic to whether or not backward or forwards brushing helps or hinders.
  • The direction of your hair growth – the direction of your hair growth will probably be one of the biggest determinants of whether or not brushing backwards or forwards make sure beard look better. Check to see which direction the hair under your chin is growing and if you want fullness go against it. On the other hand, if you want a sleeker look to your beard go with the grain.
  • The hair condition – making sure your hair is not too dry and is well conditioned is the thing that will make the brushing have more of an impact. Making sure your beard hair is not too full of built-up wax from beard balm or other styling products will also make the brushing more effective.

If you find that brushing in either direction doesn’t really help you too much, then you can use more of a hair drying approach to control the shape of your beard. Also, the best direction for your beard will change as your beard length changes.

Keep on playing about with the direction of the beard combing and keep a record of what is good and what results in a less than desirable beard. Now, let’s take a look at what is the best way to comb a beard?

What is the best way to comb a beard?

How to comb under chin - comb

As you are growing your beard, it’s pretty cool to get to the stage where it is long enough to comb. You’ll get lots of advice (including the advice in this article) but ultimately you will have to work out your best grooming and combing routine for yourself. But, here are the basic steps to grooming your beard in the best way possible.

Firstly, there are a few things to keep in mind when buying a beard comb or brush. If you are buying a plastic comb you must make sure that the comb has both wide and narrow teeth spacings. The wide tooth spacings will make sure that you can get through the thicker and fuller parts of your beard down to the skin. And the smaller teeth will help with your moustache, and outer hair grooming. A good quality comb therefore has more than one function.

Okay, go through these steps and your beard will always look presentable:

  • brush your beard each morning
  • Begin with the wide part of the comb and brush down all over your beard. If you hit a snag stop immediately and remove the comb. Do not push through, you will end up breaking the hair.
  • Then hold the comb with the teeth facing upwards and comb your beard outwards starting underneath the chin and working down to the neckline.
  • Then with the teeth facing downwards go over the cheeks and jawline brushing downwards.
  • Take the small teeth and brush down on the moustache and then outwards from the middle (if your moustache is particularly long)
  • then use the small teeth to tuck in any wild hairs on the surface of the beard.

Play about with brushing upwards and downwards on different sections of your beard and in different orders. That way you can find out exactly what works for your beard hair.

If you are ever in doubt of which way you should be combing your beard, upwards or downwards, go in the direction of the beard growth initially. Going against it will make it look fuller but that’s not what you may want.

What does brushing your beard do?

It’s pretty incredible to me that some people do not brush their beards daily. There are so many great benefits to brushing your beard every day and it is vital if it is going to look and feel healthy all the time. Obviously, you need to brush in combination with using awesome products if you always want your beard to look its absolute best. Here, are some of the best reasons for brushing your beard every day:

Preventing ingrown hairs

Ingrown hairs are one of the most annoying aspects of having a beard, they can be very painful and look red and inflamed. Ingrown hairs are simply hairs that have grown backwards into the hair follicle. It causes them to begin growing under the skin causing severe irritation. A good quality comb and regular combing will help to release the hairs and ensure that they grow in the right direction. Make sure that the comb lightly scratches the surface of your skin while brushing – this will help prevent ingrown hairs the most effective way.


As rudimentary as it sounds, brushing is one of the best ways to force your hair into the shape you want it to sit in. Brushing your hair every day will help the hair grow in the same direction. And also cause the hairs to nestle among each other nicely. The foundational principle of brushing your hair is to separate the hairs that may get stuck together due to oil from your face, beard products, or becoming tangled together. Brushing stops all of that and so you can dictate the direction of your beard through combing.

Removing debris and grime

Dryness of your face causes beard dandruff. This dandruff can get stuck in your beard and only combing can remove it. When you shampoo and condition your beard too often you can strip the natural oils that are beneficial and moisturising to your skin. Dry skin is itchy and scratching it causes flakes to fall from your beard. Regular brushing can remove the skin cells from inside the beard.

Also, beard is just pick up dirt and grime naturally throughout the day. A good deep comb and brushing session will get rid of all of the persistent dirt stuck towards the roots of the hair.

Redistributing sebum

One of the most important things that brushing does is redistribute the natural oils that are made on the surface of your skin. Sebum is the natural oil that is produced by glands on the surface of the skin. If you have not brushed your beard regularly the oil can very easily stay at the roots of the hair and not make its way to the tips. This is a particular problem if you have a long beard. Using a wide toothed comb, you can get the sebum from the surface of your skin and distributed evenly throughout your hair with long slow strokes through the full depth of the beard.

A build-up of sebum can also cause your beard to smell as bacteria will feast on the oil and excrete a smelly odour. That’s why it’s important to brush your beard on days where you are not actively shampooing it.

All of this brushing and combing of dry hair can cause a buildup of static which can make your beard look to frizzy. Let’s look at the most common ways to deal with beard static.

Dealing with beard static

Dry and cold conditions can lead to dry hair – dry beard hair can build up static while being brushed. It always seems to happen at the worst times, and maybe that is because you are obsessively styling and brushing your hair. Let’s take a quick look at why beard hair can become charged.

The short explanation to beard static lies in a little bit of science. When two objects rubbed together it can cause a static charge to build up on the surface of those objects. In this case it is your beard hair. One object becomes positively charged (because it loses electrons) while the other becomes negatively charged (it gains electrons). This results in the positive and negative charges that stick together. If two hairs are negatively charged they will repel each other and that is when it becomes very frizzy. Think of it like the two ends of a magnet.

There are a few ways to combat beard static and over brushing and that includes:

  • use a leaving conditioner – using a leave in beard conditioner will stop your beard hair from becoming too dry and freezing out. Wet and well conditioned hair does not build up a static charge. Using a beard oil/balm/butter will be one of the best ways that you can deal with beard static. Use a conditioning product as often as you need to fight the frizz.
  • Use a wooden comb – using a wooden comb instead of plastic reduces the ability to pass electrons to and from materials. Plastic combs rubbing through your hair are the main causes of static buildup.
  • Use a metal comb – metal conducts electricity and will take away any charge.
  • Try argan oil – applying argan oil regularly to your beard could also help. It is a great oil that gets absorbed readily by beard hair. Rubbing a few drops into your hands and massaging into your beard after brushing and blow drying may help prevent static buildup.
  • Use a dryer sheet on your beard – okay, this one may seem a little bit crazy but dryer sheets can also reduce static. In the same way dryer sheets can help keep clothes static free they can do the same for your beard. Keep a few fabric softener sheets in your bag or the car rub them on your comb and brush before you style your beard.

Follow these tips and your beard will be static free (and frizz free) throughout your day.

The best beard comb

if you want to see my recommendations for the best beard combs and brushes check out this YouTube video:

You can also see all of my recommended beard products on my recommended product page. Click here to go to the page.

Frequently asked questions

Although it looks simple, brushing your beard can actually be quite an intricate process. It is not surprising then, that there are a load of frequently asked questions around beard hair under the chin. Here we will just cover a few of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

Beard curls under chin

It is common for beard growers to find curls and waves under their chin. If your beard is particularly curly or wavy you have a couple of options to deal with it:

  • intense hair drying – using a hairdryer on high and directing it on to the problem hair as it is being held by a rounded brush is one way of combating a beard curl. You will need to hold the beard in the opposite way of the curl to straighten out. Lock the hair in place with cool air when you are happy with it.
  • Use a beard straightener – using a beard straightener is one of the most effective ways of getting your beard to lie the way you want it to lie. Be careful not to over use a beard straightener as it can quickly dry out your beard hair, because it static, and undo all of your good work.
  • A beard balm with high wax component – there are a load of beard balm is on the market each of them has a different amount of wax. Choose a beard balm with a high wax ratio or a high hold moustache wax. This can help hold the curls under the chin in a new position.

Beard under chin not growing

If your beard is not growing in a certain place there is not too much you can do about it. Beard growth patterns and rates are heavily dictated by your genetic make up. If you’re father, grandfather, or uncles can grow good beards under their chin then it is likely you will be able to too. However, you can choose a beard style that does not rely on a long growth under your chin. That will allow you to emphasise the good bits of your beard and not the bad bits.

Check out my video on how to grow a beard if you can’t – six easy tips for you to try for more information about growing a beard.

Should I comb my beard every day

Yes, you should comb your beard every day. Combing your beard every day means that you’ll be able to get all of the benefits that brushing your beard hair gives you consistently. That includes reducing ingrown hairs, distributing sebum, removing dirt and grime, and making it look awesome.

Even though I say that you should comb your beard every day, it does not mean comb it or grooming it aggressively. Using a good quality plastic, wooden, or metal comb gently will help provide all of these benefits. Alternatively investing in a good quality natural bristle brush will allow you to brush more vigourously.

It doesn’t matter if you miss brushing your beard hair for one or two days it will not cause too many issues. However, don’t make this a regular occurrence. If you do not brush your hair for more than a week you will experience significant tangles.

Does brushing a beard help it grow

You have probably seen online that people say brushing helps a beard grow. There is no direct evidence that brushing your hair causes the beard to grow but it could potentially provide other benefits. For example, it could stimulate the blood vessels at the surface of the skin – bringing more nutrients and oxygen and blood flow to your hair follicle.

So it’s not to say that brushing does not do any good (we know from this article that is a very good thing) but it does not necessarily increase the length, density, or thickness of your beard growth.


So, there we have it. Combing under your chin has a range of benefits for your beard. If your beard is of medium length it will have the most impact on making it look full and thick. As your beard gets longer, play around with brushing forwards and backwards to find out what makes your beard look the best. A poll from a popular forum suggested that most people brushed backwards although a good portion of people brushed forward as well. Surprisingly, about 10% of people didn’t brush their beard at all…

What is best for your beard will change depending on the length of your beard. As your beard grows, continue to play about with your brushing routine so that you get the best results for your beard. Happy beard growing!

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 trialling different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!