As your beard gets longer and longer it gets harder to maintain the shape and style of the beard. There are so many reasons why your beard hair can quickly become out of shape on your face and why the individual hairs may not be behaving themselves. Beard hairs can stick out for a variety of reasons and no matter what the reason we can all agree that that is really frustrating and can cause you countless hours of pruning and worrying in the mirror. In this article we are going to go over all of the things you can do about how to keep beard hairs from sticking out of the lines of your beard. You will be pleasantly surprised with how you easy it is to keep your beard in shape!
Beard hairs stick out for a variety of reasons such as the hair being dry, unevenly trimmed, being really curly, and even static build-up from plastic combs. To keep your beard hairs from sticking out you need to make sure that your beard is trimmed well, that they are long enough to fall down under their own weight, and that your beard maintenance routine works to hydrate and control your beard hairs.
Before we get into the answers for keeping beard hairs from sticking out we need to understand exactly why a beard hairs sticker in the first place and from there we can decide the best course of action for your beard. Everyone’s beard is different and the approach that you will need to take will be different from person to person. As you are reading this article take notes on what is relevant for your beard and then use those approaches (or a combination of those approaches) to see what works best for you.
Why do beard hairs stick out?
Beard hairs stick out for a variety of reasons and whatever those reasons it doesn’t make it any less frustrating when you are trying to create defined lines and style within your beard but you can’t help it get these stray hairs which seem to spark and grow out of nowhere. Sometimes, I find it really difficult to control the stray hairs on my beard because it is particularly curly and the hairs do not lie in a completely flat position.
Let’s take a look at why your beard hairs stick out:
Your beard hair may be super curly! As your beard grows you will notice that it waves and curls in particular directions and those directions change over time.
The follicles of beard hairs may grow in a range of different directions on your face. The hair follicles are responsible for introducing some curliness into your beard. The more parallel they lie with the surface of the skin that curly are the hair is likely to grow. Your hair follicles are also responsible for the direction of the beard growth and in some circumstances the beard can grow in a circular pattern causing a cowlick. If you want to know more about how to deal with beard cowlick check out my ultimate guide – click here.
The shape of your hair shaft also dictates how curly your beard is. The flatter and more oval the beard hair cross-sectional shape the curly are the beard comes. There is not much you can do to tackle this issue directly as this is determined by your genetics.
In 2003 there was a science article published in the Journal of American Academy of dermatology that looked at the hair shape of curly hair. The hair follicle is a unique organ which is composed of different compartments that interact with each other in a surprisingly autonomous way. A hair follicle is known as a self renewing organ and the study found that the shape of the hair shaft is programmed from the bowl of the hair that grows in the hair follicle.
Dry beard hair
Your hair may also be very dry if you are finding that you have a lot of stray hairs that you have to deal with. Dry hair can be caused by a variety of reasons which can result in hair that is dull (because the outer cuticle of the hair is rough), brittle, and frizzy. Dry beard hair can result from a lack of natural sebum that is produced on the face. But, as your beard gets longer there is no doubt that this even is unable to keep up with the length of the beard and you need to use products to supplement the natural oils produced by your face.
Dry beard hair is also associated with age because as you get older your face makes less oil and any hormonal changes that happen later on in life can also lead to dry and easy to damage beard hair.
Environmental conditions such as sea salt and harsh UV ray exposure is a common way that beards can become very dry. Unlike head hair and other hair on the body beard hair is out in the environment every time that our face is out in the environment. It is very hard to cover up a beard during the day and so exposure to wind, chlorinated or salty water, dry hot climates can easily make your beard dry.
Uneven trimming is where your trimmers are unable to pass through your beard completely and leave some of the hairs on your face untrimmed. To counteract this you should invest in a beard trimmer that is particularly good or your type of beard. Here are a list of articles that I have written about different types of beard trimmers for different beard types:
- Best beard trimmer for sensitive skin – a little-known top five
- best beard trimmer for detailing – the insider top five
- best beard trimmer for thick course hair – five insider pics
- Best beard trimmer for a close shave
The best way for dealing with uneven trimming is to regularly brush your hair while you are passing the trimmers through your beard. This will extend and expose any beard hairs that you have missed on the first pass and will allow you to see how even your blades are cutting.
Beard hairs are notoriously hard to trim because even the slightest of touches can cause the beard hairs to become entangled and not expose those themselves to trimming. A good quality beard trimmer with a powerful and sharp cutting blade will make sure that your beard doesn’t get flattened as you are trimming.
Static can be caused by a range of things that you do to your hair. For example, brushing your hair with a plastic brush can introduce charges onto the surface of the hair which causes the hairs to repel each other individually. You can think of this like the Van de Graaff generator in high school that can be used to introduce static charge into the hair causing it to stick up and stand on its end. The way the electricity is generated is simply by friction of a band on an internal surface. The same thought process happens when you rake plastic (or non-organic) materials through your beard.
There are a variety of shampoos and conditioners that can remove static and some shampoo formulas remove static by using anionic surfactants. Since these soaps carry a positive charge the surfactants (soaps) bond quickly to the strands of the hair and reduce the frizzy effect. The static electricity after the use of the shampoo is the result of balancing out the electric charges during the removal of sebum and residue from the face.
So, there are the main ways that hairs stick out from the face and here are the things that you can do to stop the beards from sticking out and causing your beard shape to look scruffy and unkempt.
Ways to stop beard hairs sticking out
The ways that you can stop your beard hairs from sticking out very in efficacy based on your type of beard hair, density, and style you want to achieve. In this section we are going to highlight all of the ways that you can stop beard hairs from sticking out. The first one is as simple as chopping away at the hairs that you want to remove.
Trimming your beard into a shape will achieve about 80% of the look that you are aiming for. There is a tendency these days to rely too much on products such as beard oils and waxes to hold the hair in place. In my experience you need to trim up the hairs as a first method of controlling any stray or wild beard hairs. There are a couple of issues with trimming that we will get into, below. The first thing I would say however is you must cut your beard when it is dry.
Do it dry!
Cutting your beard when is dry means that it is in its worst possible shape and then you can get a true gauge of how to much you need to remove and which beard hairs you need to remove in order to keep it in position. This method was popularised in the curly hair community and it has gained traction for people with curly hair as it results in the best trimming.
The problem with trimming
There are a couple of issues with trimming up your beard. The biggest one is that regular trimming could leave your beard looking thin. I often have a Paris is next to the mirror in my bathroom which causes me to over trim my beard on a regular basis. Regularly plucking away and trimming hairs means that over time you will remove the density of your beard. Beards that look thin and see-through can cause your beard hairs to look as if they are sticking out more.
I recommend that you trim up only once every couple of weeks and then you do not get tempted by taking off beard hairs daily.
If you want to know more about how to tackle a thin looking beard check out my other article – why does my beer look so thin? What you can do about it… – Click here.
2. Wait for the hairs to grow
The second approach that you can use to control the beard hairs that are sticking out of the lines of your beard is to wait until they are long enough to fall down under their own weight. If you are aiming for a big full beard this is probably the best option for you rather than taking scissors or trimmers to the hairs that do not behave.
It can take anywhere from about two months to 6 months for hairs to get long enough to fall down under their own weight. It can be an excruciating wait for this to happen and in the meantime you can use products to hold the hair in place.
3. Use products with hold
Using products with a good amount of hold is another great option if you do not want to cut away your beard. The feared products with the maximum amount of hold are:
- beard wax – beard wax (or moustache wax) is a product that has been formulated to provide a super stronghold for the entire day. The way they achieve this is by using beeswax and other strong wax components to literally hold the hairs in place. You have to be careful to not use too much of this as your beard can quickly and greasy and heavy.
- Beard balm – beard balm is like a beard wax but it contains less beeswax and more sheer butter or cocoa butter. If you find that beard wax leaves your beard heavy and greasy looking consider using a beard balm. It is also really easy to make your own beard balm and you can check out my DIY recipe in the YouTube video, below:
4. Products with super conditioning
If your beard is dry and it is persistently dry this can cause your beard hairs to stick out and it can make it really hard to comb into position. Using a good beard conditioner is something that a lot of men overlook in favour of beard oils and butters. But using a beard conditioner is one of the best ways you can protect your beard and keep the beard hairs from pointing outwards.
Many people have heard of beard oil and beard balm but this is some next level hydration treatment.
What are the benefits of beard conditioners?
It can be confusing with beard oils, butters, balms and waxes. Why would you need a product that specifically conditions the beard. Unlike other products that also provide a styling and hold component – beard conditioners are formulated for maximum nourishment for your beard.
Here are some of the best reasons that you should consider using a dedicated beard conditioner:
- It nourishes and moisturizes the beard – one of the biggest benefits to your beard – it makes it lovely and soft and will make your wirey hair much easier to manage.
- It helps softens the stubble on the face – If you are not one for growing a long beard but prefer to keep it close to the skin it’ll help soften the ends of the hairs and make it way less spikey!
- Imparts a healthy shine – A well-conditioned beard is one with a nice healthy shine to it. If you want to find out more tips and tricks to making your beard shine – check out my other article.
- It makes combing and styling easier – having hair that doesn’t grip the comb and sits well after it is brushed into place is an achievable outcome if you use a beard conditioner regularly.
- It reduces irritation and dry skin – the skin under a beard is not easy to look after. However, the regular use of a conditioner will leave the skin nourished and irritation-free. If you are worried about bacteria and a smelly beard you can also use a beard conditioner with essential oil that has antibacterial properties.
- They leave a nice fragrance – The last and maybe one of the strongest effects noticed by others is that a good beard conditioner will leave your beard smelling lovely! Choose a beard conditioner that has a smell that you like and, if you have a significant other, make sure that they also like the smell! There is nothing quite like a lovely smelling product!
Use a beard conditioner regularly and you will be sure to have a less wiry beard that is much easier to manage.
5. Heat treatment
Straightening your beard is one of the best ways that you can keep your beard from growing down and tuck those beard hairs in. There are many benefits of straightening your beard which is why there are so many bearded men that use it to control stray hairs and hairs that stick out from the lines of their beard.
Benefits of straightening your beard
There are loads of really great reasons for why you should consider straightening your beard. Let’s take a look at the reasons why having a beard straightening product is a brilliant way of taming your beard:
- it’s easy – running a beard straightener through your hair is such a simple process that you can include it in your daily routine. To straighten a beard all it takes is two minutes (once you get comfortable with it) in a mirror and you have a picture-perfect beard.
- It’s effective – there’s no doubt that investing in a beard straightener will get you what you want quickly. Beard straighteners and beard relaxing creams have been designed for ultimate effectiveness. That makes it incredibly attractive to a beard grower and owner.
- Easy to travel with – if you are a person who travels regularly carrying all of your creams, balms, waxes, and butter can get a little annoying. It is tempting to want to replace these products with a simple small electronic gadget. Most beard straighteners and creams pack down incredibly well so that it doesn’t take up too much space in your toiletry bag.
Although these benefits are very appealing for most beard owners, there are some serious and real side-effects to straightening your beard. Let’s talk about the downsides of straightening your beard and why you need to seriously consider whether or not it is for you.
Downsides of straightening your beard
Along with the benefits of straightening your beard there are some real downsides to using any beard straightening product – whether that is cream or beard straighteners. Let’s take a look at the reasons why you should stop straightening your beard hair.
- Your beard hair can dry out – regular heat treatments and harsh drying can leave beard hair incredibly dry and brittle. This will increase breakage and fallout leading to a less dense beard. Also, side-effects of dry hair include more split ends and frizzy hair.
- It is hiding the real you – trying to control your beard too much and looking for the “perfect” beard may be hiding what makes your beard unique. Leaving it curly or wavy will help it look fuller and more natural.
- The expense – even though beard straighteners are relatively inexpensive it is still an extra cost to maintaining your beard. Also, these electronic items will need replacing every few years. So, by not using any straightening products on your hair you will be saving some money.
So, the decision to use a straightener is not as simple as you may think. It comes down to individual choice. If you choose to use a beard straightener then you should use it in a sensible manner. That means, not using it every day and giving your beard a day off regularly. You also have to have a pretty rigorous conditioning schedule to make sure that your beard stays hydrated from all of the heat treatment.
So that we can talk about curly beards and straighteners in more detail let’s take a quick look at why beards are actually curly. And why some people’s beards are curlier than others.
6. Wash less often
One of the last things you should consider is how often you shampoo your beard. I know in the early stages of my beard growth I would regularly over shampoo my beard for fear of it smelling or having bacteria grow in it.
Fear not. As long as you do not completely neglect your beard it will remain healthy and clean. I recommend that you invest in a good beard soap so that you don’t dry out your hair. Beard soap is a specially formulated for the beard hair. Beard hair is very different to head hair as the face makes a lot less oils than the top of your head. This means that if you wash your beard regularly you can easily dry out. This will leave your beard wiry and brittle. A dry beard is much more prone to damage and so you will find that not only is it wiry but you will likely have more hair fall than usual.
Go check out my other article on this website called the best beard soap – the ultimate guide and products – click here.
Combing is recommended in a lot of beard blogs and articles but in my experience it is the least effective way of controlling your beard and ensuring a lasting hold. Sure, combing is an effective tool that you can use to tuck the beard hairs in while you are styling and drying your beard after a shower but regular combing can cause breakages and the hold and styling controller they provide only lasts for a very small amount time.
You can use combing in combination with any of the approaches above but make sure that it is not your primary method of dealing with stray hairs as the hairs that pop out from the lines of your beard I going to need much more control than he simple combing can provide.
Keeping your beard hairs from sticking out is a relatively simple task but you just have to be mindful of the root causes of your beard has sticking out and then use the correct approaches for your particular beard issues.
This is something that many bearded men deal with throughout their beard grain journeys and as your beard grows and develops you may find that you’ll have to use a different series of approaches to tackle the same issues.
Good luck with keeping your beard hairs from sticking out and I’m sure that you will have a beard that you are proud of in no time at all!
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!