When you are growing a beard, you become acutely aware of how rough and wiry a beard feels. It seems like it is never ending – keeping it soft and shiny is a full-time job in itself. Sometimes, people turn to products like beard oil, beard barn, beard butter, and beard wax to keep their beard nice and soft. But you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of other options that may be lurking in the depths of your cupboard. In this article I am going to share with you the seven best home remedies to make your beard soft. I think they are the best because you will have at least half of the ingredients already in your cupboard – no rushing out to buy obscure ingredients for your beard.
The best seven home remedies to make your beard soft are banana and honey, coconut oil, mashed avocado, coconut oil and lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and Aloe Vera. Use these ingredients individually or mash them together to combine the awesome powers of each of these ingredients. Evenly spread them throughout your beard, leave for 20 minutes, and simply rinse out with water.
Soft hair, and shiny hair, is seen as healthy hair. So, before we tackle the problem, we should look at the causes of rough beard hair so that you can tackle the root of the problem.
Why is beard hair so rough?
Healthy hair is defined by science as shiny hair with a smooth texture and clean-cut ends (or ends that taper to the tip). In an article published in 2007, scientists wanted to uncover what exactly healthy hair is. Hair texture and shine relates to the hair’s surface properties. This means that the outside structure of the hair is very important in remaining it’s soft shiny, and smooth texture.
Beard hair becomes rough when the outside structure of the hair becomes damaged and bumpy. To understand exactly why beard hair is so rough we need to understand the structure of the hair.
The hair structure
Typical beard hair consists of an outer hydrophobic fat-based layer of flattened overlapping cuticle cells surrounding the inner core. The cuticle cells lying on the outside of the hair like roof tiles. The normal cuticle has a very smooth appearance which appears shiny because it allows light to reflect without scattering.
Rough beard hair
The outside cuticle may become damaged by frictional forces like those experienced during brushing and also by chemical treatments and environmental factors like UV light and hot or cold climate conditions.
A paper published in 2004 looked at the friction and wear on human hairs. They created a rig which was used to rub hair in a manner similar to the processes of scratching and brushing your head hair. They looked at the macroscale friction created by typical hair treatment – and this includes beard hair.
This is what hair looks like after being subjected to a wear test.
In the image we can see virgin hair becomes significantly damaged whereas hair treated with typical conditioner responds similarly. This means that even conditioner cannot save you from damaging your beard through wear and tear encountered when brushing or stroking your beard.
The roughness of a beard can also be due to the very wiry nature of the beard. If you want to find out more about what makes beards wiry you can check out my other article where I go through everything you need to know open get included in science) of why beard hair is so wiry – click here to be taken to article.
The importance of moisture
Also, the beard has to retain a certain amount of moisture to be soft. The moisture needs to be retained within the beard internal structure otherwise it can become dry and brittle. Any damage to the cuticles can quickly allow the inside of the hair to dry out and become even more susceptible to breakage.
Therefore, reducing the amount of heat treatments and moisture stripping daily grooming processes will be the key in keeping your beard as soft as possible.
Clearly, looking after your beard hair and making sure the cuticles of the hair lay flat and smoothly around the inner shaft is what causes your beard to be soft. Here are the seven home remedies that I think you should use to make your beard soft and smooth.
7 home remedies to make your beard soft:
These home remedies have been chosen because I believe that nearly every household would have at least some of these ingredients. These ingredients each have their own superpowers. This means that each of the ingredients below can be used in combination with the others as each has its own specific use case.
My recommendation is to approach this with an inquisitive mind and attempt three or four of these recipes so that you can test which ones leave your beard feeling the softest.
Banana and honey
Perhaps your beard is looking dull, drive, and frizzy. This means that it may need extra help in retaining the moisture that is lost throughout the day. Creating a banana and honey beard mask will help look much softer and shinier.
Bananas are an ideal base for a home-made beard mask because they are packed full with all sorts of healthy oils and fats which can moisturise and strengthen your beard hair. You can also mix your banners with other ingredients such as milk, olive oil, and avocado for a full range beard treatment. Bananas are easy to get hold of and are relatively inexpensive so are perfect for someone looking for an ideal beard soft in a home remedy.
Use as follows:
- take two ripe bananas and mix with about half a cup of honey.
- Place the banana and honey mix in a blender – alternatively you can’t mash it together with a fork until smooth.
- Make sure that the honey is warm as it will not mix well if left cold.
- Apply the mixture to your beard making sure that you work it into the roots all the way through to the tips. I recommend you do this over a sink or in the bathtub.
- Cover your beard with a beard wrap and let the banana mask sit on your face for at least 20 minutes.
- Then, wash and condition your hair as normal – with or without shampoo. You can repeat this as often as you want. If you find that you are having problem removing the honey increase the temperature of the water.
Coconut oil is a fantastic solution to create soft beard hair. It is suitable for every type of beard whether it is long, short, dark, grey, or any other combination. This natural oil is absolutely jampacked with fatty acids which penetrate deep into the beard hair leaving it conditioned and feeling awesome.
In 2015 researchers looked at a number of studies and found that coconut oil has a high affinity for hair proteins and a unique ability to penetrate deep into the hair shaft. It is this penetration which is a key factor in making this a brilliant home remedy for your beard.
How to use coconut oil:
- you can use coconut oil like any conditioner. You can replace the common beard conditioner with coconut oil. I have used it in my DIY beard oils and farms and find it a fantastic additive. Simply use this after shampooing your hair and rinse out with water
- if you need a deeper treatment you can use a teaspoon or two throughout your beard hair and leave it in the beard for at least 30 minutes. Rinse out with water and shampoo. You can even leave it in for extended periods of time if you need a deep hydration treatment.
Feel free to add essential oils to the coconut while if you want to add extra smell, therapeutic properties, or other aspects you like from your other beard products. You can even add a few other ingredients like honey, avocado, and lemon juice for added impact.
If you have found that the coconut oil has solidified, simply heat it up gently in a warm water bath and it will re-liquefy and be much easier to work with.
Avocados are delicious and a wicked source of healthy fats. They contain a huge amount of vitamin E which, like vitamin A, helps combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body. One study resulted in people with hair loss seeing 34.5% more hair growth after taking Vitamin E for eight months.
But not only is it good for eating – is perfect as a topical treatment as well. A 2015 study found that minerals in avocado oil – which was the potassium and magnesium – may help cuticle cells lay flat against the shaft of the hair. This will help your beard hair remained smooth and shiny.
Use as follows:
- use a fork to mash one full avocado into a smooth paste.
- At this point add any other ingredients such as coconut oil, olive oil, lemon juice, eggs, aloe vera, bananas, and more.
- Place the paste into your hair and make sure that it goes from root to tip.
- Leave it in your hair for at least 30 minutes.
- Rinse out the paste in the shower and shampoo and condition your hair as usual.
Because of the fatty nature of the avocados you should apply this to dry hair so that it does not have to penetrate past any water to sit at the surface of your hair and close to the cuticles. Because the facts and water repel each other this will ensure a deep treatment.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an incredible product that can leave your hair feeling much smoother and softer. You may be familiar with Apple cider vinegar from your grandmother or old school family member.
It has amazing antibacterial and antifungal properties but it can smell a little bit strange. That is because we are also used to products which have been designed to smell nice. You can overcome some of this by using essential oils or shampoo and conditioner is that you like after using Apple cider vinegar.
Don’t use apple cider vinegar straight from the bottle it needs dilating first. This is how you use it:
- Dilute the Apple cider vinegar with about one part in five in water.
- Wet your beard hair in the shower.
- After your hair is completely wet turn off the shower and pour the Apple cider vinegar completely through your beard.
- Let it sit in their full about five minutes.
- After five minutes, rinse it out with water and follow-up with your typical shampoo and conditioner.
After about one week of daily use you will start seeing a noticeable difference in the softness and shininess of your beard.
The only thing you need to be worried about is that the Apple cider vinegar doesn’t irritate your skin. It majorly changes the pH of your skin so don’t overuse it.
Aloe vera is an incredible plant that has very thick leaves with a gel -like substance inside of them. It’s found all over the world and many people can grow it in their own gardens. How about that for a self-sufficient home remedy is to keep your beard soft?
But, if you don’t have an aloe vera plant in your garden you can easily buy the gel at a supermarket and there is no harm in doing that.
To use it all you have to do is:
- wet your beard hair
- apply the aloe vera gel (or mashed up fresh aloe vera) to your beard hair
- let it sit against your beard for at least 10 minutes
- wash your beard with a mild soap and follow-up with your typical beard routine.
Aloe vera helps strengthen and repair hair strands as it contains vitamin C a, C, and E. Which all help contribute to healthy cell growth and shiny hair.
Deep hydration treatment
All of these ingredients, above, can be used for a deep hydration treatment. A deep hydration treatment allows your beard to have a full burst of hydration if you are struggling to keep it from becoming rough and wiry.
Deep Hydration facial and beard treatments take time but the good news is that you can do all of them at home. This is what a home treatment deep hydration treatment looks like:
- Get a hot towel (as hot as you can stand) and wrap it around your face and beard – leave it for two to five minutes.
- Buy a good leave-in conditioner and use a thumb tip amount and liberally apply to every area on your beard – work it deep with your finger tips
- Use a wide toothed comb to work the conditioner deep into your beard and to the surface of your skin.
- Place a shower cap over your beard and leave it for 20 minutes – this will ensure maximum absorption
- Rinse your beard with water and towel dry your beard
- Add 5 drops of beard oil to your palm and work it through your beard
- Follow up with a beard balm or butter if you want to
These seven steps should leave your beard feeling hydrated like never before. Feel free to repeat these steps as often as you feel that your beard is getting dull.
Extra tips for keeping your hair soft
Here are a little selection of extra tips that you can use at home for keeping your beard extra soft!
Use a beard heat protector spray
If you are a fan of using heat treatments to style your beard you may be drying out your beard faster than other people. Consider using a heat protecting spray so that your beard retains the majority of the moisture whilst being groomed.
Sleep on a smooth pillowcase
Sleeping is one of the areas where we are very rough on our beers. Mashing our faces into pillows for many hours each day can result in the cuticles becoming damaged and the onset of split hairs, broken shafts and more. Consider buying a satin, or smooth, pillowcase so that your beard is not put through too much turmoil!
Use a beard wrap while sleeping
It’s not a common sight but beard wraps are becoming more popular. A beard wrap is something that goes over the entire volume of your beard while you are sleeping. If you want to know more about the best beard wraps for sleeping check out my other article – the full comparison guide – click here to be taken to article.
Protect your hair from the elements
Your beard is on your face throughout the entire day! This means that it is out in the sun, in cold air, wind, snow, rain, and all of the elements you can think of. Protect your beard with a beard wrap, or UV suncream so that it doesn’t feel the full force of the environment.
Remember to cool your beard hair
If you are a fan of using a blow dryer to style your hair I would recommend using the cool setting as a final blast to cool down the beard hairs. Removing the heat as the final step during your grooming process will mean that your beard is less likely to be rough and remain soft as the cuticles will return to their flat position. Alternatively, you can splash some cold water on your beard.
Avoid over brushing
Do not over brush your hair. The science is clear – brushing can cause irreversible damage to beard hairs. The moment the cuticle has been compromised is the moment that your beard can become rough and wiry. Go easy with your beard brushing and purchase a natural bristle brush for added protection.
Using a home remedy for your beard is perfect. You should consider using a combination of banana and honey, coconut oil, mashed avocado, coconut oil and lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and Aloe Vera. All of these ingredients are known for keeping hair nourished and soft. The good thing is that you can find all of these in the average covered and after using these for a couple of months you will start seeing some incredible results for your beard’s softness.
Go and raid those cupboards and good luck!
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!