Should you brush your beard before bed? [SOLVED]

Maintaining and caring for a beard relies on doing a little bit of maintenance regularly. Some people like to do their beard maintenance when they get up in the morning whilst others brush their beard before bed to keep on top of the tangles and style.

Whether or not you brush your beard before bed is completely up to you. Brushing your beard for bed removes the dirt and grime that built up throughout the day and can untangle the hairs whilst also removing the dead ones.

Personally, I use a combination of morning brushing – showering and styling – and night-time brushing. I always find it easier to add a habit to an existing habit that I have already created and whenever I go to brush my teeth, I also brush my beard at the same time.

It is not 100% necessary to brush your beard before bed. For some people it just matches up with their daily routine much more efficiently whilst for others they find that they need to brush their beard because of the sort of environments they are in or job they do during the day.

If you brush your beard in the morning here are a few reasons why you may want to switch to a night-time beard routine.

Why you may want to brush your beard before bed

Brushing your beard before bed provides a number of benefits to your beard that you don’t get if you only brush in the morning.

To remove dirt and grime

Brushing your beard of an evening means that you have the capability of removing dirt and grime that may have built up during the day.

It really depends on your daily environment but if you are a tradesperson you may find that dust and small particles need to be brushed out of your beard at the end of the day.

For the average office worker this of an issue but things like food, pollution, and other bits of grime can easily get trapped deep into your beard.

Removing the dirt and grime with a simple soft bristle brush means that you won’t run the risk of the sharp dust particles damaging your beard as you mash your face into the pillow during the night.

To put in products before sleeping

Some people love to put in products before sleeping. If you want to know what you should put in your beard overnight you should check out my other article that goes through all of the different products that are suitable for putting in your beard.

Putting products in your beard at night means that they have a greater opportunity to be absorbed throughout the night and you are able to put a little bit more than you would usually use in the morning.

It can sometimes take up to 40 minutes for beard butters to fully absorb and doing it just before you go to bed gives it the best opportunity to fully penetrate the hair.

Using a soft bristled brush you can easily distribute products throughout your beard before going to sleep.

To remove dead hairs

The average person loses about 100 beard hairs throughout the course of the day. I am always amazed when I look at the amount of beard hairs on my pillow, in the bathroom, and after combing my beard.

Brushing out your beard before you go to bed means that you are removing the hairs which no longer sit securely in the hair follicle. Also, it means that your partner will be less annoyed by all of the beard hairs which inevitably end up in the bed!

To remove tangles (important in long beards)

Perhaps you have a particularly long beard – brushing at night before you go to bed is going to be an incredibly important component of your beard care.

The longer the beard the more important it becomes to the tangle the hair before you go to bed.

Redistribute 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.

Tackle static

You may also want to brush your beard to tackle any issues you have with static which builds up during the day. Dry and cold conditions can easily lead to dry hair that can build up static.

Do not brush your hair with a plastic brush as this can increase the amount of frizziness that you are experiencing.

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.

Use a natural bristle brush or a wooden comb to reduce the number of electrons that are passed from the comb or brush to your hair.

Do not brush your beard if:

Even though brushing your beard at night is a good technique for many people here are the few instances where you should not brush your beard at night.

Your hair is wet

Do not brush your beard at night if your hair is wet. If you have just had a shower and your beard hair is dripping wet I would recommend waiting for at least 30 minutes before you run your comb through your beard.

That is because wet hair is much easier to damage than dry hair. If you want to blow dry your beard and style it using a comb I recommend using a machined comb that does not contain sharp injection molded edges or using a natural bristle brush such as bores hair.

It is particularly dry and brittle

If your beard is particularly dry and brittle you should refrain from doing anything which would stress the hair out further. Over brushing can easily damage dry and brittle hair and I would recommend waiting for the morning when you can hydrate your beard with a good beard butter or beard conditioner.

The proper way to brush your beard

As your beard grows you will slowly learn what are the best techniques that keep your beard looking as fresh and tamed as possible.

Here are the general steps that I go through when brushing my beard:

  • I use a wide toothed comb to get deep into my beard to remove the knots from the entire depth of the beard.
  • Then I use a narrow toothed comb to work the top layers of my beard until they lay straight. I may also use heat at this point.
  • I apply any beard product that I want to use such as beard oil or beard balm
  • I then use a soft bristle brush to work the product throughout the entire surface of my beard.
  • The jaw area of the beard is a tricky thing to tame and I generally brush up from my neck and underneath towards my chin and then I work the outside layer of my beard brushing it down.

You can see my approach to brushing my beard up and down in this video.

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.

 

Summary

In this article or bedtime. In the beard growing world there are no shoulds and as long as your current daily routine is giving you the effect and the maintenance of your beard that you want you should keep doing it.

However, there are a number of benefits of brushing your beard at night before bedtime including removing dirt and grime, untangling long beards and redistributing sebum. If you don’t currently brush your beard at night I recommend that you add it to your routine for a couple of weeks to see if you notice any significant improvement to your beard!

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!