6 simple hacks to stop your beard growing in the wrong direction

As my beard started to grow I realized that it was going to be a little more work that just waiting for my beard to fall into the perfect shape. As it grew, I realized that my beard was growing in the wrong direction and the hairs were simply going wild! Here we will look at the simple tricks that you can use to make sure that your beard is tamed and growing, and laying, in the direction that you want it to!

To stop your beard growing in the wrong direction you can direct your beard during drying and heat, using products with a wax component or trim hairs that stick out to support downward growth.

In a hurry? Here are the six hacks to stop your beard growing in the wrong direction:

  1. Direct your beard during drying
  2. Use products for a stronger hold
  3. Wait for the next cut
  4. Take time to trim up your sideburns and beard lines!
  5. How to handle the humidity
  6. Seek professional help!

1. Direct your beard during drying

Everyone has things about their facial hair that they would rather change! As my beard grew longer I noticed that the chin had a significant wave in it. I noticed that the sideburns where the first to point straight out from my face and I could never seem to get my mustache to lay as I wanted it!

Over the past months, I have learned what it takes to get my beard looking how I want it to look. Adding a very simple and efficient beard grooming routine is of absolute importance if you want to start each day with a spectacular looking beard.

Here’s my morning routine:

  1. Get out of bed and brush my beard with a straight plastic comb until it lies roughly where I want it. This just gets out any dead hair, skin or debris that my beard has picked up during the night.
  2. Shower and (every second day) wash the beard with a mild soap and beard conditioner. I found that washing it every day caused my beard to become dry and even harder to control.
  3. Towel dry the beard. This part is important if you want to speed up the drying process.
  4. Hot blowdry your beard. I use a medium heat setting and lift parts of my chin hair as I noticed that it wasn’t getting dry as it grew longer. I brush it into shape as it is drying
  5. Cold blowdry your beard. As it is just about dry, take your hair dryer and turn off the hear or push the cold button. This will quickly cool the hair and lock it into place.

You can find my entire beard grooming schedule at this blog post – click here.

This isn’t just hearsay. The heating and cooling of hair breaks and forms chemical bonds in the hair called disulfide‐bridges. By heating up the ahair you can break the bonds and cause it to lay a little straighter.

This trick is often used on head hair by using straightening irons. As soon as the hair gets wet the bonds reform and the hair returns to its natural curly shape. So if it raining out there you’ll undo all of your good work!

If you find that this blow-drying and heating technique doesn’t work for you, you can always opt for more control with beard products.

2. Use products for a stronger hold

There are a whole range of products on the market for your beard. I’ve actually ended up making my own beard oil and wax because I wanted the challenge.

It turned out to be very easy and I didn’t need to use any of my degrees in chemistry to help me out!

Here is an outline of all of the products that I have used and how I like to use them. No one product is useful for every way that a beard growing in the wrong direction.

Hold strengthProductComments
LowBeard oil – DIYI put a small amount in every day
LowBeard Conditioner –
Blue Beards Beard conditioner
I use this every week or so if my beard needs an extra hydration boost.
MediumBeard balm – DIYA balm that is part oil, part shea butter, and part beeswax.
HighBeard wax – DIYLike above but with much more beeswax!

I have personally used each of the above products and This is how I use each of them in more detail:

DIY beard oil

I use the beard oil on my beard nearly every day. A small amount goes a long way and you can make enough to last a year for only $25. I work it into my dry beard after blow-drying and make sure that it is rubbed in well enough to reach the skin underneath.

Beard Conditioner – Bluebeards Beard conditioner

I got a tub of this when I was in Austin Texas for SXSW. It has lasted a year and I use it about once a week to condition my beard and give it a hydration blast. It contains oils so if I use this I skip out on using the beard oil for the day.

Beard balm and wax

I’ve put these two together because these I use really only for the problem areas of my beard – the sides! This is a DIY mixture I have created that contains shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil, peppermint essential oils, and beeswax.

I have two versions – one has less beeswax than the other and I use the beeswax heavy version for maximum hold on the sides and mustache areas of my beard.

3. Wait for the next cut

Some experts suggest that you should wait at least two weeks between beard trims and stylings.

This is because it will take this long for the hairs to grow long enough and automatically fall into place. Maybe you’ve heard the saying that the difference between a good haircut and a bad one is two weeks – well your beard is the same. Don’t make any rash decisions and wait to see if your wild hairs need a little more length to go the right direction.

Personally, I have an issue with over trimming. Every time I look in the mirror I take another stray hair or fuzzy section off my beard. The truth is that you need to avoid over-maintenance as much as you need to avoid under-maintenance.

Even a quick slip of the scissors or trimmer can leave you with more problems than when you started. Especially if you are trimming freehand like I do most of the time!

4. Take time to trim up your sideburns and beard lines!

If your beard is growing in the wrong direction sometimes a little clean up of the lines and sideburns is all that is needed to make sure that hairs are not escaping your beard lines!

I have a “three strikes and you are out” rule for hairs on my face. Sometimes I notice that a certain hair is pointing in the wrong direction. It may be pointing straight up or out!

I usually try to blow dry that area into shape first. If that doesn’t work I use oil and wax to hold it in place. If however, these approaches do not work I will simply cut the hair as close to my face as I can and keep it that way.

It may seem a little brutal but I have a couple of hairs on the top of my mustache where this is the only option!

The truth is that the growth of the beard is different in different parts of your face and sometimes being ruthless is required.

Please don’t overuse this technique as you’ll start to lose the shape of your beard!

5. How to handle the humidity

I’m very lucky that I live in a relatively dry climate. This makes my beard easier to manage with products that I use to keep it tame and less homeless looking!

People living in humid areas can find it difficult to maintain their beard and keep it looking sharp. The good news is that there’s a few ways to keep your beard looking good in humid regions.

  1. Rely on Oils and Shea Butter – I mentioned above that my wax contains shea butter and jojoba and coconut oil.
  2. Apply an Anti-Frizz Product – Look at purchasing an anti-frizz serum to keep your beard hair in control in high humidity areas.
  3. Keep Your Hair Moisturized – Over-washing is the best way to dry out your beard. Try extending the number of days in between washing and see if that helps with the frizz!

6. Seek out help!

Pretty much every time I come across something I don’t know about my beard I ask a professional.

Make sure that you find a barber that you trust. I have even just called up my barber to ask a question. I’ve found that they are very forthcoming with information and are more than happy to help out at any time!

The final word

Having an understanding of the uniqueness of your beard is essential when growing it out. Regular maintenance is all you need to keep your beard from growing in the wrong direction.

I hope that everything mentioned above come in helpful for you if you are having problems controlling 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 trialling different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!