Want to learn about the best brushes to use for different beards? Here’s all you need to know.
If you’ve been wondering which are the best brushes for different types of beards, you’re not alone. There are an incredible number of beard brushes on the market in all shapes and sizes, and all claiming to be the best. And all you want to do is find one that gives your beard the best possible look. Is that too much to ask? No.
I was having the same problem. I just wanted to find the best brush for my ducktail beard, but wasn’t having much luck. I’d tried a couple of drug store brushes that didn’t really do the job, so I decided to do some research. I spent a lot of time trying out some of the different brushes and analyzing the reviews for each. Here’s what I’ve come up with for the best beard brushes for different size beards.
A Bit about Brushes: Fiber Is King
Beard brushes come in all shapes and sizes – and fibers. But generally speaking there are three main brush fibers:
- Boars hair
- Horse hair
- Synthetic fiber
It’s generally accepted that the best overall fiber for beard brushes is boars hair. This fiber is hugely popular with beardsmen everywhere for good reason. The bristles are reasonably soft, so they won’t scratch your skin, but they are tough enough to stand up to even the thickest beards.
Another great property of boars hair is its ability to pick up and retain oils when the bristles are brushed through a recently oiled beard. This allows for the oil to be spread evenly throughout the beard. And it ensures that not only your beard hair shafts and follicles get essential oils, but also your skin. This helps prevent beard itch, dry skin, and beard dandruff.
Horse hair, like boars hair, also carries a lot of oil as you brush through your beard, insuring an even spread to the hair shaft, follicle, and your skin. The only problem with horse hair is it’s not as stiff as boar’s hair. Meaning it doesn’t work as well in spreading oils and grooming longer, thicker beards.
But the softer bristles means it works well on thinner, shorter length beards. So if you’re sporting stubble or a short beard, a horsehair brush may be just right for you.
Synthetic fiber brushes are the least expensive, but also the least effective of the 3 major brush types. They usually consist of plastic bristles with small nubbed ends. Synthetic brushes don’t perform as well as either the boar’s hair or horse hair brushes at spreading oils throughout your beard.
Regardless of what type of beard brush you select, try to pick one with slightly uneven bristles (most brushes have them). The offset bristles will ensure that all beard hair will be groomed with each stroke of the brush. This will help your beard oils get evenly distributed throughout the beard.
Finally, you need to keep your brush clean and free of hair and debris. A dirty, clogged brush will not do a good job of grooming or distributing oils through your beard. You should thoroughly clean your brush about every week to 10 days.
Stubble and Short Beards – My Pick for Best Brush
The Rocky Mountain Beard Brush comes in as my number one brush for very short beards and stubble. One of the reasons I selected this one is because it got good reviews on Amazon; 4.4 stars out of 5 with 29 reviews.
But in addition to the good ratings, another reason I selected this brush for short beards is because it’s made of 100% horse hair bristles. As noted above, horse hair bristles are softer than boars hair but do almost as good a job spreading beard oils. And the softer bristles are gentler on your skin. Since your skin is much closer to the brush with stubble and short beards, the softness of the bristles becomes an important factor.
This brush should work well for stubble beards, goatees, Imperials, Balboas, Van Dykes, anchors, chin straps, chin curtains, and short length full-size beards.
I used this brush when I first started growing out my beard. It did a good job of spreading beard oil, and the horse hair bristles were softer on my face than boars head brushes. The one downside was the brush had a tendency to lose a few bristles. This didn’t seem to be enough of a problem to warrant a change in my evaluation.
It’s a small brush, and the natural wood handle fits snugly in the palm of your hand, making it great to use in the shower or when your hands are wet or oily. The other nice feature of this brush is it comes with its own travel case. The small size coupled with the carry case make it a great choice for beardsmen who are on the road a lot.
This is a very economical beard brush, coming in on Amazon at just under $13.00. From Rocky Mountain Barber Company.
Medium Length Beards – My Pick for Best Brush
This Smooth Viking Beard Brush for Men came in at number one in my brush choice for medium length beards. It got superior reviews on Amazon, at 4.7 stars out of 5 with 452 reviews. It is also ranked as Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Beard and Mustache Combs.
I own this brush and it’s my favorite because it spreads oil evenly throughout my medium length ducktail. It also does a great job of detangling and smoothing my beard.
I feel this brush should work well on a variety of beards, from longer goatees to anchors, mutton chops and friendly mutton chops beards, ducktails, and your everyday light to moderate beard.
The boars head bristles are firm but also fairly soft and gentle on the face. I like the non-handle, palm-held feature of this brush because it makes it fast and easy for me to grab and groom when I’m in a hurry. For heavier, thicker beards I would suggest a handled brush.
This is not an expensive brush, especially considering its popularity. It costs only $13.27 on Amazon. From Smooth Viking.
Long, Thick Beards – My Pick for Best Brush
This Beard Brush for the Modern Gentleman was my pick for the best brush for a long, thick, heavy beard. One of the reasons was the long handle on the brush. This provides more leverage for brushing through a thicker, denser beard than a palm-held brush can offer.
Another reason for my choice was the excellent reviews it received on Amazon. It got 4.8 stars out of 5 with 704 reviews. Almost 90% of the reviews were 5 stars. This is an exceptional review profile for any product with such a large number of reviews. Many reviewers raved about the brush’s ability to penetrate through thicker beards. Some claimed it was the only brush they’d used that could penetrate beards of 6+ inches.
This would probably not be a great brush for stubble and short beards because of the stiffer boars hair bristles. I feel the bristles might be too rough on the faces of men with these beards. I believe this brush should work well on Verdis, Yeards, Garibaldis, Majestics, Terminals, and other large, heavy beards.
This brush is a bit pricier than our other picks, but it is also heavier and more sturdy. The cost on Amazon is $24.99. From Liberty.
We realize that everybody has an opinion about most things, and beard brushes are no exception. So we thought we’d provide you with some other input for helping you select a beard brush that’s right for you.
Here is an excellent YouTube video that offers other brush choices for the dedicated beardsman.
Another good brush review is provided by HiConsumption.com, in their Groomsmen: The 6 Best Beard Brushes article.
Here’s a reddit.com discussion about how some men feel about boars hair brushes that might also be helpful.
There you have it, our suggestions of best brushes for different kinds of beards. Since this was about brushes only, we didn’t get into combs, oils, shampoos, and other beard grooming products. Please look for those in other posts.
The key thing to remember is that it is essential you properly care for your beard in order to get the most out of your beardsman experience. That goes for beards of any length. Regardless of whether you’re five days into growing a short stubble beard, or five years into growing a two-foot long terminal, you will always need to give your beard the care it deserves.
Any beard of any size should be brushed on a daily basis. That’s why we felt it was important to show you some brush choices, suitable for most beard sizes, from stubble up to and including extra long majesties and terminals.
I hope this post has been helpful in guiding you to the best brush for your type of beard. As I mentioned at the beginning, I went through a lot of trial and error trying to find the right brush, within budget. The brushes mentioned above are the result of a lot of research, and I certainly hope you can make use of the information.
Let me know what you think of this post in the comments section. If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends.