What Makes a Good Beard Brush?

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The glory of a well-maintained beard is unparalleled in the natural world. Men and women alike know this to be true. I used to wonder how men could achieve the look of precise grooming and clean shapeliness without visiting the barber daily. Consequently, I began to wonder what makes a good beard brush, and how could I learn the brushing techniques that would make a beard resplendent? I set off to discover what the internet could tell me about brushes and daily beard maintenance.

Necessary Maintenance

beard brush

First off, I’m just gonna state that maintenance is truly necessary for beards. Lots of guys seem to think of growing a beard as the ultimate hands-off, no-brainer grooming option. If only. The thing is, it doesn’t take much for a beard to go from styling and powerful to scruffy and miserable. Trim it up, shape its growth, and bask in the praise and approving nods. I promise it’ll be worth every minute of preparation and attention in front of the mirror.

A Singular Tool

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Now, the question that got me wondering first was, “What makes good brushes stand apart from other brushes?” I found that the answer is detailed; it kind of depends on what you are wanting to do with your beard. Here’s what I found out about brushes:

Beard brushes are designed to perfectly accomplish three things:

1. Detangling

You’ve probably heard people joke about getting “critters” taking up residency in an unkempt beard, but let me assure you that it’s not a joking matter. The thicker bristles of a good beard brush will help to straighten out any crooked characters in your face fur, and prevent the deeper areas from housing any unwanted…guests. Like the (now live) cultures found in last Sunday’s beer cheese dip. Also, bristles cut to different lengths will reach your hair at whatever stage of growth or length it’s in currently. Which helps with detangling and with…

2. Growth-directing

If you have trouble keeping your mustache hairs from curling in on your lips or have some stray patches that make a retreat back to your ears once they grow past a certain point, then your prayers for help may be answered by a simple brushing routine. This is one of those times when it’s best to start early and stay consistent; the brush can only really help redirect your hair’s growth if you get ‘em while they’re young. Start brushing your beard in the direction you want it to grow once it gets past about ½ an inch in length, the point where it’s a good idea to begin thinking about…

3. Oil distribution

A high-quality beard oil should be a staple in the beard maintenance regimen of every beard bearer. Some men have no trouble getting the oil evenly distributed through their beards using their fingers alone, sure. But to really get deep and saturate your beard with the nourishing benefits of the oil, a natural hair bristle brush is your best friend. Synthetics and plastic bristles, sub-par to natural hair, just don’t do as good a job. Natural hair bristles will retain a fair amount of oil, which aids in the distribution of oil through your beard.

Worthy Investment

So our list is beefing up. A good beard brush will have varied lengths of bristles for detangling and growth-directing, and it will be made of natural hair fibers. Let me explain a little more why I’m stressing the natural hair feature so much. I’d say that it might be a matter of preference in choosing what kind of brush to use, but c’mon; only wusses give half-hearted effort to preserve their most publicly prominent masculine feature. When you set out to buy a beard brush, please avoid synthetic or plastic bristles, like the ones pictured here:

beard_brush_3

The reason for this is that most plastics and man-made bristles have microscopic rough edges that can claw at beard hair and overwork follicles, causing breakage, split ends, and tearing out of hair. Boar’s hair bushes have been The Thing for Beards since as far back as internet archives could educate me. Boar’s hair is frequently highly recommended, especially for its ability to carry oils (but we touched on that already). Natural hair brushes such as boar’s hair brushes are considered lifetime investments. Buy it once, treat it right, and pass it on to your favorite grandkid.

Now let me add that there are differing opinions on this subject. Here is a link to an article from hiconsumption.com reviewing a few different types of brushes, listing their pros and cons.

And here’s from toolsofmen.com one gauging the differences between brushes and combs, in case you were wondering about that.

Technically Speaking

Moving along, let me tell you what I learned about brushing techniques. If you remember what I said a moment ago about growth-directing for your beard, this is where I explain what that would look like. Actually, this is where I let the dude in the video I’m linking you out to show what that looks like.

Now you’re getting a better idea of how to make your beard resplendent, right? If you add brushing to your daily care routine, be sure to avoid over-brushing to prevent split ends and breakage. Beard combs are best for touch-ups through the day. For more info on daily maintenance, check out this other article from toolsofmen.com.

As a last note, let me direct you to a video on how to properly clean your brushes. This is the guy who showed me that you gotta love your tools before they really love you back.

When it all comes down to it, you’ve got to choose the beard styling tools and techniques that are right for your beard. If it’s a thick, stubborn mule of an animal, you probably need boar’s hair, beard oil, and balm. If you’ve got a tamed and faithful friend in your beard, maybe just a comb and a spot of oil to give it some shine.

Did this article answer your questions about what makes a good beard brush? If so, let me know. If not, send a complaint. Comment below and let us know how we can make this blog all you need it to be.

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Ryan Snider is a writer by day and an avid reader by night. He loves to take his motorcycle out for a ride and let his beard get some much needed fresh air. As a bald man he has some interesting insight into growing beard hair as that's all he can grow on his head.