Maybe you – or your significant other – have noticed that your beard is looking raggedy, thanks to unsightly split ends. The good news? Once you’ve zeroed in on the cause, you can learn how to get rid of split ends, as well as how to prevent split ends.
What are split ends? As the name suggests, they’re the ends of your beard which become damaged and split into two or three strands. Not getting enough natural sebum to all parts of your beard hair can leave it dry causing the splits.
Being rough with your grooming habits is also what causes split ends, bringing damage all along the hair shaft, but most noticeably at the ends.
In order to minimize those split ends, you need to avoid stripping your beard hair of its natural oils so as to prevent damage. Here are a few tips on how to prevent split ends:
Be Sparing with the Special Effects
Blow-drying your beard may give it an interesting “flip” for special occasions. But, daily exposure to that high heat leads to dryness and raggedy ends.
The same holds true for dyeing facial hair. The most common reason men dye their beards is to get rid of the gray. But whether you’re chasing youth or just trying to add some quirky hues, that dye can damage hair follicles.
Ditch the Low-Quality Grooming Products
Running one of those cheap black plastic combs through your beard may do the trick when it comes to smoothing down unruly waves. But, in the process, your beard can have snagged hair follicles and damaged ends from poorly-made comb teeth. Instead, look for tools made especially for beards.
Match the Right Tool to Your Beard
Different beard textures call for different combs or brushes. We’ve already established that a cheap hair comb is not the way to go for avoiding beard split ends. But, once you’re willing to invest in a good grooming product, remember that you need to choose one to suit your beard’s texture and thickness.
If you prefer a comb and have a thick beard, get one with teeth set far apart. It’s also important that the comb is labeled “polished” or “sawcut.” These are less likely to damage hair shafts.
If you’re more of a brush kind of guy, choose boar’s head bristle types. These brushes are superior for evenly distributing natural sebum from your skin to the ends of your beard.
Even if you’re obsessed with keeping your facial hair neat and crumb-free, don’t constantly comb, brush, or even stroke it. That leads to splits in no time flat. Keep the grooming to two or three times each day.
Baby That Beard
Even if your scalp hair can stand up to the dollar store shampoo you’ve subjected it to, your beard will probably be the first to protest. Avoid shampoo or soaps with harsh chemicals when you’re washing facial hair. In fact, get a wash that’s formulated for beards.
Okay, so despite your best efforts, you may not yet be completely split end-free. Not to worry. There are still plenty of things you can do that will get rid of most split ends – and minimize the appearance of the remaining ones.
Start with a Trim
It’s an obvious solution to the split end problem – just get rid of them. But, how you trim them makes a difference. High-quality shears give you more control when it comes to choosing the more ragged-looking areas to address.
On the other hand, electric beard trimmers are ideal for setting a specific length and getting all-over consistency. But, they won’t necessarily target problem areas.
Often, having both shears and a trimmer in your arsenal is a good way to go.
Invest in Beard-Specific Products
Hydrating beard wash, as well as beard balm and/or beard oil, can help seal off damaged split ends. Look for balms and oils with jojoba oil for extra nourishment.
Cocoa butter or shea butter are also helpful ingredients. These natural butters seal off the split ends and provide nourishment to strengthen the existing shaft. And, to shape your beard in a way that best hides the remaining split ends, balms and oils containing beeswax provide extra hold once you comb your facial hair into place.
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Feed Your “Hairy Beast” from Within
Taking in the right nutrients through diet helps your scalp and facial hair remain strong, minimizing the chance of split ends and other damage.
Foods high in B vitamins – specifically, B7 or biotin – promote keratin production. Keratin is the natural protein that stimulates healthy hair growth. Whole grains, dried beans, potatoes, and nuts are all good sources of biotin.
Another B vitamin, B5 (Pantothenic acid), also strengthens follicles. Sunflower seeds, dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and broccoli are all good sources.
Vitamin A, which promotes healthy sebum amounts, can be found in orange-colored vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.
Vitamin E, which is plentiful in seeds and nuts, promotes the kind of healthy blood flow that opens up hair follicles and therefore stops split end formation. Other key nutrients include iron and vitamin D.
And, while eating a variety of grains, produce, and lean protein is always the best option, you can also supplement your diet. In fact, there are special “beard vitamins” you can take which provide a blend of the nutrients most known for getting that facial hair in the best shape possible.
Learn the most common issues faced when growing a beard in this video from Wild Willies:
Remember, there’s no shame in treating your beard to products that keep it healthy and eliminate split ends. Dudes deserve to pamper themselves, too! But, if all you want is to not look like Grizzly Adams, you don’t have to pay spa prices to achieve a neater look. Follow these few preventative measures in getting rid of split ends – and a little judicious trimming here and there – and you’ll soon have the sleekest, neatest facial hair on the block.
What other ways on how to fix split ends can you share with us? Leave them in the comments section!