Epic beards are color blind, my friends. But just as we all care for our hair and skin a little differently, beard care differs, too.
If you’re a black man looking to join the ranks of the proud, beard-sporting men, read on. What follows is all you’ll ever need to know about black man beard care.
BLACK MEN: WHAT MAKES YOUR HAIR UNIQUE?
As a black man, your hair is different from the hair often covered in articles you’ll see on the internet and in magazines. In fact, you probably already know that. You take care of the hair on your head differently than, for example, a white man. So why should your beard be any different?
The answer? It’s not. Black men’s hair is naturally dry in comparison to some other ethnicities. That means you’ll need to apply moisturizer, and that your hair is prone to breakage and split ends. You’re going to need to do the same with your beard.
In fact, there are two essentials every black man with a beard needs. The first is a good beard shampoo. Using a regular shampoo on your beard will strip away the natural oils that keep your skin soft. Instead, choose a product that was specifically created for the care of your beard, leaving you with skin that’s more conducive to a healthy beard.
The second is a beard moisturizing product. Applying moisturizing products to your beard will help prevent breakage. That means your beard will be smoother, easier to manage and, let’s face it, just plain awesome.
In addition to being naturally dry, your hair is naturally coarse. We’ll talk more later about the problems that can potentially cause. But for now, suffice to say that a coarser hair texture can make your beard unmanageable. Beard butters and oils will help tame even the most rebellious of beards.
So what about grooming? Is there something you should be doing, as a black man with a beard, to ensure you’re styling the beard you’ve always dreamt of?
SHOULD BLACK MEN GROOM DIFFERENTLY?
Because your hair is naturally coarse, it’s very likely that when you shave your face you’ll get ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are nasty business. They’re itchy, they’re unattractive and, if not cared for correctly, they can even become infected.
But, think about it this way: what better reason to grow a beard? You’ll look great, plus you won’t have to worry about those pesky ingrown hairs.
For your best beard, let your hair grow for 4 to 6 weeks after your last shave before you begin to style and sculpt. In the meantime, you can use scissors to trim the edges, and you’ll want to be sure to moisturize daily. Use a beard shampoo that was specifically created for dry hair and look for products that contain glycerin.
You’ll want to brush your beard, too. You could use a comb, but black man beard care almost dictates that you use a brush. Choose a brush with natural hairs, like boar’s hair. Those hairs are better able to distribute moisture and nutrients evenly.
Finally, you’ll want to be sure to buy products that will moisturize and nourish your beard. Choose the scents you prefer, but look for natural, gentle products for the best results.
COMMON PROBLEMS IN BLACK MEN”S BEARD
So, you know your hair is coarse. And you know your hair is naturally dry. How does that make your beard different from anyone else’s?
Well, it can cause a few problems. First of all, the ingrown hairs can be problematic. Again, that’s quickly remedied simply by growing a beard. But exfoliating your skin can also help, as that will remove the dead skin cells that clog follicles.
Split ends are a huge problem for black men with beards. A problem, that is, if you’re not using the right products. Always use a moisturizing product on your beard, and be sure to distribute the product all the way to the tip of your beard.
Finally, there’s razor burn. Razor burn affects everybody, but there are a few things you can do to prevent it. First, always shave in the direction your hair grows. With the grain, not against it. Secondly, be sure to pat your face dry. Don’t rub it with a towel, because ouch! Finally, you may choose to use a soothing aftershave product.
If you do get razor burn, don’t worry. Use a soft cloth to apply a bit of aloe or witch hazel for a quick fix.
BEST PRODUCTS FOR BLACK MEN”S BEARD CARE
Alright, so you want to know which products are best for black men’s beard care. Aside from a beard shampoo, here are the three products essential for a legendary beard.
The first product you’ll need is beard butter. Beard butter is a moisturizing product which usually contains ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil or shea butter. It’ll also contain oils, like castor oil or vitamin E.
Beard butter is a great way to moisturize your beard as well as to manage it. Most men feel that beard butter is the perfect consistency for both taming wild beard hair and moisturizing with nutrients.
When you first open your beard butter, you may be a bit confused. The product looks hard at first, but take just a pinch of it between your fingers. As you rub your fingers together, your beard butter will melt between them. Like, well, butter.
For a more comprehensive look at the benefits of beard butter, see our in-depth article.
The second product you’ll need is a quality beard cream. Beard creams are an alternative to beard butters and beard oils. They still moisturize your beard and skin, but they don’t appear as shiny as, for instance, beard oil.
Think of beard cream as a leave-in conditioner for your beard. Beard creams actually have just about the same consistency as a hair conditioner. But keep in mind that they’re specially created to care for your beard.
What’s the difference between a regular conditioner and a beard cream? A few things. But the most important thing is that your beard cream will also work with your skin. As it moisturizes the hair on your face, it will also moisturize the skin beneath. That means your facial skin will be healthier, and more hospitable to a healthy, full beard.
For more information on what beard cream does, see our guide.
Finally, you’ll want to invest in a good beard oil. Now, it’s important to note that using beard oil may give your beard a bit of a “sheen.” There’s so much a beard oil can do for you, but you may choose to leave it in your hair overnight as opposed to throughout the day.
Beard oils can eliminate the itch associated with dry skin under your beard. That, in turn, will help to get rid of dandruff in your beard. No one wants beardruff. Regardless of whether you have a full beard or just a shadow, beard oil will keep your skin soft and looking great.
Beard oil will also tame the “fuzz” black men with beards often experience. It moisturizes your hair, and quality beard oils will also contain nutrients and essential oils. These ingredients can work as antifungals and antibiotics and, of course, they smell great.
For a more in depth look at how beard oil works make sure to read our overview
A fantastic beard is a universal thing. Many black men are afraid that their hair is too unruly, dry or coarse to grow a beard. But there’s good news for you! There are now so many products on the market to help tame and nourish your beard, anyone can sport an impressive style.
Be sure to use products specifically formulated for beard care. Shop for quality – don’t be tempted to buy cheap stuff. With the purchase of just a few products, your facial skin and your beard will be fantastic in no time.