You’ve showered and taken care of the other aspects of your morning grooming routine. Now, it’s time to brush your beard.
Let’s see, where did your significant other leave her hair brush? That should do it, right?
No, you don’t want to use any old brush on your glorious beardscape. You want a beard brush.
Brushes, like beard combs and any other tools of the trade, are part of the process when it comes to making your beard look it’s best. But – we repeat – not any old brush.
Instead, let us tell you about quality beard brushes, including the five listed here as part of our best beard brush reviews of 2017. We lead off with one we know you’ll love, the ZilberHaar Pure Bristle Natural Firm Hog Hair and Pearwood Beard Brush and offer four other high-quality brushes.
Along the way, we’ll discuss how to use a beard brush, whether to use a beard brush or comb and why using a brush is good for your beard.
Let’s get this party started.
- Before you buy: 4 things to consider when purchasing a beard brush
- The 5 best beard brushes of 2017
- The right stuff: How to use your beard brush in 6 steps (A simple, illustrated guide)
- A beard brush is good for your beard because…
- Should I use a beard brush or beard comb?
- The method to our madness: How we chose our best beard brushes
Before You Buy: 4 things to consider when purchasing a beard brush
Before we delve into our beard brush reviews, let’s quickly glance at the things you should look for when purchasing your beard brush.
1. The material
The main body and handles of most beard brushes are bamboo, some other type of wood, or plastic. There are advantages to both, but wooden brushes are usually higher quality.
One advantage of a plastic brush is that it’s water-resistant. Wooden brushes don’t react as well with water, which is why you shouldn’t clean them under running water.
2. The bristles
A beard brush’s bristles are either natural or synthetic materials (just like the brush’s body and handles). Natural bristles are either boar’s hair (two thumbs-up) or horse hair.
Let’s cut to the chase: We like natural hair brushes. They spread oils naturally throughout your beard and make it softer. And all of the brushes listed in our best brush reviews have boar’s hair bristles.
Stiffness can be a good thing, gents, including when it comes to your beard brush’s bristles. Boar hair bristles are fairly stiff, but provide the ‘backbone’ to clean the beard and to get rid of tangles.
4. The handle
Some beard brushes come with a handle that extends from its body or is without a handle like the brush you use to polish your shoes. There are pros and cons with each style, and your choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. If it feels good in your hand, go for it.
One final point to consider as you’re shopping for a beard brush: the longer the beard, the firmer the bristles.
Now, on to our reviews.
The 5 Best Beard Brushes of 2017
The Black Forest region of Germany is known for a lot of things, including its glorious natural beauty.
As it turns out, it’s also an area that contributes to one of the best beard brushes made in the world.
ZilberHaar’s Pure Boar Bristles brush is carved from pearwood that comes from the Black Forest. It’s also constructed in a way that lives up to Germany’s centuries-long reputation for quality craftsmanship.
There’s so much to like about this brush:
- The bristles are 100% natural boar and help make ZilberHaar’s signature product the best boar bristle beard brush.
- Its size makes it great for travel. You can put it in your car, travel kit, or even in your pocket.
- Like the highest-quality beard brushes, the ZilberHaar Pure Boar Bristles brush softens your beard by evenly distributing the natural oils of your skin. The boar bristles are firm enough to untangle even the most stubborn hairs while making your beard soft to touch.
- The length of its bristles makes it ideal for beards of practically any length – from a beard that’s only been growing a month to a fully in bloom yeard. That’s why it’s always a top contender when it comes to the best beard brush for long beards.
- Its finely-crafted pearwood handle gives you full control when it comes to styling your beard while also providing a firm grip.
- It doesn’t just come with a guarantee – it comes with a lifetime guarantee. In other words, if you’re not satisfied with this brush at any time in the future, ZilberHaar will give you a full refund. Talk about standing by your product.
- You can use this brush with beard oil or not.
Here’s another cool thing about this brush: ZilberHaar CEO Anica Kath said the idea for her company’s beard brush came from her wanting to “kiss my husband.” Her husband’s beard apparently was too rough for extended physical contact, but the Pure Boar Bristles brush smoothed things out while re-kindling the romance.
And if your brush can do that, my friends, it’s certainly worth adding to your beard grooming kit.
- Bristles are made of 100% boar hair
- Lifetime guarantee
- Good for all beard lengths
- A bit higher priced than other beard brushes
If you’re wondering what is the best beard brush (and best boars hair beard brush) the ZilberHaar Boar Bristles is quite possibly the answer. It’s quality-crafted, works on just about any beard length, and leaves your facial hair feeling and looking smooth.
Are you doing enough for your beard?
It’s not enough if you aren’t using a beard brush, as well – which is what our friends at Liberty Premium Grooming want you to know.
True, they have a vested interest considering that their product line includes the Beard Brush for the Modern Gentleman, but they’re hearts are in a good place. They’re right in saying that a brush will dig deep to remove dead skin and trapped hairs and leave your beard softer.
They’re right in saying that your girlfriend or wife’s hair brush isn’t going to do the job.
The Beard Brush for the Modern Gentleman is just that – a brush designed for men’s beards. It looks like a man’s brush. It’s big and solid.
It’s made of European beech wood that’s designed to last a long time (beech wood has been used to create mallets and workbenches for carpenters and handymen who don’t have time for the flimsy crap).
We also like the Beard Brush for the Modern Gentleman because it comes with 100% natural boar hair bristles. This makes it ideal for evenly spreading and distributing oils among your beard follicles while digging deep down to the skin. If you want a soft – and soft-looking beard – this is the kind of brush you need.
While it might take some time to get used to the stiffness of the bristles, which is true with any brush that has boar bristles, that firmness is ideal in that it will help train your beard hairs to always go in the direction you desire.
Liberty Premium Grooming also slaps a lifetime guarantee on the Beard Brush for the Modern Gentleman. If you don’t like it, at any point after you’ve bought it, they’ll replace it.
Here’s another bonus – they’ll throw in a grooming manual for free with your beard brush purchase and a cleaning comb that helps maintain your brush by removing hair and dead skin from the bristles.
- Made from quality materials
- 100% natural boar hair bristles
- Lifetime guarantee
- It’s larger than most brushes and less portable.
- Made in China (if you see that as a problem).
There are plenty of reasons why we ranked this brush among our top 5. It’s solid and provides a firm brushing of your beard. You’re able to dig right down to the skin. And it adds another quality tool to your men’s grooming arsenal.
So much control and style in the palm of your hand.
That’s one way to describe the Beard Captain Boar Bristle Base Beard Brush, which is sans handle but fits nicely in your palm for full control. It even has a carved finger grip for your convenience.
Of course, there’s more to love about this brush than its design.
Like other high-quality brushes, the Beard Captain Boar Bristle Brush has 100% boar bristles that naturally hold moisture and to evenly distribute the natural oils of your face throughout your hair follicles.
Beard Captain’s signature brush also works well with beard balm, oil, and wax, and untangles hair while taming and shaping your beard. And isn’t that what a beard brush is all about? While its bristles might be shorter than other beard brushes, we think it ranks right up there when it comes to the best beard brush for short beards.
Your Boar Bristle Base Beard Brush also comes with a free travel bag (with drawstrings), and the nice folks at Beard Captain will even toss in a gift box if you’re going buy their brush for one of your favorite beardsmen.
You can also buy the Beard Captain Boar Bristle Brush risk-free as it comes with guaranteed refund if you’re not happy with its performance.
- Easy-grip design
- 100% boar hair bristles
- Good for wet and dry beards
- Reviewers say bristles may be too short for thick beards
This is another quality brush made of 100% boar bristles. The design is convenient, although some men prefer a handle rather than a brush that fits into the palm of your hand. We also like its environmentally-friendly bamboo body.
The Rocky Mountain Barber Company has a strong reputation for producing quality men’s grooming products, and their Boar Hair Beard Brush is no exception.
They also all but encourage you to test their “boar hair” bristles for any synthetic materials. That’s an issue with some beard brushes that claim to be 100% boar hair but also have a little plastic or nylon mixed in.
We like the real thing.
We also like this brush’s modern, wooden design and which comes with a brushed black finish that simply looks good. It even comes with the Rocky Mountain Barber Coat of Arms, which gives it some pretty serious street cred, too.
However, looks aren’t everything, of course, and we wouldn’t have chosen the Rocky Mountain Barber Company Boar Hair Beard Brush if it couldn’t do the job. But it can.
First, the bristles on this brush are softer than on others but firm enough to get rid of snags and tangles that often come with beard hair. Your beard will look soft and tidy, with oils distributed evenly throughout your hair.
Perhaps even better, the bristles won’t cause scratching or itching. And regularly brushing your beard is one way to control the dreaded beard itch.
It’s also made of solid construction and includes a warp-resistant handle that holds up to regular wear and tear. So, you can give it your best manly grip without worrying about it falling apart in your hands after a few months.
Your Rocky Mountain Barber Company Boar Hair Beard Brush will come in an attractive gift box that has a foam lining and can be used to store your brush.
- Contoured, soft bristles
- 100% pure boar hair
- Sleek design
- It may lose a few bristles when new
This is a well-made brush that looks good while taking good care of your beard. It’s an excellent tool for keeping your beard as tangle and itch-free that it deserves.
Smooth Viking wants to dispel a couple of myths.
First, the myth that taking care of your beard doesn’t require a lot of effort. Smooth Viking responds with a heavy “bullshit” to that.
To them, getting your beard to look its best requires the right effort and the right tools. If you want your beard to look good, then you need to put in the time to make it look good.
Secondly, the Smooth Viking peeps want to clear up a misconception about the Vikings of old who are depicted as a haggard-looking band of hairy men who didn’t give a rat’s ass about grooming.
However, Vikings were as well-groomed and hygienically adept as any other group of people during their time – even more so in many cases. So, we stand corrected.
Their beard brush for men certainly qualifies as a high-quality tool to keep your beard in shape while keeping our Viking ancestors from rolling over in their graves. It’s simply one of the best brushes on the market and will raise the bar on your grooming standards.
Like a Viking, this brush is up to the toughest challenges, including a knotted and tangled beard that looks unkempt. That’s because its bristles are firm enough to keep those uncomfortable knots from forming in the first place.
And, yes, its bristles are made of 100% boar’s hair, which we like a lot. They’re also long enough to stimulate the skin underneath your hair follicles, which is also important for keeping your beard in its best shape. By massaging the skin, the bristles clear away any dry skin and flakes that create the dreaded beardruff.
Users also like that the Smooth Viking Beard Brush for Men does a splendid job in evenly distributing your natural oils – and beard oil – throughout your beard. This will keep your beard looking healthy and natural instead of dull and lifeless.
Smooth Viking emphasizes that its brush is great for any beard style. Styling your beard takes a quality brush, as well as a variety of other tools and products.
But you knew that.
We also like the design of the Smooth Viking Beard Brush for Men, a design that’s described as a “retro shoe brush.” It’s a compact size, which makes for easy portability, and it fits comfortably in your hand for superior grip and precision control.
- Eliminates knots and tangles
- Very affordable
- Spreads oil evenly
- Perhaps not as effective as heavier beards
This is a popular, affordable brush that’s going to get the job done. It’s great for a variety of beard styles and works remarkably well for untangling knots, especially in medium-length beards. You could do worse – a whole lot worse – with beard brushes that cost more but don’t get the job done.
The Right Stuff: How to Use Your Beard Brush In 6 Steps
Here’s something to keep in mind right from the get-go – to get the most out of your beard brush you need to use it every day. Once day will do, but being consistent will help keep your beard looking well-maintained.
OK, now let’s look at the “how-to” of using your beard brush:
1. The first step involves timing. In other words, when you choose to brush your beard is important if you want your beard to look good or to look lifeless. Mornings are an ideal time to brush your beard because A) like most of us, your daily grooming routine takes place in the a.m., and B) we’ve all suffered from the dreaded bed beard.
2. Many astute beardsmen recommend brushing your beard after applying beard oil or another type of moisturizer. A quality brush or beard comb will spread the oils (including the natural oils of your skin) evenly throughout your hair follicles.
3. Once you’ve applied the oil – which also will help your brush slide smoothly through your hair – start brushing your beard with the grain. Start with the tips of your beard and slowly work your way higher towards your face.
4. Work your way gently through any knots and tangles. There may be some minor discomfort, but brushing your beard is typically soothing and relaxing. Enjoy the ride.
5. Make sure your beard isn’t still wet from your shower before you brush it. Brushing it while it’s that wet can cause you to lose hair that you’ve so magnificently grown.
6. Also, make it a habit to clean your beard brush once a week. The “how to clean beard brush” is as simple as dipping it in a solution of shampoo and water once a week. Swish it around in the solution for a few minutes and then rinse it thoroughly to wash away the soap.
A Beard Brush is Good for Your Beard Because…
Beard brushes help make your beard look good. That we know, and it’s a great reason to use your brush on a regular basis.
But beard brushes – especially boar’s hair brushes – do more than just give you a great-looking beard. They also keep your beard healthy and provide a variety of benefits, which we’ll explore here:
- Beard brushes are effective at every stage of your beard’s growth except for the very early stages when your beard is still filling out. But around the end of the first month and into the second month of growing your beard from scratch, a beard brush becomes an important part of your grooming regimen.
- Brushes promote hair growth while preventing hair loss. That’s because the bristles in a boar’s hair brush gently massage the skin and increase blood flow to the to your hair follicles.
- A beard brush is excellent for helping your skin’s natural sebaceous oils – as well as beard oil that you apply yourself – to coat each hair follicle. A brush evenly distributes oils throughout your beard, which repairs dry and itchy beards. If you’ve ever had beard itch, then you understand what a relief it is to stop it. The bottom line is that a beard brush is a great conditioning tool.
- Your beard’s texture is improved by using a beard brush. Beards are usually curly because your hair naturally curls back towards your face as it grows out. A beard brush will loosen the curls (and knots and tangles), while also changing the texture of your beard so that it lays straighter. In turn, this gives your beard a fuller, more conditioned look.
- Because your brush distributes oils evenly throughout your hair, it will give your beard a natural shine.
- A beard brush is a great styling tool. Using a brush daily will “train” your hair follicles to grow in the desired You know how it is to wake up with your beard hair sticking out in different directions. Give it a daily brush, and it will soon do what you want.
- Your beard brush also will make your beard softer because of the way it distributes oil throughout your hair follicles.
- Another benefit of using a beard brush is that it will keep your beard cleaner by removing any loose dirt and debris. Bristle brushes are particularly good for this task, although a boar’s hair brush also removes dust particles and whatever else happens to stick in your beard (like food, for instance).
Should I Use a Beard Brush or Beard Comb?
Beard brush. Beard comb – what’s the difference, right?
Whoa. Hold on there, cowboy.
There are a lot of differences between a beard brush and a beard comb, and you need to give it some thought before deciding which one to use. Although, admittedly, many beard experts say you can – and perhaps should – use them both.
But, make no mistake, beard combs and beard brushes are two unique tools in the beard-grooming process.
Beard Combs 101
Beard combs should be in your men’s grooming kit, and we have some ideas about which ones you should choose. Why? Because they serve a wide purpose, which includes styling and training your hair to stay put in the desired direction.
Buying a beard comb is the same as buying a beard brush in that you don’t want to cheap out. Sure, sounds obvious, but grabbing that first $3 plastic comb off the shelf of your favorite drug store is a big mistake.
An El Cheapo comb is going accomplish two things: 1) it will tear at your hair follicles and promote the growth of split ends, and 2) it will make your beard more static-prone. So, even if the comb manages to help you style your beard – and we’re not convinced that it will – your overall experience and grooming effectiveness will end up on the negative side of the ledger.
Oh, the horrors of cheap plastic combs! We won’t delve into it any further but go wood when it comes to your beard comb, friends, and preferably one that’s hand-carved.
So, Which One Should I Use?
Again, you can – and probably should – use both a beard comb and beard brush. But we think it comes down to a couple of basic principles:
- A beard comb is generally a bit better for styling your beard (and mustache). That’s not to say beard brushes don’t serve a styling purpose, but combs have a slight edge because they offer better overall control than brushes.
- A beard brush will give your beard a fuller look. The varying lengths of the brush’s bristles lift your hairs from your skin. A comb, on the other, hand tends to push your hair downward.
- A brush has an advantage over a comb in that it’s better at training your beard hairs to go in a direction you’d like them to go. A comb gives you a nice style but it’s a lot easier to style when your beard is already pointing in the right direction.
- Finally, many beardsmen will tell you that a brush is more useful during the early stages of beard growth. The theory is that it’s easier to train your beard from the beginning, rather than after it’s achieved full growth.
The Method to Our Madness: How We Chose Our Best Beard Brushes
We can tell you this: we did the research. Did we try each and every brush that’s on the market? No, but we don’t have the resources or time to do that, anyway. But through personal experience, user reviews, and overall comparison, we developed a list of what we think are the best beard brushes out there.
And there you have our best beard brush 2017 reviews, my friends. As always, we encourage your input; if you have any comments about the brushes we’ve listed here, or about any men’s grooming topic, we’d love to hear from you.