Not every beardsman has a naturally soft mane.
And that’s okay.
For many of us, the hard, jagged, and often unruly whiskers we grow are a point of pride – they feel manly, impenetrable, and tough.
Yet from styling with ease and avoiding rashes to being intimate without itching your partner’s skin, a soft beard has a great deal to recommend it.
In fact, the softness of your beard is actually a very good indicator of its overall health.
So in this article, we’re going to explain exactly how you can soften your beard and why it’s such a good idea to do so.
But as with so many grooming issues, things aren’t quite that simple: there are many ways you can go about making your facial hair softer, and chances are it will be a combination of methods that ultimately produce results.
If you really want to gain the benefits of a softer beard – and trust us, there are many! – a certain amount of discipline, dedication, and willingness to experiment will be required.
The results will be worth it: you’ll have less itching, an easier time styling, a healthier looking beard, and a happier partner.
But before we get into how you can make your beard softer, it’s important to properly understand exactly why your beard isn’t soft already.
Why Your Beard Isn’t Soft Already
Chances are if your beard is particularly wiry or tough, something is going wrong: while there’s nothing inherently wrong with less-than-supple facial hair, it is very often a bad signal.
While your beard hair is naturally disposed to be coarser than the hair on your head, it shouldn’t be unmanageable or harsh on the skin beneath it.
Hair has to grow healthily and be maintained properly to stay soft, so numerous elements go into making your beard hair – from nutrition and care to your temperature and moisture levels.
However, in our experience, there are three extremely common problems which are likely to be the cause of the majority of your beard’s brittleness:
Poor Beard Care
Whether it’s not using proper products, not having a proper routine, or just not really understanding what it is you need to do to maintain your beard’s health, the number one thing making your beard too rough is not keeping it clean and healthy.
Think about it: you touch your beard all the time, and it’s probably getting hit with dust and food and all sorts throughout the day.
If you’re not washing it properly, all of that stuff is going to make it dirty, greasy, and ultimately unhealthy.
Ob the other hand, washing your beard daily is too frequent for most men. This will strip the natural oils from your skin, causing your body to over-produce oil in response. By shampooing every other day or so, you can maintain the natural balance of oils so your face doesn’t over-compensate by producing too much oil which will weigh down your hair and make it appear greasy.
It seems obvious, but when your facial hair lacks moisture, it becomes dry, rough, and more prone to breakage.
Now, your skin does produce natural oils to keep your face moisturized and your beard clean.
Dehydration can also lead to other problems, such as dandruff (beard druff).
But many men are stripping their beards of that moisture by using soaps or hair shampoos to ‘clean’ them.
The result is your beard doesn’t have the moisture it needs to survive and therefore, ultimately gets tired out, loses health, and hardens.
This is why stubble is often tough and unwieldy: it’s the remnants of hair that has been left to get unhealthy and hard.
When hair first grows, it tends to be quite soft – it hasn’t had time to be exposed to harsh weather, poor care, or have its moisture robbed.
However, once it has grown out, many men experience split ends in their facial hair – often without even realizing it!
Split ends occur when the protective layer of a cuticle at the end of your hair is destroyed – it makes the hair look ragged and tired, and it causes the layers underneath to suffer too.
The causes of split ends are manifold: it may be that you’re not getting the right nutrition; your beard trimmer might just not be sharp enough.
The overarching point is that facial hairs need to be maintained and kept fresh; soft beards are healthy beards, and if you really want to make your beard softer you need to focus on growing and maintaining healthier hair in general.
So wow that we understand what’s behind your wiry beard, let’s look at how exactly you can make it softer.
If you’ve been washing your beard with hard water, you may be finding it challenging to grow a soft beard. Hard water contains a greater proportion of minerals, so your beard is likely to get tangled and rough when rinsed with hard water.
Hard water means there’s a high concentration of minerals in your tap water. This can cause irritation, dryness and build-up on your beard.
Cleaning agents also cannot properly function with hard water. If hard water is your problem, ensure that you use soft water while cleaning your beard.
Exposing your beard to any kind of extreme weather conditions isn’t advisable, whether it’s heat, humidity, or cold temperatures. Harsh conditions will cause your skin to become dry and brittle, making it look and feel worse than ever.
Moving around with a dry beard is extremely uncomfortable. Apart from that, extreme hot or cold weather can lead to dandruff.
To combat this, be sure to moisturize your beard. If you’re using a hairdryer to style, make sure to set it to the lowest heat possible.
Some people even prefer to straighten their beards using a straightener. However, there are also quite a few ways to style your beard without exposing it to the heat of a straightener.
It can be extremely damaging to your beard and in the long run, it might affect the growth rate as well. So, if you live in a place where the climate is particularly harsh, do try to use a hat or cap as often as you can.
10 Ways To Soften Your Beard
1. Use Beard Shampoo
Washing your beard is clearly essential – not just for making your stubble softer, but for achieving basic hygiene!
Washing your beard properly helps keep it healthy by removing dirt. But too often, men forget there is dedicated beard shampoo which is far better for their beard than normal soap or shampoo.
Using it every day – even for a week – will produce visible improvements, not just in your beard’s softness but it’s overall health and appearance.
It’s important that you wash the skin beneath the beard as well, as excess grime can build up there, and if you don’t get rid of it when you’re washing your beard it is likely to undo the progress you make when shampooing your beard.
Pro tip: When you’re shopping for a beard shampoo, try to look for one with plenty of natural essential oils – this will help add extra moisture to your beard.
2. Use Beard Oil & Conditioner
When you wash your beard, there is a danger of it getting dried out – either by the hard water or the tough towel.
Try applying beard oil or conditioner twice a day: it penetrates the hairs and softens them with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients.
This, in turn helps the hair relax, look healthier, and become easier to style.
The hair will also be less rough against your (and your partners!) skin.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you’d rather apply beard oil or a conditioning cream or lotion.
Both can have great effects, and there are great versions of both on the market.
Whichever you choose, it’s important to massage it into your beard gently but also make sure to rub it into the skin beneath your beard.
Pro tip: never use beard oil on wet hair – it won’t be absorbed properly, and it won’t spread properly across your face.
3. Use Beard Balm
Beard balm is generally used as a styling tool – it helps give you more control over your beard’s shape.
But they’re also loaded with nourishing ingredients that soften the hair and skin, as well as providing protection from the elements.
The key is to use a small amount and apply it with gentle upward motions that get at the very roots of your hair.
Many men see balm and oil/conditioner as an either/or, but the truth is – as long as you don’t cake it on – you can use them in conjunction beautifully, and will likely get better results if you do!
Pro tip: There are plenty of great beard balms on the market, but you might need a good quality round-up review to find the very best for your needs.
4.Comb and Brush it Properly
As simple as it seems, regularly brushing your beard helps keep your hair vibrant and provides a good spot check for any stiff or stray hairs which might need to be gotten rid of.
Once you get into the habit of keeping your mane in check this way, it will start to grow more healthily.
Plus, the actual act of brushing will help distribute the natural oil across your beard, therefore helping make it softer.
Pro tip: Make sure you don’t brush it too rough or dry it out – that will leave it dehydrated and cause it to harden.
5. Keep It Trimmed
As we’ve discussed, unhealthy, tired out hairs are always going to rear their heads.
The important thing is to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
And that means making sure your beard is constantly well maintained and carefully trimming it regularly.
While this won’t in itself make the hair softer, it will contribute to overall beard health and avoid the softer hairs being crowded out by harsh ones.
It will also help avoid split ends and generally make your beard more attractive.
Pro tip: Having good quality scissors will help make cutting easier, quicker, and more pleasurable.
6. Try Home Remedies
There are many home remedies, and to be honest, their success rates massively vary.
However, one that really does seem to work is applying olive oil to your beard:
Not too much – just a couple of teaspoons gently massaged into the beard works like magic.
It makes sense: olive oil has fantastic moisturizing properties and promotes healthier growth, too.
You can even leave it on overnight if you like.
Pro tip: just make sure to wash it off carefully with lukewarm water so as to avoid harshness.
Another product you can use is coconut oil which has a similar effect to olive oil. It will make your facial hair grow faster and silkier!
Try melting a teaspoon of coconut oil and rubbing it directly on your face. Start from your forehead, slowly moving down to your face.
Your strokes should follow the shape that you want your beard to be. You can also take different vitamins and supplements that will help make your beard softer!
7. Improve Your Diet and Exercise
As should be clear by now, the key to a soft beard really is keeping it healthy. And there’s no way to improve the health of your hair like changing your lifestyle.
Having the right nutrients – in particular, Biotin (sometimes known as Vitamin H, because it’s so vital for hair growth!) – will help your hair grow fuller, stronger, faster, and, most importantly, healthier.
You can get it by improving your diet – increasing your consumption of eggs, nuts, red meat, and seeds – or you could simply take a daily biotin vitamin to give yourself a little boost.
Not only do you need to have the right nutrients – you also need to have a healthy body. So as strange as it sounds, exercise can actually help you grow better, softer facial hair!
Pro tip: Set yourself clear, manageable goals – it will help turn health into a habit.
8. Apply Aloe Vera Gel
If you’re someone who loves to use natural remedies, you’ll be surprised how aloe vera works for a soft beard.
Aloe vera removes dandruff from beards that’s responsible for a degraded beard quality. Simply purchase aloe vera gel and follow the instructions while applying it to your beard. Repeat the process twice a day to ensure lasting softness.
As a bonus, aloe vera has zero side effects and causes no harm to facial hair.
9. Apply Honey and Lemon Juice
Honey is one of the best natural ingredients that suit your beard. This ingredient readily enhances the growth of facial hair while softening the texture. To obtain better results, make sure to add lemon juice to the honey. Use cold water to thoroughly remove the honey from your beard.
10. Get a Beard Wash
If you’re obsessed with your beard, make sure to use a hydrating cleanser. While you clean your beard, it will condition the hair, and each hair strand in your beard will be moisturized. Using a beard wash is also effective in removing excess oil, grime, and dirt.
A beard wash provides the much-required deep cleaning to your beard. Using a beard wash, you can clean your whiskers and remove things that don’t belong in your beard.
If you decide to go with a bar of soap over liquid, opt for a hydrating one designed for soft beards. This ensures that the hair won’t dry out. Using harsh soaps can ruin your beard consistency and make it difficult for you to maintain.
11. Buy a Mustache Wax
For a charming appearance, your mustache should be in sync with your beard. You can use mustache wax to keep your mustache in good shape.
Given that your mustache would be closer to your mouth, you should treat it with extra care.
When you apply something on the upper lip, make sure not to use anything harsh. To prevent reactions, you should always choose a quality product. These products are designed to hold facial hairs just like a beard balm. However, the ingredients are generally softer, which prevents irritation around your mouth.
So there you have it: 7 simple and effective methods to improve your beard’s health and make it softer.
It’s important to remember that these are not mutually exclusive methods: you should try at least a few of them simultaneously and figure out what works best for you.
We hope you’ve found the guide helpful, and we’d love to hear how you get on with them:
Which methods helped the most? How quickly did you start to see progress? How many of these methods had you used before?
Let us know in the comments below!