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So, you’ve got a big, glorious beard going, and all is right in the world. That is, except for one little thing:
It’s so dang curly.
Instead of that long, flowing Viking mane, you were going for, you’ve got a round, bushy beard instead.
What’s the deal? And is there any way to “fix” it?
Don’t you worry, our bearded friend. Because not only are we going to show you how to straighten a curly beard, we’ll also fill you in on what makes some beards curly – and why it may not be such a bad thing after all.
Keep reading to learn three ways to straighten your beard.
Why are some beards curly?
Before we get to the ‘how’ of straightening your beard, let’s take a quick look at the ‘why’. As in, why are some beards naturally straight, while others are naturally curly.
There are a few main reasons for this, ranging from genetic to hygienic.
For starters, there’s the shape of your follicle. That’s the tiny little cavity that your hair grows out of.
There are all kinds of different follicle shapes, from those that are roughly 90 degrees or perpendicular to your skin to those that run nearly parallel to your skin, with varying positions in between.
The straighter your follicle, the straighter your hair. The more curved or parallel the follicle, the more wavy, curly, or kinky your hair.
And the shape of your follicles often differs across different parts of your body. For instance, you might have straight hair on your head and a curly beard. Or straight hair on your arms and curly hair, ahem, down there.
The shape of your hair itself also plays a role. Yes, believe it or not, hair does come in different shapes, from round to oval to flat oval. The rounder the hair, the straighter.
Unfortunately, both your hair shape and your follicle shape are mostly genetic, so there’s not much you can do to change them.
But there is another less permanent reason for increased curliness or waviness in your beard, and that’s dryness.
What causes beard dryness?
Washing your beard too much is a common one, especially if you use harsh shampoos. On the other hand, letting your beard get too dirty can cause dryness too.
And there’s also the issue of hydration. A dehydrated body means dehydrated skin, which leads to a dryer, rougher – and yes, sometimes curlier – beard. So, make sure to drink your water!
Also, invest in good beard oil. Not only will it keep your beard hydrated, but it’s also great for your mane’s overall health and appearance too. It’s a must-have for any beardsman.
Finally, whether it’s the hair on your face or your head, the longer it is, the straighter it lies. As if you needed any more excuse to keep growing out that glorious beard.
Advantages and disadvantages of curly beards
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve already got a beef or two with your curly hair.
But we figure it’s a good idea to lay out all of the pros and cons of curly beards upfront, so you’re completely informed before you start grooming.
Here are the advantages of wavy or curly beards:
- Healthy, masculine appearance
- Thicker and fuller than straight beards
- Easy to straighten; but it’s difficult to make a straight beard curly
These are some of the reasons that a lot of guys with straight beards actually envy their curly bearded bros. But as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side.
Because there are disadvantages of curly beards too. Here are a few of the biggest ones:
- Can be harder to care for (tangles, food crumbs, etc.)
- Hair sits closer to the skin, which can cause irritation or even acne
- Up to three times shorter than straight beards, despite growing at the same speed
Are you sold on the straight -bearded look? We’ll tell you how to straighten your beard below.
3 Ways to straighten your beard
Alright, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Here are three ways to straighten your beard, from least to most effective. We’ll start with teaching you how to straighten your beard naturally – but we’ll also show you how to straighten your beard with a straightener too.
1. Using a brush and/or beard balm
If you’re a laid back kinda guy – or you’d rather not use heat on your beard – this first method is perfect for you. It’s the most natural way to do things, allowing you to straighten your beard without heat, and it also requires the least equipment.
For best results, you might want to consider a beard balm with specific relaxing properties, like Bossman Relaxing Beard Balm.
Not only will a quality balm help get your hair straight, but it’ll also help keep it that way.
Just keep in mind that, overall, this heat-less method will provide the least straightening of the three we have listed here.
Once you’ve got your toolbox together, here’s what you should do:
- Give your beard a good wash, using a well-made shampoo or soap.
- Towel dry your beard – or let it dry naturally if you prefer, you madman.
- Apply beard balm or relaxing cream evenly and work it into your beard.
- Get to brushin’. Start with the sides of your beard, before moving down to the front and bottom. Apply some tension and a little elbow grease, but don’t go overboard.
- Touch your beard up with a little extra balm or oil after your straightening session for extra hold.
2. Using a brush and a blow dryer
If you want your beard straighter than you can manage without heat and you already have a blow dryer lying around, this next method is worth checking out.
You’ll still be using a beard brush and balm, but the addition of the blow dryer will provide much better – that is, straighter – results.
That being said, it’s not quite as effective as method #3, which you can read about below. But on the plus side, it doesn’t require any special equipment, and you won’t be applying heat directly to your beard.
Before we get started, a word on temperatures. The hotter the blow dryer setting you use, the straighter it’ll get your beard. But it also has the potential to cause more damage to your hair.
One study showed damage at 95°C / 203°F. And yet the damage was actually comparable to letting the hair dry naturally after shampooing.
So, it’s ultimately up to you on what temperature you use.
With that out of the way, here’s how to properly straighten your beard with a blow dryer:
- Using a shampoo or soap made specifically for beards, give yours a good wash.
- Pat your beard down with your towel, until it’s still damp but not dripping wet.
- Add a little beard balm or oil to the mix. Work it in there good.
- Turn your blow dryer on. Check the comments above before deciding on a heat. But hotter settings will provide better straightening.
- Begin moving the blow dryer back and forth over your beard, trying to keep it in constant motion and around 6 inches or 15 centimeters away from your beard.
- Starting at your cheeks, brush your beard hair downwards. Keep your strokes short and smooth.
- Once the sides of your beard are looking good, you can move down to your chin and neck.
- Adding a little more balm after you’re down can help lock in that straight look for longer.
3. Using a heated brush or flat iron
For the straightest possible beard, with the least amount of work, we’d recommend using a heated brush. It’s the overall best way to straighten a beard.
You could also use a flat iron, but honestly, it’s a lot of extra hassle. Why? Because they’re actually made for straightening women’s hair, which is a lot longer and a lot fuller than even the bushiest of beards.
For that reason, it uses a larger, flat surface to straighten hair, and this can be really difficult to manage and maneuver on your beard, especially if you don’t want to burn your face off. And we’re assuming you don’t.
Of course, if your girlfriend (or your mom) already has a straightening iron you can use, you can give it a try.
But we much prefer using a heated brush – and think you will too. They’re super easy to use and super effective. There are even some made specifically for use with beards, like the KUSCHËLBAR.
Using a heated brush to straighten your beard isn’t much different from using a normal brush, but we’ve provided some steps to follow below for best results:
- Start by washing your beard. Make sure to use a good beard shampoo or soap.
- Dry your beard. Since you’ll be applying heat, it doesn’t have to be perfectly dry. In fact, leaving it slightly damp will make it easier to straighten.
- Work your beard balm or relaxing cream into your beard. Don’t be shy.
- Turn on your brush to the desired heat setting, allowing it to heat up. Studies have shown 185°C / 385°F to be pretty much the sweet spot for maximum straightening without damaging hair.
- Again, start from the cheeks and brush downwards, using short motions. You should brush about 25% of your normal brushing speed but keep the brush moving. It should only require a couple of passes. Anything more risks damaging your hair – or making it too straight.
- Now, move on to the chin, using a downward motion for short to medium beards. Fellas with longer beards can consider brushing to the side.
- Don’t forget the neck. Get down there and give it a good brushin’.
- Once your hair’s all straight like, you may want to go back with your normal, unheated beard brush and touch it up to give it the overall shape you want.
- Reapplying a bit of beard balm can help add some extra hold to your new ‘do.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some quick and easy answers to the most common questions we receive about beard straightening.
How to straighten short beard hair?
The shorter hair is, the curlier it tends to be, so the easiest and most effective way to straighten a shorter beard is by using a heated beard brush, like the KUSCHELBÄR. It’s a lot easier to use than a straightening iron.
We walk you through the process step by step in the section on ‘Using a heated brush or flat iron’ above.
It’s possible to tame your short beard hair at home, as long as you have the right tools. You should be able to straighten a short beard in three easy steps:
1) Wash and clean your beard thoroughly with a gentle shampoo and conditioner
2) Comb your beard hair and apply heat protectant spray
3) Use a flat iron to straighten the hair slowly, section by section
How to straighten your beard without heat?
You can achieve a straighter beard with just a beard balm, combined with a good brushing. Depending on your hair type, it probably won’t be as effective as using heat, but it’ll still make a big difference.
We cover both methods in detail above, under the ‘3 Ways to straighten your beard’ section.
Will heat damage your beard hair?
If you apply too much heat or for too long or too often, yes, it can damage your hair. However, when used properly, using a blow dryer or heated brush on your beard shouldn’t cause any major issues.
The hair on your head is usually a different texture than the hair on your face, so don’t use the same temperature setting you would for your head. If you want to be extra careful, try using a lower temperature first.
You can always increase the heat if it doesn’t work well enough. Also, be sure to use a heat-protecting product before applying the heat. This can help reduce the chances of damage and also make it easier for your beard to straighten smoothly.
How often should I straighten my beard?
The more often you straighten your beard, the straighter it’ll be, obviously. But applying heat to your beard every day can cause damage. So, it’s best to use heated straightening sparingly, maybe once a week, and then maintain with natural methods.
See the sections above for a step-by-step guide to both heated and natural straightening methods.
Do I have to wash my beard before straightening?
A freshly washed beard will be slightly more pliable and thus easier to straighten. And we wouldn’t recommend straightening a dirty beard. But it’s not totally necessary to wash right before straightening, as long as it’s relatively clean.
So, there you have it: everything you need to know about straightening your beard, from why your beard is curly in the first place to both natural and heated methods for beard straightening.
Put these tools to work and your newly straightened, lengthened beard will be the envy of all your bros.
What’s your favorite way to straighten your beard? Let us know your favorite tips and tricks in the comments!