If you’ve got a beard you probably want it to be a little softer than it currently is.
How do we know that?
Well, for one thing, lots of you guys email us to ask just that – how to make your beard soft.
The other reason we know you want a softer beard is that we have beards – and we like them soft too.
Who wants a beard that feels like wire wool, huh?
Not you, and certainly not your significant other either.
They don’t want beard rash from rubbing against your harsh beard.
So in this article, we’re going to help you to soften your beard.
We’ll show you the techniques and tips that work and that keep your beard soft for the long haul.
Use the table of contents below to jump to the sections most important to you.
Table of Contents
But first, because we are nothing but thorough here at Prim & Prep, we thought it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the reasons that you may have a rough beard in the first place.
That way you can eliminate as many of the underlying causes as you can.
Once you’ve done that, the treatments we’ll talk about below will be even more effective.
It also means that once your beard is softer it will stay softer for longer.
So, check out this list and see what strikes you as familiar:
1. Split Ends
Beard split ends are such a pain in the backside, we already devoted a whole article to them.
Fact is though, split ends are a problem that affects a whole host of guys at some stage or another, especially those amongst us who have long beards.
One of the symptoms of split ends is a rough beard.
That’s because when you have split ends, the end of the beard is, well, split.
That makes it feel harsh and rough and the absolute opposite of soft.
If you think you may have split ends, check out our article above to get them cured.
Trust us, you won’t regret it.
2. Are You Dehydrated?
Well, are you?
You will hear a lot of people when they talk about hard, scratchy beards, talk about hydration.
They are talking about hydrating the beard using things like beard oil.
In one sense they are right, but in another they are wrong.
It’s like this:
You don’t just need to keep your beard hydrated, you need to keep yourself hydrated too.
Please note we are not saying you should drink beard oil, please do not do that.
What we are saying is that your beard hair is part of your overall body.
That means that if you are not taking care of your body, this will have an impact on your beard too.
Dehydration, in particular, is very bad for your beard, so make sure you’re keeping your fluid levels topped up if you want a nice soft beard.
3. Cold Air
This may well be a problem that many men can’t combat, but if you live somewhere that has a very cold climate this could also be affecting your beard.
Cold weather – or particular cold air – is bad news for hair.
The cold air dries out the beard hair, making it rough and scratchy.
Now like we said, there isn’t much you can do about this.
You certainly can’t change the climate just to help soften your beard.
What you can do is follow your Mom’s advice and wrap up on a snow day.
Throw on a scarf and help to protect your beard as much as you can.
4. The Wrong Kinds of Moisture
Yeah we know what we said, you need to keep your beard hydrated.
We’re not talking about that though, we’re talking about external factors here.
Specifically the water you use to clean your beard in the shower.
If you live in a hard water area, for example, that can be bad news for a beard.
Hard water, which is chock full of minerals like calcium, is not the best substance for hair.
Unless you can filter the water before it hits your beard though, sadly there’s not much you can do about this.
What you can control is the temperature of that water.
Washing in water that is too hot will damage your skin.
This can also strip away the natural oils that also help keep your hair healthy.
Not only can this lead to the dreaded beard itch, but it can also mean that your beard becomes tough and scratchy.
So that covers a load of the reasons why you may not have the softest beard in the world right now.
But so what, all you know is that your beard feels tough and scratchy and you want to change that fast.
So next we’ll look at how to soften your beard.
It’s actually nice and straightforward, and all you need are two items – shampoo and conditioner.
1. Use Beard Shampoo
First off, not just any shampoo.
In fact, standard shampoo is way too harsh for use on your beard.
Regular shampoo will strip away all the good oils from your beard and that is not a good way to help make it soft.
So you have got to invest in a good quality beard shampoo.
Once you’ve got your shampoo, the next task is to use it!
Get yourself some good shower time and make sure you work that shampoo right into your beard with your fingertips.
Rinse it off with plenty of warm (not hot!) water and you are ready for the second stage of Operation Beard Softener:
2. Use a Beard Conditioner
Beard conditioner is the secret weapon of any man looking for a soft beard.
Why is it a secret?
Honest to goodness we have no damn idea.
Most men will happily put conditioner on their head hair (if they’ve got enough anyway) but will baulk at dropping a few bucks on a beard conditioner.
To us, that is pure madness!
Beard conditioner is a product that is specifically designed to make your beard softer.
So if you want a soft beard, use a good shampoo to make sure it is clean then finish that off with a quality beard conditioner to make sure it’s soft too.
It really is as simple as that.
So your beard is now clean and soft.
Awesome sauce, well done!
But if you want to keep it soft, there are a few tricks and tips to keep it that way.
We would suggest that you could for example:
3. Tackle Underlying Issues
We took a good look at a number of the issues that can cause a hard and scratchy beard up earlier in this very article.
Did anyone of them strike you as familiar?
If so, we would certainly suggest tackling those issues if you want your beard to stay softer for longer.
Is your shower too hot, for example?
Turn the temperature down.
Are you rubbing your beard with a towel after you shower?
Don’t – dab it dry instead and you won’t risk damaging the hairs.
The bottom line:
A good shampoo and conditioner will go a long way to softening your beard.
But remove as many of the things that are making it hard and scratchy in the first place and it will look and feel even better.
4. Protect Your Beard From Damage
Split ends or similar structural damage will make your hair feel coarse and gross.
If you want it to stay softer for longer than you need to protect it from that kind of damage.
Firstly that means investing in good tools.
We’re talking beard brushes with quality bristles.
These tools will allow you to groom and maintain your beard without damaging any of the hairs.
The same goes for beard combs too.
These are really useful tools for helping to maintain your beard.
But they can work against you if they are not up to the task.
Cheap, plastic combs, for example, will often have poorly molded teeth.
They snag and tear your beard hair, which needless to say is not a good thing if you want a healthy soft beard.
Instead look for handcrafted or high-quality material combs made of materials like wood or even metal.
They will be equipped with teeth that are much kinder to your beard.
Damaged hair always feels scratchy and, well, like crap.
Good tools allow you to maintain, groom and style your hair without damaging it.
That will really play a strong role in keeping your beard soft.
5. Beard Oils and Balms
The whole point of shampooing and conditioning your beard with products that are designed for use on the beard is to prevent oils from being stripped away.
This helps keep your skin and beard moisturized.
That, in turn, helps to keep it soft.
Quality beard oils and balms are a way to essentially lock that moisture in.
They also help keep the beard looking great and feeling healthy.
We’d really recommend adding a balm or beard oil to your daily routine to help keep your beard soft after every wash.
The Bottom Line on Softening Your Beard
There you go folks, our comprehensive guide to softening your beard.
Hopefully, we’ve shown you there are no dark arts to a soft beard.
Just try to remove any of the elements that may be making it tough and scratchy.
Once you’ve done that, just follow a good regime of washing, shampooing and conditioning your beard.
Invest in some quality tools and some decent oil or balm and you have everything you need to make your beard nice and soft – and keep it like that too.
Prim & Prep Editors are a team of male grooming experts in their respective fields, including Karl Schmidt (Beards / Facial Hair), Ben Rose (Shaving / Body Grooming / Skincare), and Ethan Stone (Men’s Style). Their work has been featured on many prominent men’s publications including AskMen, Men’s Health, and GQ. Be sure to check out the review process for details on Prim & Prep’s product review methodology or contact them below.