How to Soften Beard Hair – The Complete 2024 Guide


Today’s #BeardTalk is on “how to soften a rough beard” – a common issue for men with facial hair. 

It’s a fact:

A prickly, rough beard doesn’t feel or look good – period! 

On the other hand, having a soft beard adds to a man’s attractiveness and appeal. 

It’s not only comfy to wear but also provides a neutral option for your partner/lover; i.e. not everyone can put up with a stache rash (beard burn) 


Most gents know that a soft, smooth, and well-moisturized beard can cause an instant #beardgasm.


It’s important for bearded men to know how to soften your beard


If you don’t know where to start, this post is for you. 

Here, I will cover:

  • The different reasons why your beard is rough and dry
  • The different ways on how to soften your beard
  • homemade solution to beard softening
  • How to make and maintain your beard as smooth as silk
  • I will also answer the common questions about beard softening


Let’s get to it, shall we?

Quick Overview of Why Your Beard Is Rough


Before we get into softening facial hair, let’s talk about the different reasons why your beard is rough.


I hope you know that beards are different from the hair on your head. That’s because facial and head hair follicles are different.

Apart from the hair follicle, the cause of growth also differs.

That’s why:

Facial hair is referred to as androgen hair since it grows during the puberty stage. Therefore, the level of testosterone hormone plays a huge role. 


Don’t be. 

Technically, facial hair, which includes the beard and mustache, is pubic hair. 


Note that the scalp and facial skin are different; i.e. the scalp is the thickest part of a man’s skin. And is better at replenishing and maintaining hydration than facial skin. 

Hence, this explains why facial hair tends to be wiry, coarser, and dry. 

A Look at The Different Reasons Why Your Beard Gets Rough

1. Beard Having Split Ends


One of the major culprits of a rough beard is split ends. These nuisances tend to make facial hair scratchy and tough


Split ends arise when the beards are long and rough. Wrong shaving and trimming tools can also cause split ends.

2. Your Choice or Usage of Beard Care Products

Something else that will make your facial hairs dry is the products you are using and how you are using them. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have the right products?
  • Am I using them correctly?

If you are unsure about any of the above questions, that may be the reason you have rough facial hairs.

Here is how to make sure you get the best products:

  • Ask your bearded friends what products they are using and most importantly if they’d recommend the products.
  • Request your barber to recommend products for you. 
  • When buying styling products online, go through the customer reviews, especially the negative reviews, if there are any.
  • Follow the usage guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
  • Carefully scrutinize the ingredient list for each product. If you are unsure about any ingredient, look it up online to see if it’s blacklisted.
  • Follow your favorite influencer’s beard routine. If your beard growth journey is inspired by your favorite YouTuber, TikToker or athlete, check out their product’s recommendation. However, don’t follow them blindly, apply your judgment.

3. The Weather is Negatively Impacting The Beard


Depending on the weather condition your beard may get dry and rough If you don’t have preventative measures.

How do temperatures affect your beard?

a) Extreme Cold

While your facial hairs keep you warm during winter, the extreme cold can easily damage them. 


When it’s cold the facial skin contracts making the beard strands stand to help in trapping heat and air to keep you warm.

However, this dries and freezes the moisture and oils making the beard look lackluster and dry.

b) Extreme Heat

Unlike in winter when the cold freezes beard moisture and oils, extreme heat robs the hair strands of moisture and oils through evaporation; hence, leaving them dry. 


The sun UV rays burn the protective oil layer on the hair strands making them dry and susceptible to damage.

It’s also the reason facial hairs tend to lighten during summer as the UV rays remove the strand’s pigment. 

c) High Humidity or Low Humidity

Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air. And as you can easily tell, this will also affect the beard. 

When it’s very humid, the water vapor bloats the hair strands making them look fuller but frizzy and messy.

On the flip side, low humidity means moisture will evaporate from the beard to the dry air leaving the strands dehydrated and dry.


Regardless of the temperature or humidity make sure your facial hairs are well moisturized and oiled.

4. Using Hard Water to Wash The Beard

While hard water is safe for drinking, it’s a nuisance when it’s used to wash the skin and facial hairs.


Hard water contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium minerals. 

When used to wash hair or skin, these minerals form a protective layer on skin and hair strands preventing water from penetrating.


You are left with dry hair strands that are susceptible to damage.  

That’s not all:

Because it’s impossible to thoroughly wash and rinse your beard, buildup will start forming and this can cause acne. 

Apart from dryness, hard water may also lead to:

  • frizziness
  • dry skin
  • tangles
  • Itchiness
  • thinning and,
  • breakage.

To treat hard water, buy a water softening shower head or install a water softening system to increase the concentration of sodium. 

5. You Are Not Drinking Enough Fluids

One of the easiest ways to soften your facial hair is to stay hydrated. A hydrated body means healthy skin and hair.


You see, water helps in the transportation of oxygen and nutrients around the body including to the face. This nourishes the hair follicles leading to healthy, soft, and strong facial hairs. 

Water also helps in the formation of hair shafts as they are made of 15% water. 


The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says men should get about 15.5 cups of fluid (3.7 liters) in a day. 

This recommendation covers fluid present in food, beverages, and water. 

How to Know If Your Beard is Dry


Your beard is dry when:

  • It gets itchy
  • Your significant other is always complaining about it
  • You have a recurrent dandruff problem
  • Your beard feels rough to the touch
  • The beard feels and looks dry

Quick and Easy Ways on How to Soften Your Beard

Use a Beard Shampoo


When you realize your beard is dry and rough, the best starting point is washing it using soap and shampoo.

Facial hair shampoo helps to wash off dirt, sweat, oils, and buildup. 

Why is this important?


Unlike other hairy parts of the body, a beard is usually the most exposed. And since it’s right under the mouth, it’s more susceptible to food and drinks spillage. 

Hence, it can get dirty easily. 

The fact that facial hair attracts a lot of dirt also makes it more susceptible to split ends formation. Thus, the need for proper and regular cleaning


What makes a good beard shampoo?

If you ask me, it should be gentle on your face skin but effective in washing off all the dirt and buildup.


Pro Tip:

Before using beard shampoo, start by assessing its quality and ingredient composition.

I’ve heard a lot of horror stories caused by choosing the wrong kind of shampoo. And in most cases, it’s often a result of something in the ingredients

So, to ensure you steer clear of a bad experience, here’s a list of shampoo ingredients you should try to avoid by all means: 

  • Sulfates and Parabens
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Diethanolamine and Triethanolamine
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Phthalates
  • Silicones
  • Mineral Oil

Got that?


How often should you shampoo your beard?


For oily beards, I recommend shampooing up to five times a week. But if you have a dry beard, shampoo up to 3 times a week.


If your day job exposes your facial hair to dust and dirt, do it daily to wash off the debris and prevent buildup.

Use A Facial Hair Conditioner


Beard shampoo goes hand in hand with a conditioner. 


Don’t be tempted to use any conditioner. Instead, go for products designed specifically to keep your beard soft.


Unlike shampoo, beard conditioners contain natural oils, proteins, and extracts to make facial hair soft, smooth, and shiny. 

Fun fact:

A beard conditioner tends to take away the roughness and frizziness caused by shampooing.

It’s important to note:

There are two types of conditioners, rinse-out conditioners, and leave-in conditioners. 

And out of the two, the latter is great for dry, frizzy, and damaged beards.

That said:

What makes a good beard conditioner?

Well, it should:

  • Replenish the moisture and oils lost after a shampoo wash
  • Boost hair recovery and regeneration
  • Soften brittle and dry strands
  • Resolve frizz and tangling
  • Combat beardruff (dandruff)

Moving on… 

Always Use a Beard Oil or Beard Balm

Most men know this:

Another way to soften a beard is by applying either oil or balm.


What is beard oil?

This product helps in moisturizing facial hair and the skin underneath it

And that includes:

  • Preventing and combating dandruff
  • Reducing itchiness – a sign of a dry beard
  • Softening, conditioning, and taming dry strands
  • Adding volume and texture
  • Improving scent


While ingredients differ from one brand to another, most of these products contain essential oils, fragrances, and carrier oils. 

For example…

Carrier oils include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Olive oil
  • Argan oil
  • Rosehip oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Black seed oil
  • Grape seed oil
  • Avocado oil and
  • Sunflower oil

Essential oils include:

  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Oil
  • Cedarwood Oil
  • Pine Oil
  • Rosemary
  • Patchouli
  • Tea Tree
  • Bergamot
  • Sandalwood


Unlike oils, beard balms have a thicker texture but offer the same moisturizing benefits.


While oils can be used on any length, balms are best for medium and long beards. 

Quick Tip:

You can use both oil and balm for better results. Also, make sure your beard is properly hydrated by applying the right moisturizing products. 


Resolve Any Underlying Issue


There is a likelihood there is an underlying factor making your beard dry and rough. 

For example, it could be because:

  • You are using the wrong styling products. This can be the shampoo, conditioner, etc.
  • You’re taking very hot showers. Yes! Hot water can strip most oils from your skin and beard. That’s why it’s important to use lukewarm water to cleanse the dirt, open the pores and remove dead skin without causing dryness.
  • Do you blow-dry your beard and, if so, how? To be on the safe side, always pat dry the beard then apply oil for protection.
  • Stop touching your beard! You may be stripping moisture and oils from the strands when doing so.

Trim The Beards Regularly


Beards are prone to split ends, which leave the strands feeling rough and dry. 

Common causes include:

  • Washing too often
  • Using a blow dryer wrongly
  • Excessively dry weather
  • Harsh ingredients in styling products
  • Poor nutritional health
  • Over-combing
  • Detangling the beard aggressively, especially, after washing

On the plus side:

Proper and regular trimming will cut off the rough split ends making the facial hair smoother and well-maintained.


Make sure you are using proper grooming tools and that they are sharpened properly


Because blunt trimming tools and poor skills can also lead to split ends formation.

Proper Nutrition And Hydration


How are your nutrition and hydration habits?

Eating a balanced diet gives your body all the needed nutrients and vitamins for healthy beard growth.

But, how does one go about this?


Eat enough proteins. 

Otherwise, you will end up with a brittle beard. And make sure you are getting saturated fatty acids; to facilitate sebum production.


Important nutrients for healthy hair growth include omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and vitamin D. 


If your body is dehydrated, your beard will definitely become rough and dry

So, drink enough water.

Wrapping up…

And there we have it, several easy ways of softening your beard. 

You’ve probably realized that before looking for a way to soften your dry whiskers you need to, first, investigate what could be causing it.

It could be that you are not hydrating well or not eating a balanced diet to supply your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals. 

Either way, knowing the problem makes it easier for you to find a proper solution


Identify the issue first, and then look for an ideal fix.

I hope this post was informative.


Remember to leave a question or comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can apply some Vaseline to your beard to make it feel softer. However, this is a temporary solution. I recommend finding out why your facial hair is rough and then find a solution for that cause.
Yes, it’s fine to use this type of conditioner on your beard; 3 to 4 times a week. This product will make facial hair look soft and smooth. And it is great for anyone with dandruff, an itchy beard, and tangled beards. Note: Conditioners don’t help in beard growth.
Now: To make a homemade beard softener, you will need several carrier oils and your preferred essential oils and mix them in proportion. Then: Use a dropper to apply this mix to your beard; several times a day.

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