The 7 Easiest & Most Effective Ways to Soften Your Beard

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There’s good news, and a bit of bad news, for guys who want to know how to soften a beard.

The good news is that beards can be a great asset for men because they give you what we here at Irreverent Gent like to call that BBE – Big Beard Energy.

A good beard can make you look more masculine, rugged, and even attractive to some women. 

Chris Evans with a silky soft beard

In a study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, women were more attracted to guys with a full beard than those who were clean shaven.

But the bad news is that, while a soft beard can help you look more attractive, a rough beard can have the opposite effect:

Bad beards can be a real turn-off, and detract from an anotherwise attractive appearance.

Will Forte with an unruly beard in The Last Man Standing
(To be fair to Forte, I think that was kind of the point with this character…)

While a softer beard looks both rugged and refined, a brittle, dry beard tends to send more “homeless and loving it” vibes.

To help you look your bearded best, in this article, we’ll show you how to soften your beard so that it’s more pleasant…

… both for you, and (maybe even more importantly) those you hope to attract.

How to Soften Your Beard

A Thorough Break Down of How to Soften Beard Hair

How to Soften a Beard, Part 1:

Why your beard is rough in the first place

Black and white image of man with beard

Most guys don’t know the main reasons why they develop a rough, unhealthy beard in the first place.

It’s because the sebum oil glands in your face skin are overactive, which leads to the overproduction of oil.

When there’s too much excess oil, the hair follicles become clogged and the hair doesn’t get the chance to grow properly.

As a result, you end up with a beard that’s coarse, unruly, and prone to not only beard itch, but painful (and unsightly) skin irritation.

Here are a few of the main culprits that cause this to happen, and some easy tips to counteract each one and avoid developing prickly facial hair.

Lack of Moisture

A dried out beard
If your beard looks like it could scrub the barnacle off a ship’s hull, you’re not getting enough moisture

If you’re looking to soften your beard, the first thing you need to do is address the lack of moisture.

Dryness is the number one cause of harsh, unruly or wiry beards. 

Start by using a quality beard oil that contains natural ingredients like carrier oils (like coconut oil, olive oil or jojoba oil) that will hydrate your facial hair and skin.

The best way to apply the oil evenly throughout your beard is to use a circular motion, making sure to massage it in well. 

You can also try using a leave-in conditioner or beard balm to help lock in moisture. 

Just remember to use a light hand when applying these products, as too much can lead to a greasy beard.


Elderly man with beard
Old man, or dehydrated 25 year old? Who’s to say?

If you’re looking to soften your beard, one of the best things you can do is to make sure it’s hydrated, especially if you live in a cold climate. 

Dehydration is one of the leading causes of a rough, brittle beard, and as a Canadian, I can tell you firsthand that cold weather is notoriously dry.

So if you want a soft and sexy beard, it’s important to make sure you’re givinv it enough moisture. Again, a good beard oil, balm or beard butter will help keep your beard hydrated and looking its best.

Split Ends

Beard with split ends

If you have a beard, chances are you’ve dealt with split ends. 

Split ends happen when the outer layer of your hair shaft splits. 

This can happen for a number of reasons, including over-washing, over-brushing, or using harsh chemicals.

While split ends can be a pain, there are a few things you can do to soften them. 

One option is to use a leave-in beard conditioner or oil. These products can help to moisturize your hair and keep split ends at bay. 

You can also try trimming your beard regularly to get rid of any damaged hair.

By using leave-in conditioners or oils, trimming regularly, and being mindful of your styling habits, you can keep your beard looking its best.

Hard Water

A shower head with hard water residue
If your shower head has white residue on it, you’re probably showering with hard water (image via Ivan Radic on Flickr)

If you live in an area with hard water, your beard is likely to suffer. Hard water can cause your beard to feel dry and brittle, and can even lead to hair loss.

There are a few things you can do to combat the effects of hard water on your beard.

First, try using a softener shampoo or conditioner specifically designed for beards. These products can help to hydrate your beard and make it more manageable.

You can also try using a leave-in conditioner or oil. The best beard softener can help to protect your beard from the drying effects of hard water. Be sure to apply them liberally, and massage them into your beard for the best results.

Finally, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.

This will help to keep your entire body hydrated, including your beard. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is a good general rule of thumb.

By following these tips, you can keep your beard looking its best despite the challenges posed by hard water.

How to Soften Beard Hair, Part 2:

How to care for your beard properly

Handsome man with soft beard
Full hearts. Soft beard. Can’t lose.

A well-groomed beard can make a man look more handsome and stylish, but it takes work to keep a beard looking its best. 

If you don’t take care of your beard, it can become dry, brittle, and unruly. 

A proper grooming routine will help to keep your beard soft, healthy, and under control. 

Follow these tips to learn how to soften your beard and keep it looking its best.

Step 1: Wash Your Beard

Wet your beard with warm water and apply a dime-sized amount of beard wash to your palm. 

Rub the beard wash into your beard, making sure to work it into your skin beneath your beard. Rinse the beard wash out of your beard with lukewarm water. 

Pat your beard dry with a towel.

One to Try:

Step 2: Condition Your Beard

Conditioning your beard is an important step in the process of softening it.

By using a good conditioner, you can add moisture and nutrients to your beard that will help to make it softer. 

There are a number of different beard care products that will condition your beard, so experiment to find what works best for you.

One way is to use a leave-in conditioner. Simply apply the conditioner to your damp beard and use a good beard comb to disperse it through evenly.

You can then style your beard as usual.

Another way to condition your beard is to use a regular conditioner in the shower.

Wet your beard and apply the conditioner, then rinse it out after a few minutes.

One to Try:

How to Soften Your Beard Naturally

If you’re into home remedies, another option is to make your own natural beard oil at home.

This is a great way to add moisture and nutrients to your beard, because the best at-home beard oil recipes tend to be the simplest.

Simply combine a few drops of oil (such as jojoba or argan oil) with some essential oils (such as lavender or rosemary) and apply it to your beard.

Whether you use beard oil you made yourself, or bought from a reputable brand, conditioning your beard regularly will help to soften it and keep it healthy.

Step 3: Apply a Beard Balm

A beard balm is a leave-in conditioner that helps to soften your beard and control flyaway hairs.

It usually contains beeswax, which gives your beard a nice shine.

To apply a beard balm, start by putting a small amount on your fingers and rubbing it into your beard.

Then, use plastic combs (or beard brushes with soft boar bristles) to distribute the balm evenly through your beard. You can also use your fingers to style your beard into place.

Beard balm is a great way to keep your beard looking soft and healthy. Use it daily, or as often as needed, to keep your beard in top condition.

One to Try:

Step 4: Apply Beard Oil

man drawing beard oil from vile

Beard oil is one of the best ways to soften your beard. It helps to nourish and condition your beard, making it softer and more manageable.

When applying beard oil, it’s a good idea to start with a small amount and work it into your beard. (You can always add more if needed.)

Be sure to massage the oil into your skin as well as your beard.

You can apply beard oil once or twice a day, depending on how dry your beard is. If you find that your beard is looking greasy, you may need to use beard shampoo more often.

Beard oil is available in a variety of scents. Choose one that you like and that will complement your cologne.

Overall, using beard oil is a great way to improve your beard’s health and make it look more soft and appealing.

One to Try:

Step 5: Comb & Brush Your Beard

Man combing grey beard
image via freepik

One of the best things you can do to soften up your beard (and clear out any beard dandruff) is comb it regularly. This will help to loosen up the hair and make it softer.

As mentioned, can also try using a good balm or beard oil.

These products can help to moisturize the hair and make it softer.

Be sure to choose a product that is designed for beards, as regular hair products can actually make the problem worse.

Finally, make sure you are using a good beard shampoo and conditioner on a regular schedule.

Regular shampoos will help to keep it clean, result in softer hairs, and even reduce dandruff issues if you use the right products.

A good shampoo for your beard is one that’s mild and formulated specifically for facial hair, so it won’t strip the natural oils from your hair.

Follow up with a conditioner to keep your beard looking its best.

One to Try:

Step 6: Trim Your Beard (As/When Needed)

If you have a beard, you know that it can be both a blessing and a curse. 

As mentioned above, it gives you a rugged, manly look. 

On the other hand, it can be difficult to keep your beard looking neat and tidy. 

One way to help keep your beard looking its best is to trim it on a regular basis.

Trimming your beard will help to remove any split ends and will also help to keep the overall shape of your beard in check. 

If you let your beard grow too long, it can start to look unruly. Trimming it on a regular basis will help you avoid this problem.

Of course, you don’t have to trim your beard every day. Once every week or two should be sufficient. 

Just make sure that you use sharp, clean scissors and trim slowly and carefully. It’s better to err on the side of caution than to accidentally cut off more than you intended!

One to Try:

Step 7: Eat Clean

Man carrying basket of fruits and vegetables
A soft beard starts with a healthy diet

A clean, healthy diet is the foundation of a great beard.

(And a great body, for that matter.)

Eating plenty of protein, healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A and B will help your beard and mustache hair look its best.

In addition to eating a healthy diet, you can also use dietary supplements and beard vitamins to help improve the health of your beard. 

Supplements like biotin, fish oil and vitamin h can help make your beard thicker and healthier.

You Know How to Soften Your Beard

Now Learn How to Sharpen Your Style

Now that you know how to soften a beard, you’ll be able to keep your facial hair feeling soft, warm and welcoming to anyone who touches it.

(Which hopefully won’t just be you…)

But while bolstering your beard’s look and feel is important, the truth is that grooming is really only one part of the overall puzzle that is a man’s appearance.

If you really want to look your best, you need to know how to go beyond your beard and nail all the other small-but-vital details that add up to make a major impact on your look.

We’ve put together a straightforward checklist that will show you how to do just that.

Sign up below and we’ll send you a head-to-toe primer outlining all the details you need to nail to put your best face forward.

Oh, and did we mention it’s free? (You can’t beat that price.) Just punch in your email below and we’ll send it straight to your inbox.

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More Resources ↓
More Advice on How to Look Your Bearded Best:
More Men’s Grooming Advice:

Resident Irreverent Gent beard expert Geoff Hayes is a Toronto-based writer, baseball fan and craft beer aficionado (though not always in that order).

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