Like all good things, growing a beard takes time and patience.
Once it finally grows in, it can be disheartening to discover you’re the owner of unruly facial hair.
You hoped for rugged manliness. You got ragged and scruffy. What gives?
It’s a tale I know all too well. But don’t reach for those clippers yet. The truth is, no beard is perfect and yours is no exception—it’ll need care and attention.
In this article, you’ll learn how to straighten your beard to make the most of your facial hair. So give those beard curls one last tweak and let’s get to it.
Why Is Your Beard Curly?
To answer that question, I turn to my old friend, science. Your beard is curly because of the angle at which hair follicles enter the skin.
When the acute angle is small, the curlier the hair will become. So, if your hair follicles meet the skin at a ninety-degree angle, the straighter your beard.
What You’ll Need
While you don’t necessarily need all of them (I’ll explain in more detail below the benefits of each), you’ll need a variation of these tools/products:
- Beard Shampoo
- Beard Oil
- Styling or Round Brush
- Blow Dryer
- Beard Wax or Balm
If you’re just getting started, your best bang for buck will come from a beard care kit. Our favorite is this one from Viking Revolution:
It’s affordable but it has the quality that VR is renowned for. The brush has a great texture and you’ll get a lot of use out of the purpose-built comb and mustache scissors.
You’ve got a few choices for applying the heat necessary to straighten your beard:
The Blow Dry Technique
The blow-dry technique uses a standard blow dryer. Professional barbers recommended this as the go-to method. It will tame your facial hair but still maintain a natural look.
If you’ve got your hair styling game down, you probably already own a blow dryer. That’s a win for your wallet.
The Hair Straightener Technique
Some tutorials suggest using hair straighteners. Think twice before commandeering your girl’s iron.
Beyond the obvious risk of taking a hot iron to your face, there are some practical issues with this method. Firstly, it’s a difficult technique to master. It’ll also be hard to safely straighten short to medium length beards for obvious reasons.
If you manage to clamp some facial hairs, expect straight but unnatural results. If you’re going to go this route, I advise you opt for a purpose-built beard straightener. Which leads me to…
The Beard Straightener Technique
If you’re the proud owner of facial hair, given your search history you’ll most likely see promotions for beard straighteners pop up on your news feed. They claim to conquer wild beards in no time at all and come in the form of a heated brush that you comb in the direction of growth.
Be careful when exploring this option. There are plenty of cheap items that will damage your beard. Using these on high heat settings can also harm follicles.
If you’re sold on using the latest fad, opt for a reputable brand. The VIKICON Beard Straightener has protective tongues to protect your face from burning. There’s also a low heat setting to save your pride and joy from the singe.
You’ve now locked in your preferred straightening technique. Here’s how you apply it to tame that mane.
How To Straighten Your Beard in 5 Easy Steps
Step 1: Wash Your Beard
Do you use excess hair shampoo to wash your beard? If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you’ve opted for the lazy all in one approach at some point.
Facial hair is a different beast to the hair on your head. It tends to be thicker and wirier. This is why you’ll need specialist beard shampoo and/or conditioner.
I enjoy using the same brand throughout the beard care process. Having cohesion from shampoo to wax will ensure the scents work well together. This also has the side-benefit of allowing your favorite cologne to shine with less conflict.
Professor Edward J Fuzzworthy’s Gentleman’s Beard Gloss Shampoo is a high-end shampoo bar that we recommend. It also comes with an accompanying conditioner balm. There are plenty of options and it’s worth shopping around to find your favorite. Whether you go for liquid or bar form is down to your personal preference.
Shampoo and soap are both effective at delivering the cleanliness you crave.
As a rule of thumb, shampoo tends to contain more stripping agents than its soap counterpart. If your beard is longer and requires a deeper clean, shampoo is the way to go.
If you’re seeking a less aggressive wash, soap tends to be more delicate and keeps more moisture in the beard. A 4-in-1 bar like this one by Bossman does the trick nicely:
Wet your beard using lukewarm water. Then lather the shampoo into the beard and scratch into it so you reach deep into the roots. Rinse out your product, and bam—your beard is clean and ready for the next step.
Step 2: Remove Excess Water From Your Beard
Step 4 below is to blow-dry your beard, but to do this you’ll want it damp (read—not dripping wet). The best way to achieve this is to pat your beard with a towel.
Featuring super soft 100% Oeka-Tex Certified Egyptian cotton, this towel set is a game-changer if you're looking to level up your linen game.
Be gentle, it pays to be kind to your beard. Attacking it with furious rubs will cause damage.
Step 3: Apply Beard Oil
Apply a few drops of beard oil. This will help protect your facial hair from the heat of the hairdryer. This will help soften the beard too.
Most oils will come with a pipette dispenser. Splash a few droplets into the palm of your hand and work into your beard. Don’t forget to massage deep into the roots.
Comb the product through the beard ensuring the oil spreads throughout. Beard oils come in many shapes, sizes, and prices. If you like scented, we’re big fans of this tobacco vanilla oil by Crafted:
We like the mix-up from the usual sandalwood scent that most brands go for. But most importantly, this oil is very softening without giving you the greasy feeling.
Instead of oil, try using blow-dry straightening spray for a straighter finish. Or sea salt spray for added texture.
Step 4: Blow Dry Your Beard
Now for the all-important beard styling. Arm yourself with a round or styling brush. If you have a nozzle, attach it to the blow dryer. The nozzle assists in the precision of the airflow into the beard hair.
Blow-dry and brush downward in the direction of hair growth. Following the direction of growth will help train your beard.
Start on medium heat. A higher heat will achieve straighter results but will risk damaging hair follicles. If you opt for higher heat use some heat protection beforehand.
For longer areas, wrap your beard hair around the brush. Pull the brush in the required direction whilst blow-drying from root to tip. The above video shows how to blow dry longer beards.
Step 5: Apply Product
Whether it be with balm or wax, it’s time to cement your handiwork. While different beards will demand varying amounts of wax, it’s best to err on the side of caution and a smaller amount of product. You can always add more if needed.
You may need to experiment with different brands and variants to find the right balm for your specific whiskers. A good starting point for a curly beard is a heavy duty balm like this one by Honest Amish for extra high-hold taming power:
Beyond it’s hold, it conditions nicely, and in our opinion, the scent is minimal yet pleasant.
Scrape a pea-sized amount of wax into the palm of your hand. Next, rub your hands together to heat the wax. This will cause the product to melt and make it easier to apply. The balm will not need as much heat.
Apply the product to your beard. Rub the wax into the direction of growth and style as required.
Ensure even distribution of wax using a beard comb made of wood. A wooden comb glides through hair better than a plastic one. This will distribute products and natural oils more. Comb in the direction of your preferred beard shape.
If you have a longer mustache such as a handlebar, you’ll need stronger wax to style it in place. Apply wax to your fingertips then pull and twist the end of the mustache with your fingertips.
The Home Straight
So, how’d you go? You now have the know-how to straighten your beard.
This is a proven, fast, and effective way to get great results. If you like what you’ve read, be sure to give this post a share.
Has this post inspired you to grow your first beard? Set yourself up for success and give this a read: Growing A Beard For The First Time? A Beginner’s Guide To Beards.
Remember, take care of your beard and treat it with the respect it deserves. With a great beard comes even greater responsibility.
For even more style tips, subscribe to The Adult Man YouTube channel.
Wishing you health in body and mind.
Should you straighten your beard?
Beard straightening isn’t for everyone. Some beards curl and wave in a way that looks stylish in its own right. If it works for you why not embrace it?
That said, if you’re seeking a more refined look, straightening your beard will get you there.
Either way, the golden rule is that beards need care and attention. A professional beard trim will make home grooming easier in the weeks to come.
If you’ve hacked at your beard like a drunk Edward Scissorhands, straightening will only go a small way to improve your beard. As the saying goes, you can’t polish a turd.
Do beard straighteners actually work?
This depends on which one you buy. Good beard straighteners will glide through the frizz. Not only will they leave your beard as straight as an arrow, you can also use them on your head hair.
Each beard will have different needs and demands. If you want a very straight and direct beard, a beard straightener will work for you.
Are beard straighteners bad for your beard?
Whether it be the hair on our head or the hair on your face, overexposure to heat will damage your hair.
Face fur becoming brittle and wiry is something you need to avoid. If beard straighteners are your thing, proceed with caution. Protect your beard with oil or a heat defense product before use.
Should I use beard oil before straightening?
Beard oil won’t straighten your facial hair on its own. Yet, it’s an integral part of the face forest conservation process. Use oil before the straightening process to condition the beard and skin underneath.
The oil will add all-important defense and protection against the risks of heat. A good oil will also condition your beard so it’s touchable soft.