July 12

How To Stop Beard Itch | Everything You Need to know

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Overview

Beard itch is common in men, regardless of whether you’re growing one for the first time or had it for years. Unfortunately, this can be very annoying, leading men to shave their beards and give up on the process.

The severity of beard itching varies from one person to another. Some people experience mild itching, whereas others feel like their face is burning. In fact, a strong beard itch can wake you up in the middle of the night.

In this article, we will only use evidence-based science to show you how to stop beard itch and the best measures to prevent it. After that, we will share a few itchy beard remedies.

Why is my beard itchy?

There are several causes that make your beard itchy. Here are a few of these causes:

Dry skin

Dry skin, or xerosis, results from cold weather, genetic factors, and certain medications. Any product that strips your facial hair from its natural moisture will also cause dry skin.

This is one of the leading causes of an itchy beard.

Ingrown hairs

This condition occurs when you shave your facial hair and it grows back in the wrong direction. As a result, your facial hair gets inflamed, leading to skin irritation and itchiness.

This condition is more common in people with tight and curly hair.


Folliculitis

Folliculitis describes a local inflammation around the hair follicles of your beard. It usually stems from a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. Abnormal hairs can also clog the hair follicle, leading to folliculitis.

To confirm that you have folliculitis, take a look at the follicle and give it a little touch. It will appear red and feel tender to the touch. Without treatment, these inflamed follicles can turn into blisters and leak pus.

Pseudofolliculitis barbae

Pseudofolliculitis barbae results from ingrown hair. It is an inflammatory condition that occurs after the facial hair cuts your skin inside the follicles. They can also curve back around into the skin and try to grow out. That makes you experience redness, blisters, and bumpiness. Shaving facial hair improperly can lead to these razor bumps.

According to a study, pseudofolliculitis barbae is more common in African American males and those with curly hair.

We call this pseudofolliculitis because traditional folliculitis results from microbial infection, whereas this condition arises after a noninfectious irritation.

We should note that razor burn and razor bumps are two entirely different conditions. While they share a few symptoms, their causes, preventive measures, and treatments vary.

Improper shaving

Using the wrong device or technique to shave your beard is another leading cause of an itchy beard. If you don’t have any experience in shaving your beard, you may want to go to a barber.

Alternatively, use YouTube videos to learn the best practices when shaving your beard. It may seem like a straightforward process; however, there is more to it than it seems. When you use the sharp edge of the razor, you need to understand what you’re doing.

Current razors come with a very sharp edge that could easily cut your skin and cause an itchy beard.

The 7 steps to get rid of an itchy beard

Learning how to stop a beard itch can be the only obstacle that’s stopping you from growing a full, awesome beard. You should learn that the following steps may not work for everyone. In other words, it is a trial-and-error approach. Start with the basics (e.g. good beard hygiene) and work your way into the process.

1.    Practice good beard hygiene


Cleansing 

Cleansing your beard is crucial to give it a healthy-looking appearance. However, this is also one of the most important steps to stop itching. When doing so, you will get rid of dust buildup and dead skin cells. While you may think that your beard does not contain any dust, living in a busy city or working outdoors is all that it takes to cause this.

Here are the proper steps to cleanse your beard hair:

STEP 1:

Use water to cleanse the beard and then add a small amount of beard shampoo.

STEP 2:

Apply beard oil to the beard and leave it for a minute to get absorbed. Rinse through with water.

STEP 3:

Comb the hairs through with a beard brush to remove any knots.

STEP 4:

Use a few beard oil drops mixed with a beard moisturizer then massage into the hairs.

STEP 5:

Use the comb again to form the desired shape.

Conditioning

A beard conditioner can make your hair softer. It also lowers the risk of skin irritation. Make sure to opt for natural oils (e.g., coconut oil argan oil) to keep your beard conditioned.

Optimally, you would apply a beard oil (or conditioner) twice a day. The ingredients in these products will soften your beard hairs and nourish them with vitamins and nutrients. As a result, the hair will relax and get a healthy shine.

Eventually, your hairs become soft and more gentle when they move. This will prevent scraping and scratching on your face or your partner’s face.

Choosing between a beard oil or a conditioning cream is up to you. What matters is applying the product correctly. Start by putting the product on your beard then massage it into your beard until you reach the skin underneath. This will nourish the dry skin and feed the follicles.

Drying


Drying your beard hairs when it’s wet is as important as moisturizing them. When water stagnates on your beard, it makes the hair shafts more brittle. To dry your beard, you can either use a towel delicately or a low-heat hair dryer.

Note that certain conditions may make your facial skin oily and overly hydrated. The classic example is seborrheic dermatitis (SD). When you dry your hair, it removes the extra oil from your skin, lowering your chances of itchiness. However, you need to remember that SD is a chronic condition that has a unique treatment protocol.

Speak with your dermatologist about this condition to get tailored medical advice.

Moisturizing

Beard oils and balms keep the hair follicles hydrated and nourished. If you suffer from itching, these products are indispensable. The regular moisturizing of your beard will keep it soft and flake-free. It will also hydrate the skin underneath.

One of the causes of beard itching is catching pollutants from day-to-day social life. When you moisturize your skin regularly, you will inadvertently get rid of these substances.

To get the best results, use moisturizing solutions at the end of your beard care routine.


2.     Use products containing natural ingredients to prevent irritation

Researchers repeatedly found that using chemicals in hairstyle products can lead to skin irritation and inflammation. Your skin is simply not compatible with many of the chemicals used in shampoos and conditioners.

Alcohol is one of the main ingredients that beard styling products use. This ingredient extends the shelf life of these products but can have devastating effects on your skin and beard.

Optimally, you would opt for products that contain natural ingredients as they are more gentle on your skin. Natural oils, creams, and lotions should be your go-to products when shopping. Remember to read the label carefully. As a general rule of thumb, if you find a chemical that you cannot pronounce, steer away from the product.

3.     Understand Beard Itch is just part of the process

Growing a beard means thousands of hair shafts will penetrate the skin, stemming from their follicles. The chances of a few hairs growing incorrectly are present. Therefore, expect to feel some itching, irritation, and tenderness.

Of course, following the tips we covered above can lower the risk of this itching and inflammation. However, it does not guarantee that you won’t feel anything.

With all of that said, make sure to speak with your primary care physician if the symptoms are unbearable. Your doctor will identify the cause behind your itching and prescribe the appropriate routine/medications to resolve it.

4.     Optimize your sleep and reduce stress

Elevated levels of the stress hormone known as cortisol will break down the proteins under your skin. During times of stress and insomnia, your body enters a state of fight or flight. On a molecular level, this means a rise in stress hormones, including epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol.

What’s relevant to beard itching is cortisol. High levels of this hormone break down the proteins in your body, including collagen. Without collagen, the skin loses its structural integrity and becomes susceptible to pathogen infiltration and itching.

Make sure to practice anxiolytic activities (e.g., yoga, meditation) and focus on good sleep hygiene to reduce the risks of this incident.

5.     Pay closer attention to your diet

Studies found that eating a healthy diet can actually contribute to the healthy growth of hair follicles. After all, the hairs consist of keratin, which is a protein. To grow these proteins, you need to supply your body with the necessary components.

To get enough essential amino acids, incorporate chicken and salmon into your diet. Moreover, iron is vital for normal beard growth. Just think of how iron deficiency anemia affects hair and nails.

Other crucial foods to include in your diet are:

·  Whole grains – This is a healthy source of good carbs

·  Zinc-rich foods – Examples include nuts and chickpeas

·  Healthy fats – Avocados and dark chocolate

Nourishing your itchy beard with everything they need may reduce the severity of itching or prevent it altogether.

6.     Allow the hairs to grow

During the process of beard hair growth, do not shave or trim it. This will allow the hair to advance beyond the follicle. It will also lower the risk of follicle damage and irritation.

Trimming your hair randomly can lead to skin irritation and itching. Only shave your beard hair when it’s absolutely necessary.

In our previous post, we covered the stages of beard growth and how/when should you shave your beard. Check it out here.

7.     Shave properly

We discussed above how improper shaving can trigger beard itching and skin irritation. Doing this while having seborrheic dermatitis can be quite challenging.

Here are some steps to shave your beard properly:

Trim before shaving

If your beard is longer than 2.5 centimeters, make sure to use a hair clipper to remove the tougher hairs. Your next step is to whittle the hair using the trimmer. Once you’re left with the stubble beneath, it will be much easier to shave your beard with a more pointy device.

Reduce your exposure to significant sunlight

When your skin gets exposed to sunlight, it will become pale, dry, and irritated. Shaving your hair after this event will only exacerbate things. Ideally, you would shave your hair after you wake up.

Shave after a shower

When you shower, the pores open up, which makes it easier to shave. Expose your face to the steam while in the shower. Additionally, steer the shaving device in the direction of the grain.

Avoid bearing down on the razor to remove your beard hair. You might think that your beard is too long, which means it requires more force to get off. However, that’s just a myth. Regardless of how long the hair shaft is, it will fall off the same way.

Soothe your skin

When you are shaving your beard, you need to soothe the skin underneath. A long beard typically means dryer skin. Therefore, use a hefty amount of your favorite soothing solution to heal the post-shave damaged skin.


Conclusion

Growing a full beard is a long process that involves a few uncomfortable experiences. A beard itch is one of these experiences. However, the severity of the itch should not be severe. Otherwise, visiting a doctor may be necessary.

You should also apply the tips listed above as they are scientifically proven to reduce skin irritation and beard itching.

We hope that this article helped you understand the nature of beard itching and how we can address this issue through natural measures.

About the author

Hi there, my name is Jack Wallace I am a professional dad, comic book nerd, and experienced writer. If you couldn't already tell by my profile picture, I like my beard quite a bit, and my mission here at Expert Beards is to help you grow, and cultivate your ideal beard. You can find out a little bit more about me here

See you out there! 

Jack


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