The beard has been back for some time now. A quick look around at men on the street, in magazines and on television will tell you that.
Growing a good beard, though - now that takes some work. You can’t simply stop shaving and wait it out. You need to style, maintain and manage your beard; not just when it gets longer, but in the early stages too.
Fortunately, there are a vast array of products to help you with this. Growing a truly great-looking beard requires effort on your part, and a small financial outlay. In this article we’re going to look at a tool that should absolutely be in every beard-grower’s inventory - a beard brush.
Beard brushes come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The bristles themselves can also be made of different materials. Accordingly, it can be hard to choose the precise brush that’s right for you. That’s why we’ve put this guide together - we’ll explain exactly what a beard brush is, why you need one, how to choose the best one for your needs, and how to actually use it once you’ve bought one.
Let’s get started.
What is a Beard Brush?
A beard brush is - as the name suggests - a brush for your beard. You might think you could use basically any kind of brush - such as a simple hairbrush - for your facial hair. In this case, you’d be wrong! These types of brushes have specific characteristics which make them specially suited to grooming beards.
This specialization manifests itself in a few different ways. It includes the handle, the typical materials from which the bristles are made, and the firmness of the bristles. We’ll look at each of these criteria in more detail later in the article, but - in short - you should not just use any old brush on your beard.
Why Use a Beard Brush?
Growing a great-looking beard isn’t as easy as simply not shaving. You need to care for it, and style it, from a very early stage; essentially, from the beginning.
This is because - by brushing them every day - you can train the hairs in your beard to grow in a certain direction, and ensure that they stay there. It’s exactly the same as training the hairs on your head by using a brush when you style them every day.
A failure to do this will cause the hairs to either stick straight out, or to point off in different directions from each other. Both outcomes, needless to say, look terrible. Spend a brief amount of time brushing your facial hair with a specialised brush each day, and you’ll achieve quite the opposite result. Your beard will have a cohesion and consistency of style which is sure to turn heads.
Aside from the styling benefits, beard brushes also serve a secondary - lesser-known - purpose. When you’re brushing your beard, the bristles actually get down past the hairs and all the way to your skin. Once they’re there, they help to scrape away bits of dead skin and hairs which have broken off from the rest of your beard, helping to both clean your face and reduce the risk of irritation.
You can see, therefore, how a good beard brush can become a key fixture in not just your grooming regimen, but your cleaning routine too. This goes not only for your skin, but for the beard itself: a good brush will keep the hairs cleaner, and rid your beard of dandruff.
Criteria for Choosing a Beard Brush
As we briefly touched upon earlier, there are a few different criteria which you need to look at before selecting a beard brush.
Firstly, you must consider the handle. Beard brush handles come in a range of shapes and sizes, and can be made of different substances. Cheaper brushes are usually made with plastic handles, whereas more refined ones have wooden handles. If quality is important for you, we’d recommend opting for the latter.
The wooden handle will feel luxurious in your hand, and will offer a better grip than a plastic counterpart.
Next, you need to look at surely the most important factor of all: the bristles. It’s the bristles, after all, which will actually be carrying out both the styling and cleaning purposes which a beard brush serves.
There are two main bristle-related questions to consider: what are they made of, and how firm are they?
Beard brush bristles can be made of a few different materials, but these can broadly be broken down into those which are natural or synthetic. We always prefer the natural route here at Seven Potions, and - if you concur - then the most effective material of all is undoubtedly boar bristles. They’re strong, stay firm for a long time, and - due to being all-natural - evenly spread helpful oils throughout your beard. If you’re on an extremely tight budget then you can opt for a beard brush with synthetic bristles, but - if you can possible spare the slight extra cost - we certainly wouldn’t recommend it.
When it comes to the firmness of the bristles, the general rule for beard brushes is “the firmer the better”. You need bristles strong enough to keep your beard well under control, even as it becomes longer and more difficult to maintain. Boar bristles offer a particularly excellent level of firmness, and should be able to tame even the most naturally unruly of beards. Again, try to avoid cheaper beard brushes with weaker bristles, which will likely prove ineffective on longer facial hair.
Of course, even with these considerations in mind, you’re still going to be left with a lot of choices when it comes to selecting a beard brush. At this point, a great way to narrow down your options is to consider the pedigree of the company making the product.
Take a good look at the company’s website, and see whether they actually know what they’re talking about. Then, evaluate the brand’s reputation online by looking at product reviews on websites like Amazon. If plenty of people have bought and loved the beard brush before, then the chances are you’ll like it too.
How to Use a Beard Brush
Operating a beard brush isn’t exactly rocket science, but there are specific things you need to do to maximize its effectiveness.
Your beard should be completely dry when you brush it - don’t use the brush immediately after coming out of the shower, for example. It should also be room temperature, so - if you’ve got a long beard that needs blow-drying - make sure you leave some time for it to cool down afterwards.
To begin with, give your entire beard a thorough brushing, aiming to remove any debris which may have accumulated there - dust, dead skin, dandruff, and so on. We highly recommend using beard oil when it comes to brushing your beard. In this case, apply the beard oil first by adding a few drops to each hand, rubbing your palms together to warm it up, then massaging it thoroughly throughout your beard, beginning at the roots and working the oil up to the tips.
When your beard is nicely coated, begin to brush it. The most important thing to remember is that you must brush with the grain of the hair. Start at the bottom of your beard, near the neck, and gradually work upwards. As you do so, the brush will absorb and distribute the oil throughout your beard.
Once the entire beard has been brushed - and the oil has been nicely spread - you can start styling your beard however you desire. The more frequently you do this, the easier you’ll find it to coax your beard into the shape you want. If you want extra hold once you’ve finished styling your beard, this is a great time to apply beard wax.
To keep your beard brush effective for longer, it’s extremely important to clean it after use. A great way to do so is to run it under warm water, then use a toothbrush to clean away the debris from between the bristles. This will also help to remove any oil that’s still left on the brush. Use a towel afterwards to get rid of most of the water, then leave the brush to dry.
Seven Potions Beard Brush
If you want a beard brush that ticks every single box, then look no further. The Seven Potions Beard Brush excels in every category, easily fulfilling each of the criteria we looked at earlier.
The pear-shaped handle is of the highest quality, made from pear wood which is sturdy, durable and offers a strong grip which ensures excellent control.
The all-natural bristles are 100% wild boar; the most desirable material for any beard brush. They’re well-spaced, stiff and strong, able to tame even the wildest beard without pulling the hair out. They’re also sure to do a great job of evenly redistributing both natural oils and beard oil, and will exfoliate the skin beneath your facial hair.
Is the Seven Potions Beard Brush the cheapest on the market? No. But trust us - this is one product where you don’t want to waste your money on a quick fix that won’t last. Invest in a reliable, effective beard brush the first time out, and you certainly won’t regret it.
Just using any old comb or brush on your beard isn’t good enough, and merely running your fingers through it certainly won’t get the job done. To tame and style your beard how you truly want it, you need to use a beard brush from a very early stage.
Again, however, not all beard brushes are created equal. A cheap brush, made of synthetic materials, will not achieve the effect you’re looking for. We simply can’t recommend taking the time to research beard brushes - and subsequently investing the money smartly - the first time out highly enough.
Or, to save that time - of course - you could simply opt for the Seven Potions Beard Brush off the bat. Our online reviews for that particular product,and our wider reputation, speak for themselves.