So, you’ve started growing a beard, congratulations. However, it’s not all smooth sailing to an attractive town. Growing a beard takes work, effort, and sometimes pain and discomfort, but it’s all worth it, trust us. However, you want to know; Why Does My Beard Itch?
One of the biggest inconveniences of growing a beard, be it in the beginning stubble stage, or the later full mane stage, is itching. You might be thinking, “That’s normal right? Everyone’s beard itches.” Well, yes and no.
Itching is a normal part of the growing process at first and it can cause a little tickle that lasts a bit, but sometimes if your beard itches too much or in a later stage, it might be an underlying cause.
Is it normal for beards to itch? How long does itchiness last? How do you stop your beard from itching? We’re here to find out!
Why Does My Beard Itch?
IT ITCHES, SO IT MUST BE GROWING, RIGHT?
When it comes to newly born beards, one that is still in the conception phase of stubble, itching is a beyond normal part of the process.
See, when you shave, you’re basically sharpening the edges of your hair. When these hair bristles are bursting out of the follicles because you’ve either decided to grow a beard or you’ve been too lazy to shave in the morning for a few days, the sharp bristles rub and scratch against the skin as they come out, which leaves you itchy.
HOW LONG DOES BEARD ITCH LAST?
What should you do? Nothing. Just wait it out, like soreness after a hard workout. 1-2 weeks is the usual itchiness period.
Eventually, the hairs will come out far enough and stop scratching against your skin, which will ease things off. This is the only case where having an itchy beard means that it’s growing. Other reasons are more cause for concern.
HOW DO I STOP MY BEARD FROM ITCHING?
To stop your beard from itching, we need to determine the cause first, as each reason will have a different method. Normally though, most factors that lead to itching are easily fixed. Let’s check out some of those reasons:
#1. DRY SKIN
Dry skin is one of the biggest problems men might ignore, as normally men don’t care that much about their skin in the first place. Dry skin means your face and beard’s naturally produced oils are stripped away, leaving your skin thirsty for some much-needed moisture.
Dry skin can cause dandruff and flaky hairs that might even break in extreme stages. Dry skin can occur due to washing your face or beard too often, using too hot or too cold water, exercising frequently without a proper post-workout face routine (Sweat is moisture coming out of your body), or even due to very hot or very cold dry weather.
What should you do? Two magic words: moisturize and condition. Moisturizing your skin daily is a must if you want a wrinkle-free face, for looking younger, and for your beard. Conditioning is the second magic word. You need a good beard conditioner, especially once your beard gets longer and into the mane phase.
Hair conditioners can often be rough, so stick to conditioners that include Argan oil or Jojoba oil for the best results. The conditioner will keep your beard soft, slick, smooth, and other S-words. Beard oil is another suggested one, use it daily to keep your beard shiny and clean.
Read Also: How Often Should I Wash My Beard?
#2. BAD HYGIENE
“Hey! What do you mean?” Calm down, dear reader, it’s not what you think. Oftentimes, we’re unaware of what’s going on down there in our beards. When you over-wash, you get dry skin and an itchy beard, but it rings true for when you under-wash, as well.
The world is a dark place, and it is full of dirt, grime, debris, bacteria and so much stuff that can fly in between the hairs and clog your pores, leading to itchiness and ingrown hairs, and possible infections.
This is mostly applicable for longer beards, as the longer it is, the easier it locks in the bad stuff. “But Barbersnearme article writer, I wash my face and beard every morning.” Aha, that’s it right there. Every morning, but not every night.
You see, when you’re out and about in your daily life, you collect all that bad stuff in your beard after washing it in the morning, then you go home and if you forget to wash at night, you sleep with that bad stuff all over your beard.
Make sure you wash your beard in the morning and before bed with beard wash or beard shampoo (This is important, normal shampoo or soap will do more harm than good), and using beard oil or beard balm, not only to moisturize and condition your beard but also to form a protective layer around your pores (Like a force field from a Sci-Fi movie).
#3. IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S YOUR BEARD
Sometimes, it’s not your fault, or the weather, or your lifestyle, sometimes the kind of beard is to blame. Not all beards were created equal and not all beards should be treated equally.
You wouldn’t use the same kind of comb or brush on a silky-smooth soft beard as you would on a coarse, thicker beard that’s more likely to feel itchy.
First of all, you need to actually brush your beard to reduce (or eliminate) itchiness. Brushing your beard will reduce the risk of ingrown hairs by forcing the hairs to grow in the same direction, which in turn will greatly reduce itchiness.
#4. EXTREME CASES
Let’s say it wasn’t dry skin or hygiene or ingrown hairs, in some extreme cases, beard itchiness might come down to certain skin conditions and diseases such as Seborrheic Eczema AKA dandruff, which leaves flaky scales on your beard.
Folliculitis is another condition where the hair follicles on your face become inflamed and red, usually due to bacteria or fungi. Tinea Barbae is another possible one, where the skin becomes red and itchy due to fungi.
In all these cases, it’s advisable to see a doctor, who will most likely prescribe some sort of cream or ointment like antifungal creams or ketoconazole for dandruff.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
Itchy beard reasons are hard to pin down, and sometimes the reasons are not what you might expect. Your diet, for example, might be contributing to itchiness if it is high in saturated fat coming from junk food. This leaves your skin oily and itchy.
In that case, it’s best to cut down on the Cheetos and go for a more balanced, healthy diet. Stress is another big one, as stress causes skin moisture and flexibility to go away, which results in an itchy, dry beard.
Managing your stress and cortisol levels will in turn be very important to maintain your skin health. Your type of brush or comb for your beard might also affect it, as you should be using fine teeth combs or soft brushes for shorter, softer beards while using wider teeth combs or firm brushes for coarser beards.
All in all, an itchy beard is no cause for panic. Initially, it’s completely normal, and even if it does persist down the line, the solution is as easy as washing your face, applying some conditioner, applying some beard oil, brushing or coming well (IN ONE DIRECTION), and making sure it stays that way throughout the day.
Just remember, your skin is everything. A healthy and hygienic lifestyle will result in healthy skin, which will in turn result in a healthy, luscious beard!.