WHY DOES MY BEARD ITCH?

Posted by Educated Beards on

You’ve done it, you’ve grown a beard! Now it itches. Great.

 

When I first wrote this, my beard was a month old, and I had been grooming and using oil on the short hair. No itch.

 

3 months in, my beard started itching like crazy! Right along the jawline on both sides; it almost ached, it itched so badly. Fortunately I had written this article, and troubleshooting was a piece of cake. It's been one day, and my itch is gone.

 

So take heart, fellow bearded ones, and do not shave! Educated Beards is about to give you a complete guide on how to stop beard itch, so that you can grow your beard until you look like Billy Gibbons (if such is your noble ambition).

       

     

WHY YOUR BEARD ITCHES

      

Your beard can itch because of dry skin, infection, dermatitis, irritation from overgrooming, washing too much, washing too little, or washing with the wrong products.
  
Don't worry though, you probably don't have all these problems. Probably you just have one.
 
  
The most common cause of beard itch is drying due to oil loss as the beard grows. Hair needs oil, but so does skin, and generally your hair gets what it needs from your scalp. The same cannot be said of your chin, which produces less oil than the scalp.
        
    
A beard (though awesome in all other ways) robs your skin of the vital oils needed to keep it moisturized and as the skin dries, it itches. A big part of dealing with that itch is knowing what products not to use.
   

Educated Beards Balsam Eclipse 30ml Beard Oil

If you want to jump straight to solutions, here is where you can pick up a few products that solve specific beard problems.

 

   

DO THE WRONG PRODUCTS REALLY CAUSE BEARD ITCH?

    

You bet. You don’t wash your hair with soap (or maybe you have, and have discovered the damage it causes).

 

Do you wash your beard with soap? It’s an easy habit to get into.

 

In fact this is how my beard itch started at the 3 month mark. I had to wash my beard quickly, and so I used soap; and for the next few days didn't do much to hyrdate except for one or two applications of oil. The itch began its silent rage.

 

Here’s the thing: soap cuts oil. That’s why it’s good for getting grease off hands, bodies, dishes, countertops, etc... but for hair, and especially for beards, it’s a disaster.  

 

To a lesser degree, the same goes for the shampoo you would use on your head. Since it is specifically designed to clean hair, it is soapier and removes more grease from hair than a well-formulated beard wash or beard shampoo.

 

 

Peppermint & Cedarwood Beard Wash Educated Beards         

The best solution is to wash with the right product. Kevin, our co-founder and resident beard expert recommends washing twice or three times a week with a balanced beard wash like the ones below.

 

For my itch, I washed in the shower with a peppermint cedar beard wash, followed by beard oil after the shower. The itch is gone.

 

      

INGROWN HAIR

 Boar hair brush
 

You probably know what an ingrown hair looks and feels like. Nevertheless, let's eliminate it from the list.

   

If your beard itches in one spot, or a few spots, where there is a hard pimple-like bump, then you can be pretty sure that’s an ingrown hair. 

      

Ingrown hairs result from a buildup of dead skin cells above the follicle. Hence a great line of defence is a boar hair bristle brush which will remove dead skin cells and facilitate hair growth. 

         

In combination with the boar-hair brush, peppermint oil is particularly helpful with the issue of ingrown hairs. It's a vasodilator increasing blood flow wherever you apply it, resulting in a healthier, stronger follicle capable of pushing through.

     

         

DERMATITIS AND BEARDRUFF

 

Dermatitis, particularly Seborrheic dermatitis, is a less-common beard affliction that requires a doctor visit and antibiotic. If you have redness on your skin or a lot of beard dandruff (beardruff), then you may have dermatitis.

      

Even with beardruff, however, the more likely diagnosis is still dry skin. Hence doctors often recommend to try grooming as you would for dry skin, and if that doesn’t work, consider getting a test to determine exactly what kind of skin problem you’re dealing with.

         

     

INFECTION

 

Though it’s also relatively uncommon, folliculitis barbae is another possible source of your itch (though it’s more common in men who shave - go beards!)

 

It's a possible itch source particularly if your follicles are swelling up into pimples, especially in the area close to your nose. If you determine this is your problem, you might need an antibiotic. Find out more here

 

Before you get tested for an infection, first try some over-the-counter products. Washing your beard with a balanced beard wash 2 to 3 times a week, while using a beard oil that incorporates an antibacterial essential oil such as peppermint or grapefruit essential oil is also helpful in keeping germs to a minimum.

    

     

ITCH, TOO, SHALL PASS

 

    

You don’t have to shave to deal with beard itch.

      

Remember the beard is incidental to the itch. The real causes all have solutions. To get ahead of beard itch, you can begin grooming as soon as your facial hair is at stubble-length.

 

In that case, a boar bristle brush and oil will do wonders for your skin, and once your beard begins to grow, will give you the clean-cut look that is so essential with longer facial hair. 

        

    

HOW LONG DOES BEARD ITCH USUALLY LAST?

  

Assuming that none of the above problems apply to you except the most common issue of dryness, then your beard itch is just a natural result of growing facial hair after having been clean-shaven for a longer period.

       

Beard itch usually goes away after 1 to 3 weeks of growthand never returns so long as you maintain proper grooming. If 1 to 3 weeks sounds like just long enough for that itch to drive you batshit, place an order for some beard wash, and a good beard oil. You won't regret it.

 

   

STAY EDUCATED!

 

 

 

 

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