I’ve been working on my beard, but the longer hairs tend to go in the wrong direction once they get more than an inch long. Is it natural for longer facial hair to grow at an angle?
I have to admit that I laughed when I first got this e-mail, because even though I get a good portion of my traffic from beard related posts, I don’t consider myself to be an authority on beards. I am, however, someone who has grown a decent number of beards over the years despite a distinct lack of natural beard growing ability. Maybe there are some men out there who were born to grow perfect beards, but for most of us, getting a beard to look halfway normal takes a little bit of effort.
As I typed up a quick response, I realized that although my suggestions were pretty basic, they were the result of years of trial and error, and might be beneficial to other guys whose natural ability is throwing roadblocks onto their roads to beardedness. If you have a problem with an unruly beard (or know someone who does), here are 7 tips that should help to get those renegade patches back under control. And they require only a little more effort to implement than growing the beard itself
7 Ways To Train A Naturally Unruly Beard
1. Wait It Out: Ever get a whiffle and then try to convert back to your regular hair cut? There’s a two week period where you have the puffy headed look of a Monchichi, and there isn’t a damn thing that you can do about it. All you can do is wait for the hair to grow long enough that it falls into place from its own weight. Your beard can enter transition periods, too, and if you’re particularly lucky, the issues work themselves out on their own. This isn’t the most reliable way to get a beard back into place, but it certainly requires the least amount of effort.
2. Stop Washing It Every Day: Don’t let your woman tell you this is gross, because the ladies have been using this trick on their hair forever. Have you ever taken a good look at a super model’s hair? It’s like a grease pit because they don’t wash it. Washing your beard every day makes your beard wiry by stripping out any natural oil that would’ve accumulated to make it manageable. I’m not suggesting that you never wash your beard again there, Captain Caveman, but washing it every other day will give your beard a little oil buildup to help coax strays back into place.
3. Condition It Once A Week: If added length hasn’t added enough weight to get the hairs to lay flat, adding a bit of regular hair conditioner to your beard once a week can get some of those strays under control. I’ve only used regular hair conditioner that #1GF! had laying around, so anyone who says you need special beard conditioner is probably trying to sell you something that does less and costs more than it should
4. Train It Right: Portions of my beard grow in insane directions, and the only way that I can get them in line is to train them. In beard season, I tend to carry one of those cheap, black, plastic combs that only your grandfather and barber seem to posses, and run the fine end of it through my beard while watching TV or reading. Ten or fifteen minutes a day usually takes care of a bulk of the issues.
5. Train It Wrong: I discovered this tip entirely by accident, but I find that it works fairly well. On those days that you wash your beard, it will end up more more wiry because you stripped out the oils. When you get out of the shower on those days, comb your beard in the complete wrong direction and let it air dry. You will probably look insane, so avoid glaring at or making any sudden movements around any women who may be running around your house. Once your beard is dry, comb it in the correct direction, and then smooth it down with a barely damp hand. This will tend to make your beard look a lot bigger than normal, but the hairs learn that your commands will be obeyed.
6. Try Soap: Washing your beard with soap will strip out all the oils completely, which seems like it would make your beard less controllable, right? Well, it does. The benefit is that the whole beard gets bushier, making the uncontrollable patch blend in. It doesn’t seem like sound advice to throw the rest of your beard into chaos to hide a chaotic patch, but if the other methods fail and you don’t mind a bushy beard, this may end up being the only thing that works for you.
7. Weed Out The Trouble Makers: If none of the other methods work, you may have to prune the unruly hairs and rely on its well-trained neighbors to take up the slack. This happens a lot with grey hairs, which are as impossible to get in line as an old man with tattooed forearms. If the patch is so out of control that trimming won’t fix it, you may need to simply try a different style. Remember: there are a lot of beard types that you can choose from, but not all of them were made for your face.
Hope that helps.
If you have any other tips on getting your beard under control, be sure to drop them in the comments.