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Have you seen those horrifying images of people who’ve come down with “beard rash” after kissing a bearded beau? Shame on the men (or any beard-owner!) behind those beards! Now that beards are ubiquitous, I believe that men have a responsibility to keep their beards clean. There’s no excuse for a sloppy beard.
Videos of beard rash occasionally go viral on TikTok, like this educational clip featuring Dr. Muneeb Shah, aka the @dermdoctor. In the video, Dr. Shaw explains that beard rash is very real, and it can be caused by staph bacteria hiding inside unclean beards. If facial hair or stubble causes small cuts through which bacteria can enter, the object of your affection can come down with an unsightly skin rash called impetigo on their chin (or anywhere else you kiss them). Gross.
Men with facial hair should know how to take care of it, and to do that, we require the proper tools. I’m often surprised to learn that most bearded folks aren’t using the most essential of all beard grooming tools. I’m not talking about beard oil, combs, beard wash, beard conditioner, beard straighteners, or even beard trimmers—I’m talking about beard brushes, which are essential if you want a clean, healthy beard.
How Beard Brushes Control and Clean Facial Hair
The best beard brushes have an easy-to-hold wooden handle and bristles made from boar hair. That’s all there is to it. You can find beard brushes with soft or firm bristles; I prefer firm bristles because I have thick hair. (For shorter, softer beards, soft bristles will work fine.)
Beard brushes have a ton of benefits. Beards can produce just as much dandruff as your scalp if you aren’t regularly cleaning your facial hair and the skin underneath. Our beards are also subjected to a lot of bacteria and debris every time we eat or get intimate with a partner. Beard brushes help get rid of dandruff, dead skin cells, old hair, and anything else that’s hiding in your beard by pulling it through the hairs—even without soap.
In addition, they spread around your hair’s natural oils, which will help keep your beard’s appearance and texture more even. You can also use beard brushes in combination with your go-to beard oil. You can brush the oil into your beard rather than simply using your fingers, though I recommend first using the brush on a dry beard without any product.
For men with wiry, tangled, or out-of-control beards, brushes can also help detangle hair and smooth out any kinks. The entire process takes about 20 to 30 seconds.
Speaking as someone who’s reviewed countless men’s grooming products, I’m actually a firm believer that there are way too many beard care products on the market. My personal beard care regimen includes Jack Black beard oil, a metal comb, a Panasonic beard trimmer, and my trusty beard brush.
The Best Affordable Beard Brushes
You can find plenty of affordable boar’s hair beard brushes for sale on Amazon. I can personally recommend the affordable Cremo Beard Brush as a good starter option. For vegans, there are alternatives like this plant fiber brush from Seven Potions. Finally, the grooming brand ZEUS has premium options with either soft or firm bristles. Either way, you can’t go wrong with any of the solid beard brushes below.