January 18, 2022

Old Man Winter is no friend of beards. He can wreak havoc on the health of facial hair in so many ways – and not just from the cold. Even in milder winters, extra dryness or moisture in the air can cause coarseness, flaking, itching, unwanted frizz, excess oil, beard acne, and more.

Fortunately, The Rugged Bros are familiar with Old Man Winter’s age-old bag of tricks. And to help you out, we’ve prepared these winter beard tips to keep your mane full and flourishing.

Why does winter cause beard problems?

Cold weather is a problem for both beard hair and skin - and so is the accompanying drop in humidity. Whether the outside air has become dryer or you’ve got the inside heat cranked up (or both), your skin loses moisture in winter, causing it to contract, become tighter, and even start cracking and flaking. Suddenly you have itchy, unsightly beard dandruff – beardruff.

The dryer atmosphere also strips your beard of its moisture, weakening strands and causing them to become “crisp”, brittle, coarse and wiry.

1. Some like it hot – but your beard doesn’t

Watch the heat in winter. Yes, you read that right. While you need heat to feel comfortable, cranking up the warmth in your home/work can worsen the dehydration problem in your face and beard. Space heaters are especially bad for this. 

Really hot showers, while they feel amazing, are also a problem, leaving your skin dried out like a raisin. Warm showers are better.

If you’re not careful with heat, your cherished beard can become a winter source of frustration and shame.

    2. Wash – but don’t overdo it

      In short… clean is good, stripped is not. So choose your beard wash wisely and don’t overuse it.

      Never let a commercial “head” shampoo anywhere near your beloved beard. The wrong shampoo will strip your beard of the essential moisture and natural oils that keep everything nourished and supple. A combo of harsh chemicals and dry air can make your bristles brittle, spelling disaster for winter beard health.

      Use only a specially formulated beard wash that’s free of silicone, mineral oils, parabens and foaming agents (sulfates) that strip off too much. Silicone might sound slick, but it seals hairs off from nutrients.

      Use a dedicated beard wash only about twice a week. In between times, rinse out any build up with warm water and then brush.

        3. Dry carefully

          After washing or rinsing, gently pat your beard dry with a towel. Never rub it vigorously – unless you’re into pulling follicles, irritation, brittleness and split ends.

          If you can avoid using a blow dryer, then avoid it like the plague. You simply don’t need the dehydration. But if it’s an emergency situation, use it on the cool setting only. Then don’t skimp on the next two tips.

            4. MOB rule

              MOB stands for Moisturize, Oil and Balm. Yep, all three are a must for winter beard care. The balanced hydration, nourishment and conditioning provided by all three as a combo will go a long way to resolving your dryness issues in the colder months.


              • a small amount of beard moisturizer, rubbing it right down to the skin
              • a few drops of beard oil, rubbing it right down to the skin – then brush
              • a little beard balm for shaping and also for added nourishment and locking in moisture in a non-greasy way.

                5. Brush

                  Brushing gets neglected by many guys – but it’s essential for your winter beard health and shape.

                  Using a quality wild boar bristle beard brush, stroke in a downward motion. This spreads  the beard oil and beard moisturizer evenly through your whiskers, and right  down to your skin. The boar bristles are stiff enough to ensure good beard shaping and an even spread, yet soft enough to gently stimulate skin.

                  When you add some balm, bring on the brush again for more shaping and sculpting.

                    6. Avoid excessive dampness

                      When you’re out in the worst of it for an extended time (for play or work), give your beard the kind of protection you’d give the rest of you. Take an umbrella, use coats and jackets and hoodies with high collars, even wear a scarf.

                      First, too much direct moisture can make your beard scraggly and frizzy. Second, hairs can be weakened if they carry the water weight for an extended time, especially in the cold.

                      If your beard does get wet in winter, pat it gently dry and bring out the brush again. If need be, add another drop or two of beard oil.

                        7. Don’t ice it

                          You know those rugged challenges to post selfies with your hair and beard all frosted and crazy? Yeah, don’t do that. A frozen beard is a brittle, breakable beard. That frozen condensation also ends up drying the hell out of your face and beard. 

                          If you can’t avoid being out in the brutal chill, use a scarf and a good coat with a high collar to keep your face locks as snug and warm as the rest of you. A good winter beard is one that is protected and pampered.

                            8. Never pick

                              Love touching your beard? It feels awesome, right? Go ahead, but in winter don’t pick or scratch at the skin underneath, even if it itches. Picking can inflame the skin, bring on an infection, and even contribute to painful ingrown hairs. 

                              And that’s it, for winter beard care. Simple. Follow these tips and you’ll keep your pride and joy proud and joyful throughout the chilly season.

                              Stay warm and beard proud, my man. 

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