June 23, 2021

So your beard is getting thick, luxurious and just friggin’ awesome, except… a bunch of scruffy hairs stick out in weird directions and just refuse to grow in the direction you want.

It’s so damn frustrating when you set out on your bearded adventure picturing a distinguished flowing beard that could win you a championship, but instead you see a random mixture of porcupine spines poking through an oversized Brillo pad.

Whatever happens, don’t give up! Even if you’re despairing about how your bearded reality isn’t matching your early expectations, there’s always hope. The night is darkest before the dawn.

Being a rugged bro requires work, not to mention TLC. And you’ll need both of those in order to get your unruly mane growing evenly and in the same direction. 

But we know you’re a man of determination, as well as distinction, who will do whatever it takes to be the one true master of his facial domain. So it’s our pleasure to give you these crucial tips on how to train your beard to grow and flow the way you want. With time and regular grooming, your Admiral’s pennant will fly proudly and pristinely in the face of all challenges.

And we haven’t forgotten your mo, either. We’ll also show you how to train your mustache. 

But first...

“Why the HELL won’t my beard grow in one direction?!”

Well, there are several reasons.

  1. Nature. Some facial hairs just naturally grow in different directions from others. It happens to us all. Some follicles poke hairs out at odd angles, while sometimes clusters of them create a swirl pattern. You can’t change a follicle’s angle, but you can train the hair strand as it grows longer.
  2. Genetics. If your dad had beard hairs that pointed upwards or outwards, rather than downwards, chances are you inherited a similar situation.
  3. Length. Longer beard hairs curl and get tangled. That’s a fact of life. They need daily grooming to train them.
  4. Thickness. A very general rule is the thicker the beard, the more challenging it is to train.
  5. Texture. Coarse beard hairs can be difficult to get pointed all in the right direction because they curl. Finer hairs don’t usually curl so much but can tangle and even break more easily, resulting in an uneven look.
  6. Weather. As atmospheric conditions change, so does a beard. More humidity means more frizz.

“Can I change my beard’s growth direction by shaving?”

No. Nope. Not at all. It’s a myth. The end.

How to train your beard - the blueprint

The Rugged Bros to the rescue! Here’s how to take control and show your beard who’s boss!

To get your beard growing in the same direction:

  • Wash it. Use a proper beard wash, never a regular shampoo or soap. Here's why.
  • Oil it. Use a top-notch beard oil.
  • Brush it. Daily. In the direction you want it to grow. Use a high-quality beard brush, not a comb. Here's why.
  • Balm it. Apply a little beard balm. Like using gel or sculpting paste in your hair, beard balm holds hairs the way you style them. 
  • Brush it again.
  • Be patient. It will improve with time and consistent grooming.

The more you train your beard, the easier it becomes to style.

More about each of these steps below...

Washing your beard - get the funk out first

A clean beard can be tamed. It’s virtually impossible to train a beard if it’s dirty and if the skin beneath it isn’t cared for as well.

A dedicated beard wash will cleanse your whiskers gently but thoroughly. It will also help clean the pores of your skin and remove itchy dead skin flakes. 

AVOID: Regular hair shampoos! They’re too harsh and will strip your skin and whiskers of essential moisture and nutrients, leaving hair brittle and dry and skin dry and irritated. Brittle beard hairs go haywire. 

AVOID: Blow drying. Direct high heat can damage hairs and make them brittle with split ends. Here's some great info on blow drying your beard: Should You Blow Dry Your Beard?

Oiling your beard

When you hop out of the shower after washing your mane, towel dry it gently so it’s still damp. Apply beard oil before your beard hair dries. If it dries out completely, a longer beard can curl and become bushy and frizzy.

Rub a few drops of beard oil into the hairs and right down to the skin to nourish and hydrate everything. Don’t use too much though. More is not always better. You want soft, glossy whiskers, not greasy and heavy ones. The oil will take away frizz and leave whiskers soft and primed for what's next.

Brushing your beard

With oil in it, brush your whiskers in a downward motion – or in whatever direction it is you want them to flow. We recommend downwards because it shows off length and shape. A beard with downward pointing hairs follows the contours of your jaw and chin, frames your face, stops hairs from sticking out sideways, and enables you to bring the tips of longer hairs neatly together.

Be sure you use a wild boar bristle beard brush. It distributes the oil evenly, which is crucial for training and taming of the hairs, and it won’t tug. Do not use a comb because it will snag and may cause static.

Brush every day. By all means do it multiple times. And try brushing before bed as a means of training the hairs 24/7.

Here's some great info on why we always choose a wild boar bristle brush: Why a Wild Boar Bristle Beard Brush is the Badass Best

Beard balm

Is balm really necessary? For a medium to long beard, absolutely YES! Just like gel or paste help shape your head’s hair, beard balm is a vital step in how to train your beard’s most stubborn hairs and it completes the team alongside the shampoo, oil and brush.

Is a beard straightening iron worth it?

Nope. Applying direct heat makes hair dry, brittle and weak. On top of that, it can’t get down to the base of your whiskers, against the skin, like a beard brush can.

If you’re still struggling…

First, snip away or pull out any persistent flyaways.

Second, trim your beard to the shape you want – or have a professional barber do it. Evenly trimmed hairs look way less wild. Again, less is more! Sometimes all that’s needed is to clean up the sideburns to reduce curly bulk and to sculpt the outer lines.

How to train your mustache

Your mustache has a growth pattern just like your beard and head hair. That means some training is in order. If you want a long mo, like a handlebar, you’ll especially need to coax the hairs to bend to your will and stay out of your mouth - and your wife’s/girlfriend’s mouth. 

Follow the same grooming routine as you use for your beard. Wash, oil, brush, and balm.

Once the mo hairs reach a decent length, brush them daily with your beard brush to train them to follow a new pattern. Again, a brush won’t snag/tug like a comb and it gets right down to the skin and pores.

To shape your mustache, again use the beard balm. It’s gentle and nourishes the hairs. 

As your mo grows, some hairs will curl towards your mouth and may tickle your lips and nose. If you feel like trimming these hairs, that’s your choice. But you don’t need to, especially if you’re going for a spectacular mustache. You can oil, balm and brush them away and into the shape you want.

Check out our blog How to Train Your Mustache for some great info!

Last but not least…

Be consistent. If you truly want to train your beard to grow in the direction you want, and to always look healthy and sexy, you gotta brush everyday and do the washing and oiling a few times a week.

It’s not hard, it just requires some manly discipline and patience. And it pays off big time.

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