The 10 Best Beard Brushes
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in December of 2015. We get it; facial hair is all the rage these days. But that doesn't mean you have to look like a castaway while you're keeping up with the trend. Instead, invest in one of these high-quality beard brushes, which will help you tame that months-old growth and keep you looking sharp, even if you have foregone the use of razors entirely for years. We've found options ideal for home use and travel. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 27, 2020:
Its no secret that boar hair is one of the best materials for beard brush bristles. For most, it is the perfect stiffness to get past coarse beard hairs. This allows it to stimulate the follicles, which may result in faster and thicker growth. Since it also massages and exfoliates the skin while taming your mane, it can improve circulation to the area and help with dandruff issues. Plus, boar's hair collects oils, whether your natural sebum or a dedicated beard oil, and redistributes them throughout your scruff, softening and strengthening it.
That being said, we do understand that some people are trying to avoid the use of animal products entirely. For those individuals, we have included the Golden Beards Vegan, which is made using a plant fiber. Also, someone who doesn't mind the use of animal products but who has a thin beard may find boar's hair to be too stiff for their needs and rough on the skin. For those readers we have included the Kent BRD5, which is made with a combination of horse hair, which is softer than boar, and nylon, and the CanYouHandlebar Original, which is a pure horse-hair model.
Other than the two exceptions above, every other option on our list is crafted using boar's hair bristles, the majority of which are harvested in a cruelty-free method. It will be a personal preference whether you prefer a handled model, like the ZilberHaar Pure, Badass Black Series, and Grave Before Shave Pure, or one where you simply hold onto the base that the hairs are mounted in, such as the Smooth Viking Beard Care Kit, CanYouHandlebar Original, Zeus Pocket, BFWood Small and Round, and Rocky Mountain Barber Company Firm Military Style BB-50. Some may find the ergonomics of having a handle makes the brush a bit easier to use around the contours of their face and chin, while others will appreciate the more compact design of a non-handled model and find the brushing motion a bit more natural.
While on the topic of compact designs, we should point out the CanYouHandlebar Original and BFWood Small and Round, both of which are ideal for travel thanks to the includes of a hard case that keeps the bristles protected when knocking around inside your carry-on or checked luggage.
Scotch Porter Boar's Hair Brush This model from Scotch Porter works exceptionally well on dense, coarse, and curly beards thanks to the stiff boar's hair bristles. Though it is a little pricey, it can stand up to years or use without excessive shedding, and the darkly stained beechwood handle gives it a premium look. scotchporter.com
Abbeyhorn Oval Beard Brush The Abbeyhorn Oval Beard Brush is the epitome of luxury. It is handmade by skilled craftsman in England from a combination of ox horn, oiled pearwood, and wild boar hair bristles. You can choose whether you prefer a light, medium, or dark horn color, and you also have the option of having it engraved, so it can definitely make the perfect gift for the sophisticated gentleman. abbeyhorn.co.uk
Why Use A Beard Brush Instead Of A Regular Brush
There is another commonality one may notice when looking at all high quality beard brushes, they are all made with natural boar's hair.
When a guy first starts growing out their beard, they usually give little thought to brushing. When the beards of those same newbies starts to get a little too long and unruly, they often reach for their girlfriend's hairbrush or just stop by the drugstore and buy a cheap, generic brush. What they may soon find out though, is that a standard hairbrush designed for the hair on top of your head, isn't going to cut it when it comes time to brush your beard. It may work at first, but overtime, it will be doing more harm than good.
One of the reasons for this is that the hair on your face is much coarser than the hair on your head. If you look at a beard brush and then compare it to a standard hairbrush, one of the most noticeable features is the difference in style and length of the bristles. A standard hair brush has thick bristles of a uniform length. Beard brushes have thinner bristles that are cut at uneven lengths.
The uneven lengths of the bristles allows a beard brush to reach the hairs at every level, making a beard brush more effective and allowing you to tame an unruly beard in less strokes. This is important because the more you stroke a beard, or any hair for that matter, the more you damage it, causing split ends and giving it a rougher texture.
There is another commonality one may notice when looking at all high quality beard brushes, they are all made with natural boar's hair. This is because boar's hair traps in oils and helps to evenly spread them throughout your beard. This can either be sebum, your face's natural oils, or a carrier beard oil you have added to give your beard a healthier shine and make it softer.
How To Properly Brush A Beard
Buying a good quality beard brush is only the first step, one must also know how to properly brush a beard to keep it healthy and make it look its best. Of vital importance is knowing when to brush a beard and when not to. The best time to brush a beard is after the shower, but not immediately after.
The only additional thing to know is that you should start with the wider spaced teeth at first, and then move your way down into the narrower end of the comb.
First, the beard must be given enough time to dry as brushing a wet beard can lead to hair loss and damage, causing a beard to loss its density. And let's face it, a thin scraggly beard doesn't have the same effect as a thick, lustrous one. One should also avoid brushing a beard immediately after using a hair dryer as this is when the roots are the weakest and their is more potential for pulling them out.
After you have taken a shower and your beard is sufficiently dry, the next step is to apply a good beard balm or oil. These will give your beard some weight, reduce the chance of breaking hairs when brushing, and also make it easier to untangle and train. Now it is time to begin the brushing process. Avoid overly aggressive brushing, instead take long, deliberate strokes starting at the top and working your way to the bottom. You can also work from the sides into the center if needed. Doing this will not only tame your beard, but it will also help to train the hair to grow in the desired direction.
If you are using a beard comb, you would follow this same process. The only additional thing to know is that you should start with the wider spaced teeth at first, and then move your way down into the narrower end of the comb.
How To Trim A Beard
Trimming a beard can be a scary experience for those unaccustomed to it as it can be quite easy to accidentally cut too much off and destroy a month or two's worth of growth in a matter of seconds. For this reason it's also best not to leave it up to your barber, unless you really know and respect their ability, and they understand how long you want to keep your beard.
Then remove the guard to trim any hairs that fall over the lip line.
The first step is to brush it out. Every part of the beard should be combed out, including the mustache, goatee, and neckline to get all of the hairs settled in one direction. Your best bet is to use a beard trimmer as this will allow you to get an even cut. Using scissors can be tricky, especially when looking in the mirror and trying to work from a reversed reflection. If your beard is too long for trimmers, then you may be stuck going to a barber.
After you have set the guard on your trimmer to the desired length, trim all parts of the beard. If you want a longer goatee, use a lower guard number on the cheeks and a higher guard number on the goatee. After everything is trimmer to an even length, graduate to lower clipper settings as you approach the cheeks and neckline to give your beard a faded and slightly neater appearance. When trimming the mustache, comb all the hairs out to the side and then move the trimmer in a downward motion. Then remove the guard to trim any hairs that fall over the lip line.