Helpful Tips & Tricks

The Importance of Combing Your Beard

The brutal

Combing a beard out may sound like a painful process if you have a thick beard and you’ve never run a comb through it before. But, if you’re tired of dealing with a scraggly or bushy beard, no beard care products seem to be working, and you wash it regularly, then you may not know the importance of combing your beard, and how it can have a major impact on how your beard looks and feels. Additionally, the skin under your beard should be well-cared for and moisturized, to prevent flaky, itchy skin, and stunted beard growth. If you’ve never combed out your beard before, then you have a lot to learn. Fortunately, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about combing and maintaining a healthy, soft, flake-free beard.

The First Step Toward Beard Health

You’ve seen men with perfectly groomed beards that are thick, healthy-looking, with every hair in place, while your beard is a scraggly mess, complete with mats, stray hairs, and seems to be growing out, but you’re not getting any length. So, what are you doing wrong? While for some, combing out a beard daily may seem like a no-brainer, there are many new beard wearers that simply skip this step and don’t use any products to keep their beard hydrated and healthy. Combing out a beard may sound painful but it’s a necessary grooming step and one that will promote hair growth and beard health. It’s also the easiest way to instantly make even the scraggliest looking beard appear full and healthy. When combined with the right grooming products, your beard will have a nice healthy shine, a softer texture, and stray hairs and mats will be a thing of the past.


If your beard is matted, then you may need to follow some extra steps before you attempt to comb it out, otherwise, combing can be a very painful, uncomfortable process that can lead to patchiness, and ingrown hairs, and skin irritation. Before combing, deep condition your beard, leaving the product in as long as possible. You may want to deep condition it a couple of times, depending on how thick and/or matted your beard is. After you’ve deep conditioned it, you may also want to trim it using a pair of beard scissors, to remove any stubborn mats or split ends. I don’t recommend shaping or thinning out your beard until after you’ve combed it, so you can see what type of length you’re really working with.

When to Comb Your Beard

man combing

The first step toward a thick, healthy beard is making sure you take care of it properly, and that means combing it. But when is it the best time? This can be a matter of personal preference. Most beard wearers can agree that the beard should be combed out at least once a day, in the morning. Of course, if you have a very thick or fine beard, then you may need to comb it again at some point in your day. If your beard is very matted, then you’ll need to take some time during this process, to prevent the teeth of the comb from pulling out hair, or causing skin irritation. If you have a very long, fine beard, then you may also have issues with tangled hair and mats.

In both cases, you’ll need to use beard care products to help keep your hair under control, free of frizz, static, mats, and tangles, and to generally make it much easier to comb and tame your beard.

There are many products to choose from, but to start, the best beard conditioner will work to treat the problem at the source. Most conditioners will penetrate deep down into the hair follicles in order to properly hydrate both the skin and hair. Products that can soften your hair will come in the form of leave-in conditioners, wash-out conditioners, beard oils, balms, butters, lotions.

Combing should ideally be done right after you wash your beard, whether in the sink or in the shower. While some barbers claim that you should never comb out a beard when it’s wet since it can lead to hair breakage, doing so when it’s wet and after you’ve used a conditioner, can allow you to work out tangles and mats. It can also allow you to evenly distribute the natural oils in your beard, or a type of beard care product. Your beard shouldn’t be soaking wet, but damp.

Brushing it out in the morning can have you looking well-groomed and ready for work in no time, and it’s a great way to get rid of all the mats and tangles, that you acquired during sleep.

How Often to Comb Your Beard

Comb your beard as often as you want, especially if it’s starting to look frizzy, unkempt, or scraggly. Some guys are lucky enough to get by brushing their beard only once a day, while others, usually those with a thicker beard, have to repeatedly comb their beard throughout the day. If you have a beard that easily becomes tangled, not combing it out regularly can lead to serious mats. These beards are usually high-maintenance and can be a real hassle to deal with, especially if you’ve allowed it to gain some length. If you’re not prepared for this type of upkeep, then I recommend shaping a long beard, thinning it out a little, or even taking off some inches to make it easier to care for. If you’re willing to maintain it, then a long, thick beard can be glorious to behold.

For regular beards, once or twice is usually enough to keep a beard tangle free and looking great.

Can Combing Make My Beard Look Thicker?

Side portrait

Yes it can. But if your beard is very thin, combining it out may seem distressing, since it can make it look even thinner. To get around this, begin by holding the comb with its teeth facing up toward the ceiling. Combing should begin at the neckline as you brush all the way out to the chin. This is done in order to separate the hairs and thicken your beard instantly, making it look healthy and fluffier. During this time, if you happen to hit any tangles or knots, make sure you take the comb out and try again, brushing through your beard very slowly. This will prevent you from ripping out any hair. Once you’ve achieved the thickness you’re looking for, then you can comb the rest of the beard to shape and style it, using your favorite styling product.

How to Comb A Beard: Short and Full Beards

Combing out a beard is an essential part of having a healthy beard. Not only will your beard look tamed and cared for, but it will also be significantly healthier. While it can take some time to achieve the desired results, you’ll be happier with how it looks than if you simply allowed it to grow out and didn’t bother with basic beard care. If you comb your beard daily, you’ll find that it’s more manageable. Some guys may be surprised to learn that there’s a right and wrong way to do it. If you’ve made it through the first uncomfortable growth phase, and you were able to tolerate the itching, then your beard is now long enough to comb, shape, and style.

  • Make sure you use the best beard combs and brushes to style your beard. Choose a comb with wide teeth, which will help the comb to smoothly glide through the thicker parts of your beard. The comb should also have smaller teeth, which you’ll use on your mustache.
  • Once you have the right tool, start off fresh and wash your beard in the shower. Use a formulated beard shampoo and conditioner. Both products will not only clean your beard and help to loosen up mats, but they’ll also leave your beard feeling softer, so it will be more manageable when it’s time to comb it out.
  • Before you comb it, towel dry your beard. Avoid using a hairdryer, which can leave your beard feeling dried out.
  • Next, you’ll use beard oil. The oil acts as a foundation for your beard and will ensure that the hair follicles are moisturized, which can prevent itchiness, irritation, and will make it easier to style your beard. The oil should be applied under the beard and worked into the skin.
  • Hold the comb with the teeth facing up and start combing your beard outwards. You should begin at the neckline and slowly work toward the chin. Combing in this direction will separate the hairs, which can prevent knots and tangles. Once you’ve worked your way up to the jawline, you can brush it down, then work on your mustache and sideburn area.

The Benefits of Combing Out Your Beard

  • Combing out your beard is one of the most important things you can do to keep it looking nice and healthy. It also helps to avoid ingrown hairs, by preventing hairs from curling tightly and growing back under the skin. The next reason why you should always comb your hair is the fact that it will train the hair to grow around your mouth, not over it.
  • When done correctly, it will work to evenly distribute the natural oils in your hair, preventing sebum buildup.
  • Combing can prevent hair from getting in your mouth, which is both unsanitary and annoying.
  • Another major benefit of combing out your beard is how easy it will be to style it after. You can shape your beard, capture stray hairs, and give your beard that well-maintained look that most beard wearers are going for, which can be difficult if you have a beard that’s matted or frizzy. As you can see, this is a very important part of beard maintenance and one you shouldn’t neglect, especially if you plan on growing a longer beard or you already have a beard that’s very thick and full.
  • Combing out your beard will train your hair to grow in the right direction
  • If you have a beard that looks flat or matted, combing will instantly give it a fuller appearance
  • Regular combing will prevent tangles and mats, which can be difficult to comb out without ripping hair or causing split ends.
  • It will also remove food, dirt, debris, and whatever else has managed to make its way into your beard.
  • If your beard seems to have stopped growing, it can also help by stimulating the hair follicles, removing built-up sebum, both of which will encourage new growth.

For some of the best beard oils and balms head over to my full Buyer’s Guide!

Final Thoughts

If your beard normally looks matted, scraggly, and unkempt, then the importance of combing your beard cannot be stressed enough. Many new beard wearers fail to groom their beard daily. This includes using hair care and styling products, each of which is designed to soften, condition, and detangle the beard, making it more manageable, while promoting hair health. Men often complain that their beard has stopped growing or that their beard feels brittle and dry. Using beard care products combined with daily combing can have a huge impact on how your beard looks and feels. Remember, just like the hair on your head, your beard needs a little TLC in order to look its best.