Overview of The Beard Brush and the cons of using plastic combs.
Table of contents
- Why Brush My Beard?
- How Often Should I Brush?
- Do I just brush it like my hair?
- How do I care for my Beard Brush?
- Why should you NOT use a plastic comb to take care of your beard?
- But is a beard comb really that important?
- Plastic can’t be all that bad, can it?
- Here’s why this happens
- What do we recommend you use?
- Kent’s handmade folding comb.
Keeping your beard healthy and presentable is not a job for the faint-of-heart. Your beard is exposed to countless oils, dirt, food particles, and a wide array of other contaminants. An available selection of certain grooming tools is essential for making sure your beard is the best it can be, which will help to keep you looking like a million bucks. One of the many tools you will need and, arguably, the most important, is the beard brush.
It is common knowledge that beards have been around for a long time; but, how long have men been using beard brushes? Beard brushes gained popularity in 18th century England, where the standard of grooming for an acceptable beard was rising at a rapid rate. One of the earliest manufacturers of beard brushes was a company called Kent. Early manufactured beard brushes were composed of an oval, wooden handle with animal hair (boar is generally accepted as the best) sticking out of it. Although wood was the most commonly manufactured handle material, handles can, and have been made out of just about any sturdy material, such as ivory, bone or acrylic. It is thought that Vikings used the elaborate combs that they made out of materials such as bone and ivory for their beards, as well as the hair on their heads. The main purpose of these combs was hypothesized by historians by being for controlling the spread of lice and ticks, but there are many accounts of the Vikings’ vanity and their obsessive grooming.
Why Brush My Beard?
Brushing your beard may seem like a bit of overkill when compared to the long list of other grooming practices in your daily routine, but it is an important part of keeping your scruff up to snuff. Brushing your beard helps distribute the oils in your beard and on your face evenly along the strands of hair that compose your furry feature, as well as smoothing it, shaping it and making sure all of your whiskers are growing in the same direction. Coarse facial hair can be hard to control, and prone to breaking or drying out. Regularly brushing will soften up the beard and help it stay hydrated, and will be especially beneficial and essential if you live an area that experiences harsh climate.
How Often Should I Brush?
There is no absolute, golden rule for brushing your beard. If you have a relatively manageable beard that doesn’t give you too much trouble, you can get away with brushing only once every 2 or 3 days. However, if you have an unruly or dry beard, you should brush it daily to ensure it stays healthy and shiny. Brushing your beard more than once per day can damage your beard by making it dry, frizzy and full of split ends – think 80s hair metal.
Do I just brush it like my hair?
That depends on how you brush your hair. You should always start brushing your beard hair WITH THE GRAIN. Just like in shaving, brushing with the grain is going to minimize the chance of irritation. If you want to fluff your beard up you can lightly go against the grain, but be sure to experiment before you commit to too big of a beard fluffing, or you could end up with an irritated face and a breakout following closely behind. Brushing should occur right after you get out of the shower in the morning. If you shower at night, rinse your face with hot water or hold a hot towel on your face in the morning to soften your facial hair before brushing. Soft facial hair is not only easier to brush, but it more readily accepts and transmits the benefits of brushing.
How do I care for my Beard Brush?
Caring for your beard brush is relatively simple. When your brush needs washing (which, with regular brushing, will be once a week) mix water and hair shampoo in a cup and wash the brush thoroughly in it. After the brush has been washed, dry off the bristles with a towel and let it air dry overnight.
In addition to your regular beard maintenance routine of washing, conditioning, combing and oiling, brushing your beard is a great way to keep it strong, healthy, under control and growing uniformly. For the modern, beard-toting gentleman, having a beard brush in tow is essential.
Why should you NOT use a plastic comb to take care of your beard?
A well-groomed and healthy beard is a happy beard. Remember what we always tell you: to have a perfect beard it’s important to use the perfect products. At least the ones that are perfect for you. But be careful! It’s also important to pay close attention to the accessories you use to take care of your beard. Haven’t you ever thought about it? Well, hold on to your whiskers, because today we’re talking about one of your worst enemies: the plastic comb.
But is a beard comb really that important?
Of course, it is. Think about the hairstyle you’re wearing right now – could you do it without a comb or a brush? The same goes for your beard! It doesn’t matter if you have a short beard or if it reaches down to your bottom. You need a comb to detangle your beard hair, to evenly distribute the products you apply, and to style your beard in the way that suits you best.
Don’t believe us? Try sleeping two nights in a row without combing your hair or grooming your beard at all the next morning. People will run away in terror when they see you. Okay, a natural, casual look is great, but that’s not the same as looking like a troglodyte, fresh out of the cave. Having a quality beard comb always at hand is a guarantee of a great-looking beard.
Plastic can’t be all that bad, can it?
Of course, the beard police aren’t going to break into your house and put you in handcuffs if you use a plastic comb. Plastic combs are easy to get and very cheap. You can find them almost anywhere: a drugstore, a Chinese shop, a supermarket, or even a professional hairdresser.
But remember this: Beard hairs, because of their greater thickness, are especially susceptible to damage if you use plastic combs and poorly finished. Even if it is one with relatively separate teeth, the plastic comb is much more aggressive with your skin, with the hair follicles, and with every hair in your beard, no matter how long it is. If you apply the same principles to choosing a head comb, by the way, you will notice it on your hair as well.
Here’s why this happens
Normally plastic combs, like all products made of this material, are manufactured using molds. The plastic compound is injected under pressure into the mold while it is still a liquid, allowed to cool, and voila, you have a new comb. This manufacturing process allows thousands of combs per minute to be rolled off the assembly line. That’s why they are so inexpensive.
But molds have their disadvantages. Although you may not notice them at first glance, the combs that come out of these molds have small edges, each of the teeth has a much sharper end than it might seem. And the hair, especially your beard hair, doesn’t like that at all. And neither does your face. If you comb your beard every day – and you should – it will end up suffering a lot, the hairs will split or fall out and all your efforts to take care of your beard will be in vain.
What do we recommend you use?
Whenever you can, use combs made of natural materials such as wood, or with natural bases such as cellulose. And, above all, they should be handmade or hand-polished. When a comb is handmade, the polishing process is much more careful and each of the teeth of your comb will have a rounded and smooth finish.
Kent’s handmade folding comb.
This will allow you to comb your beard and distribute oil or balm without damaging your skin or beard hair. What’s more, the comb will do exactly what it is designed to do, without weakening your facial hair or making it brittle or fragile. If you want to take a tip, the Kent OT is small, you can carry it anywhere in your pocket, it is ergonomic, it is made of cellulose acetate – flexible and durable – and it is suitable for hair of all thicknesses. Of course, it is hand-polished and will take care of your beard like no other.
If you use a beard brush instead of a beard comb, the “always natural” principle also applies here. Specifically, we recommend natural bristles over plastic. They will treat your beard with care and you will be able to achieve the hairstyle you are looking for much faster, without your beard hair suffering in the slightest. On the contrary, it will be moisturized, shiny and healthy. In this case, we recommend the BRD2 brush from Kent, with specially selected materials and also handmade. Take a look at the ingenious shape of its bristles:
Again, plastic is not poisonous, but if you decide to take the plunge and invest a little more… not only will you notice the difference right away, but you won’t want to go back, because your beard and your face will notice it. And you’ll thank us for it.
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