5 Bad Beard Habits to Break This New Year

We all have foibles, habits and routines that we want to change. The New Year is a great time to resolve to make a difference and your beard is the perfect place to start. These 5 bad habits can damage your beard, lead to itchiness and dryness, and spoil your look. Break these habits and get your beard looking fantastic this year. Man demonstrating a bad beard habit

Bad Beard Habits


1. Pulling and Tugging Your Beard

A beard is a tempting thing to fiddle with, especially if you’ve grown a particularly long and impressive facial embellishment! Whether it’s a nervous tick or simply an ingrained habit, pulling your beard - even gently - can cause problems in the long run. Gentle but frequent pulling on your beard will gradually weaken the hairs, causing them to fall out. Losing hairs now and again is a natural part of having a beard, but if pulling on your beard has developed into a habit, it can lead to increased hair loss and therefore patches and holes.  

How to Break the Habit?

The first step is noticing you’re doing it. Habits are so ingrained in us that we often perform them subconsciously. If you resolve to break this bad beard habit, you’ll find yourself noticing more and more often when you’re pulling on your beard. It will be extremely difficult to simply stop doing it, so one alternative is to develop a new habit that can take its place -- one that’s not bad for your beard! To keep your hands busy, try wearing an elastic band or bracelet on your wrist that you can touch and fiddle with while you’re thinking. Alternatively, you could keep a stress ball on your desk to squeeze when you notice you’re reaching for your beard.  

2. Stroking Your Beard

Similar to pulling your beard, stroking your beard is another bad habit worth breaking this new year. We’ll be the first to admit that stroking your facial hair feels fantastic, but it can lead to a buildup of bacteria and dirt. Your hands touch many things throughout the day: your phone, keys, computer keyboard, door handles, hand creams, food. Everything you touch has the potential to transfer bacteria, dirt, grease or chemicals onto your skin. When you stroke your beard, these substances then transfer into your hair. This can cause beardruff, acne, itchiness and inflamed hair follicles.  

How to Break the Habit?

Similar to pulling on your beard, you could replace the habit with something else. Try occupying your hands with a stress ball or fiddling with an elastic band on your wrist whenever you spot yourself stroking your beard. If you’re really struggling to break the habit, ensure that you keep your hands clean. Wash them with warm, soapy water and don’t touch your beard if you’ve just moisturised your hands.  

3. Not Shaping Your Neckline

It can be easy to leave your beard to its own devices. This is great in the first stages of growing a beard as it helps to create thickness and get your hairs growing. However, as your beard develops, you’ll need to trim it to keep it looking tidy. One of the key things to trim, shave and keep in check is your neckline. This defines your beard, outlining the bottom part of your beard and face to give shape to your face. Getting your neckline right can take your beard from looking messy and unkempt to a sophisticated and stylish part of your look.  

How to Break The Habit?

This is a much easier one to get over than subconscious habits! Regularly shave and trim your neckline -- the frequency you do it will depend on how quickly your hair grows. You want your neckline to look natural, not too sculpted, so tapering the edges can help to create the right aesthetic. An electric beard trimmer will make the process incredibly easy! To get a good indication of where your neckline should be, place two fingers at the top of your adam’s apple. The line above your index finger is where your neckline should be. You can move it slightly up or down according to what looks right on your face.  

4. Using Normal Shampoo

Washing your beard is essential to keep it soft, clean and healthy. However, one very bad habit is using ordinary shampoo designed for the hair on your head on your beard. The hair on your head is softer and finer than your facial hair and the skin on your scalp needs different treatment to that on your face. Beard hair is known as androgenic hair, which means it grows as a result of hormones, often first appearing during puberty. Androgenic hair has different properties to the hair that grows on your head and it therefore requires a different kind of care. Normal shampoo is formulated different to beard shampoo. It can make your hair brittle, drying it out as it strips away the oils that your beard needs to stay healthy. It can also dry out your skin, as the skin on your face is more sensitive than your scalp.  

How to Break The Habit?

The answer to this one is simple; ensure you always have a beard shampoo or beard wash available! Keep quality beard shampoo in your cupboard, by your sink or next to the shower. Also make sure you don’t wash your beard too often -- a couple of times a week is enough for most people.  

5. Forgetting to Moisturise

You might already have a pot of beard oil in your bathroom, but forgetting to use it is a classic bad beard habit that can really make a difference to the way your beard feels and looks. Beard oil hydrates your beard hairs and moisturises the skin underneath, preventing the hairs from becoming brittle and scratchy and promoting a healthy and soft beard instead.  

How to Break the Habit?

When your bad habit is forgetting to do something, you need a way to remind yourself. Try to build the use of beard oil into your daily routine by using another trigger to remind you to do it. For example, keep beard oil in your bathroom next to your toothbrush. When you brush your teeth in the evening, apply your beard oil. It will quickly develop into a good habit and you’ll really see the results in how your beard feels and looks! We’d love to hear from you if you’re trying to break bad beard habits this new year! Let us know how it’s going in the comments.   Why not check out some of our other blogs, such as our guide on getting your look on point at Christmas, or read about the Science Behind The Way People View your Beard!
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