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Beards, just like any hairstyle, require maintenance and tender loving care. However, like with all hair, split ends occur.
This doesn’t mean you should immediately shave off all your facial hair. It does mean that you should understand what’s causing the damage.
There are plenty of things you can do, both with your personal health and grooming, to help mend current breakage and prevent future split ends.
No need to pull out an electric razor. Just check out the tips below.
Similar to the hair on our heads, beard split ends occur when the cuticle is weathered and damaged, cracking and splitting the ends of the hair.
This damage can occur for various reasons, including:
- improper care of the hair
- external aggressors
- poor nutritional health
Unfortunately, split ends are, well, split. This means the hair is so damaged that it’s broken.
To fully get rid of split ends, you have to cut them off.
You can trim your beard to the point at which the hair is no longer broken and expose new healthy ends.
Not willing or able to trim? There are a few temporary fixes for split ends.
Hair products that contain protein-derived substances, such as some conditioners and leave-ins, can temporarily help by holding the split fragments together until your next shampoo.
For example, Murdock Beard Conditioner contains wheat proteins to help strengthen hair (shop here).
Waxes and balms containing oils can also help smooth hairs so split ends are less noticeable.
The Billy Jealousy Charm Offensive Beard Balm features shea butter, coconut oil, and castor oil for a boost of hydration (shop here).
Preventing split ends starts with strong hair. The stronger and healthier your hair is, the better it’s able to withstand damage that can lead to split ends. These below tips can help with prevention.
Eating a balanced diet can help strengthen and grow healthy hair.
Look for foods high in protein and biotin, such as:
- lean meats
Healthy fats, like the ones found in fresh fish and avocados, can also help promote thicker, denser hair.
Staying hydrated can also keep hair moisturized and less prone to breakage. It’s recommended to drink around eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, though your needs might be different according to your personal height and weight as well as activity level.
Proper beard care includes tailoring the products you’re using to wash and style.
Shampoos with sulfates can dry out your beard hair. Other shampoos intended for use on the head can strip beards of natural oils that keep the skin underneath healthy and moisturized.
Instead, look for shampoos that are specifically made with facial hair in mind.
The Jack Black Beard Wash is popular for its gentle, sulfate-free formula that soothes with aloe (shop here).
If you prefer a bar soap, the Maple Hill Honest for Men Beard Wash has a pared-down formula with an uplifting scent (shop here).
To lock in moisture and protect ends from external damage, use conditioners and leave-in conditioners.
The Scotch Porter Restorative Leave-In Beard Conditioner is made for especially dry and coarse beards that need the added moisture (shop here).
To style, try using a beard oil. Oil treatments help prevent dryness, itchiness, and split ends, especially those with Brazilian nut and mineral oils.
Frequently combing or brushing your beard can also help preserve the hair. It helps distribute natural oils from the roots through the shaft of the hair.
Split ends happen. However, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to every case of beard damage.
Your personal health and grooming habits can affect your hair strength and breakage differently from everyone else’s.
Once you discover the cause of your split ends, you can further treat the problem.
If you’re ever concerned about what’s best for your hair, you can always seek out help from a professional hair stylist or barber. They are well versed in the most effective treatments for hair damage.
Jen Anderson is a wellness contributor at Healthline. She writes and edits for various lifestyle and beauty publications, with bylines at Refinery29, Byrdie, MyDomaine, and bareMinerals. When not typing away, you can find Jen practicing yoga, diffusing essential oils, watching Food Network or guzzling a cup of coffee. You can follow her NYC adventures on Twitter and Instagram.