Back in the days, black men rarely grow their beards. But as the trend of facial hair resurfaces, keeping a black and curly mane becomes one of the popular fashion statements. However, black men beard care isn’t as easy as it looks like. It’s more demanding than other ethnicities due to issues of genetics and skin type. Hyperpigmentation is also a reason for this along with other conditions.
Drake and Idris Elba are just two of the known guys who make heads turn with their full beards. The techniques of rocking a nice beard vary per person, but how we wish we can divulge the actors’ “mane” secrets. Beard care can be a hit-and-miss process but black men can always heed some advice to maintaining better facial fuzz.
Before we dive straight into the solutions, it’s important that we put the problems in perspective.
Beards of black guys are unique for a variety of reasons. Their hair follicles are usually oval-shaped which causes the strand to curl. Also, the uneven distribution of keratin within the follicles produces the kinks. This is genetically normal, but it’s the cause of a number of problems.
Guys from all ethnicities are prone to patchy beards. Poor hair growth is one reason here aside from haphazard shaving. Although this is a common problem, black guys who have thicker hairs suffer from a more evident case. Their hair patches can be so thick on one spot then ultimately thin on the other. More problems make patchiness worse which leads us to our next issue of black men beard care.
Due to their curly facial hair, the follicles get blocked as the strands bend down and poke its opening. The results are acne-like bumps that itch and bulge. Since the hair is trapped inside, patchiness may happen, not to mention the irritation the skin experiences. Hyperpigmentation, which is normal for black people, worsen the discomfort of ingrown hairs. Tweezing or picking on it would be a suicidal move.
Strands that have minds of its own
Curly beards are known to be stubbornly difficult to groom. The strands grow in crazy directions and it’s almost impossible to tame without using any products or heat. Most of the time, bearded guys resort to flat ironing which, in the long run, dries the beard and leaves damages beyond repair. Although oiling and shampooing are good for the facial hair, it doesn’t always work its straightening magic.
Too much curl
Beard strands of black guys can either grow in zig-zag, fuzzball, or pure coils. Of all three, a pure coil is extreme in terms of curliness. It’s a tightly packed spiral that sticks together. And when it grows thicker and longer, the result is spring-like locks that hang from the chin. It sways and bounces as the person walk. Although this could be a nightmare to groom, pure coils are softer than the other mentioned beard types.
Black Men Beard Care Tips
Like what I’ve said, skin and beard care for black men are more demanding. If you’re a black guy and planning to grow your beard, here are some of the tips I can give you.
1. Skin care is important than ever
Most of the beard problems of black guys stem from their skin. Failing to maintain an efficient skin regimen can start the development of ingrown hairs, dryness, and acne. It’s important that black guys scrub their beard at least once a week to remove dirt and dead skin cells. These two are the common cause of acne and ingrown hair. But beware since some skin diseases tend to mimic these common skin problems.
2. Let it grow
The general rule for black guys is to let their beard grow for at least six weeks before styling. This same trick will allow you to see if the beard is patchy or full enough for the style you have in mind. But as it grows, it’s important that you start early with an excellent skin regimen. Prevent patchiness by fighting off ingrown hairs and acne. The longer and thicker your mane gets, the more you should spend time cleaning the hard-to-reach skin areas within your beard.
3. Moisturize it like mad
When curly hair gets frizzy, the tips tend to be rough. When it touches the skin beneath, it causes irritation and itchiness which can be prevented by moisturizing the beard to make it softer. Moisturizing also prevents dryness, dandruff, and scaling. Re-apply your moisturizer multiple times a day if need be, especially during cold and hot months. For black men beard care, I suggest that you get a multi-tasking moisturizer that also works as a sunscreen and skin softener.
4. Use wax with a nice hold
If your beard is unforgiving after all the grooming hacks you’ve tried, maybe a wax product with medium to strong hold will solve the problem. Massage a small amount between your palms and apply it to your beard. This way, you can shape the mane while maintaining its natural shine. Stop stealing your wife or girlfriend’s hairspray. It will make your beard frizzy and stiff as hell.
Even if you’re not experiencing beard problems right now, you have to exfoliate at least once a week. Do loofah or use your favorite scrub product. Make sure that it suits your skin type to avoid inducing irritations.
6. Be patient
I’ve seen a lot of black guys shave their beard to the roots out of frustration. But keep hanging on, my friend. This is all part of sporting a glamorous beard in the future. You just have to endure some bouts of itchiness, bumps, and patches before owning a manly mane DJ Khaled would envy.
Black men beard care is a hard task, but boy, does the fuzz look lush when you endure the hassle. What I gave here are just some of the tips you can make use of. If something here helped you, I would be happy to know!