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I’m proud to say that I was growing a beard before it was the cool thing to do. I’ve always loved facial hair, and from the moment I’ve been able to rock a full beard without any embarrassing barely-there patches, I’ve been proudly rocking the bearded look. In the past 12 years, I’ve been cleanly shaven exactly once, and I hated it, as did my long-time girlfriend.
On top of that, as the head editor at SPY.com, I also review grooming products for a living. For the past few years, I’ve been part of the selection team that awards the best men’s grooming products of the year, and my Brooklyn apartment contains an insane number of men’s products.
However, there’s one absolutely indispensable beard grooming tool that I’ve come to love, and it’s the single most important beard care item I own. As a professional grooming editor and proud beard owner, I can say with confidence that every bearded guy should be using a beard brush.
Most guys were taught how to shave by their dads, but because beards were much rarer in the 80s, 90s and aughts, we’ve had to learn proper beard care for ourselves. Because I’ve had a beard so long, I feel that I’ve earned the right to judge other guys for sub-standard beards, and I see guys all the time who could really, really benefit from this simple product.
Why Beard Brushes Are So Essential for Bearded Dudes
As a bearded writer at a product review website, I have collected a lot of grooming products over the years. Right now, I have 5-6 beard trimmers, the same number of body groomers, about a dozen different brands of razors, and countless skincare products.
Some of these products I’ve loved and shared with SPY readers, and some end up collecting dust. I try not to go overboard with skincare, as I’m a firm believer that less is more when it comes to clear skin. But as someone who’s vain about his quickly-graying hair, I do put some effort into maintaining a proper beard. I use a beard trimmer to keep the length under control, a beard comb to keep it straight, a razor for edge control, a beard wash in the shower when the mood strikes me, and occasionally I use a beard oil or balm to soften my hair.
However, if I could only have one beard care tool, I’d leave all of those other products behind for my beard brush.
In case you don’t already have one, these brushes use either boar bristles or synthetic bristles, and they provide a ton of benefits for your beard.
- Get rid of dandruff, dead skin and excess hair
- Prevent beard smell before it starts
- Help get wiry, tangled or out-of-control beards into shape
I can say with certainty, and my girlfriend can confirm, that I’ve never had to worry about a smelly, dandruffy or messy beard because of this one simple tool, which usually costs about $12-$15. Beard brushes help clear away dead skin and any other gunk that might otherwise form beneath the top layer of facial hair, thus keeping your beard both healthy and looking sharp.
As you can see, I like to keep my beard pretty short, and my beard brush has helped me maintain my facial hair with pride (and a little vanity).
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So if you’ve been rocking a beard and you haven’t been using a beard brush, then I’m begging you, please don’t wait any longer.
If you don’t have a beard trimmer, you can go to the barber. If you don’t have a beard wash, your beard will survive. And you can always run a regular comb through your beard if it’s bent out of shape. But I’ve found that a good beard brush is 100% indispensable — unless you don’t care about how your beard looks or smells.
Personally, I use the Live Bearded Boar’s Hair Beard Brush. Live Bearded is an independent small business that makes beard care tools, including some of the best beard oil. There are a few other brands that make great beard brushes, and I’ve included a few options for your perusal below.
In my professional and personal experience, the LIve Bearded brush has strong enough bristles to get the job done even if you have thicker facial hair like I do. It’s also larger compared to most beard brushes without being overly large. I’ve also been using the same brush for almost three years with little to no noticeable wear and tear.