Beard Split Ends: How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Them

Author: The Beard Struggle

Published at: May 22, 2023

Growing a big and bushy beard can be a struggle. It’s a journey that takes a lot of effort, commitment and mental fortitude, and the last thing you want to deal with is split ends in your beard.

Read on to find out what signs you should look for when identifying beard split ends. We’ve also put together a few simple pointers to help you take good care of your facial fuzz by preventing or treating the split ends in your beard.

How to Identify Beard Split Ends?

Similar to scalp hair, your beard hair can develop split ends. The first signs you should look for are a change in beard texture and shape. Your beard will start feeling a bit rough to the touch and you’ll have trouble with styling.

If the damage to your beard hair keeps progressing, you’ll notice the ends of your hair fibres become thin or wispy, making them prone to breakage. You may also see the tips of your hair literally ‘split’ in two or more sections.

Depending on the factors that lead to your beard split ends, you might also notice beard curling, itchiness and beardruff.

What Are The Causes of Beard Split Ends?

Oftentimes there are a lot of factors that play a role in this process. A few examples are harsh chemicals like those in normal soap or scalp shampoo, exposure to harsh weather conditions, heat damage from a blow-dryer, and an improper beard care routine.

All of these factors are stressors for your beard hair and will lead to irreversible damage if left unchecked. We’ve compiled a list of the most common factors that lead to beard split ends.

1. Moisture loss

Your hair follicle is the only part of your beard that’s actually alive, and it’s safely tucked away in your skin. The hair shaft or hair fibre is a protein filament made from molecules like keratin and it’s the part of the beard that you can actually see.

Your beard follicles are coated and protected by the natural oils your skin produces. But the thing is, because of our environment, hygiene habits and other factors, sebum is really not enough. If you want to keep your beard hydrated and healthy, you need to use moisturizing beard care products that prevent dryness, such as beard oils or balms.

2. Using Products that Contain Harsh Chemicals

You should always use products that are specifically designed for beard hair use. Your facial hair and the skin underneath it have particular needs and won’t be as tolerant of chemicals as the rest of your body.

3. Heat Damage

This type of damage is caused by exposure to extreme heat which leads to a fast evaporation of water molecules on the surface or inside your hair fibres. This can happen when you’re using a hair dryer or hot hair styling utensils like hair curlers or straighteners.

4. Exposure to Harsh Weather Conditions

Changes in temperature and humidity are factors that can damage your facial hair through moisture loss. It will be more obvious during the winter months when your exposed skin begins to suffer as well.

5. Poor Diet Choices

This might not be an instant connection for most people, but a poor diet with a low quantity of nutritious elements can have a strong impact on the quality and growth rate of your beard hair. Other factors like a lack of exercise, not getting enough sleep or constant exposure to stress can also have a negative impact on your beard’s health.

How Can You Treat Beard Split Ends?

Once the damage becomes visible, you’ve hit a point of no return. If you can see the splitting at the tips of your hair fibres the damage is extensive and there’s nothing that can magically bind that protein filament back in its original shape.

The only way to ‘fix’ beard split ends is by trimming the damaged segments of your hair. Use a pair of good-quality beard scissors and carefully cut off the split ends of your hair.

How Can You Prevent Split Ends From Happening?

There are no guarantees that your beard will never develop split ends. But there are a few measures that you can take to keep your beard strong and help it grow.

1. Keep Your Beard Hydrated

Maintaining a good level of hydration will help your beard stay strong and healthy. Beard oil is the one product that any bearded person should have in their beard care kit. It is a product that you can use every day to provide your beard and the skin underneath it with nutrients and natural lipids.

You can supplement your hydrating needs with other beard care products like beard butter and beard balm. These will help you style your whiskers and provide your beard with nutrients and other active ingredients. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even use a decadent beard mask as a pampering boost of hydration.

2. Use Beard-Friendly Products

Avoid using regular soaps or scalp shampoo to clean your beard. Special beard shampoos provide a gentle cleanse and won’t damage your hair or irritate your face. This is even more important if you have sensitive skin or various skin conditions like rosacea or acne.

Another pro tip is to avoid beard and skincare products that are alcohol-based. These products tend to dehydrate your skin and hair and may even be irritating if you have sensitive skin.

3. Protect Your Beard From Intense Heat 

A great way to prevent heat damage is to use your hair dryer on a ‘cold air setting’ or simply increase the distance between the device and your hair. If the hot air feels uncomfortable on your face, then it’s not comfortable for your beard either.

You can also reduce head damage by using products like heat-protective sprays. Apply your product before using your styling tools and you’re all set.

4. Have A Good Winter Beard Care Routine

Make sure that your beard and skin are properly moisturized. You should make a habit of using a good, hydrating face cream and nutrient-rich beard oil.

Remember that you can always reapply the products throughout the day if you feel a tingling or tightening sensation in your face, or if your beard feels dry and rough to the touch.

5. Have a Balanced Diet

Your hair follicles need the proper nutrients to grow hair fibres. You’ll have to provide your body with proteins, minerals and vitamins if you’re expecting proper hair growth. Your beard will look its best if your diet is filled with nutrient-rich foods and you reduce your intake of sugar and processed food.

6. Use a Beard Conditioner

This type of product makes your beard softer and smoother by creating a protective layer on the surface of your hair fibres. This helps increase your facial hair’s hydration level and improve the overall look of your beard.

Beard conditioners are great products to use in those early stages of beard damage, when you notice changes in texture but when there are no visible split ends.

7. Be Gentle With Your Beard

Even if you have a thick, burly beard, your hair fibres are not as strong as you might think. You need to avoid activities that can harm your hair and use a gentle touch in your daily grooming routine. Here are a few quick tips.

  • Don’t tie your beard when it’s wet. Your hair shrinks when it dries up, which can lead to pulling, friction damage and even hair loss.
  • Pat your beard dry with a towel instead of vigorously rubbing it.
  • Use a dedicated beard comb or beard brush to detangle your beard. 

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