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Help! Why Does My Beard Itch? What Causes it and How to Stop it.

Help! Why Does My Beard Itch? What Causes it and How to Stop it.

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Article updated: March 29, 2022
  

One of the most annoying aspects of growing a beard has got to be beard itch.

Whether you’re a seasoned beard grower or you’re just getting started on your beard growing journey, beard itch can strike at any time.

In fact one of the the most common reasons new beard growers give up and shave off their beard is because they simply can’t deal with the discomfort caused by annoying beard itch.

What Exactly is Beard Itch and What Causes it?

As you would expect, beard itch is that itchy, scratchy feeling that most new beard growers (and even some longtime growers) experience during the early phases of the beard growing process.

If you find yourself frequently scratching at the skin that is underneath your facial hair, that’s a sure sign that you are dealing with annoying beard itch.

So what is the cause of annoying beard itch?

Believe it or not, beard itch is actually caused from shaving. Shaving your facial hair leaves the ends of the hair strand very sharp and pointy. When new beard growers start the process of letting their facial hair grow out, these sharp and pointy strands of hair tend to scratch and tickle the skin as they emerge to freedom.

Man with short stubble touching his face

And although beard itch can be incredibly uncomfortable and annoying, the good news is that it usually subsides within a few weeks once the facial hair strands reach a certain length.

Question: How Long Does Beard Itch Last?

Answer: Typically 3-5 weeks for new beard growers

But what if you simply can’t wait weeks and you’re at your wits end scratching your face? While most people will simply tell you to wait it out, I understand that’s not the answer that most men want to hear.

Even though it’s technically called “beard itch”, keep in mind that beard itch can affect all types of facial hair styles such as goatees and even mustaches.

So if you’re growing out your beard and dealing with unbearable beard itch, here’s 3 things you can do to help alleviate the incessant itch.

1. Moisturize

If beard itch is driving you crazy the first thing you should do is moisturize your beard and skin. Using a high quality, moisturizing beard oil is a great and simple way to help soften and smooth those pointy facial hairs that are causing the itch. On top of relieving beard itch, beard oil offers a bunch of benefits that help your beard stay healthy, look good, and even smell great. If you’re not currently using beard oil I highly recommend you do.

2. Wash and Condition Your Beard

Another simple and easy way to help alleviate beard itch is to use a beard specific wash and conditioner in the shower. This will help eliminate all that built up dirt, sweat, sebum, and grime that accumulates in the beard throughout the day. And since a clean and conditioned beard is less likely to cause itch, this is a step that you should seriously consider taking as you grow out your beard.

Man brushing his beard

3. Comb and Brush Your Beard

While you might have thought that combs and brushes were just for the hair on your head, you should know that they are actually very important tools for growing a strong, healthy, great looking beard. Brushing your beard will help eliminate tangles and even help moisturize the beard by distributing your skin’s beneficial oils (sebum) over the entire length of the beard hair shaft. Another awesome benefit to brushing your beard is that it will immediately soothe beard itch and help exfoliate dead skin cells underneath your beard that could inhibit healthy growth and cause irritation and itch. I personally recommend using a 100% boar bristle brush when brushing your beard.

Other Causes of Beard Itch

As I already mentioned, new beard growers aren’t the only ones that suffer from dreaded beard itch. If you have been growing your beard for months or even years and still suffer from itchiness from time to time there might be some underlying problems that need to addressed.

1. You’re Not Moisturizing Enough

Even though growing a beard is incredibly rugged and manly, you still have to groom and maintain your beard properly if you want to keep it healthy and avoid beard itch.

Did you know that your beard relies on your skin’s natural oils (sebum) to keep it moisturized and nourished? The problem is once your beard length graduates from the short stage your skin won’t produce enough natural oils to coat the entire length of the beard hair shaft. The skin underneath your beard can also become very dry from lack of the skin’s natural oils. All this dryness not only makes your beard brittle and fragile, but it can also contribute to uncomfortable beard itch.

The fix?

Try using a high quality beard oil 2-3 times per day. The great thing about beard oil is that it’s designed to nourish and moisturize the beard and skin the same way sebum does. So not only does beard oil keep your beard soft and healthy, but it will also nourish and hydrate the skin which will help soothe the itch.

Bottle of Beard oil
Beard Oil

While the use of beard oil might not be critical when your beard is short, it becomes an absolute necessity once your beard starts getting long (over an inch) because your skin will begin to struggle producing enough sebum to keep your beard and skin nourished and moisturized. Not sure what beard oil is best? Check out my list of best beard oils for beard itch.

You’re not washing your beard enough

Just like the hair on your head, your beard accumulates a ton of dirt, sweat, and excess oil throughout the day. And if you’re a messy eater, you can also add food and drink to that list.

Aside from these daily contaminants, the skin underneath your beard also sheds dead skin cells that can quickly accumulate and cause itch and unsightly beard dandruff if left unchecked.

While I don’t recommend washing your beard everyday as this can dry out the skin, I do however recommend washing your beard 3-4 times per week with a high quality beard wash that will help slough away dry skin and contaminants while providing nourishment, hydration, and moisture for your beard.

Man with soap suds in his beard

You’re washing your beard too much

Did you know that an over-washed beard can cause beard itch the same way a dirty beard can? If you’re currently washing your beard on a daily basis and you’re experiencing beard itch, it’s possible that you may be washing your beard too much.

That’s because washing your beard strips away the skin’s natural oils which are there to nourish, protect, and moisturize. Without these oils your beard and skin can become very dry and irritated which can lead to itch. I personally recommend washing the beard no more than 3-4 times per week. That’s enough to keep the beard clean and looking great, while allowing the skin’s natural oils to do their thing and keep your beard and skin nourished and healthy.

Question & Answer

How Long Does Beard Itch Last?

New beard growers can expect beard itch to last between 3-5 weeks. If the source of your beard itch is due to other factors such as dry skin, it can last for as long as the underlying cause persists.

Does Beard Itch Go Away on its Own?

For new beard growers beard itch will eventually subside on its own. If your beard itch is caused by other factors it can persist until you address the underlying cause of the problem.


Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or comments relating to beards or beard itch feel free to drop me a line in the comment section below.