Reasons Your Beard Hurts When Sleeping (And How to Fix It)

Finding that your beard hurts when sleeping? There are a couple of reasons this could be happening, from skin issues to your sleeping habits.

A lot of beard pain occurs during the growth phase of your beard’s lifespan. However, it’s not uncommon to experience some beard issues during a beard’s maturity, one of those issues being beard pain while sleeping.

Our goal is to help you figure out why your beard hurts when sleeping and show you exactly what you need to do to remedy this problem.

Coarse Beard Hair

One cause of beard pain when sleeping is due to having coarse beard hair. I personally have this issue and the only way I’ve been able to fix it is with a dedicated beard care routine.

Coarse beard hair can make your facial hair stiff at the follicle, causing pain when the hair is stressed, pulled, or has pressure on it (think when you’re laying down).

a man whose beard hurts when sleeping due to having coarse facial hair

The solution is to soften your beard hair. Doing so is normally quite an easy fix and all you’ll need to do is start using a beard oil if you aren’t already. I find that beard oils that use an almond oil or grapeseed oil base tend to soften my beard hair enough to where it doesn’t hurt when sleeping or laying down.

Jojoba on the other hand is quite dense, and I personally find it doesn’t help soften the roots of my facial hair enough to alleviate the pain caused during sleeping.

If you’re already using beard oils and your beard still hurts when sleeping, try introducing a beard wash and conditioner and using them when you shower right before bed.

The steam from the shower should soften your facial hair, then the wash and conditioner will help even more. After showering add in some beard oil, and you’ve got 4 points of attack to help soften your beard and keep it from being too coarse.

Ingrown Facial Hair

Another one of the most common reasons a beard hurts when sleeping is due to ingrown hair.

We talk about ingrown hair a lot in terms of beard care here at The Gentleman’s Playbook and it’s because it’s such a prominent issue that any man growing a beard will run into.

Ingrown hairs in the beard can occur as a result of improper shaving technique, dry beard hair, over-touching the beard, and they can just happen, even if you do everything right!

Luckily, taking care of an ingrown hair in your beard is as easy as getting in front of the mirror and grabbing a pair of tweezers. Gently grab hold of the ingrown hair with your tweezers and pull lightly until the end of the hair is freed from the skin and back to growing how it should.

Beard Acne

You may find that it isn’t that your beard hurts when sleeping, but the skin underneath that does. If that’s the case, get in front of a mirror and gently spread your facial hair at the root to see if you’ve got an underlying skin problem causing your beard pain while asleep.

It could be that you have acne hidden under your beard. In this case, you’ll want to take the steps needed to get rid of acne under your beard (we will write an article on this soon, you can sign up for our newsletter so that you’re notified when it comes out).

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Pillowcase Material

Another cause of beard pain during sleep is the type of material your pillowcase uses.

Whenever I’ve had cheaper pillowcases in the past, they tend to catch onto my beard and pull on my facial hair when I’m sleeping.

It could also be that the pillowcase is too rough and causing irritation to your skin as well as snagging your beard hair.

Either way, the easiest solution to this is to use a silk or satin pillowcase. The material is soft and slick, plus your beard won’t get caught in the fabric.

Side Sleeping

Side sleeping is extremely comfortable but could be the reason your beard hurts when sleeping.

When you sleep on your side, you’re applying pressure to the side of your face that makes contact with the pillow. If you do this long enough, it could cause pain in your beard from the follicles being strained and bent.

Beard pain caused by side sleeping is particularly likely if you’re like me and have coarse beard hair – the coarse facial hair combined with the pressure from side sleeping is a sure recipe for nighttime beard pain.

The solution to this is to try not to sleep on your side. If that’s not going to work (like it doesn’t with me), then switching pillowcases like we mentioned and partaking in a beard care routine that uses at the least a beard oil should do the trick.

What to Do When Your Beard Hurts When Sleeping

A lot of the solutions to your beard hurting when sleeping revolve around routine, hygiene, and behavior.

One of the easiest and most simple fixes is to make sure you have a good beard care routine in place that takes advantage of a natural beard oil as well as naturally derived beard wash, conditioner, and balm.

Failing that, switching the type of pillowcase you use can also help tremendously (in combination with proper beard care and hygiene).

If after trying all of the things we listed here, you notice that your beard hurts when sleeping still, please visit a local dermatologist or your general practitioner to make sure there aren’t other underlying health or skin problems causing your beard pain.

Do you know other ways you can stop beard pain when sleeping? Let us know by filling out the form here!

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