No matter how long or short your beard is, you may come across a point where you find yourself scratching or picking at it more than normal and asking yourself, “Why does my beard itch?!”
Lucky for you, The Gentleman’s Playbook is here to help you understand some of the top causes of itchy beard and guide you on your journey toward ending this itchiness, hopefully once and for all!
Causes of Your Beard Itch
Let’s go over some of the reasons your beard may itch – there are more than this, but these are some of the most common ones we run into:
One of the most common reasons men get in touch with us about their itchy beard is that of new growth.
When you start growing a beard for the first time, you may realize very quickly that some unpleasant itchiness accompanies this new found glory. This is completely normal – a lot of times letting your beard continue to grow is the best way to overcome this kind of beard itchiness.
New growth beard itch is often caused by facial hair breaking through the surface of the skin and being too short to be soft, causing it to poke into your skin and induce itchiness. Sometimes it can also be a result of dryness, or touching your face too much.
Dry Skin Under Beard
Another common cause of beard itch can be rooted in whether the skin under your beard is hydrated enough. Dry skin under the beard can be caused by a multitude of variables, however the solution is often as simple as following the right beard routine.
Some reasons your skin can become dry under your beard could be overwashing, overdrying, or your facial hair adjusting to the new growth. Cold weather is also a huge offender when it comes to dry skin under the beard.
Want more info on what some common causes of dry skin under the beard are? Check out our in-depth article: How to Get Rid of Dry Skin Under Your Beard.
Coarse Beard Hair
Sometimes beard itchiness can come from genetics – you may have coarse beard hair that’s causing this itchiness. Coarse facial hair can cause your beard to itch due to a couple of reasons:
- Coarse hair can be more abrasive on your hair follicles as it grows
- Coarse facial hair is often thicker, making early growth more unpleasant
- Coarse hair can be rougher, rubbing against or poking into the skin under your beard and causing it to itch
- Coarse hair can be more absorbent, meaning they may be soaking up the natural oil your face produces, leaving the skin underneath dry
No matter the cause, coarse beard hair can be worked with and lead to a very unique, attractive beard. We’ll go over some ways you can combat the downsides of coarse beard hair in this article; lots of it revolves around a steady beard routine with more aggressive hydration and softening techniques, such as using both a beard oil and beard balm twice a day.
While it may be hard to hear, beard itch can be caused by poor hygiene. Look in the mirror – literally and figuratively; are you taking care of your hygiene? Are you washing your beard as outlined in The Beard Playbook for maximum cleanliness, softness, and growth? Or are you letting some water run over it while you shower and calling it a day?
The foundation of a healthy beard begins with your beard hygiene routine – stick to it daily without fail to ensure you’re setting your face up for the healthiest and best growth possible. Lots of beard itchiness can be mitigated at the source by just having phenomenal hygiene.
Some of the other causes of beard itchiness can be mitigated through improved beard cleansing, such as:
- Dry Skin Under the Beard
- Coarse Facial Hair
- Beard Sores
- Beard Acne
- Ingrown Hairs
We highly suggest reading our beard care guide that goes over our recommended beard hygiene routine for most men – it covers lots of bases that ensure your beard stays soft, clean, and not over or under-washed.
Sores Under Beard
Sores under the beard can be an obvious cause of itchiness, especially if they get infected or result in an open sore. Recurring sores in your beard should be looked at by a dermatologist or skin care professional to rule out other underlying health issues.
In the case that you want to prevent sores under your beard or get rid of the occasional sore that may occur from a slight abrasion or ingrown hair, check out our guide: Sores Under Your Beard – What They Are and How to Get Rid of Them.
To take a preventative approach to beard sores, we recommend reading some of the fixes we outline for beard itchiness later on this page, or alternatively, read through The Beard Playbook, which is our exhaustive and free resource that goes over all facets of beard care you need to know!
Acne is never pleasant, regardless of where on your body it is. Your beard can become a place ideal for acne growth, especially because it produces so many natural oils. Once you begin growing a beard, the skin underneath produces more oils to keep that facial hair hydrated. In some cases, it overproduces.
If you’re a younger man in his teen years, puberty is a common cause of acne in general; throw in growing a beard on top of that and you have a recipe for clogged pores. Our best recommendation for recurring beard acne is to reach out to a skincare professional on how you can best mitigate your acne.
Some things you can do now are:
- Improve your beard hygiene routine
- Eat a clean, healthy, balanced diet (we suggest reading Bigger, Leaner, Stronger for advice on health & fitness)
- Use a beard oil that has tea tree essential oil in it – tea tree can help with some light acne/spots under the beard
Ingrown beard hair can cause itchiness and pain at any stage of the ingrown hair’s development. These can happen occasionally in an established beard, or crop up shortly after getting a smooth shave.
Even with the best beard care routine, genetics, and products, you’ll eventually have to deal with one of these. If an ingrown hair appears in your facial hair, simply find some tweezers and gently tug on the loop of exposed hair to remove the ingrown side from the follicle.
Occasionally, you may have to pull the hair if it is egregiously grown. If your ingrown hair is discolored (green, yellow, or anything other than a slight pink/red), we recommend seeing a skin specialist to check for any infections or other underlying conditions.
To avoid getting ingrown hair induced beard itchiness from shaving, we suggest you use a single blade razor, or even better a safety razor. Shaving tools such as a safety razor or straight edge help mitigate ingrown hairs because they cut the hair at skin level.
Multi-blade razors may give you a quick, smooth shave, but they do so by slightly pulling on your hair before chopping it. This makes it where the remaining hair gets pulled back into the follicle, under the skin, increasing chances of an ingrown hair in the future.
Want to Rid Yourself of Itchy Beard?
When you’re stuck wondering why your beard itches, you quickly realize there are many different reasons that could be the case. Most times, a simple manual look in the mirror is enough to help you determine what the cause could be. Some of the common causes of itchy beard we went over so far are:
- New Growth
- Coarse Beard Hair
- Beard Acne
- Sores Under Beard
- Poor Beard Hygiene Routine
- Dry Skin Under Beard
There are other causes outside of these, but these are the most common ones we see. We recommend giving The Beard Playbook a thorough read through – it’s a fully free resource from The Gentleman’s Playbook that is constantly growing and being added to.
The Beard Playbook will walk you through the entire process of growing a beard from beginning growth for the first time to maintaining your beard when it’s exactly where you want. There’s no email sign up or anything required, it’s just there on our website for all to enjoy!
Understanding Why Your Beard Itches is the First Step
Hopefully you’re no longer asking yourself, “Why does my beard itch?!” While we covered a lot in this post, we may have missed your specific situation or cause of itchy beard. If this is the case, we recommend giving The Beard Playbook a read (we’ve plugged it so much, but it’s seriously free and can help stop many beard growth problems at the source).
If you found this post helpful, please leave a comment or share it with your beard brethren on your social media of choice! We pride ourselves at The Gentleman’s Playbook for bringing you high quality, free information on every aspect of manhood from beard growth to career advice to men’s lifestyle content.