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Why Does My Beard Itch?

It’s a question that gnaws at plenty of first-time beard growers – why does my beard itch? 

Itching is normal when you’re getting used to a beard, but continued beard itch can be a sign that your beard isn’t clean, or you’re suffering from a skin condition.

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Why Does My Beard Itch?

Here’s a fun fact – beard hair grows away from your face, so hypothetically it shouldn’t create the kind of friction that causes itchiness. Oftentimes, itchiness is a symptom of something else – for lots of guys, it’s that they’re not cleaning and moisturizing their beards properly.

Look for these problems.

  1. You’re Growing A Beard For The First Time

Welcome to the handsome beard club!

Some itchiness is normal when you grow a beard for the first time. It’s unavoidable. Your skin is adjusting to the coarse hair, and you’re so used to a clean-shaven face that any texture at all feels itchy and weird.

Your beard hair is also at its “sharpest” when you first grow it out. Whenever you shave with a razor, it cuts the hair at an angle that gives it a pointy tip. So when that hair grows, it still has that pointed end. That’s why stubble is so … stubbly. The ends tend to feel softer and rounder over time as your hair grows and you trim it with scissors.

The Solution: Patience :/ resist itching. Itching your beard can cause other issues, like dryness and broken skin.

  1. Your Beard Is Eating Your Food With You

… And everything else that your face and mouth come into contact with. Beards pick up a lot of sh*t throughout the day, but food is the biggest offender.

That’s why cleaning and grooming your beard is important. Whether it’s leftovers from your lunch or dead skin getting caught in your hair, all that debris needs to be washed out every day, or it’ll irritate your skin, causing redness and itch.

The Solution: Use beard wash every day. (Try one of the best beard cleaning and grooming kits.)

  1. You Have Dry Or Sensitive Skin

A.K.A. You’re not doing a good job of moisturizing your skin and your beard. Or you have a preexisting skin condition.

Dry skin doesn’t necessarily cause beard itchiness, but scratching your beard can cause dry skin. It’s a chicken and egg kind of problem. The two tend to go hand in hand – up to the point that you can start getting beard dandruff from the flakes.

For some guys, it’s a personal issue with not moisturizing enough, and for others it’s a medical condition like eczema or psoriasis. A beard alone shouldn’t create the friction needed to inflame a dry skin condition. Scratching your beard will.

The Solution: Use beard conditioner in combination with oil and a beard balm.

Secondary Solution: See a dermatologist. You may need more extensive treatment for a dry skin condition.

  1. Your Beard Is Unusually Coarse

If the hairs in your beard are hard and coarse, you’re probably not grooming them enough, and that can cause itchiness and inflammation.

To combat coarse hair, you should not only wash and moisturize your beard, but also brush it daily with a bristle brush. Use beard butters and beard balms.

The Solution: Soften your beard.

  1. You’re Using Low-Quality Beard Products

Or products that aren’t made for beards! Hair products like gel and pomade can build up at your roots and cause irritation if you don’t wash them out frequently. And “regular” shampoos and conditioners aren’t formulated to be gentle on your face (your scalp is hardier than your cheeks).

Stick with products that are made for your beard. They’re safer, gentler, and more effective, helping you avoid beard itch.

The Solution: Use the best products for beard growth.

What Does It Mean If Your Beard Is Itchy?

For most guys, beard itch is a symptom of uncleanliness. Things are getting caught and stuck beneath the hair, and you’re not taking the time to wash enough.

It’s a quick fix – really, all you need is beard wash and a new morning/evening routine.

Don’t be ashamed if you’re in that boat. It’s easy to grow a beard, but it’s not easy to maintain and clean a good-looking beard. The good news is that you can always get your facial hair back in tip-top condition. It might take some trimming and time, but the results are worth it.

For other guys, beard itch goes hand in hand with dry and itchy skin conditions. No matter how diligently you wash, moisturize, and groom, regular beard products alone won’t always cure the itch. Don’t be afraid to visit a doctor or dermatologist for more help.

Is It Bad To Scratch Your Beard?

There’s only one thing that’s worse than an itchy beard – scratching your itchy beard.

I know it’s hard. It’s a real exercise in patience and self-control to avoid scratching that itch.

But scratching makes the problem worse, just like scratching at bug bites and open sores. You can develop beard dandruff, accidentally tear out hair, create bald spots, develop a rash or inflammation, and give yourself dry skin beneath your beard.

To ease the urge without going full itch, try a beard exfoliator. Don’t go crazy with it.

Too many guys ruin their beards because they can’t resist the urge to itch. Don’t scratch.

Does Beard Itch Go Away?

With frequent beard maintenance, including washing, conditioning, oiling, brushing, and using beard balms or butters, you should see your beard itchiness slowly subside.

It may take as little as a day, or up to a week, depending on how long your beard is, and how much care it needs.

If normal beard products don’t eliminate beard itch for you, you probably need to visit a dermatologist to screen yourself for a dry or itchy skin condition. Remember, as cool and handsome as your beard is, your health needs to come first.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.