The Itchy Beard
You are probably here because like almost every man who has let their facial hair grow, yours has gotten the dreaded itch. You are not alone with this, almost every guy will have this happen to them at some point or another. In fact, as we speak, a section of my beard has developed its periodic itch. The good news is that there's lots of things that can be done to help it. The bad news is there's just as many causes for it as there are fixes, and depending on what the cause is, it can affect what you do to help it and how easy it is to sort.
There are many reasons why people decide to get rid of their beard, but none are as forceful or as annoying as when it gets overly itchy. I can't say how many times I've spoken to a guy and they have said something like “I can't grow a beard, as soon as it gets in the long stubble stage it itches like crazy”. The ‘post-stubble-itch’ doesn't happen for everyone however, it also tends to happen more if you are going from a clean shaven face to growing a beard. This is normally due to the skin on your face not being used to the sharp and rough edges of growing hair irritating it. But it doesn't matter if you are at the long stubble stage, your beard is huge or anywhere in between, you can still get itchy.
I have been blighted by severe itching many times in general and as I said I am going through it right now, just under my jaw line. For me personally, an excessive itchiness used to come around quite a lot, it was often accompanied by sores or raw itchy bits on the skin that always made matters worse. I’ll not lie, during the times when the itching has been at its worst, I have been heavily tempted to reach for the clippers. But thankfully I didn’t, through experience/trial and error, research and learning what some of the causes for it are, I have learnt what I can do to help it. Now, the itching isn't as severe when it comes, it occurs less frequently, and doesn't last as long when it does come either. So on that, The first thing I say to anyone who comes to me and complains or asks about it, is not to worry or do anything drastic, there is always something you can do to help it.
That is where this article comes in, hopefully I can give enough help and information to stop you guys shaving and keep you bearded for life.
Why is my beard itchy?
In order to try and beat the itch, we need to find out why we get an itchy beard in the first place. Unfortunately that isn't a straightforward question to answer as there can be many reasons. This is a big part of why it can be difficult to fix and why people feel they have tried everything so shaving is their only option. Of course, everyone and their beards are different, so I can't tell you what to do exactly, but I will do the best I can to point you in the right directions.
But first; The Causes.
If you have been growing a beard for a while, I’m sure you have heard by now that genetics accounts for up to 90% of your beard's characteristics. This is also a huge amount to do with how often or not your beard is itchy and how severe it can be as well. Anything from; the way your beard grows, to how much sebum oil you face produces, or how naturally dry or rough your skin is, are all to do with genetics and can affect the itchiness. Obviously you can't do much to alter what your genes have set up for you, but there are lots of additional factors which can cause or worsen an itchy beard and things that can be done to help it. So let's go into some of the most common causes/reasons for the itching -
The weather - Various weather conditions and climates can cause itching, in particular extremes of hot and cold, high winds or high and low humidity. These can cause your beard and skin to dry out, or it can cause your beard to get greasy from excess sweat, which can clog pores. These extremes can also cause itching in other ways you may not directly think of as well. Often people wash their beard more in the heat or go for more hot baths to warm up after the cold. Hot water helps open up the pores of the skin and the cuticles of the hair, allowing any oils, product or grime build up to be released, which is great for cleaning, but is a nightmare for stripping and drying out your beard. Doing that on its own will give you itchiness, let alone when paired with the weather. Along with making it look messy, the harshness of wind can blast and dry out your beard. As well, it can kick up dust and dirt that will blow into your