Beard Brush VS Beard Comb

Let’s Compare - Beard Comb VS Beard Brush

At some point in your beard journey, you might find yourself asking, “is it better to brush or comb your beard?”

While they each have their places in a beard care routine, at Cremo, we recommend having both in your grooming kit. This article compares the purpose, design, and situations you should use each tool in your grooming routine.

Beard Comb Both Beard Brush
Best on wet hair or hair with products Essential for beard care and maintenance Only for Dry Beard Hair
Length: best for long Beards after three months of growth Distribute products and natural oils throughout beard Length: Best for Beginner/Short Beards
Thinner, easier for travel Should be used daily in longer beards (3+ months of growth) Bulkier for Travel
Purpose: detangle beard hairs Purpose: Style and Train beard hairs while exfoliating skin and distributing oils
Beard Brush VS Beard Comb

So Beard Brush vs Beard Comb, Which one should you use? Answer- BOTH

There is lots of value in adding both a beard brush and a beard comb into your routine. Beard brushes are used to style and tame your beard hairs with the added benefits of exfoliating and distributing oils throughout your beard. While beard combs, on the other hand, are used to detangle longer beards.

It’s not so much a question of IF you should use a beard comb and beard brush on your beard but WHEN. We recommend beginner beardsman start with a brush and introduce a comb into their beard care routine after about month three of growth.

For longer beardsman, having both becomes essential. While beard brushes are great for surface styling and taming, a beard comb gets into the underlayers of the beard, detangling the compressed layers. Not having both in your grooming kit could leave your beard at risk for knotting, split ends, or even hair loss.

Beard Brush Basics

Purpose of Beard Brush

The primary purpose of a beard brush is to shape and style beard hairs while exfoliating facial skin to increase blood flow and growth. Brushes also distribute natural oils and beard products to keep your skin moisturized.

Beard brushes are suited for beards of any length but particularly for newer beards where combs are less effective. Brushing is great for men with short beards or to style after detangling your longer beard with a comb.

Qualities of a Premium Beard Brush

Dense bristles - the denser bristles of a beard brush allow for more control to grab and direct unruly hairs, allowing you to train the way they grow.

Large surface area - brushes have a larger surface area that creates more friction to control overall beard style and shape surface hairs.

Flexible bristles - the firm yet flexible bristles gently direct hair while exfoliating the skin underneath. Pay attention to the bristle firmness of your brush; too flimsy, and you will lose control, yet too stiff, and you might damage your facial skin.

Bristle material - natural bristles, like Cremo’s boar’s beard brush, work well with the natural hairs of your beard and cause less damage than synthetic bristles.

Comfortable handle/body - brush handles or bodies should rest in your hand nicely for control and comfort while moving through your beard hairs. An ergonomic wooden handle, like Cremo’s, is shaped with grip in mind and easy storage/portability.

beard brush features and qualities

When to Use a Beard Brush

Training your beard - the dense bristles of a beard brush create more friction than the wide teeth of a beard comb to grab stray beard hairs and put them back in line. Doing this repetitively over time will train the hairs to grow the way you direct them.

Gently exfoliating facial skin - for shorter beards, bristles reach the skin beneath beard hair to remove dead skin cells, built-up oil, and loose hairs. Regular exfoliation can help prevent beardruff and the dreaded beard itch that often affects beginner beardsman.

Styling and shaping beard - the firm bristles of a brush pull hair away from the face giving your beard a thicker, fuller look. The dense bristles and larger surface area of a beard brush creates more friction to grab unruly hairs and style the top layers of your beard.

Stimulating circulation and sebum production - brushing massages the skin, increasing blood flow to the follicles stimulating and strengthening your beard. Proper blood flow ensures your beard gets the right nutrients to be healthy. The exfoliation of a beard brush also promotes the release of natural oils called sebum from the sebaceous glands in your hair follicles. These oils create a protective layer to moisturize and hydrate facial skin allowing your beard hairs to grow strong and nourished.

Keeping your beard looking clean - regular brushing helps rid your beard of natural and foreign dirt, grime, and dead cells that build up on your skin and follicles throughout the day.

Nourishing your beard - brushes distribute natural oils (called sebum) and beard products making your beard soft, healthy and leaving it with a nice natural shine. Adding products like beard oil and beard balm into your daily routine will keep your skin moisturized, tame frizziness and flyaways, and help your beard look its best.

Strengths of a Beard Brush

  • Great for any length beard
  • Best for final styling of longer beards
  • Exfoliates follicles, stimulating blood flow and growth for shorter beards
  • Dense Bristles do a great job distributing beard oil and beard balm
  • Eliminates build-up of oils and dead skin cells
  • Gently directs and trains beard hair to grow the way you want over time
  • Creates volume and make your beard appear thicker and fuller
  • Brushes out dirt and debris leaving your beard looking and feeling cleaner

Beard Comb Basics

Purpose of Beard Comb

The primary purpose of a beard comb is to detangle your beard hairs. The teeth are spaced out to handle different thicknesses and types of hair. Combs work best with longer beards since the teeth need a reasonable amount of hair to grab onto.

Qualities of a Premium Beard Comb

Dual-action teeth - when selecting your beard comb, pay attention to the width of the teeth. Designs that include different types of teeth, like Cremo's beard comb, can handle a variety of hair textures and beard types.

Wide teeth - beard combs with widely spaced teeth glide through all the beard layers separating the strands and preventing knotting. Wide-tooth combs are best for thicker, curlier, or longer beards.

Fine teeth - beard combs with fine teeth are best for precision styling and mustache care. Narrow teeth combs do their best work in thinner, shorter beard hairs.

Fixed, rigid teeth - a comb’s fixed teeth allow the best tension to detangle and effectively separate strands of longer beards. A brush has shorter flexible bristles, so it does not provide appropriate tension to detangle longer beards.

Quality materials - natural materials like wood, horn, or cellulose acetate are superior to plastic and metal combs. Cremo’s sandalwood beard comb is durable and has natural anti-static properties reducing frizz and hair breakage. Wood combs are also naturally porous, allowing them to soak up natural oils and products, redistributing them evenly back into your beard while combing.

Beard Comb features and qualities

When to Use a Beard Comb

Detangling hairs - a comb’s fixed teeth allow for the best tension to effectively detangle longer beards. Start at the bottom of your beard and work your way up to prevent large knots. If you run into a snag, pull your beard comb out and start again at the bottom. Often hairs just get crossed, preventing the comb from moving forward.

Trimming control - a comb gives you excellent precision and control when trimming stray beard hairs with beard shears. The shape of a comb allows you to pick out and isolate certain sections of your beard with ease.

Distributing products - combs, especially wooden ones, soak in products and natural oils from your beard, helping distribute them throughout your beard. Unlike beard brushes, wider teeth disperse product down to the follicles for longer beards.

Mustache care - a comb with finer teeth is perfect for styling and directing mustache hairs. The area around your mouth is an essential part of your beard that should not be neglected.

When hair is wet - combing is best to do when your beard is damp or has product in it to prevent damage. The wide teeth can glide through wet hairs without adding unnecessary stress to weakened wet follicles.

While blow drying - when paired with a blow dryer, combing helps style and straighten your beard. Properly drying your beard is a critical step in taking care of your whiskers.

Frizz control - a quality beard comb will reduce the static electricity in your beard to minimize frizz.

Strengths of a Beard Comb

  • Portable, slim design can fit in a pocket
  • Perfect tension to detangle longer strands
  • Usable on wet beard hair, fresh out of the shower - wide teeth can glide through damp hair without putting unnecessary strain on weakened wet follicles
  • Variety of teeth spacing allows for detangling of all kinds of beard hair
  • Styling and distributing products for longer beards
  • Best for beards after three months of growth
  • More accuracy and precision when styling or trimming a beard
  • Mustache care and styling

When to Use Both a Brush and a Comb?

As your beard gets longer, you will want to introduce both a beard comb and a beard brush into your maintenance routine. We recommend starting with a beard brush and then adding a beard comb around three months of growth.

Why Use Both a Beard Brush and a Comb in Your Beard Care Routine?

Beards, especially longer ones, are made of many different layers of hair. In established beards, a beard brush’s denser and shorter bristles can only scratch the surface of those layers. With daily brushing, those underlayers get compressed together, leading to knotting. Knotting is a significant issue that can cause breakage, split ends, and unnecessary hair loss. If not taken care of, a knot will continue to grab onto more and more hairs leaving your beard one unhealthy mess.

Adding a beard comb will separate the strands, preventing damage and adding fullness and longevity to your beard. As your beard grows, continue to use a brush but mainly as a finishing styling tool to add shape and distribute product through your long beard.

Final Tips For Best Results

Beard Care Routine

You can brush or comb your hair too often! Too much friction on your beard can create split ends and damage. Damaging your beard's integrity and hair follicles leads to thinning, patchiness, and worse case -hair loss. Once or twice daily will keep your beard looking clean and well-groomed.


Like most steps with beard care, the real benefits of a beard comb and a beard brush are evident with consistent use. If you are serious about keeping your beard looking well maintained, you should be brushing and/or combing daily.

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