How to Comb a Beard

Combing a beard. It sounds like the simplest thing in the world, doesn’t it?! But like many things that appear simple, there’s a lot more detail to be aware of once you look a little deeper. So, if you want to ensure you’re combing your beard properly, keep reading…


Before you reach for your comb, there are a number of preparatory actions you should take first.

In order to comb your beard properly, you’ll need to ensure it’s in the best possible condition first. After all, if your beard is thin, straggly and generally coarse and in poor condition, no amount of combing is going to make it look good!

So, you need to ensure you’re keeping your beard in good condition. This means maintaining a regular beard grooming routine.

Make sure you’re using beard oil, using good-quality skin care products, and generally keeping your beard clean and well trimmed.

Do all of those things on a regular basis and your beard will be in the best possible condition to be properly combed.

What do you need to properly comb your beard?

With your beard in great condition, the next step is to ensure you have the proper tools to comb your beard.

Below, we’ve detailed the items you’ll need to ensure you can comb your beard in the best possible way.

Beard comb

Firstly, you’re going to want a good quality beard comb. It’s this that’ll be doing the ‘heavy lifting’ of grooming your beard.

However, don’t just think that any old comb will be sufficient. In fact, quite the opposite is the case.

As the hair on your head is very different from the hairs that make up your beard, you’ll want to buy a comb that’s explicitly been designed for use on beards. A comb that you can use on your head hair just won’t cut it…

In addition to buying a dedicated beard comb, you should ensure that the comb you buy is made from a high-quality hardwood.

Whatever you do, DON’T buy a plastic beard comb. Plastic beard combs typically have rough edges (these are remnants of the mould the combs were made in), which can cause damage to your beard hairs. What’s more, plastic beard combs can create a build up of static - leading to your beard looking messy.

Here at Cremo, we make our beard combs out of verawood.

Verawood (also known as bulnesia arborea) is a tree which is native to central and northern South America. With a fine, even texture and a light, perfume-like fragrance, Verawood is the perfect timber for creating beard combs.

Another characteristic that makes Verawood the perfect material for combs is that it’s water-resistant, and therefore will glide through your beard.

When selecting a beard comb, you should also pay attention to the teeth of the comb. Depending on how ‘full’ your beard is, you’ll want a comb that has teeth that are properly spaced apart.

Ideally, you’ll want a beard comb like ours which has fine teeth on one side, and slightly wider teeth on the other side.

This way, you’ll have a beard comb that can be used on both coarse hair and fine hair.

Beard brush

Another essential tool when it comes to combing your beard is a beard brush.

A beard brush can help you to prepare your beard before you get to the combing stage.

When selecting a beard brush, ensure you select one that is made with natural bristles as opposed to synthetic bristles.

Here at Cremo, our beard brush is made using ‘sisal bristles’.

Sisal bristles are made from sisal fibre, which in turn is derived from the sisal plant.

Also known as agave sisalana, the sisal plant is native to southern Mexico, but has begun to be cultivated in other countries in recent years.

Unlike other bristles that are made from plant fibres, sisal bristles are semi-firm and therefore don’t cause skin irritation or damage to hairs. Also, because sisal bristles are plant-based, they are far more eco-friendly than bristles that are made from animal hair.

Despite being semi-firm and easier on skin and hair, sisal bristles are also extremely durable and long-lasting. In fact, such is the toughness of sisal fibre, that it is sometimes used within the core of elevator wires!

The fact that sisal bristles are natural rather than synthetic has another benefit. Unlike plastic or other synthetic bristles, sisal bristles can absorb products (like beard oil) and help you more evenly distribute them in and around your beard.

Beard brushes with natural bristles are also better able to spread the sebum which is generated by the follicles underneath your beard. Sebum helps to keep your beard hairs soft, so having a brush that’s able to easily spread sebum is a major benefit.

In addition to checking what bristles your chosen beard brush uses, we’d also advise looking for a brush which has a wooden handle. This is because wood tends to be more comfortable to use than plastic; this is especially true when the handle features an ergonomic design.

Beard oil

The other essential thing you’ll need, in order to comb your beard properly, is beard oil.

As we’ve written previously, beard oil moisturises and conditions your beard hair - resulting in a smoother, healthier, more manageable beard.

Beard oil helps to nourish your beard, and because it contains a mixture of carrier oils and essential oils, will make the combing process a lot easier.

When it comes to buying the right beard oil, you should choose one that contains premium moisturisers and essential oils, is of barber-grade quality, and uses only natural ingredients throughout.

It can also be helpful to select a beard oil which is part of a broader range of beard products. This makes it easier to buy things like beard brushes and beard combs that are designed to perfectly complement the oil.

How to comb a beard properly

Okay, with those three things at hand, it’s time to start the combing process. We’ve broken it down into a series of steps, with detailed instructions covering each stage.

Step one

Before you begin, make sure that your beard is bone dry. Whilst it may be tempting to brush your beard as soon as you’ve got out of the shower, it’s not recommended. Clearing knots and tangles from wet beard hair is notoriously difficult.

Once you’re sure your beard is dry, you want to kick things off by grabbing your beard brush and applying two to three drops of beard oil directly onto the bristles.

Be sure to hold the beard brush with the bristles facing upwards when you do this.

Ensure that the two to three drops that you apply are spread evenly around the bristles (don’t drop them all in a single location).

Once you’re happy with the way you’ve applied the beard oil to your beard brush, it’s time to move onto the next step.

Step two

Take your newly ‘oiled’ beard brush and start brushing down your cheeks, following the direction of hair growth.

Whilst you’re brushing, apply some light pressure to the brush so that it gets between the hairs of your beard and makes contact with your skin. Continue to pull the brush through your beard in line with the grain of the beard.

How to use a beard brush

This will ensure that the beard oil on the bristles transfers to your skin and beard hairs.

When brushing your beard, it’s better to make short brush strokes rather than trying to rush it and potentially cause tangles.

Once you’ve brushed your beard on the side of your face, you want to work along your jawline and chin. Again, ensure you’re brushing in the natural direction of your beard’s growth.

If you have a moustache, then you’ll want to brush that too. Start brushing from the centre of the moustache, working outwards.

Step three

Once you’ve finished brushing through your beard, and the beard oil has been evenly applied and spread throughout, it’s time to clean your beard brush.

If you’ve done the brushing correctly, you’ll find that there are some loose hairs and skin detritus tangled up in the brush’s bristles.

The best way to clean a beard brush is to turn it upside down (e.g. so the bristles are pointing towards the floor) and tap the back of the handle repeatedly.

Once you’ve done that, gently run your fingers through the bristles to dislodge any stubborn hairs or particles.

Finally, give the bristles a gentle wipe down with some dry paper towel or cloth. This will help to remove any residual beard oil that may still be lurking on the bristles.

Note - do not run your beard brush under a tap. This can sometimes reduce the lifespan of natural bristles, causing them to come loose from the handle.

Step four

Right, now it’s time for the part you’ve all been waiting for; combing!

Now, depending on how thick and full your beard is, you may want to apply four or five more drops of beard oil at this stage.

Although you’ve already rubbed in beard oil using your beard brush, in our experience, very full, thick beards require an additional application of oil before being combed.

If you’ve got a shorter beard, then you probably won’t need to add any further beard oil.

Once you’ve got that out of the way, grab your beard comb and begin brushing your throat. You’ll want to be brushing upwards, teasing the hair up and away from your neck.

We’d suggest starting at the middle of your throat, working up towards your chin. Then work up from either side of your neck, teasing the hairs up and away from your skin using short combing motions.

The best way to comb a beard

The next stage is to comb your cheeks, working down, following the growth direction of your beard. Again, you want to be brushing the hairs up and away from your skin. Think of it as effectively ‘fluffing’ up your beard.

With the beard on your cheeks combed, you’ll then want to comb your chin. Do this in a downward fashion as you did with your cheeks.

If you have a moustache, then comb it in the same way you brushed it - starting in the middle and working your way outwards.

As with brushing, it’s better to use short combing motions rather than attempting to rush it with long, swooping motions.

Do all of the above, and you’ll have properly combed your beard!

Step five

You may have successfully given your beard a proper comb, but it’s important that you give your beard comb a proper clean too.

Give the comb a gentle tap against a flat surface to dislodge any loose hairs or detritus. Once you’ve done that, take a piece of dry paper towel or cloth and run it down each tooth individually.

In addition to getting rid of loose hairs and detritus, you want to make sure that you’ve removed any beard oil that may have coated the comb and its teeth.

Finish that and your beard comb is ready to be stored away in a dry place!

Beard combing tips

In addition to adopting the proper brushing and combing techniques outlined above, there are a few other tips that’ll make combing your beard easier.

Dealing with snags

No matter how much preparation you make, you’ll sometimes find yourself encountering snags whilst combing your beard.

If you do hit a snag, then the best advice is to stop combing immediately and gently remove the comb from your beard. If you try to push on and keep combing, you risk tearing part of your beard out.

Once you’ve removed the comb, try gently combing the area again. In many instances, this will be enough to remove the snag. Snags are generally two hairs crossing over each other and can be removed with enough gentle combing. If the snag persists, then apply a drop of beard oil to the area and try combing again. This is usually sufficient to solve the problem.

If this doesn’t work, then you may have actually encountered a tangle rather than a mere snag. If that’s the case, you may have to gently cut out the tangle using a pair of scissors.

Use beard oil regularly

Even if you’re not going to be brushing and combing your beard every day, we’d strongly recommend applying at least a few drops of beard oil daily.

By applying beard oil every morning, you’ll ensure that your beard is easier to brush and comb the next time you go to do so.

Moisturise your skin

Your beard hair doesn’t exist in isolation. In fact, for a healthy beard, you need to ensure that skin beneath it is healthy and well-hydrated.

Therefore, we recommend maintaining a good skincare regime, using face wash, face scrub, and face moisturiser on a daily basis.

Doing this will result in a healthy beard, which in turn will be easier to brush and comb.

Common beard combing questions

As one of the world’s leading beard care brands, we often encounter common questions about beard combing. Below, we’ve outlined these common questions and their answers.

How often should I comb my beard?

This is one of the most common questions we receive. And, it’s particularly pertinent if you’re new to the world of beards.

The answer is that it depends.

It’s possible to comb your beard too often. If you’re constantly combing your beard throughout the day, this can result in hair loss. That’s because combing too much can pull your hairs from their follicles.

Likewise, combing too little can result in your beard developing annoying snags and tangles.

Our advice is to comb your beard when you feel like it’s in need of a good combing. After a while, you’ll tend to know instinctively when it’s time to reach for the beard comb…

Does regular combing ‘train’ your beard to grow in a certain direction?

There’s a bit of an urban myth doing the rounds of the internet. It’s suggested that by regularly combing your beard, you can ‘train’ it to grow in a certain direction.

Well, it’s exactly that - an urban myth.

Unfortunately, no matter how much you comb your beard, it will always grow in a certain direction.

This is because the direction of growth of your beard is ultimately determined by your follicles. Where these follicles are located on your skin, is what dictates how your beard grows.

When should I start combing my beard?

Growing a beard is a journey - with different stages along the way. But, at what stage should you start combing your beard?

Whilst it differs between people based on how thick and full their beard is, the general rule is that you should start combing your beard once it is two inches or longer.

Does combing your beard help it grow?

There is no scientific consensus that combing a beard helps it grow. However, we’d always recommend combing your beard regularly if you want it to look its best.

Combing your beard should be part of a broader beard grooming routine, which will help provide the best possible conditions for encouraging growth.

Can you use a regular comb on your beard?

If you’ve already got a comb that you use on your head, you may be wondering if it can double up for beard combing duty too.

We’d advise against it!

Head combs are typically made from plastic, and as we mentioned earlier, plastic combs can result in damage to your hair.

There’s also the question of dimensions to consider.

If you’ve clicked through to look at our own beard comb, you’ll see that it has a much more compact shape than a traditional head comb. It also has more depth, providing more room to ‘grab’ it.

Beard combs are deliberately designed this way as they’re designed to be pulled through coarse beard hairs compared to head combs which are designed to be pulled through softer, finer head hairs.

The best beard products UK

Now that you’ve read how to properly comb your beard, it’s time to invest in the products that’ll allow you to do so.

Below, you’ll find some highlights from Cremo’s beard product range.

Cremo Beard Comb

Cremo Beard Comb

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Beard boldly with the Cremo Beard Comb. Manufactured from the finest verawood, this is a beard comb that provides the ultimate combing experience.

Designed to prevent snags and tangles and to avoid static build up, the Cremo Beard Comb features two sets of teeth. One set features teeth close together, for fine hair. The other set features teeth set further apart, for use with coarse hair.

Being made from verawood, the Cremo Beard Comb is ideal for use with beard oil and will help to evenly impart and distribute oil throughout your beard.

Cremo Beard Brush

Cremo Beard Brush

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The Cremo Beard Brush is designed and manufactured to ‘barber grade’ standards, meaning it provides the perfect beard brushing experience.

Featuring natural sisal bristles, the Cremo Beard Brush will absorb and help to spread beard oil, whilst also offering sufficient resistance to help you shape and brush your beard.

Aside from having wonderful quality sisal bristles, the Cremo Beard Brush also features an ergonomic wooden handle which makes for a comfortable brushing experience.

Cremo Palo Santo (Reserve Collection) Beard Oil

Cremo Palo Santo Beard Oil

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As we mentioned earlier, no beard combing session is complete without an accompanying beard oil.

And, boy, what a beard oil this is!

Infused with palo santo essential oil, and giving off notes of bright cardamom, and dry papyrus, the Palo Santo (Reserve Collection) Beard Oil will not only make your beard look great, but smell great too.

Thanks to its lightweight, leave-in formula, the Palo Santo Beard Oil is ideal for application prior to brushing and combing, and will provide sufficient lubrication for a smooth combing experience.

Cremo Barber Grade Kit

Cremo Barber Grade Kit

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Whether you want to buy a gift for a loved one, or you need a complete grooming package for yourself, Cremo’s Barber Grade Kit has everything you need to keep a beard looking its best.

Containing all of Cremo’s Cooling Beard range, this kit includes:

> Cooling Beard Wash & Softener (177ml).

> Cooling Beard Oil (30ml).

> Cooling Beard & Scruff Cream (113g).

> Verawood Beard Comb.

> Natural Sisal Beard Brush.

All in all, the Cremo Barber Grade Kit is the ultimate beard care kit.

Cremo: loved by millions

As America’s number one beard care brand, Cremo is loved by millions. Why? Because we make it our mission to help beard wearers everywhere ‘beard boldly’.

If you want to join the Cremo family and give your beard the products it deserves, then sign up to our newsletter now (just pop your email into the box at the bottom of this page). You’ll be the first to know about our latest offers and product drops.

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For more beard, skincare and grooming advice and info, explore the Cremo blog