Why Does My Beard Hurt? 8 Possible Reasons

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If you’ve got a beard, chances are you’ve considered at least once: why does my beard hurt? Or why does my beard feel uncomfortable? I’ve found myself asking those questions on numerous occasions.

Let me emphasize that beard pain is more common than you think. Just ask one of your friends with facial fuzz. In my time with a beard, discomfort has been frequent and is likely to persist if you don’t do anything about it.

Many guys express discomfort when touching their beard or waking up in the night due to the pain caused by contact with the pillow. Let’s find out what causes your beard to hurt and explore ways to maintain a pain-free facial hair experience.

Why Does My Beard Hurt?

Whether you’re a long-time beard enthusiast or a first-time grower, experiencing discomfort in your facial hair is common. This discomfort can stem from poor beard hygiene, resulting in issues like dry skin, beard dandruff, acne, folliculitis, or overwashing with low-quality beard products.

1 – You Have A Poor Beard Hygiene

A simple indicator of an inadequate grooming routine is if your beard is causing pain, itching, or appears frizzy and dull. If you’re experiencing these issues, it’s a clear signal that adjustments are needed in your daily beard care routine.

It’s possible that you’re not using the right products for washing your beard or not using the correct brushing technique. The absence of essential products like beard oil or balm could also contribute to the problem by depriving your beard of proper hydration.

Man with pain and itchy beard

A poor beard hygiene routine can accelerate the shedding of skin cells beneath your beard. The combination of these cells with other oils can foster the growth of bacteria, resulting in skin inflammation beneath the beard. This not only causes beard discomfort but can also give rise to various other issues.

Some men dry their beards with hot blow-drying into their grooming routine due to time constraints, opting for speed over air-drying. However, research indicates that the use of high-heat settings in blow-drying can potentially damage facial hair by boiling water within the hair cortex, eventually resulting in discomfort.

Here are a few items that I include in my grooming routine (which you can consider for yours as well):

  • Beard Brush
  • Beard Oil
  • Beard Balm
  • Beard Conditioner
  • Beard Wash

2 – You Have Dry Skin

Dry skin beneath your beard and on your facial hair can not only cause discomfort but also lead to persistent itching, which can be highly bothersome and uncomfortable.

Dry skin beneath your beard indicates that your facial hair may not be getting the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and healthSebum oil is vital for retaining moisture in your beard hair. In some cases, the sebaceous gland might struggle to produce enough oil, particularly for longer beard hair, resulting in dry skin that may crack and cause discomfort.

Several factors contribute to having dry skin, including:

  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Using harsh/poor-quality grooming products
  • Using certain medications
  • Genetics

Cleaning grime and dirt from your beard vigorously can strip away natural oils required to moisturize your beard hair, leading to dry skin and discomfort.

3 – You Have Beard Dandruff

Beard dandruff is another common issue for beard growers. If your skin is reddish, scaly, and flaky, it might be Seborrheic Dermatitis, indicating a lack of crucial sebum oil for your beard.

Man with black skin scratching itchy beard

This skin condition is caused by bacteria feeding on the natural sebum oils in your skin and beard. It becomes noticeable with flakes on your beard or clothes, causing discomfort and an unpleasant appearance.

You can get rid of beard dandruff with a quality anti-dandruff shampoo and keep your skin and beard moisturized using beard oil or balm as a preventive measure.

4 – You Are Growing Out Your Facial Hair

If you’ve grown a beard before, you’re familiar with the initial itchiness and discomfort. For first-time beard growers, it’s perfectly normal to be concerned. The first two weeks are typically the most challenging.

One of the biggest pains some bearded growers experience is when they force their beard hairs to sit in a new direction. This can occur by using a strong wax for styling or brushing the beard against its natural growth direction. It’s crucial to recognize that your beard requires time to adapt while growing.

In my opinion, using beard oil is essential to prevent short beard and hair follicles from tangling at the root, and become more flexible to keep growing in the right direction when you brush them. Check some of the benefits of using beard oil.

5 – You Have Ingrown Hair

Ingrown hair is among the most painful aspects of beard discomfort, especially in the early stages of growth. This issue is more prevalent for individuals with curly and tight hair, that have difficulty in straightening their beards.

Shaving your beard can sometimes lead to hair growing inward, irritating and inflaming the follicle, resulting in intense itchiness. Scratching may lead to red bumps that become notably painful.

To prevent ingrown hair, maintain cleanliness in your beard and on your skin. A gentle exfoliation and using a beard conditioner can also be beneficial in avoiding ingrown hair.

6 – You Wash Your Beard Too Many Times

The most common mistake I see men make is thinking that washing their beards every day is the best solution to prevent discomfort. In reality, this can have the opposite effect.

does your beard hurt

Daily washing with beard products can disrupt skin oil production, leading to dryness in both your beard and the underlying skin. This can cause follicles to become crunchy, resulting in splits and dandruff, ultimately causing discomfort when touched.

Rinsing your beard daily with lukewarm water is acceptable to keep it clean. However, washing your beard thoroughly should be done 1 to 3 times per week, depending on factors such as your skin type, beard type, lifestyle, and the environment you live in.

7 – You Have Beard Acne

Beard acne, also known as folliculitis, refers to pimples forming underneath or within facial hair. It can result from ingrown hairs or bacteria. Typically, beard acne causes discomfort only when the affected area is touched.

In some cases of ingrown hair, a clogged hair follicle can lead to a fungal infection, resulting in beard acne. Consulting a dermatologist is advisable, as they can recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include a bacterial/antifungal cream to eliminate the infection.

8 – You Buy Poor Quality Beard Products

We’ve all been there, right? Opting for cheap products to save money can sometimes hurt our grooming routine. It’s crucial to recognize that, even with the best beard care routine, using poor-quality products can counteract the positive effects and potentially do more harm than good.

Avoid “cheap” products that claim to be suitable for all beard types. These can potentially irritate your skin and harm your beard as they lack specificity for a particular purpose. It’s essential to invest in beard products tailored to your needs, preferably from well-established grooming brands.

Common Questions

Why Does My Beard Feel Sore?

Beard soreness can result from various factors, including a subpar grooming routine, dry skin, ingrown hair, beard dandruff, or beard acne. For those just starting to grow a beard, experiencing soreness in the first two to three weeks is not uncommon.

Should Grow A Beard Hurt?

While it ideally shouldn’t cause pain, some men experience discomfort when styling and shaping their beards using wax or brushing the hair follicles in a direction different from their natural growth. It’s essential to be gentle to avoid unnecessary soreness.

When Does A Beard Stop Hurting?

Your beard should stop hurting with proper moisturization and care. If the pain persists after a few weeks, consult a dermatologist for assistance.

Why Does My Beard Hurt When I Touch It?

Beard pain when touched may be attributed to beard acne, characterized by pimples beneath or within facial hair. The discomfort often stems from inflammation caused by bacterial or fungal infection in the area.

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