Why Does My Beard Itch?

Man looking in mirror at beard.

Why Does My Beard Itch?

For those of you familiar with the five o’clock shadow, the irritation begins mere hours after you shave. Or put another way, the exact moment your sharp, razor-shorn hairs poke through the surface of your skin. “Shaving your beard with a razor cuts the hairs at an angle, which, in some cases, can result in hairs with sharp and ragged edges,” explains Emily Wise, a dermatologist practicing in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

The inconvenience is generally only temporary, but for some men, it only gets worse from there. As the hairs grow and start to take the shape of a mustache, beard, or, if you’re Wolverine, mutton chop, they continue to rub against your skin, and accumulate particles such as dust, dead skin cells and debris from your favorite holiday meals—whether you prefer a Christmas ham or latkes, we’re all at risk.

While your beard is busy simultaneously chafing your face and collecting just about every particle floating around it, the skin underneath may not be getting the moisture it’s accustomed to, creating conditions for the perfect storm of irritation: vulnerable skin, trapped by coarse hairs and the remnants of yesterday’s breakfast.

Shameless Plug: Pamper that handsome facial forest with our Beard Oil

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to alleviate your face’s suffering. (Though we can’t do anything about the fact that you and Uncle Rick have the same gigantic forehead.) Appearance, texture and the crumb factor might be improved by using a beard shampoo (yes, it exists) a couple of times a week. And keep the whiskers moisturized with a pre-shave oil even if you’re not shaving, or try a beard balm (yes, it also exists). Particularly intense itching when your beard is just getting started can be relieved with hydrocortisone cream and a good facial moisturizer.

Whether you’re auditioning for ZZ Top or just maintaining a Steinbrenner-approved mustache, your facial hair should be a cause for celebration, not irritation. With these tips, you should be able to keep your chin held high—and more importantly, itch-free.

There’s no such thing as a stupid question—especially when it comes to your body, your health or your hygiene. Send us the things that you’ve always wondered about to members@dollarshaveclub.com.