When you first grow a beard, it can be surprising to find out that it doesn't just…automatically look good. Celebrities and guys you know make it seem effortless, right?
Good news: they don't have some rare good beard gene that you're lacking. They're just grooming properly. You can too.
A great place to start is with a good beard brush. Most brushes built for hair will be hard to achieve a good look with. You want to look for four main factors.
- Material: Most high-quality brushes are made of wood, but plastic is water-resistant, which means you can use it in the shower.
- Bristles: Natural fibers – boar's hair or horse hair – are best because they help distribute the oils through your beard and make it softer.
- Stiffness: Whatever bristle type you choose, you want to make sure they're rigid enough to clean and detangle the hairs. Generally, the longer your beard, the more important bristle stiffness is.
- Handle type: There's two main beard brush shapes – round ones you hold by a handle on the back, like a shoe brush, or ones with a handle extending out from the round part that are similar to a hairbrush. This comes down to personal preference. Try both and see which is easiest for you to use.
#1. Seven Potions Boar Bristle Beard Brush
This pear-wood brush is easy to grip and great for detangling. The bristles are 100% first-cut boar bristles, meaning they were clipped close to the boar's body to provide a firmer texture that will clean your beard and exfoliate your skin.
The materials and construction are very high-quality, and for a relatively affordable price. This is a product that will stay in great shape for years to come.
#2. Kent Oval Cherrywood Military Brush
Made from cherrywood with striking white bristles, this brush is sized a bit smaller than most to make it easy to travel with. Its texture is firm, but with enough give to detangle super-fine hair without causing breakage. Its half-inch bristles are also designed to stimulate healthy hair growth.
#3. Kingston Grooming Beard Brush
Another all-natural brush – this one made of beechwood – Kingston Grooming's contribution to my list has its bristles reinforced to prevent wear and tear. The manufacturers are so confident in its quality that it comes with a full cash back guarantee.
Its other notable trait is its size, which is much larger than average. If you're looking for efficiency, this is a brush that can cut your beard-grooming routine down to a matter of seconds just by virtue of how much hair it covers in each pass.
#4. Smooth Viking Beard Brush
Smooth Viking says their certified cruelty-free beard brush bristles come from a black wild boar, a creature known for its fierceness. I'm not sure how they tame wild boars, but this brush will absolutely tame your beard. It's a top-notch shaping tool with an ergonomic grip that makes it easy to place hairs exactly where you want them.
#6. R.S. Stein Military Style Brush
This brush has an exceptionally high density of bristles, meaning it gets more done in each pass and maximizes your efficiency. The rectangular design makes it easy to get a tight grip, which combined with the extra bristles makes this brush the best of the best for those with extra-bushy beards.
#7. Liberty Grooming Co Beard Brush
The defining feature of this brush – designed by beard specialists Liberty Grooming Co – lies in the bristles. They're soft at the tips and get firmer as you move down the shafts, helping them quickly penetrate and then de-knot tangles and mats.
#8. Zeus Beard Brush
A pocket-sized brush with a handle that's a standout for maneuverability and control, Zeus Beard's product also boasts some of the stiffest bristles on the market – knots won't stand a chance. Overall, this little brush offers detangling and exfoliation performance that's truly mythic.
#9. Zilberhaar Pure Boar Bristles Natural Firm Hog Hair Beard Brush
The solid hardwood that makes up this brush comes from Germany's Black Forest region, known for its natural beauty and top-notch artisanal craftsmanship. It, too, is pocket-sized and travels well. Its bristles are specifically cut to provide excellent grooming to a wide range of lengths and types of beards. The company's CEO designed it for her husband, and swears by its ability to leave a man's beard kissably soft.
#10. Rocky Mountain Barber Company Boar Hair Beard Brush
This well-respected brand delivers a brush made from warp-resistant wood in a sleek design. They meticulously source their boars' hair bristles and guarantee a 100% genuine product, and it shows – this one will tame even the wildest beard and thoroughly banish beard itch.
A good beard brush isn't the only tool you need to keep your beard looking presentable. You also need the best beard oil to stop it getting dry and frizzy.
And once you get past the first month or so of beard growth you'll want to start styling it with a beard trimmer. Click here for my top 10 best beard trimmer rankings.