When finding the right beard brush, there is a lot that you must consider. Top ten beard styles.
Some of the first factors that come to mind will be the handle type, bristle fiber, backbone of the bristles, bristle cut, and of course the price.
While sure, a brush like the ZilberHaar Beard Brush is great for most beard types (and was selected as the best beard brush overall), its important that you select a brush that meets the needs of your beard.
Whether you have a short, long, thick or thin beard a quality beard brush should naturally compliment your facial hair style and type.
In this ultimate guide we outline key considerations to think about, reviews of the top beard brush brands, and we even put together a tutorial on how to brush your beard the right way.
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Comparing All The Beard Brushes
Before Buying A Beard Brush – A Few Things To Consider
When researching all the leading beard brushes on the market, we identified 4 key features that are important when buying a new beard brush:
Here we wanted to take a minute to talk about each of these features and why they are so important.
So be sure that you don’t skip over this section as it will help you to find the best beard brush to meet your needs!
Beard brushes just like shaving brushes, come in many different types of fibers.
However, the most popular beard brush fibers are going to be the following:
Here’s a how each of the bristles differ from one another:
The most popular bristle for beard brushes is boar’s hair.
Boar’s hair is popular with beardsmen due to its complementary features to both your beard and beard related products.
One of the unique and advantageous properties of boar’s hair is its ability to naturally retain oils.
This natural retention allows for an even distribution of oils throughout your beard with each stroke.
An even distribution of your preferred beard care product will ensure that your skin and the entire shaft of your beard follicle will appear healthy and feel incredibly smooth.
This will ultimately help to reduce the risk of both beard dandruff and beard itch.
Originally a popular fiber back in the early 1900s, horsehair largely vanished from store shelves due to an anthrax scare during World War 1.
However, this fiber has started to make its way back into men’s (and women’s) beauty products in recent years.
Horsehair, like boar’s hair, is a natural fiber and is effective at distributing oils with each stroke of the brush.
But there’s a key difference between these two fibers:
The cuticles on the horsehair is not as scaly as boar’s hair, therefore making this fiber a bit better for men with thinner and shorter beards.
The last bristle type that is commonly used with beard brushes will be synthetic.
Typically derived from either plastic or plants, synthetic brushes will cater to the animal or eco friendly beardsmen.
With all the terrific advantages given to both boar’s and horsehair brushes, synthetic brushes have really struggled to find their way within this corner of the market.
Synthetic brushes just simply can’t perform nearly as well when it comes to oil distribution when compared to natural fibers (although they have gotten much better in recent years).
We find that this bristle type is great for men who are on a strict budget or have very short beards and don’t have high brushing demands.
Whether the bristle is made from boars’ hair, horsehair, or synthetic, one thing to be mindful of when selecting a brush is the cut of the actual bristles.
You don’t want to have a beard brush that had its bristles cut at the same length.
The purpose of the offset bristles is to ensure that with each stroke every hair is being brushed all the way down to your skin.
This is key to further ensure even distribution of oils and to style your beard.
In addition to the bristle type of the brush, you will want to make sure that you clean out your brush on a regular basis to ensure long term performance and sanitary reasons (we cover some tips and techniques later on in this this guide).
When researching all the best beard brushes on the market, we found that the price ranged anywhere between $15 and $50 for a quality beard brush.
Most of the brushes below this price range tend to have fibers that fell out repeatedly and would need to be replaced a few months after heavy use.
On the other hand, beard brushes priced above $50 were a waste of money as no additional benefits could be found.
Side beard style
Handle Material & Shape
Like the bristles themselves, the handle of the beard brush comes in two primary materials – wood and plastic.
This is largely a personal preference and how it fits in with the rest of the grooming tools.
While a wood brush can evoke that classic barbershop feel to your medicine cabinet, plastic will be non-porous and is typically cheaper.
More importantly than the material of the brush is the handle, or lack thereof.
Beard brushes come in three primary shapes:
If you want greater control, a beard brush with a handle will be your best pick.
However, if you want a smaller brush (perhaps if you want to take it with you), then an oval shape beard brush is a great in between.
Rounded brushes are the least popular but can also be great for travel.
Best Beard Brushes Of 2019 Reviewed
There are many reasons why this is one of the best beard brushes on the market.
First and foremost, the bristles on this brush are made from genuine boars hair. As we have found in our research, manufacturers tend to skimp out on this fiber and offer inferior alternatives.
Sitting at about 5/8″ in length, the fibers on this brush should be able to work for any man that has a beard that has been growing for about one month, to those men who have even a full yeard (beard for a year).
While the handle may seem a bit on the smaller size, especially when compared to other beard brushes on the market, many expert beardsmen loved the fact that they could easily store it in their car, dopp kit, or even leather messenger bag, for midday cleanup.
With the finely crafted pear wood handle, you will have full control over styling of your beard as it gets longer as well.
Unlike many of the more popular beard brushes that are made in China, this brush by ZilberHaar has been manufactured in Germany.
To further put your mind at ease on the quality of this product, it comes with a lifetime guarantee. If you don’t like it at any point, or simply the bristles have started to fall out, you can get a 100% full refund.
The best part of this brush, and why you should pick any beard brush, is due to the bristle quality and construction. This 100% natural boar bristle brush will make your beard look fuller, thicker, and do an excellent job at distributing the oils within.
With a hardwood handle that extends the length of the brush to an impressive 6.75″, it gives you ultimate control when styling your beard.
When compared to some of the rounded or oval shaped brushes that we reviewed, this brush is extremely long and not one that you will want to take with you for midday touchups.
Size aside, another great feature found on this beard brush was the off cut boar bristles. With the non-uniform head, it should have no problem reaching to the base of your skin when brushing your beard.
This compact horse hair beard brush by CanYouHandleBar is a solid pick for when you need to clean up your beard quickly.
Given the that its made from horsehair, this brush tops our list as the best beard brush for thin and short beards.
It appears we weren’t alone in this assessment. In the several marketplaces we checked, this brush was among the highest rated beard brushes out there (averaging a whopping 4.8 out of 5.0).
With exclamations of ‘it felt damn good’ to a slightly more humble ‘it helped to distribute oils and make my beard all smooth and shiny’ it’s easy to see that many men were instant fans of this brush.
One nice add-in with the brush is the included storage tin.
All too often men like to keep their beard brush stored in the medicine cabinet within their bathroom. This naturally humid environment can cause thin hairs to splay and simply perform not as optimal.
If there were any drawbacks about this brush would be the portability. While it has a much smaller design than others on our list, it’s still rather chunky and will be hard to store in a pocket when on the go.
However, if you find that you often carry a messenger bag or backpack with you, then this won’t be a problem.
Known for their incredible line up of shave creams, Cremo extends their brand across the men’s grooming spectrum into a new offering of beard care products.
Understanding the needs of beardsmen, Cremo put together this incredibly priced and well-constructed beard brush.
Made from 100% boar’s hair bristles, this brush will effortlessly distribute the natural oils within your beard to make it silky smooth and healthy looking.
At only a few inches long, the wooden handle will be easy to grip in order to both detangle and maintain your facial hair.
Furthermore, if you find that static is a constant issue that you must battle when it comes to brushing, the natural fibers within this brush are anti-static and won’t be a problem.
Lastly, the bristles are cut unevenly, making it easy for this brush to get all the way down to the skin level.
Shaped in the classic paddle form, this brush is great for beardsmen that have thicker and longer beards.
While not as versatile as other beard brushes we reviewed – its performance is rather strong, thanks in part to the reliance on boar hair bristles that make it great for many different beard styles.
For the eco-concious men out there, you will be happy to learn that the handle on this brush was sourced from a sustainable wood (bamboo) – lessening our overall impact on the world’s forests.
According to Grave Before Shave, they do state that no animals were harmed in the production of this brush – making this one of the best picks out there for men who want a brush that doesn’t rely on slaughtering animals.
When checking out the product reviews at popular online retailers, we did see a few men complain of initial shedding – however this quickly became a non-issue after a few uses.
Scotch Porter has made a name for themselves in the men’s grooming world by catering to all men. However, with their strong following and passionate user base, they are a go to beard care company for many African American men.
They simply deliver great results for those men who carry a beard that is a bit more dense, coarse, and curly.
Their beard brush carries on this legacy by being an indispensable tool that will stimulate your natural oils and bring out the best qualities in your facial hair through its medium-soft boar’s hair bristles.
The hard beechwood handle should also last you several years.
To further attest to the quality of this brush, at the time of publication, 134 men have reviewed this brush on the Scotch Porter website and have rated it a 4.9 out of 5.0 (one of the highest rated products they currently sell).
How To Brush Your Beard
From the onset, brushing your beard appears to be a straightforward process.
However, when checking out popular forums like /r/beards and Jefffs Beard Board, we came across many men who were doing a few steps incorrectly when it came to brushing their beard.
To make sure that you don’t fall into any bad habits, we wanted to put together this simple 4 step process on how you should be brushing your beard:
1. Clean Your Beard
Before a beard conditioner or brush meets your beard, it’s important that you clean it thoroughly. Not giving your beard a proper cleanse can cause both oil and dirt build up which can lead to a prevalence in beard dandruff and general discomfort.
Therefore, you will want to cleanse your beard with an all-natural beard shampoo as it will compliment your skin and not cause any over drying.
2. Use A Beard Conditioning Product
Whether you use a beard balm or beard oil, before brushing you will want to make sure that you applying beard oil or balm in as best you can.
The goal here is to work the beard conditioning agent all the way to the surface of your skin.
When brushing later on, it will pull the oils away from the skin and coat the shaft of your beard hair in order to give you a softer and healthier beard.
3. Brush Outward to Remove Tangles
When you start to brush your beard, its best to work out any tangles first.
For most men, the facial hair on their neck often grows in several different directions.
When using your beard brush, you will want to pull the strokes outward (away from your chest) in order to detangle.
Keep doing this until the brush can work through your beard without feeling like it is hitting any snags.
4. Brush in the Proper Direction
Once you feel confident that you got your beard hair detangled, it’s time for styling.
When first brushing, you will want to make sure that the bristles get all the way to skin level (so you aren’t brushing just the top layer of your beard) and being making downward strokes.
As you make the strokes with the brush, you will want to visually confirm that the oils from the beard conditioning product are getting throughout your beard. If not, keep repeating your brush strokes until you are visually satisfied with the results.
The Role Of A Beard Brush
No matter the quality of the brush that you pick up, there are still key things to keep in mind when maintaining a healthy beard. First and foremost, the type of beard product that you use within your beard is critical.
If you are experiencing itchiness or general irritability while growing your beard, this is due in large part of your skin drying out due to your beard literally sucking up all the sebum oil from your sebaceous glands.
Therefore many beardsmen use a products such as beard oils and beard balms, and to a lesser extent, beard butters. These products contain carrier oils, that do a terrific job in providing all the moisture and nourishment is lacking.
You have likely been using or have used carrier oils in the past since they are incredibly common in all natural beauty products such as shampoos, high quality shaving creams and soaps, and even lotions as well.
Carrier oils are derived from nuts and seeds such as jojoba (being the most common of all carrier oils), argan, grapeseed, and sweet almond to name a few.
Therefore if you are just simply using a brush with no complimentary products such as a high quality beard oil or balm, we strongly recommend that you add one of these products to your beard maintenance collection.
Even the best beard brushes will only perform subpar in trying to both make your beard look great while also feel great as well.
Differences Between a Beard Comb and a Beard Brush
When it comes to comparing a comb and a brush, they both are their own unique tools that solve a specific set of challenges.
Typically speaking, a beard comb is going to be optimized for styling your beard. There are a plethora of different types of beard combs available on the market, however, there are a few things to keep in mind if you do plan on picking one up.
Here at Tools of Men, we are huge fans of the Kent 3 pack beard comb. Kent combs are sawcut, hand polished, and are incredibly sturdy. These combs don’t have the pesky micro jagged edges along each tooth like your typical cheap stamped molded combs.
New style of beard 2016
Being that combs are for styling purposes, they pair great with beard balms and waxes as the introduction of beeswax within those products will help keep your beard in order throughout the day.
Lastly, beard combs can also be a good way to train your beard to grow in a uniform direction. Therefore if you might be having your mustache hairs curl up into your mouth while you are eating, or just simply throughout the day, a miniature mustache comb will help train those hairs to go to the sides and away from your mouth.
Opposite of beard combs, beard brushes are really aren’t ever intended for styling purposes. Granted, a beard brush can make your beard of course look great, but its important to touch on this key difference.
When you use a beard brush, its going to give you a much fuller appearance than that of a comb. This appearance of a fuller beard happens due to the varying lengths of the bristles and helping lift up each hair from your face (conversely a comb may matte down your beard a bit more).
Secondly, beard brushes just simply don’t offer nearly as much control as a comb, therefore crippling their styling ability just a bit.
While a comb does help with training your beard follicles, a brush is going to deliver at a much higher performance when compared to a comb on training your beard follicles properly.
So which one should you use?
Largely its going to boil down to a personal preference. For some beardsmen, they believe that a brush may be better if you are in the beginning stages of growing a beard (less than a couple of months) as you can use it to train your beard follicles to grow into the proper direction and give you a bit more fuller of a look.
Of course selection between a comb or beard is not any sort of rule that is written in stone, so simply you will want to decide which one will work out best for you.
Common Questions Men Have About Beard Brushes
As we got deeper into our research we kept seeing the same questions popping up time and time again around deciding on the best beard brush.
Therefore, we wanted to take a minute to cover these questions should any be on your mind:
It really comes down to your budget, beard length, and hair type (coarse, curly, straight, etc.).
Each beard brush we reviewed may look similar but will deliver different results depending on a variety of factors.
Therefore, you will want to take a minute to weigh all the features and see how they match up to your own facial hair type in order to find the perfect brush for you.
With the recent uptick in men embracing their beards over the past few years, the number of retailers selling beard brushes has expanded.
Some of the most popular places include the following:
Large Online Marketplaces (Walmart, Amazon, Target, etc.)
Online Specialty Grooming Shops (West Coast Shaving, Grooming Lounge, Ulta, etc.)
Direct (ZilberHaar, Beardbrand, Cremo, etc.)
When buying direct, keep in mind additional shipping charges that may increase the overall cost of the brush.
No matter the quality of the beard brush, it’s important to keep this simple rule in mind:
Don’t brush your beard more than a few times a day.
Over brushing your beard will lead to a lot of unnecessary stress on the root of the follicle, of which may cause long term damage of the hair shaft or complete breakage.
Even if the bristles on the brush are made from a soft hair, can still lead to damage.
Can you just use your hair brush on your beard?
Hair brushes are made in a completely different manner than a beard brush.
They often are made from different bristle compositions (plastic is much more popular material with hair brushes) and the bristles are also much sparser.
This leads to less control for detangling and distribution of a beard conditioning product.
A hair brush can work in a pinch, but it’s not a long-term solution as they are fundamentally different from a beard brush.
Best Beard Brush: Selection Process
Finding the best beard brush of 2019 was no easy task.
While we wish we had unlimited resources to look at every single beard brush on the market, the reality is that we don’t. However, with that being said, we do feel confident in our list above.
Not only should you be able to find a beard brush that works for you, but more importantly, you won’t be disappointed in the results.