You want your beard to be full, styled, and healthy, but as a black African gentleman, any search online for “beard care” or “beard growth” gives you results that aren’t exactly for you. Did you know that as a black man your beard grows differently to men of other races? We’ll get into that more below, but it goes without saying that not all general advice online on beard growth will work for you.
How are Black African Beards Different?
All African black hair is, by nature, tightly curled. If you compare your beard with a man from Europe or Asia who also has a beard that’s black in colour, you’ll be able to see the differences in the way the hair grows, as their hair grows straight, and then starts to curl loosely once it passes the stubble stage.
Black African hair is the opposite – it curls tightly due to the flat structure of the hair follicle.
Another common issue men growing black African beards have is a dry, brittle beard, regardless of how moisturised or oily your skin is naturally. It’s important that you keep your beard moisturised and soft by using oils, conditioners, and softeners regularly. Our Beard Softener was the first available in South Africa and doubles as a great leave-in conditioner.
Why Do I Get Ingrown Hairs as a Black African Man?
Your hair wants to curl as tightly as possible, but your hair follicles are under the surface of your skin.
When a new hair grows or when you have a very close shave, there is a chance that the hair will curl too soon while it is still under the surface layer of the skin.
How Do I Grow a Great Black African Beard?
1) Know What You’re Working With
If you have yet to try growing a full beard, start letting it grow out. It’s only once you let it grow to a good length that you’ll be able to see the fluctuations in thickness.
Unless you are very lucky, you will likely have patches where your beard won’t grow, or grows sparsely, and patches where your beard is naturally thick and voluminous.
2) Know How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs as a Black African Man
Ingrown hairs can happen to anyone, but it’s far more of a problem for those of us with black hair, and having ingrown hairs on your face is particularly irritating.
If you feel like you are constantly dealing with them, don’t worry, there are a few different things you can do to prevent and reduce how many you get.
A key to preventing ingrown hairs is keeping your skin clean and moisturised.
This is especially important if you work in a hot or sometimes dirty environment, or if you live in a polluted area (like the city). Make sure you are washing and moisturising your face regularly.
3) Use Moisturising Products
As mentioned above, it’s important that you use moisturising products both for your skin and your beard.
As you may have experienced, black beards are susceptible to becoming dry and brittle, it’s important to keep your black African beard just as moisturised and supple as you do your skin.
There are a lot of different moisturising products to choose from for your skin and beard. Any moisturising product will work on your skin, but generally, it’s best to choose a product that is fairly watery and easily absorbed into the skin so it’s easy to work in around your beard.
Beard oils are also great for black African beards as they prevent your hair from drying out throughout the day, growing brittle, and breaking. They make your beard look shiny, healthy, and makes them smell great.
Our beard oils include only natural products and come in two different masculine scents.
If you don’t like the idea of spending a lot of extra time in the bathroom, once again, a leave-in conditioner like our Beard Softener is easy to put on and go about your day without having to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror.
You also need to avoid cheap and non-moisturising soaps. Cheap soap is often harsh and, while it does clean your skin, it also strips it of its natural oils and dries it out. It can do the same for your hair.
Spend a little more and buy soap and shampoo that is designed for sensitive, dry skin.
4) Be Aware of Your Diet
As you can read about in our article, Does Diet Affect Beard Growth? 5 Diet Tips to Help You Grow a Better Beard, what you eat really does affect your beard. Head over to that article once you are done here and make sure you know how what you are putting into and doing with your body affects your beard growth.
For South African gentlemen, your diet will typically be high in carbs and low in fruits and vegetables, either from desire, habit, or budget restrictions.
Wherever possible, start making food choices that are richer in green vegetables and lean (light-coloured) meats.
Beans, carrots, and apples are typically more affordable but rich in the nutrients your body needs to be healthy enough to produce healthy beard growth, and cut down on your sugar consumption.
If you don’t work a physical job, consider picking up a workout routine. A simple, home body weight routine like this full of push ups, squats, and crunches will stimulate your testosterone production and help you grow a thicker, more full beard. Even 10 minutes when you get up or go to bed will help immensely.
5) Brush Your Beard Regularly
All hair stays in better condition, tangle free, and reduced number of ingrown hairs when it is regularly brushed – and this includes your beard.
Use a beard brush or comb first thing in the morning or whenever you start your beard care routine to untangle the hairs and prevent the likelihood of ingrown hairs.
Brushing your beard can go a long way to preventing it from becoming itchy, too. Ideally, let it air dry after you wash for a little while and then gently use a detangling comb to brush through the curls.
Then, when you apply your beard oil, use a brush to help distribute the oil and style your beard.
Since your beard is tightly curled, you don’t want to grab a plastic-bristle hairbrush and start digging through it and forcing it to detangle – instead, work with the beard and use a soft-to-medium bristled beard brush that will work with your hair and won’t tear it out.
If you want to get started caring properly for your beard and grow it so it looks the best it can be, our beard kits contain everything you need to get started with the right soap (that won’t dehydrate your skin), balm, and oil.