A good amount of literature and thought is beginning to turn towards hair care, grooming, and styling for African American women, but when it comes to African American beard care, the information tends to become sparser. Odd, considering that for manufacturers, a substantial market is out there for African American beard products. For many African American men, growing a beard is seen as a step on the path to becoming a man, and is carefully cultivated. Additionally, men’s toiletries generally — such as beard balms, oils, conditioners, shampoos, etc., — contribute over three million dollars to the economy, according to a 2015 Euromonitor report. Target Market News reports that African Americans spent almost eight billion dollars in 2009 on personal care products or services, which includes hair care costs.
What Do You Need to Know About African American Beard Grooming?
Before you choose your personal beard style, you want to let it grow out enough that you know what you’re working with. Experts recommend about four to six weeks of growth before you start shaping in earnest. Growing out does not mean you should stop washing, grooming, or trimming though!
African beards tend to grow about 250 micrometers per day, a bit slower than non-African beards, which means that trimming might not have to happen as frequently. However, you should still be trimming your beard fairly regularly, whether that means going to a barbershop, or investing in a beard trimmer and beard trimming scissors.
In addition to washing your face regularly, part of good African American beard care is conditioning your beard once to twice a week for extra moisture, which will contribute to the healthiest and best maintained beard possible. Beard oils and beard balms can be great additions to this regimen as well.
Investing in a high quality comb and/or brush will also go a long way towards cultivating your beard. The texture of your beard may snarl or pull on your beard, which can cause split ends. Let your beard air dry or just gently pat it dry with a soft cotton cloth or paper towel to avoid tugging or breaking hairs.
And make sure you’re taking care of the skin under your beard as well! Keeping that area well taken care of can help prevent ingrown hairs and get rid of dead skin cells or other debris, giving you a clean shave when you style.
What Are the Best Beard Products for Black Men?
Avoiding products with petroleum, mineral oil, and other harsh chemicals is an excellent idea if you’re hoping to cultivate a healthy and lush beard. These can dry out your beard — or, in the case of petroleum or mineral oil, hide the real problem or exacerbate it — and cause hairs to become brittle and more prone to breakage.
Going all-natural is the best way. Jojoba oil, beeswax, and pure argan oil are ingredients to look out for, as are sulfate-free shampoos. Pick up a cleansing oil and beard balm to round out a top quality African American beard care kit.
There are now products online that will combine the components of a beard grooming kit specifically for African American beard care, if you’re thinking of getting started. It can be a good way to try out new products and see what items you use regularly. You may need to try out a few different products along your beard journey, since your skin or beard may react differently to certain products.
From African American beard oil to choosing the right combs and brushes, the path to growing a healthy beard can seem fraught. However, with the right care, attention, and materials, you can enjoy the prestige and pride that comes with a well cared for beard.