Beard Hair Breaking Off & Split Ends: Reasons, Symptoms & Treatments

Type a related question into Google and you will be inundated with people seeking advise on what to do with their beard hair breaking off or with split ends. Yet the results seem to be little more than a Reddit chat and a few forums gathering dust from 6 years ago, therefore we thought it was time we stepped in to offer some advise on the subject.

Why Does My Beard Have Split Ends?

When growing out a beard, especially for the first time, many people suffer from this, as the hair follicles become too coarse and brittle. The end result is that the tips end up splitting, however this could have been prevented with some careful treatment.

The hair breaking isn’t just noticeable, it also makes your beard look scruffy and poorly looked after. You might be trying to go for the rugged look, but this simply isn’t achieved, it just looks uncontrolled and poorly managed.

Below are the main reasons why we have split ends:

Lack Of Sebum Oil

This is the oil that comes from the sebaceous glands on your skin, helping to nourish. While we associated oily skin with blemishes, it actually holds a strong importance. While it naturally moistens and protects the skin from drying out, as the beard grows it becomes increasingly difficult for the glands to produce enough sebum to moisten the base and the entire length of the beard hair.

This is why the hair becomes more brittle and starts to split, as it is completely dried out.

Blow Drying The Beard

We’ve just mentioned the negatives to your beard and skin becoming too dry, well you are increasing this by blow drying your hair. It can be tempting as it gets longer, but you could read endless beard growing guides recommending against this. It’s a short cut to split ends and will certainly not pay off, so stick to towel drying.

Using The Wrong Shampoo

You should start washing and shampooing your beard as it begins to get longer, however the common trick is to use your basic shampoo on your chin. Unfortunately, this can often have a negative effect, as the chemicals aren’t perfectly suited for this area of the body. Almost all shampoo’s will have SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), which creates the foam and lather, however it also removes all the sebum oil. While that might be useful for your head, it will cause havoc for your beard. Instead, invest in some beard shampoo which is SLS free.

Colouring The Beard

There is nothing wrong with occasionally colouring the beard if you are starting to find a few greys. But you need to be aware of the damage the chemicals will be doing to the beard, therefore you want to keep the number of times to a minimum and potentially wait for the beard to grow out somewhat.

Your Diet

You can learn so much about yourself from your diet, as it effects so much. For example, did you know you can increase the rate of beard growth by altering your diet? You should make sure you are consuming plenty of protein, to help with your beard health, from sources such as fish and eggs. You should also consume fish for the omega 3, which has a number of benefits and is often missed from Western diets.

How Do I Solve Split Ends In My Beard?

Well this is where we can help with a number of tips. All of these issues are easily treatable and most beard veterans could probably offer you some advise in this area, however if you’re new to the game then you shouldn’t be ashamed if you’re unaware.

Beard Oils

It might feel obvious we would mention beard oils as a solution, however the reasons should be obvious. They will condition and moisture the skin and the hair, helping to prevent split ends from occurring, as well as beard dandruff. These are essential as the sebum oil can’t handle all the work as the beard grows, therefore these become an ever present. You can also consider a balm if you prefer. Make sure to opt for one with essential oils.

Comb & Brush

The reasons for this are vast and are absolutely essential, however I could talk for most of the day on this subject, therefore I’d rather direct you to my recent post on why you should brush your beard. It is worth investing in a bit of a kit, to make sure you have a couple of combs to match the lengths, as well as a durable brush. You should also take some time to practice the technique of brushing your beard, working out the different directions you should be using in the right order.

Beard Shampoo

This was previously covered, but you might want to purchase a decent beard shampoo, with no SLS. There are an increasing amount of brands launching these products, seemingly growing by the day. Opt for largely natural and botanical ingredients.

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