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Men have different styling preferences for their beards. Some like their beards big and wavy, while others like their beards straight and tamed. If your beard is wavy or curly and you want it to be straight, you can experiment with a beard relaxer to achieve a slick, tamed look.
Even if you already have a straight beard, it can grow wiry and frizzy over time. Beard balm and oil can help, but if you are new to growing a beard, keeping it manageable can get troublesome. For people who want to achieve longer lasting straight beard, a beard relaxer is a great option.
What exactly is a beard relaxer, and how does it work? When do you need it, or do you really need it? Here’s our take.
What Is a Beard Relaxer?
Keratin is a protein that makes up our hair from the head, face, body, and down below. It is the protein bond that determines the hair strand’s shape and size. Tighter keratin results in curly hair, while looser keratin results in straighter hair.
A beard relaxer is a chemical cream that may contain lye, sodium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide. These potent chemicals work by loosening the keratin, and improving the hair’s composition.
Eh, chemical, you may say?
The chemicals in beard relaxers sound harsh, but they are often found in our shampoos and soaps. There are beard relaxers that are lye-free, which are less harsh than lye-based products. Some beard relaxers have natural ingredients like beeswax or shea butter, which are milder and easier on your facial skin.
Why Use a Beard Relaxer?
At the early stage of growing your beard, the most common problem you will encounter is ingrown hairs. But as it grows longer, your beard will tend to get dry and lackluster. It is partly due to the weather and partly due to the poor oil distribution. It happens when your sweat glands cannot moisten to the entire length of the beard.
With a beard relaxer, your facial hair stretches out to its optimal length. You will notice the difference instantly. Your beard hair will also become easier to manage as there is less risk of tangling.
How to Use a Beard Relaxer
If you have sensitive skin, don’t use any product without doing the skin test first. It will be far easier to tame a wiry beard than to nurse an allergic reaction. Read the product labels carefully before starting and follow all the instructions.
There’s aren’t many beard relaxers available in the market. Depending on your locality, your local drugstore may have either the lye-based or lye-free solution.
However, there are also some all-natural beard relaxers. One of our favorites is Bossman Beard Relaxing Balm. It is milder and less irritating to the skin.
Natural beard relaxers can also moisturize the hair, unlike chemical ones, where you will need to use a beard conditioner. But whatever beard relaxer you are using, try to avoid letting it contact your skin.
Here are the steps for applying beard relaxer:
- Wash your fuzz with the beard relaxing shampoo and pat it dry completely.
- Divide your beard into sections and apply the beard relaxer cream. Using a fine-tooth comb or your beard comb, evenly brush the solution on the strands.
- Let the relaxing cream stand for about 30 minutes before rinsing. Do not use shampoo on it.
- Use a blow-dryer to dry your beard off completely. Avoid using a towel as it may remove some of the cream.
- Once it is dry, use the beard straightening iron to straighten the curls.
- Next, wash the beard relaxing cream away using a good beard shampoo.
- Repeat the process three times for the best result.
Beard relaxer creams are not very mainstream among seasoned beardsmen. Thus, you may find some people using hair relaxing cream as a substitute. Hair relaxing cream does work, and in fact, it may be even more effective when it comes to straightening. The problem is, the skin on your face is more sensitive than your scalp, and so hair straightener can cause an adverse reaction.
Other Options For a Straighter Beard
If beard relaxer creams sound too harsh for you, here are some other options for making your beard soft, manageable, and better looking.
Genetics and ethnicity are factors why some men have coarser and curlier beards. But if you have naturally straight hair and an impossibly curly beard, there are ways to straighten it out. You don’t need to look any further than your beard comb, beard oil, conditioner, and wax.
Check out the Viking Revolution Ultimate Beard Grooming Set. It has everything you need for taming your beard into perfection. All you need to do is make a little beard grooming effort. The rules aresimple:
- Oil regularly after a shower
- Apply conditioner once a week
- Use the beard wax or balm for styling and holding it in place
- Comb and brush dry beard as often as you can
Mechanical Beard Straightening
Blow-dryers and heated beard brushes are also excellent tools for temporarily straightening your beard. You only need to invest in some styling tools to carry out this technique. However, since heat is not always hair-friendly, we do not recommend doing this daily. It is only applicable on occasions where you really need to stamp your beard down to manageability.
How do you use a blow-dryer or heated beard brush effectively?
- Prepare your beard for straightening by starting with your usual washing and cleaning routine
- For a heated beard brush, make sure your beard hair is dry to prevent beard damages. If using a blow-dryer, pat it dry without rubbing it
- Always end the routine with beard oil or wax
Homemade Beard Relaxer
Yes, you can concoct your own beard relaxer if chemical ones sound too harsh to you. Natural products may not produce an excellent and lasting result, but they can help straighten out curly beards. Coconut milk, for instance, can offer temporary straightening results.
You can mix a cup of coconut milk with a tablespoon of lime juice and put it in the fridge. Apply the mixture before showering the following day. Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash it off with a beard shampoo.
Just a heads-up, though: one downside of coconut milk is acne flare-up. So if you have sensitive skin, go back to our other options.
Curly hair is a common characteristic of beards if left on its own. You can grow sparse facial hair or tend a luscious one, yet both share a similar frizzy appearance. If you want your beard hair to be straighter, a beard relaxer may do the trick.
Men have varying techniques and practices in keeping their beards vibrant. Sometimes, it all boils down to regular grooming, proper diet, and beard care habits. If you believe you can tame your facial hair with a beard relaxer, then give it a try!