curly beard man

So you have a curly beard and looking for ways to make it behave? Great, our five tips on how to make wavy beard better should help you out; making that frizzy facial hair of yours lined up and flowing.

Is there something wrong with curly facial hair though? Absolutely not. Some men like theirs just the way it is, while others would like to make theirs straighter and keep their beard from sticking out too much.

It’s all about preference in this case, and while there are some negatives to having a frizzy, wavy, curly mane, there are also some benefits you probably haven’t thought about.

One big negative is obviously the fact that your facial hair will look more unkempt when its curled up, and if your beard is patchy on top of this, the combination can make your beard look like it hasn’t been looked after – at all.

On a positive note, one of the benefits of having a curly beard is that it can add to the visual effect of extra beard thickness.

This is especially true if the beard is kept short. Think of the thick & curly beard style of James Harden, for example, it’s frizzy, but definitely not in a bad way.

Why Do Some Men Get Curly Beards

curly frizzy beard

The obvious answer to this question is the age-old “genetics”. Depending on the DNA of the facial hair follicle, the facial hair strands can grow out either wavy and curled up, or super straight and lined up.

What controls this seems to be the actual shape of the beard follicles:

  • Asymmetrical beard follicles produce hair that is oval-shaped and curls easily.
  • Symmetrical beard follicles (round) produce hair that is round and straight.

Aside from genetics, your diet has an impact on the type of keratin and collagen that resides within your beard follicles, which is why eating a diet filled with beard-friendly foods may marginally affect your beard curliness.

The ratio of zinc and copper in the hair strands also has an impact. If out of balance (ie. too much zinc, too little copper) the hair curls up more easily.

However, the bottom line is that 85-95% of beard curliness can be ascribed to your genetics, beard cowlicks and all that you know. Which is why the best approach is to either let it curl up and own the look, or use external methods (like beard straightening iron, washing, blow-drying, etc) to straighten the facial hair.

Curly Beard Tips and Tricks

1. Wash with Beard Shampoo & Conditioner

man washing his beard

The process to straighten curly bead hair begins from the shower (or sink).

It’s imperative that you begin by washing the beard, as this helps reduce the elasticity and texture of the facial hair for a short moment – allowing us to make it straighter manually.

When washing the beard do not use a normal shampoo (especially if you do it often). This is because each wash strips away the natural sebum oils that your beard desperately needs in order to grow and maintain its health.

A far better option is to use a gentle shampoo formulated for beard use, and a beard conditioner that helps keep your beard soft and more manageable.

After the wash, it’s time to move into the next beard straightening step below.

2. Comb it, Oil it, & Blow Dry it

man blow drying beard

  1. After hopping out of the shower, gently dampen the beard with a towel, and while it’s still somewhat moist, grab your trusted beard comb, some beard oil, and a blow dryer for beards.
  2. Start by applying a small amount of beard oil to the mane to seal in some of the moisture.
  3. After this, take your beard comb and a blow dryer and using the cold-air option, blow first from underneath the beard upwards, while combing the beard hairs up against the grain, and then do this the other way around by blowing downwards from the top of your beard and also combing down.

This way, you will first help straighten the bottom of your beard, and then finish off by aligning the rest from the top.

Obviously, you want to always finish blowing downwards.

It’s important that you do not use too much beard oil and that you always use the cold option of the blow dryer.

Drying the facial hair with too high of heat is a major beard mistake and will eventually damage it, and using too much oil will make the straightening process harder down the line.

3. Use a Mini Beard Straightener Iron for Best Results

beard straightening iron

At this point, if you still have a curly beard, then it’s time to bring out the heavy guns.

And by this, I mean a beard straightener iron.

Surely, it’s a lot of extra work to keep straightening your beard with an iron, but if you have a super frizzy beard and you insist on keeping it straight, then using a small beard straightener will get the job done most effectively.

(for more see our article on best beard straighteners).

For best results, do this right after the above steps (although this will make your beard straight without even doing the above).

So how do you use a beard straightener?

  1. Pull small strips of beard away from the rest of the mane, and put them between the straightening iron.
  2. Gently and slowly move down the length of the beard strands with the iron, and do this for the full face (yes, it takes some time).

If using a straightener feels like too much work, there is a faster alternative called the “beard heat comb“. It can help to make your beard straighter, but it will sadly not be as effective as an iron.

4. Apply Some Strong Beard Balm and Brush it Down

beard balm ingredients on a table

So now you have finished showering, applied some beard oil, combed your beard down while blow drying, and possibly even used a heated beard comb or a beard straightening iron.

What could possibly be next?

Well, to make your results last longer, there are two things you should do to finish off the somewhat time-consuming process of straightening your beard.

This is what to do…

  • Take your favorite beard balm and apply a pea-sized chunk to the beard.
  • Using a beard brush; tame your beard straight down.

The balm acts similarly to hair wax, it will keep your beard more tameable and in place for days after doing this facial hair straightening process (usually making your beard stay straight and lined up until the next shower).

And using the boar bristle brush is part of naturally “training” the beard and mustache to go in downwards direction instead of curling up. It will provide a marginally beneficial effect, but an effect nonetheless.

5. Skip the Chemical Beard Relaxers

beard relaxer

If you dig deep enough, you will find products labeled as “beard relaxer” or “chemical beard straightener”.

They are a super-effective way to straighten your beard.

However, these actually work by breaking down the keratin bonds that coil up and curl your facial hair naturally.

In other words, you are destroying your beard from the inside, just to make it straighter for a while.

As I said at the beginning of this article, the reason some men grow curly beards and others grow straight beards has to do mostly with the shape of the actual hair follicle.

If it’s oval-shaped, the hair has some curl in it. If it’s perfectly round, the hair is usually straight.

So is it worth to damage your facial hair and eventually cause beard hair loss just to get a straighter beard for a while?

I don’t think so.

No amount of chemical beard relaxers will change this, and you should avoid them for the sake of your beards health. You don’t want to be causing beard rash and other problems with products like these.


Making a wavy facial hair straighter naturally is not hard, but it can be time-consuming.

Depending on the severity of the curling action in your mane, it may be enough to just shower, comb, and blow-dry it.

But for men with really thick unmanageable curls, you may need a beard straightening iron to do the job (these are just regular small hair straighteners).

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Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.


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