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  #1  
Old 07-06-2009, 09:51 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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How do I make my beard itch less?

I love the way a beard looks on me, and most other people also seem to. Full beard, with mustache and sideburns. Click my username and look at my profile - you'll see a little photo of me with a beard. But, the beard is also a thorn in my side because it always scratches and itches. I generally will go for two or three months out of every year with a beard, but after a while I always wind up shaving it all off. The itching starts to drive me crazy.

Specifically, the itching right at the edges of the mustache, where it connects to the chin part of the beard. The corners of my lips and the area right beneath, in other words. This part itches more than the rest and sometimes it even gets in the way of eating because I will be pricking the sides of my lips with beard hairs every time I chew. The hair on my head is soft and smooth but my facial hair comes out coarse and stiff.

Sometimes the itching will actually start to affect my personality. After a few weeks with a beard I find myself noticeably more irritable because the itching will trigger annoyances that would not otherwise be a big deal. And, although this is surely in the TMI category, it even starts to hinder my sex life because the itching of my own beard takes me out of "the mood."

What am I to do? It is driving me insane. Is there some kind of product I can use on the beard to make it softer and less prickly?
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2009, 10:31 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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After you shower, rub in some baby oil. If you can find some less smelly variant, use it, but I've had limited success with Brylcreem.

I knew a guy who swore by mayonnaise for this purpose, but the thought of it going rancid so close to my nose prevents me from trying it.
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2009, 10:40 AM
emmaliminal emmaliminal is offline
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Any head-hair conditioner will work on beard hair. The longer you leave it on before washing it out, the softer it gets. Seriously -- if you can stand it, try applying some in the shower, NOT washing it off, going about your business for a few hours, THEN washing it out.

Also, after a shower, you might try rubbing a little jojoba oil through your beard into the skin. Any vegetable oil would help, but jojoba is particularly nice because it keeps quite a while without going rancid, it's available in handy small containers, it has a very faint but pleasant odor (you won't smell like food), and it is supposedly closest in chemical composition to the oil your skin produces naturally.

Good luck. Itchiness is next to bitchiness.
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2009, 12:33 PM
Gam Zeh Yaavor Gam Zeh Yaavor is offline
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Seconding the jojoba oil. A little dab'll do ya.
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2009, 12:43 PM
Squink Squink is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
I will be pricking the sides of my lips with beard hairs every time I chew.
Grow it longer. It'll be less prickly.
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2009, 01:43 PM
lieu lieu is offline
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Or cut it shorter. Mine really bugged when when I let it grow so I started trimming it much closer. I use the shortest attachment on the moustache and just the open edge of the trimmer on all the rest. No pricking, no itch. Now when I rub my chin it feels like Gene Kranz's head.
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  #7  
Old 07-06-2009, 01:51 PM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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Well, I've never had a beard (LOL!) but I'll give you my WAG in case it's useful.

Since it's right around your mouth I'm guessing some bacterial or fungal growth begins due to tiny food particles and grease which don't get wiped off. I'd suggest trying alcohol-based wipes to cleanse the sides of your mouth after eating. They can be drying though, so the above conditioner ideas are good too.

For conditioners, I would recommend somehting petroleum based. You don't want glycerin, or anything that might feed microorganisms.

You might also try a Clotrimazole-based cream (look in the foot-care aisle, those are cheaper than the same cream in the feminine or skin-care aisles) to kill/rule out fungus and yeast.

There's also Neosporin and the generic knockoffs. I've found the pain-relief version also works on itching.
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2009, 05:20 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Damn, with your username I pictured some giant, fearsome warrior with a gigantic bushy beard; I was sure you were going give me all kinds of first-hand experience with beard maintenance and stuff. "I like to use the edge of my axe to shave right around the corners of the mouth...I use the blood of my enemies as shaving cream."
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2009, 06:34 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Somewhat along the same vein, try trimming your moustache and beard away from your lips a bit. Just a few mm is enough. As a side effect, lip-readers will bless you for making you easier to understand.
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2009, 11:01 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
I love the way a beard looks on me, and most other people also seem to.
A beard does not hide a handsome face, it enhances it.

A homely face too. I'm one ugly mofo but I look pretty good in a full beard.

Are you a heavy sweater? I rarely keep a beard in the summer as sweat makes it itch like freaking crazy! Otherwise, I've found that after the first 6 weeks or so while growing one the itching stops.

My biggest problem while having a full beard is (embarrassing confession coming) drool!

For some reason when I have full beard my brain seems to think I have some food or something on the side of my mouth and I drool to the sides which I never do when I am clean shaven. And it's heavy duty drool!

Are you a heavy sweater? I rarely keep a beard in the summer as sweat makes it itch like freaking crazy! or did I say that already?
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2009, 11:35 PM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
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I'm at the same stage as the OP, I went backpacking in the rockies for 3 weeks and didn't shave. Came home, liked it, trimmed it and kept it. Now it's been 7 weeks and I like it even more, I can attest it does itch from time to time but by in large the longer it got the less it itched. I also use an organic conditioner when I remember in the morning. And yes, I have been getting a lot of attention as of late, mostly women between 35 and 45 - Hmmm thats my age bracket as well. :shrug:
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  #12  
Old 07-07-2009, 12:27 AM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Somewhat along the same vein, try trimming your moustache and beard away from your lips a bit. Just a few mm is enough. As a side effect, lip-readers will bless you for making you easier to understand.
I can't grow the mustache-to-beard connector strip, but I've worn a beard for a few years now and haven't had any trouble with itching. I think Quartz's advice is sound: keep your beard trimmed regularly and perhaps shave the connector from the corner of your mouth to the beard mainland (so to speak).
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  #13  
Old 07-07-2009, 01:00 AM
The Seventh Deadly Finn The Seventh Deadly Finn is offline
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I have this problem too. I just use the edge of the razor to shave that little area right in the corner of the mouth. The area that causes the problem is really only about 1/8" x 1/4" in size; I keep that part shaved and no one's the wiser; it just looks like my beard starts an eighth of an inch further from my mouth than it actually does.

I also run a razor along the bottom of my mustache to keep the hairs there a bit shorter so they don't prickle my mouth. It doesn't look weird; in fact it's not noticeable at all. The motion is kind of like if you were shaving your lips (a goofy image, I know); out from the center on each side. I just do this with a dry razor and no shaving cream; make sure it's sharp or it'll pull on the hairs too much, which obviously isn't comfortable.

Finally, I use the shortest attachment on the electric clippers to keep the whole thing at a short, neat Wolf-Blitzer length.

These 3 strategies make thetruebeard as comfortable as being clean shaven, while still enhancing my masculinity and diverting attention away from the weakness of thetruechin.
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  #14  
Old 07-07-2009, 01:04 AM
The Seventh Deadly Finn The Seventh Deadly Finn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
Are you a heavy sweater?
No, I'm more of a lightweight cardigan.
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  #15  
Old 07-07-2009, 04:33 AM
willthekittensurvive? willthekittensurvive? is offline
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Did you try putting you beard in the fridge for the night? works with wool itchy sweaters.....
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  #16  
Old 07-07-2009, 06:10 AM
FRDE FRDE is offline
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I frequently strip mine back with a mains powered Remington hair trimmer. IME battery powered trimmers and 'beard trimmers' fail.

It sounds like your itching is from bacteria around your mouth, however if mine gets too long I get itches on the cheeks and under the chin.
If you don't want to trim back, then my first trick would be to use an anti-bacterial facewash.
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2009, 07:33 AM
racer72 racer72 is offline
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Dandruff shampoo works for me. If it stops itching on top of the head, it will work on your beard too.
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