At Saul’s Beauty Shop we get asked about beard care tools quite a bit, the most popular being brush or comb? In our Signature Beard Conditioning Service we use a combination of the two, each will, in the end, de-tangle hairs and distribute product, but there is a difference in finish.
Combs are great for a beard you don’t feel you’re fighting too much in terms of shape and curliness. You can also wash them easily (with dish soap and brush gets the job done!) and are great if you want a perfect part in your ‘stache. A big benefit is that they’re generally safe to use with wet hair, so if you apply your beard oil in a towel dried beard, you can comfortably continue to distribute the product throughout your beard while combing out tangles. The larger the space between the teeth of the comb the more easily it’ll pick through stubborn hair without cause stress points within the shaft.
Brushes have a time and a place, most importantly on not wet beards. Hair retains moisture, and can become more bendy and easier to break with a brush. We prefer seeing all boars hair brushes on dry hair. Brushes are, in my experience, better at distributing naturally occurring oils down the shaft of the hair. I’ve also seen naturally occurring hard bends/curls get softened, the hairs feel and appear more pillowy / less wiry and beards show a nice, not too much, natural sheen or shine while sitting. Within our beard conditioning treatment we’ll use a brush to also dislodge dead skin buildup at the base of the hair, and to break up teeth marks from combing post product.
The most annoying aspect of brushes in beards is a) they can get dirty very quickly b) how rarely a beard brush is *really* 100% boars hair. Look very critically at your brush, you want to make sure you’re not seeing a blend of nylon, plastic, bits to support the boars hair while paying the big bucks. Getting a custom branded brush isn’t difficult, but they are usually a mass produced product from non – North American countries that you find a the source for on sites like AliBaba . This is why you can get see some amazing quality drops in custom made beard products.
So the short answer is we like a combo of both tools, but for different times and finishes. The long answer is it depends how long your beard is, how high maintenance you are and what finish you’re looking for. If you just want to get knots out, for a large tooth both, if you want a softened pillow beard, you want a brush.