To the uninitiated, the beard brush seems like another marketing gimmick that is the offspring of the innovative and shrewd brains behind the entire men’s grooming products boom that we have witnessed as of late.
A countless number of times, I have heard the argument, ‘What’s so special about rubbing a dead animal’s coarse hair on your face? Why not buy a cheaper plastic comb off the drugstore shelf instead? However, those arguments are mainly put forth by men who are sprouting fresh facial hair and have yet to transcend the barrier to reach manly glory.
Anyone who’s grown a beard will know that a beard brush is a vital tool in helping you tame that rogue hair on your face. It helps to give your beard a sense of direction, helps to scrape off dead cells that lie lurking in the form of flakes in your beard and also will dislodge any residue of yesterday’s dinner (eww) that you may be harboring in your beard.
Oh, almost forgot. A plastic comb is going to make your beard messier and aggravate split ends. There’s more to it. But for now, I can’t wait to share with you my pick of the best beard brushes in the market.
100% Boar Bristles
So, without further delay, let's check out our list of the best beard brushes of 2018:
A Perfect Pair
This excellent beard brush is the perfect size to pair up with any typical 2oz tin of beard balm, so you can easily apply the balm to the brush and get to work. Alternatively, if you’re using a liquid oil, the Can You Handlebar brush will still evenly distribute it across your beard, massaging and stimulating your hair in the process for improved beard health.
Beneficial For All Beards
Regardless of what style you’re rocking or aspiring to, this brush will help you achieve it. The bristles help to evenly spread the oils, giving you that healthy shine.
Part of the magic here is that the brush is so easy to use, even when you’re on the go and need to take it with you. It’s designed to be easy to travel with, stacks up perfectly with most balm containers, and can even hold onto the applied oils on its own so you don’t always have to reapply it as often – you’ll waste less balm/oils, which will save you money that adds up really quickly, especially for guys with massive beards.
This type of brush will leave your beard feeling softer, fuller, and just great overall. Shorter beards also stand to benefit a lot from the stimulation of these bristles.
Proudly Made in America
This brush is made by the Can You Handlebar brand, who has expanded to house a whole line of beard-related goods.
They like to work close to home to ensure the best quality in all of their products, they take a very hands-on approach to how they do business and you can tell there’s a lot of pride that goes into this company.
Overall, it’s easy to give this brush the number 1 spot when you take everything into consideration.
First-Cut Boar Bristles
This beard brush by Seven Potions is an excellent choice, it’s made with the best boar bristles to ensure ultimate softness and durability.
Using the first cut bristles means you’re getting the bulb end of each bristle, which has a softer rounded tip that feels a lot better on your skin. As you can imagine, the naturally rounded tip of each bristle is going to feel better than getting something from a subsequent cut, where the end that touches your beard and face has already been cut, making it sharper and of lower overall quality.
While feeling soft, the bristles are also very firm and durable, which is important. Later cut bristles on some brushes may feel like they have more give to them, but even despite that, the ends will feel scratchy in a bad way, and they won’t last as long.
Quality Pear Wood Handle
This is a good size brush to grab in your palm, unlike some of the smaller brushes out there. Due to this, it’s not as ideal for travel, nor does it come with a little tin like our top pick, but if you just plan on using it at home, this is still very worthy of your consideration.
It’s made from pear wood which will prevent warping, so aside from developing a natural patina from the oils over time, this brush will hold up for quite a while. You won’t need to even think about replacing it until way down the road. The bristles are going to last a long time, and the brush itself will maintain it’s integrity.
This is a perfect example of choosing between buying a cheaper version of something and having to replace it over and over and never having a great experience with it, as opposed to spending a little more to get the proper version and saving money in the long run, not to mention having a much better time using it.
It is 2018. Vikings no longer look haggard. Instead, they sport smooth, trimmed, combed and buttered beards.
Smooth Viking started off with a catchy brand name and backed it up with a bunch of quality products for beard grooming.
So much so, that they have quickly become one of the most popular brands in men’s grooming.
Their beard brush is one of their flagship offerings and is the #1 selling product on Amazon in the ‘Beard comb’ category.
It features a compact and ergonomic handle with wild boar bristles. That sounds like any other beard brush. But Smooth Viking does not use filler bristles (read synthetic). It is one of the handful of brands that use 100% wild boar bristles.
The bristles are firm and help to untangle even the curliest and coarsest of facial hair. I’ll let your imagination do the thinking if you are looking to use this elsewhere. Point being, that it will work flawlessly even with the thickest hair on your body.
The handle is easy to grip and use and you will not find boar hair bristles clinging on to your beard.
Even if you have patchy beard, this helps to remove ‘beardruff’ and also any dirt, food particles that may cling on to your beard. If you are using beard butter or oil, then the long bristles ensure that it is evenly distributed on your beard hair and the skin underneath.
Even the tiniest hair strands are evenly covered.
Also, in the rare event that you have a problem with the beard brush, Smooth Viking has one of the best customer support teams in the business. Reach out to them and they will help you instantly. This is the perfect brush/comb combination to add to a beard kit.
Grave Before Shave is well known in the beard industry. We’ve reviewed a number of their products, and they are always quality. When doing our annual round-up, we found that they created a beard brush and we just had to give it a go.
For starters, unlike traditional palm style brushes, this brush features a long handle. One of the reviewers on our team has hands like baseball mitts, and he preferred the handle. The palm style brushes can be engulfed in your hand if your hands are too big.
The bristles are made of 100% boar bristles. This is the most common material. If you’ve ever used a brush with bad synthetic bristles, then you know they do more harm than good. With that being said, this brush is completely cruelty-free. No boars were harmed in the making of the brush.
The handle is made of a Bamboo material. Overall it seems durable and also looks pretty nice to boot.
ZilberHaar was a newer brand for us to see. Which is strange because they have hundreds of solid reviews. This is another long-handled brush, but the brush part is definitely smaller than the Grave Before Shave option.
The bristles are 100% boar which is great because we aren’t big fans of the cheap synthetic stuff. Brush bristles are something that you can either get very wrong or very right. In this case, they got it right. The bristles are perfectly stiff and can pull through the thickest of beards.
Some reviews have noted the product “feels cheap.” We completely disagree with that statement. The brush is made of a pearwood grown in the Black Forest of Austria. The bristles are then handpicked and inserted into the hand-carved pieces. How on earth does that “feel cheap.” We’ll give it to you, the hand-carved wood is quite delicate and soft, but that just demonstrates the fine craftsmanship put into this product.
If you are thinking of using a long-handled option, you can’t go wrong with this German hand-crafted piece.
If you do not have a Dumbledore beard and your primary intended use of a beard brush is to evenly spread beard oil or butter that you use, then you may like this brush from Huntsman Beard instead.
Like my #1 pick, this also has wild boar hair bristles. But the bristles are a tad softer than the ones on the Smooth Viking brush. This enables you to brush repeatedly until the balm or oil is distributed on the hair and the skin.
Make no mistake, this will also serve perfectly if you are looking to detangle your beard and scrape off beardruff.
But some people prefer softer bristles while others like them thorn-sharp. That’s just a personal preference.
The brush itself has a beautifully designed handle. Goes on to show that there’s always scope for aesthetics no matter how mundane the usage of the product may be.
The handle is oval shaped and has a natural wooden tanned finish. Looks great on the counter when not in use.
I must mention a couple of things though. When you take it out of the box, it may have a slight odor which may seem offensive if this is the first time you are using wild boar hair products. Just leave it in the open for a couple of days and the smell should dissipate.
Also, it is common for a few bristles to fall off when you first use any beard brush. I just ruffle my fingers through the brush a couple of times and a few of them fall off straight away. That’s completely normal. At least you won’t find boar hair in your beard afterward.
It is surprising that at a time when there’s a lot of demand for American made products, Zeus has managed to elbow out a lot of local brands with its quality. This is a German made beard brush that has excellent customer reviews all over.
The reason is the quality of the boar hair they use in the brush. This is the first cut bristles of a wild boar.
Now, we have heard about first and second cuts in timothy hay while feeding rabbits. What’s the deal about it in beard brushes?
The first cut is the part of the hair that grows closest to the animal’s skin. Something like the stem at the base of a plant and that makes it considerably thicker than the upper part of the hair.
So, these bristles are extremely firm. In fact, I would rate them as ‘bordering hard’. If you have a short beard or stubble, you may want to check out the #2 pick in this list instead. But if you have a beard that is longer than an inch or so, this one is going to be just perfect.
It will detangle anything and is also perfect for spreading beard balm, butter, wax, oil or conditioner.
The handle is only about 3 inches in length though. You may want to keep that in mind as it will affect how you are able to use the brush.
On the upside, that makes the brush perfect for traveling. It will even fit into your pocket.
Also, none of the bristles fall out even when the brush is new. So, if you hate to find brushes shedding, try this one.
It comes with a neat looking rucksack that can be used during travel.
The Beardman is a relatively new entrant into the world of beard brushes. But in very little time, their beard brush has managed to ruffle the beards of more popular brands. This is a soft bristled boar hair brush.
So, if you find hard bristles too harsh on your skin, here’s one more option for you. Also, at 4.5 inches in length, the handle is slightly longer than most other brushes in this list.
This makes it easier to use and hold especially if you are a big man.
It has a conventional rectangular shaped handle though that makes this look like a shoe-polish brush. It is made of bamboo and has a natural polished finish. This also gives it a woodsy aroma that sort of conceals the pungent odor that wild boar hair bristles have.
I found that a few of the bristles are ready to jump off right when you take it out of the box. Use the same trick here. Just run your fingers over it once and let the loose ones fall off.
The brush works perfectly for beards of all sizes. You can use it for spreading beard oil as well as for general brushing purposes.
You’ve got to hand it to Rocky Mountain Barber for incorporating a neat design feature into their beard brush. The brush is the only one which has a contoured design of the bristles that allows better contact with the beard.
If you are using this to apply beard balm, then the contour allows the balm to evenly coat hair strands at different stages of growth.
The bristles are on the softer side which also makes this an excellent choice for someone with sensitive skin.
Coming to the quality, the bristle quality is top notch.
It is 100% boar hair without synthetics or fillers.
It flows through even extremely curly beards and helps to detangle it and prevent ingrown hair. Also, it has a solid poached wooden handle with a shiny black finish.
The Rocky Mountain Barber logo with its prominent ‘Coat of Arms’ acquires a prime spot on the front face as well as on the side of the handle in contrasting white.
The package includes a neatly designed wooden box that makes a perfect travel case as well as a great gift box for that wannabe beardsman in your circle.
Last on this list is this military style brush from Brush Strokes. While the above options are great, they can be a bit pricey. This option is perfect for anyone on a budget and gets the job done.
While we would of liked to see only boar bristles used, this brush features boar as well as a plastic style bristle, which is why it’s so affordable. The ratio of boar bristle to synthetic is about 1/50. So the number of boar bristles is quite minimal. With that being said, the bristles that are synthetic aren’t cheap plastic that stops being stiff after a months use.
The brush is quite small, but fits in the palm of your hand nicely. This would be a perfect travel brush in your toiletry bag. The body of the brush is also made of durable wood.
Overall, at this price point you can’t go wrong. If you aren’t into the hype of 100% boar then this option is perfect for you.
There! That eases the task for you. Those are the best beard brushes in the market and I have just separated these from all the clutter that would otherwise overwhelm you. And in case you are wondering how I picked those, then here’s a small buying guide that will help you understand what separates a good beard brush from a gimcrack.
A good quality beard brush is an investment that will help you circumvent a lot of the common problems that come with a beard. And here are a few factors that will help you spot a good one.