Can you Perm or Relax a Beard?

Perm or relax a beard

A curly and tangled beard can be hard to comb and style. Perming is one of the methods to help straighten your beard. However, there are good reasons not to perm your beard as well.

So, can you perm or relax a beard? While you can perm or use a relaxer on your beard to straighten it. It is not recommended to perm your beard or use a beard relaxer. This is because the perming and relaxing process involves heat and chemicals that will do more damage to your facial hair. This will cause breakage, frizzy beard, dry, and brittle beard. In case you decide to perm your beard, make sure it well moisturized and conditioned.

Related post: How to fix beard curls

Is It Safe to Perm Your Beard?

While it is safe to perm your beard? When you compare the harm perming or relaxing does to your beard with the benefits, you will realize perming your beard is not worth it. Let us get into the details of what goes on when you are perming your beard.

If you have to subject your beard to this harsh process, make sure you apply coconut oil before chemical or heat-styling your beard. Coconut oil has a high affinity for hair proteins that will make sure your beard is protected from protein loss. After the perming process, be sure to apply coconut oil again to further protect against protein loss.

Beard Perming Process

The perming process involves the use of chemicals and heat tools that alter the texture of your beard or hair.

First, let us understand what makes up the beard hairs.

The beard just like the hair is made of three parts, namely cuticle, cortex, and medulla. The medulla is only found in hairs or beards that are coarser like beard hair, grey beard and hair and thick hair. The medulla is however not found in the fine hair of children. Asians have more medulla compared to caucasian and Africans.

Asian beard and hair have a high concentration of cuticle compared to Caucasians and Africans who have even less cuticle compared to Caucasians. As a result, the African hair and beard are highly prone to breakage.

Now that we have understood the make up of the beard hair, let’s dive into the beard perming process.

As explained earlier, the beard perming process involves using chemicals or beard relaxers to straighten your beard. For these chemicals to straighten your beard, they need to interfere with the structure of your beard. Naturally, beard hairs are hydrophobic, this means that beard hairs will repel water. But when permed your beard will become hydrophilic hence attract water. Too much water absorption will make your beard swell and later cause breakage.

Benefits of Perming Your Beard

Straighten Curly Beard

Since perming your beard means changing the texture of the facial hair, one of the benefits you get is a straight beard.

Men of African descent normally have curly beards which can be hard to comb through and maintain. Perming can help black men straighten their beards and ease its maintenance.

Easy to Style

One of the reason most men perm their beards is to make it easy to style it into their style of choice. Perming will help you detangle your beard making it easy to comb. When you apply beard wax or balm you will be able to style it as you like. Mineral oil is another solution for easing combing.

Disadvantages of Beard Perming


The perming process as stated above changes the texture of the beard by weakening the keratin bonds that makes up your beard. As a result, when you comb through your beard you will experience breakage especially when you comb with a narrow-toothed comb.

So what’s the solution?

To deal with beard breakage issues, do a reconstructing beard protein treatment. Beard protein treatment will absorb into your beard and repair the damage caused. Washing your beard using rice water is another inexpensive way to provide proteins to your damaged facial hair.

Dry and Brittle Beard

The chemicals used during the perming process will draw moisture from your beard. This will make your beard brittle, dry and may even cause split ends and frizz. If not taken care of you may end up having dry skin under the beard that may end causing flaky skin and dandruff.

So what’s the solution?

Make sure your beard is well-conditioned using a beard conditioner and not a hair conditioner. Then use a good quality beard oil with oils such as coconut oil, avocado oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil.

Alternatives of Beard Perming

Now, we have already established that perming your beard is not a good idea. Below are a few things you can do to style, condition, soften, and make maintaining your beard simpler.

Condition and Moisturize

First off, stop washing your beard with your normal body wash, soap, and hair shampoo. These body and hair products are not made with the beard in mind. Wash your beard with products designed specifically for the beard such as beard wash, beard shampoo, or beard soap.

You should wash your beard about twice a week. The rest of the days you can wash your beard with just water. Overwashing your beard will strip it much-needed sebum oil that keeps your beard moisturized naturally especially if you have a short beard.

The next step is to condition your beard. Here, you can use either leave in conditioner or wash conditioner. Follow it up with good quality beard oil that does not have anti-androgenic oils such as lavender oil, tea tree oil, and rosemary oil.

However, to achieve softness in your beard you ought to use beard products that have argan oil and jojoba oil. These two oils have been proven to soften and condition your beard. Other oils include olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you chemically straighten your beard? You can straighten your beard chemically, however, in the long run, using chemicals on your beard will end causing more harm than good. It will weaken, dry, and create frizz and split ends.


While perming your beard will make it easy for you to style it. The bigger picture is that it will cause more harm than good. Chemicals used during the perming process are not beard-friendly. These chemicals will dry your beard, and weaken it. Using quality beard products will help you achieve most of the things you get with beard perming.


Hi, I'm Ben! When I embarked on my beard-growing journey, I had lots of questions. Now having successfully grown a beard, I launched this blog to share the answers I discovered through extensive research. Alongside beard tips, I also offer insights on maintaining and growing dreadlocks, as well as general advice on looking your best. I'm all about helping others look and feel great!

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