beard split ends

Why Does My Beard Split in the Middle?

Why doesn’t your bears grow like you see others? You may be worried if your beard split ends as it grew. I will let you know if this is a problem. Regardless, there are ways to minimize and even fix it. In this article I will answer this and more so you can rest your beard heavy head in peace.

Your beard splits in the middle naturally due to genetics. The hair on your chin grows at a slower pace than those along your jaw. Sometimes this effect can be intentionally amplified by styling. Injuries affecting hair growth and wearing a chin strap can contribute.

What is a Forked Beard?

Beards split ends, also known as a forked beard, is where the hair on your face grows down into two points. These points are clearly defined and both sides appear symmetrical. This phenomenon occurs more often as a beard grows beyond the 12 inch mark. If you’re like me and obsessively track your beard’s growth, pay attention to the tip of the beard as it approaches this milestone.

Should you worry? While there’s limited literature on this topic, that’s probably a good thing. Just don’t search WebMD or they’ll probably tell you it’s terminal. Facial hair in general is cosmetic. Meaning it’s just for fun or styling. There’s no reason to be concerned about a beard unless you’re a female.

Why does my beard split ends?

  • Genetics
  • Older Age
  • Scars and Injuries
  • Style Choice
  • Helmet Chin Straps

Drum roll please. Genetics are the key factor on whether or not your beard splits at the end. If you have any interest in genealogy, it would be fun to research. Locating images of your relatives from decades ago could be telling. However, with genetics, there’s no way to know how often this trait shows up on your family tree. So don’t be too disappointed if you can’t find a picture of your great grandfather with a forked beard.

Also interesting is that your beard may not split at the ends every time you grow it out. Some men report they have grown forked beards and non-forked. It would appear that as the person ages, it is more likely the beard split ends.

Short Forked Beard

Take into consideration if you have a scar from an old injury. I have a very small scar on the top of my head from where I received stiches. Intelligence aside, the only affect it has is a small area of hair will not grow. If you get a burn or scar on your face or chin, it could have an impact on the growth of your beard. This being said, the vast majority of forked bearded are unrelated to this.

More causes of Forked Beards

Some people have also been known to intentionally style their beards to appear forked. As with any trend it comes and goes. There’s no way to know when a fashion will come back into style. Braiding or beads are two methods used to coral the chin hairs into different designs that mimic a forked beard.

Attention to all motorcycle riders. If you wear a helmet and it has a chin strap, this can temporarily affect the growth of your beard. The same goes for bicycle rider and athletes wearing helmets for their sport. This is considered an environmental cause that is typically temporary and easy to prevent. The problem is the pressure that is placed on the hair follicles. This can impact the growth rate by stunting hair growth only at that location.

How to Fix a Forked Beard

Fix for Forked BeardEffectiveness
Beard Oil / WaxTemporary
Braids / BeadsCoverup
Wet Braids OvernightMixed Results
Beard ManagementMost Effective, Not Ideal

Forked beards caused by genetics cannot be prevented but they can be managed. This is like dying your hair because you don’t like your natural color.

One of the most popular techniques is the use of beard oil and beard wax. There are plenty of products on the market that address this topic. One thing to note is you may have to try a couple different brands before you find the one that’s right for you. In addition, this fix is usually temporary. If you stop using the product, your hair can revert back to the way it was. With this being said, constantly using these products can be a hassle or time consuming.

A second option is to braid the hair as mentioned above. This really isn’t my style and it may not be yours either. The real trick is to braid wet hair overnight. Feel free to unbraid your hair when you wake up. There’s no need to buy anything or use anything but water. What you are really doing is trying to train your hair. People do this trick with mixed results. Considering it is free and you don’t have to go out in public like this, it is worth a shot.

Most reasonable solution

Finally, the most reasonable option may be to trim your beard to a reasonable length where fork is less obvious. The length of beard you are left with depends entirely on where the fork in the beard begins. There are some extreme examples where the beard splits very close to the skin. If that’s the case, you will need to try one of the above solutions or try another style.

As stated above, wearing a helmet can have an effect on your beard growth. I will just say that you should prioritize protecting your head from injury. Instead of skipping the helmet, be more conscious on how long your leave it on. Another thing I recommend is scratching or massaging the area. This can be just a quick adjustment done every time you take the helmet off. Is it worth changing? Other than personal preference, there’s no real reason why you have to change anything. Having a beard with split ends can make you distinguished and stand out in a sea of your bearded brethren.

Where are beard split ends most popular?

Forked Beard Location by Interest

Forked beards are most searched in the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. In the US and UK, this is mostly due to style trends. In India, there are indications forked beards can be linked to religious symbology.

Forked Beards in Pop Culture

One of the most popular forked beards can be witnessed on Johnny Depp in his Pirates of the Caribbean movies. This is an example of voluntary styling. His character uses a combination of braiding and beads to achieve this result.


In conclusion, beards split ends mostly due to genetics. Your personal choice of styling also plays a role. Wearing a helmet with a chin strap or having an injury on your skin can have an impact.

Sleeping in wet hair while its braided is the cheapest option. If that doesn’t work, I suggest trimming your beard to a more manageable length under 12 inches. Trying beard oil and beard wax products until your find the right one is fine too.

Moving Forward

I recommend trying some of the styling options listed above. This can change the routine in your life and make things more interesting. As people notice, it can bring more interest your way and be a real conversation starter.

Now that you’ve read this article, keep an eye out for forked beards in the real world. Whenever I buy a new car, I always notice them more on the road. The same thing can be true for this style.

Continue reading more interesting articles like do beards make you look shorter.

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