It can be frustrating to see that, after months of growing your beard, it starts to split in the middle. Known as the “forked” beard, it is a common problem among beard groomers, especially those with beards longer than 15 inches.
However, there are different solutions to this problem that might help you out. In this article, we will talk about why this happens and the best ways to solve the problem. Let’s dive into the details!
What Is A Forked Beard?
Before we start, let’s clarify what the forked beard, also known as a french fork because those forks had only two prongs, is. It is a beard that splits in the middle and forms a fork-like shape.
A forked beard might be a style that you aim for. However, it can happen naturally to some people, usually when the beard grows over 15 inches. There are different reasons why it happens, but it all comes down to genetics, which is an important part of everybody’s life.
Why Does A Forked Beard Happen?
A forked beard is a common issue among people with long beards. If you check online forums, you will see different theories about why a forked beard happens.
Genetics may be why a forked beard happens.
As mentioned, your genetics have a huge impact on your beard. Genetics is also the most common reason for a forked beard – and you can’t go against your own DNA. In certain research performed in 2016, over 6,000 Latin Americans were examined to see DNA’s influence on the head and facial hair.
The scientists correlated certain features of beard and hair growth with their genetic structure, an approach known as a genome-wide association study. They managed to identify a certain gene that was previously associated with hair thickness in people from China.
However, after the research was performed, the researchers stated that, except for hair color, they don’t yet understand enough of the genetic basis related to that hormone to change the influence of genetics on hair growth. So, there is no fighting against your genetics – if your male relatives have a forked beard, chances are that you will have a forked beard, too.
A forked beard may be caused by hair growing slower on your chin.
Another reason, also related to genetics, is that your hair might grow slower on your chin. Your DNA affects the hair growth rate on different skin parts, which may cause your beard to split. In the early stages of growing a beard, the difference is barely noticeable since the beard is short and curly enough to hide the difference in length.
However, as the hair grows, the difference becomes more and more obvious. In the middle of the chin, the skin is slightly stretched around the bone, which causes beard hair to point in different directions over time. Especially if you have a different hair density over the surface of your face, your beard might be more prone to forking than other people’s beards.
Not brushing properly can create a forked beard.
While growing a beard, it is essential to brush it frequently. However, if you accidentally brush on the sides more than on the front, you might cause your slightly forked beard to become more noticeable.
Although brushing your beard seems like a simple task, it might be slightly complicated and might take some time until you learn how to do it properly. There is no strict rule – every beard is different, and over time, you will learn how to brush your beard properly.
Maybe you are spending more time on the right or left side of your face. Or maybe you hold your beard at a specific angle while brushing. All of these things might cause your beard to become more forked.
We recommend using a soft beard brush like these.
Other theories of why a forked beard happens?
There is also a theory that using a hairdryer more or less on certain parts of your face can cause a forked beard over time. However, there are a few more things that can cause a forked beard and even affect the health of your beard.
For example, chemicals from shampooing your hair and different oil balms and waxes can also affect the look of your beard. Brushing multiple times a day and vigorous rubbing with a towel can also introduce a forked beard over time.
How Do I Stop My Beard From Forking?
As we mentioned, you can’t fight genetics. However, there are a few things you can do to minimize the effects of a forked beard.
A braid can stop your beard from forking.
One of the simplest ways to deal with a forked beard is to put a braid in the middle. That way, the hair surrounding the gap will be held into place in the middle and will prevent forking. There are two ways that you can use a braid.
For example, when you dry your hair in the morning, you can form a braid to hold the hair in place during air drying. When you finish drying the beard, you can simply undo the braid.
On the other hand, you can keep a small (or large) braid during the day to hold the hair together. Even a small braid can do an awesome job of keeping the two sides of the fork together.
Create a beard ponytail to stop your beard from forking.
Similarly to the previous option, you can create a ponytail of your beard to prevent it from forking. It doesn’t have to stay in all day – you can simply undo the ponytail after air-drying your beard.
You can even grab some hair ties or elastic bands and create a Viking-style beard ponytail that goes from the chin to the tip of the beard. It might not be suitable for the office, but it can be a very interesting look for the weekend.
Beard wax can help stop a beard from forking?
Using beard wax to hold your hair in place can be a great solution to prevent a forked beard. However, you can’t use just any wax – you need a beard wax with a very strong hold, especially if your beard is large.
Think about the handlebar mustache that stays upright and resists gravity and wind; that’s the level of hold you need for a forked beard. You can also use beard oil or balm, but they provide a much weaker hold.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you might need to try out a few different beard waxes until you find the right product for you. Depending on whether you have a softer or stronger beard, you might need to do a bit of trial and error until you find the perfect solution.
Here are a few good options to try out.
Let the beard grow out.
If none of the above works for you, our final advice would be to let the beard grow out. It is amazing how many beard issues can be resolved by growing your beard out. However, you must have a good grooming routine and keep your beard clean and healthy.
To ensure your beard stays healthy, you should apply high-quality products with natural ingredients. Also, keep your beard moisturized and conditioned to prevent a split beard. We recommend using a quality beard shampoo and conditioner.
With all that in mind, you should be patient and allow your beard to grow. As the beard grows, its weight will help bring it together and prevent a fork-like shape.
What Are The Best Beard Styles For Forked Beard?
Let’s say that you have tried all of the methods above, but nothing works for you – it’s possible. In that case, you should find the best beard styles to make your forked beard look amazing. Let’s check some of the best styles you should try out.
The Jack Sparrow beard is one of the best beard styles.
Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp, the protagonist of the Pirates of the Caribbean, made this style popular again. Of course, some people might find his style somewhat weird and overwhelming, but it is still very special and unique. Some rubber bands can also help, especially if they are bright and colorful!
Amish beard can often be a forked beard.
You might have noticed that Amish men usually have long beards and no mustaches. As mentioned, long beards can easily split, so that’s why Amish men usually have forked beards. If that is a style you like, you have solved the problem!
Wolverine beard is an epic forked beard.
This is one of the best beard styles that doesn’t require hair on the chin area of the face, also known as a Mutton Chop beard. If you have ever watched Wolverine, you have probably noticed that Hugh Jackman, with his forked beard, looks very epic and masculine. If you don’t have a patchy chin, you don’t need to wear this style, but it’s still a great idea to try out.
Is a forked beard a trendy style?
Yes, a forked beard can be trendy! If you have a forked beard, why don’t you just let it be? It is still considered a full beard, and in the past years, it was a stylish and very distinctive beard style that men didn’t want to fix.
It is not very popular nowadays, and we don’t see it quite often, but it will make you stand out from the crowd. Try whichever style you want until you find the one that makes you feel confident!
So, Why Does My Beard Split In The Middle?
Multiple reasons cause your beard to split in the middle, but most are genetics-related. Since you can’t fight your DNA, make sure to try all of the methods above to see what works for you. Finally, if you’ve tried everything and still have a forked beard, try some of the beard styles we mentioned to help you wear your beard confidently.