How to touch your beard without ruining its shape is important. When you have a beard, longer than say ¾”, you cannot walk around with miscellaneous hairs out of sort.
So how should you touch your growing fjord of manhood?
Using your fingers like a rake is pleasant. It helps avoid knots and gives your beard a level of volume. That volume only exists in the spot where you run your fingers through it. Unless you have child hands you will not be able to get the same lift on your moustache or even under your bottom lip. If you have a shaved chin then, hey, run your phalanges through all you want.
You beard will take and odd shape if you fluff your beard too much. Your side burn and jowl area will look large and clown like while the rest looks flat. Tools were created for a reason.
Combs, keep knots and tangles away but can pull hairs out if you use the wrong tooth gap. I broke every other tooth out of my comb to accommodate my coarse beard hair. There are some really great beard exclusive combs out there like Jony Smith. Something like this is great and for less than $50 you can have a handmade comb.
Outside of the tool realm, you can use products to help keep the shape of your beard like Beard Wax or Tamer. But then touching your beard through the day becomes less appealing which isn’t always a bad thing. Too much trauma or pulling on a beard can thin it out. With a short beard these are easy solutions but what happens when it gets a little longer?
With a long beard one will be seen stroking the tail or termination of the beard. This gives your beard a conical shape. If that’s what you like, great. With any length beard make sure not to yank down on the hairs because you risk losing some of your most familiar follicles. If you want to keep the beard full and fanned out, shape your beard in the morning and train yourself to let it alone.
The best way to touch your beard is to not.