We all want what we don’t have, or so it seems. Those of us with a little waviness in our beards would like them to be straight. But those who have facial hairs that’s as straight as an arrow often want a bit of wave to give it character.

Anyway, it’s possible to take a curly beard with hairs growing in every direction and tame it. If you follow these five tips, you can control a wavy beard and perhaps achieve the look your desire even if it doesn’t come naturally or easily:

1. Comb your beard when wet. It’s important to only wash your beard gently, but it’s a good idea to comb through a wavy beard while wet. This works just like a straightening iron to help press the hair down and keep it in line. With practice, you’ll find that combing in the direction of the waviness can actually help iron it away.

2. Be careful how you sleep. A wave or curl at the bottom of a medium-length or long beard can be from crushing the beard hairs while you sleep. While you can’t control how you sleep all night, using your hand to smooth your beard just before turning to go to sleep can make a big difference. Then, wet the hair and comb it in the right direction as soon as you get up, if necessary, to help train it.

3. Use some product. Hair products aren’t just for women, but facial hair requires just the right thing. Regular hair conditioner dries hair, so use a beard conditioner or beard oil to treat yours. In addition to helping straighten it, it will make the hair softer and more manageable. Plus, it improves overall beard health and adds a bit of sheen

4. Consider a change in length. Waviness shows less in both shorter and longer beards, so consider a length change. Cutting your beard short enough could eliminate any waviness or curl, but allowing it to grow out can help too. The weight of hair can help pull itself straight, and longer hair is easier to comb in a way that reduces the appearance of curling.

5. Train it over time. Don’t give up if you don’t get immediate results with these tips. By combing your hair while wet and also when dry frequently each day, being careful while you sleep, using product and perhaps letting your beard grow out, it will actually look better and better with each passing day. Hair benefits from repeated and prolonged training, so try to style your beard every day.

Final Thoughts

I suggest that you don’t be too quick to try to control a wavy beard. A bit of kink and curl gives a beard some character. As I said, we all want what we can’t have, but we can choose to be satisfied with things as they are.

In other words, consider accepting your beards natural state.

There’s nothing wrong with some waviness — but there’s nothing wrong with trying to smooth it out a bit either. After taking care of your beard day after day, the hair will conform better to your desired look, and you’ll get used to minor imperfections too.

Having a beard is supposed to be fun, though, so don’t obsess about it. Enjoy it every day in whatever way you can — whether that’s accepting how it is or having some fun trying to train it to be different.