Some guys seem to think that itching is a right of passage and a daily annoyance if they want to have a beard. But that isn’t true! You don’t have to tolerate an itchy beard.

Itching can be a sign of skin irritation — or it can simply be a response to that tickly feeling that you get when hair brushes against skin. If you aren’t used to it, that can seem annoying, itchy and even painful.

Here are seven things you can do to limit or eliminate the itchiness you feel when you’re growing a beard, when you’ve had it for a while or, actually, anytime:

Wash frequently. It sounds really gross, but bacteria can cause itching, so wash your beard frequently. Consider using a dandruff shampoo like Selsun Blue. It’s formulated to reduce dry skin, a common cause of itching, plus it has menthol to sooth the itch. Just keep it out of your eyes. Nothing hurts worse.

Moisturize regularly. Don’t be afraid to rub moisturizer through your beard into your skin. Focus on areas where you feel the most itching. A skin moisturizer reduced dry skin and that crackly, tight feeling that dry skin can cause. The skin under a beard is often the most mistreated on the body.

Use beard conditioner. Special beard conditioners are designed to treat your beard hair as well as the skin beneath it. Plus, they have pleasant, manly smells and improve the look and feel of your beard. You can also use regular hair conditioner or leave-in conditioner, but they often smell weird and aren’t strong enough.

Use something oily. Even stronger than beard conditioners, products like jojoba oil and even simple olive oil can help eliminate the problem of an itchy beard. Be careful though. It doesn’t take much oil to condition an entire beard, and too much oil can clog pore and cause bumps and additional irritation.

Grow it longer. Longer beards tend to itch less because the hairs grow well past the skin, meaning the sharp ends don’t rub against the skin as much. So keep growing, using the other tips in this article to help you tolerate any itchiness until you get past that stage.

Trim the trouble spots judiciously. Sometimes, it’s only one or two spots that are actually itching — even though the whole beard can seem itchy. For me, it’s under my nose and over my ears. So pull out or trim stray hairs under your nose and trim your beard hair clear of the top of your ears — if you have the same problems.

Use a hydrocortisone cream. A mild anti-itch cream applied on any areas that are particularly bothersome can make you feel a lot better. Chances are, the problem will go away when the specific irritation heals or when the hairs in the area grow out past the itchy stage.

Learning the tricks to eliminate minor irritations and beard itchiness is part of having a beard.

An itchy beard can be caused by not washing enough, washing so much that you dry out the skin or failing to condition or oil your beard. Good beard grooming involves solving minor problems that come up as you’re growing — rather than shaving at the first sign of trouble.

Even though a great beard is worth a little irritation, you don’t have to suffer if you follow these tips and tricks.