Those growing out their beard to any substantial length beyond stubble know just how tough and coarse their beard can become. While length can certainly help to make one's beard softer, don't expect the coarseness to change without a little bit of know-how.
In this article I'll be giving some tips on just how you can treat your beard to make it soft — not only for your own comfort, but for the comfort of your significant other as well. We will also briefly go over a couple methods of softening your beard, but we'll also get into how you should attempt to maintain its softness and health for the long haul.
Don't confuse conditioning of your beard as the same thing with your head hair. While the concept is the same, the products should differ. Hair conditioners are not for facial hair, mostly due to the sensitivity of our skin and how easy it is to clog pores. Instead of using your hair conditioner in your beard, opt for a beard oil instead. Or better yet, a beard butter for extra conditioning and softness.
Condition your beard after you've rinsed or washed it, as this will allow the ingredients to better pass through your hair's cuticle as well as into your skin via the extra permeation that the water allows. The skin's barrier is quite resilient, which is why applying moisturizing products after showers is highly recommended.
To take things one step further, you can also try a deep-conditioning routine where you apply your oils or butter and then sleep with a neck gaiter over your beard. This will lock in the oils and allow them to absorb into the hair shafts as you sleep at night.