While most people are split on the look of a beard itself – some love it and others, not so much – one thing that almost all people agree upon is that a beard needs to be extremely clean to look good.
There’s almost no bigger turn-off than a dirty, unkempt beard, and one of the biggest signs of poor beard hygiene is beard dandruff. Unfortunately, beard dandruff is a pretty common problem, as it afflicts about half of the world’s beard population.
Fortunately, this problem is easily addressed. This article will discuss how to get rid of beard dandruff permanently, as well as discuss some additional tips for grooming and maintaining your beard. Read on to learn more.
What Is Beard Dandruff?
Per Head and Shoulders, a shampoo maker and dandruff expert, beard dandruff is identical to the kind that can develop in your hair. It is usually the result of a microbe called Malassezia globose feeding on the oils in your beard or hair.
The skin’s natural oil is called sebum. When these oils are broken down, the byproduct is oleic acid. This acid irritates about half of the population, making the skin underneath the beard or hair itchy and red.
Almost everyone reading this can picture someone with facial hair who exemplifies this condition. Because sensitivity to the oleic acid that the body naturally produces occurs in half the population, it’s quite common for anyone with a beard to develop beard dandruff.
Now, there’s also an advanced condition called seborrheic dermatitis which would require a visit to a dermatologist. This type of dermatitis is an infection that produces intense flaking, as well as discoloration of the skin.
However, this condition is much less common than beard dandruff, which thankfully is easy to treat and remove.
How to Treat Beard Dandruff
Just like regular dandruff, the treatment of beard dandruff requires the right shampoo. Dandruff occurs because an overly-acidic environment forms on the surface of the skin. To treat this development, a pH-balancing agent such as a good dandruff shampoo needs to be introduced.
There are a number of shampoos and additives specifically designed to treat and eliminate beard dandruff. Below, we will highlight some of the best choices in order to help you make a great selection for yourself.
Before incorporating a treatment shampoo, here are some basic tactics for reducing or removing beard dandruff:
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, exfoliating is simply removing dead skin cells away from the surface of the skin. Men in particular may not know much, if anything, about exfoliation.
A strong purchase for anyone planning to grow and keep a full beard would be a quality beard brush. These specifically-designed brushes will pull dead skin cells away from the skin and out of the beard, as well as distribute natural or added oils uniformly throughout the beard.
Balding Beards ran down their list of the Best Beard Brushes for 2018, citing some of the best products currently available on the market.
We agree that the best brushes for managing beard dandruff are those with natural bristles, and we also agree that boar hear bristles provide the best blend of stiffness and suppleness for routine beard care.
Our favorite beard brush is the Seven Potions Beard Brush for Men. Made with 100% first cut boar bristles, this well-crafted brush is both affordable and effective as a solution for beard dandruff.
The general idea is to regularly comb through your beard in order to first remove dead skin cells and distribute natural oils throughout to increase softness. This is the first step in warding off beard dandruff for good.
Keep Your Beard Extra Clean
Part of having a beard means that you will need to take extra care to keep it clean.
As noted above, the natural environment of heavy facial hair is very conducive to the development of dandruff, so anyone with a beard will need to carve out a little extra time each day to clean and maintain their facial hair.
You can certainly use a regular shampoo on your beard. In many cases, the hair quality between the hair on your scalp and the hair on your face will be almost identical.
If you want to purchase a shampoo specifically to combat beard dandruff, you can purchase a pre-made dandruff shampoo, or you can design your own dandruff-fighting blend.
These are a few ingredients you will want to focus on if you’re having issues with beard dandruff:
Coal Tar: this ingredient is used medically to treat a number of skin conditions, including seborrhoeic dermatitis. It is inexpensive and commonly added to dandruff shampoos.
It is dark and thick, as it is a byproduct of coal. There are a number of coal tar solutions and products available for purchase, if you’d like to try the ingredient by itself.
Selenium Sulfide: this ingredient is widely used to treat fungal infections on the skin. Selsun Blue, one of the world’s preeminent dandruff shampoos, heavily relies upon selenium sulfide.
The ingredient has been used in a number of research studies, and is commonly added to dandruff shampoos.
Tea Tree Oil: for those that consider some of the other ingredients on this list to be too abrasive, tea tree oil is a natural, essential oil that treats fungal infections and leaves a very pleasant scent in the hair or beard.
A number of people believe that tea tree oil can help with both beard quality and beard growth, and it is very commonly used by those who grow and maintain full beards.
Like all of the ingredients on this list, tea tree oil soothes the skin, helping to eliminate a dandruff-producing environment before it begins and greatly reducing your chances of developing beard dandruff.
Zinc Pyrithione: this clinically-researched ingredient has been found to be extremely effective at fighting and preventing dandruff, and would be a great addition to any beard dandruff shampoo or solution.
As the study noted, there was “significant reduction” in the microbes on the face and scalp, preventing the development of dandruff before it could begin.
Head and Shoulders considers Zinc Pyrithione to be the world’s #1 anti-dandruff ingredient, and it’s rare to find a dandruff shampoo that doesn’t include the ingredient in the mix. If you want to effectively treat beard dandruff, this appears to be the ingredient to focus on.
Using one of all of these ingredients is a strong strategy for eliminating beard dandruff for good. Beards require additional care, and if you plan to grow and cultivate a beard, then you will probably need to purchase a few additional products to care for it.
Think of moisturizing as a “clear coat”, a final layer that will protect your skin against damage after shampooing and washing.
This is where beard oils come into play. Beard oils serve to smooth and soften your beard and face, putting the final touch on your facial hair and greatly improving the overall quality.
Men’s Health put together a list of their favorite beard oils, but we personally like Every Man Jack beard oil. The product is affordable, available, and effective, which are three traits we love to see in any product.
A good beard oil is yet another way in which you can protect against beard dandruff, while also improving the quality, shine, and softness of your beard.
Top Choices for Treating Beard Dandruff
Selsun Blue and Head and Shoulders of course make full lines of dandruff shampoos. A number of their respective products would be fine choices for eliminating or treating beard dandruff.
If you are looking for beard-specific products, a few good choices would include Professor Fuzzworthy’s Beard Shampoo and Billy Jealousy Beard Wash.
The Professor Fuzzworthy’s product includes a bar-shaped, beard-specific cocktail of all-natural ingredients intended to nurture the beard and reduce itching. It is considered by many to be the world’s best beard shampoo, and is obviously effective for treating beard dandruff.
Made with aloe leaf juice, the Bill Jealousy Beard Wash soothes the skin naturally, while honey extract, soy protein, and green tea extract all work to improve skin and hair quality.
These are the consensus top-two choices for treating beard dandruff, but there are a number of other quality products on the market.
We recommend that you look for the ingredients mentioned above, but most good beard dandruff shampoos will already include a combination of our preferred ingredients.
Keep Beard Dandruff Away for Good
By following the suggestions presented above, you can keep beard dandruff away for good, and sport a high-quality, great-looking beard.
As long as you regularly brush, wash, and oil your beard and face, you greatly reduce your risk of developing beard dandruff in the first place. At the same time, you can greatly improve the quality and shine of your beard.
In the event that you do develop beard dandruff, we’ve presented a number of products and tips to help you solve the problem quickly.