Nothing dampens your beard confidence like a blizzard of dandruff flakes landing on your shirt whenever you touch your beard.
We refer to this beard dandruff as beardruff, and it’s a common annoyance many men face—especially if they are new to the beard game.
The good news is that generally speaking, beard dandruff is an easy issue to resolve with some adjustments to your grooming and beard care routine. And for most men, these adjustments lead to a healthier, better-looking, and better-feeling beard.
Keep reading to learn how to tackle the most common causes of annoying beard flakes and keep them from coming back.
Note: We are not medical professionals. We make men’s grooming products (awesome ones). Please see a doctor if you are suffering from excessive flaking accompanied by painful red skin that affects your sleep or disrupts your daily activities.
BEARD DANDRUFF CAUSES
Like regular scalp dandruff, beard dandruff can be caused by several factors. We’ve found these four to be the most common for beardsmen:
- Dry skin
- Overly oily skin
- Contact dermatitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis
If the skin on your face and beneath your beard is too dry, it can peel and flake. This tends to be more of an issue in the winter or if you live in a dry, arid climate. Your beard feeds on the oil on your face, so when your skin is dry, you’ll find that your beard tends to look and feel dry as well. Switching to a gentler Beard Wash and adding conditioning products like Beard Oil to your grooming routine will usually resolve beardruff caused by dry skin.
Overly oily skin
M. globosa microbes grow on oily areas of the skin, like the scalp and face. This fungus helps break down that natural oil produced by your skin (known as sebum). When M. globosa eats up the sebum, it leaves behind oleic acid, which can irritate the skin and cause flakes. This issue can be exasperated if you happen to have overly oily skin. Exfoliating and washing your beard more frequently can help you remove excess oil and dead skin from your beard.
Contact dermatitis happens when your skin has an allergic reaction to a substance and develops a red itchy rash and sometimes dry, cracked, scaly skin. This can often be caused by ingredients in soaps, cosmetics, and fragrances. Generally, removing these ingredients from your grooming routine is all that is needed to resolve this issue.
Seborrheic dermatitis is considered a chronic form of eczema characterized by excessive flaking and itching that you can't get under control. A doctor can provide you with medicated creams and lotions to manage your skin.
HOW TO GET RID OF BEARD DANDRUFF
Building a grooming routine that involves proper washing, moisturizing, and exfoliating your beard is typically all that’s needed to get rid of your beard dandruff for good. Here’s a simple 4-step approach to getting rid of your beardruff and making your beard look and feel awesome in the process.
- Adjust how and how often you wash your beard
- Post-shower hydration
1. EXFOLIATE THE SKIN BENEATH YOUR BEARD
If you are currently dealing with beard dandruff, the first thing to do is start exfoliating all that dead skin trapped beneath your beard.
Use a Beard Brush to help dislodge and shake loose those beardruff flakes. We prefer using 100% boar’s hair brushes because boar’s hair closely mimics human hair. The bristles are extra stiff, allowing them to penetrate longer beards and better exfoliate the skin.
Want to learn more about exfoliating and skincare? Read our Men’s Skincare Ultimate Guide.
2. ADJUST HOW AND HOW OFTEN YOU WASH YOUR BEARD
Assessing what you’re using to wash your beard and how frequently you’re cleaning it is a critical step in putting a stop to beardruff. We typically find that most men with beardruff are washing too often and are using shampoos that are too harsh for the skin beneath the beard.
HOW ARE YOU WASHING YOUR BEARD?
Plenty has been written on the difference between beard hair and head hair, so we’ll spare you the additional science lesson. What’s important to know is that your face typically doesn’t produce nearly as much sebum as your scalp.
Why does this matter?
Healthy, dandruff-free hair—whether it’s on your head or face—requires proper sebum maintenance. That’s where shampoo comes in. The detergents in shampoo help remove the excess sebum from your scalp, along with dirt and debris that have accumulated on the hair shafts.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky…
Regular hair shampoos tend to be designed with harsher detergents explicitly intended for the oilier skin on your scalp. Apply that same shampoo to your face regularly, and those harsher detergents will likely strip away too much sebum from your face—leaving you with dry skin and the potential for beardruff.
If you suffer from beard dandruff and use regular hair shampoo to wash your beard, try switching to a cleanser explicitly designed for your beard, like Beardbrand Beard Wash.
That said, if you don’t want to get super granular in your grooming routine and prefer products with multiple uses, we recommend the Beardbrand Utility Bar. It’s a gentler cleanser with hydrating ingredients that serves as an everyday soap, face wash, beard wash, shampoo, and shave puck.
When you wash your beard, focus on massaging your cleanser into the skin beneath your beard. The foam formed by the cleanser will dislodge the dirt and debris on the hair shafts as you rinse it out.
DON’T FORGET THE BEARD SOFTENER
Designed to act similarly to conditioner for your head hair, Beardbrand Beard Softener lubricates your hair and helps reduce the dryness associated with more brittle beards. This helps keep your skin healthy and reduces the flaking that can leave your beard looking and feeling less healthy than you’d like. Similar to a hair conditioner, Beard Softener can be used on the days when you don’t use a beard wash. Once your beard is clean, helping to keep it moist is the second step in ensuring beard dandruff doesn’t begin to build up.
Now, on to washing frequency.
HOW FREQUENTLY ARE YOU WASHING YOUR BEARD?
Overwashing your beard strips away too much sebum and is one of the biggest culprits of having a dry beard, dry skin, and beardruff.
Unless you have very oily skin, you typically don’t need to wash your beard more than two or three times per week. But how do you figure out the right frequency for you? It takes a little trial and error.
Washing frequency for dry skin
If your beardruff is caused by dry skin, start reducing the number of times you wash your beard per week. For most men, two or three times per week is plenty. You can still rinse your beard with water on days when you don’t wash it, and don’t forget to use Beard Softener to condition your beard.
Washing frequency for oily skin
Conversely, if your beardruff is caused by oily skin, start increasing how often you wash your beard. If you are already washing your beard daily and still dealing with flakes, it might be time to consult a doctor.
3. APPLY POST-SHOWER MOISTURE
Even if you’re not washing your beard, showering can still leave your skin dry. This is where post-shower hydration becomes essential. And when it comes to hydrating the skin beneath your beard, nothing beats Beard Oil.
Beard oils act as a leave-in conditioner for your beard and, more importantly, the skin beneath it. Essentially, it helps replicate any sebum lost when washing, hydrates and softens the skin and hair, and makes your beard smell amazing. You can learn more about beard oil by reading our blog, What Beard Oil Does.
4. USE SUNBLOCK
There is some speculation that a beard provides you with UV protection. And while there is evidence that your beard can provide some protection from the sun, it’s best to err on the side of caution. One thing we know for sure is that getting a sunburn beneath your beard is a surefire way to ensure you have a flaky beard for a few days. Opt for a lightweight sunblock that is easy to work through the hair and down to the skin. We like the Mantl Invisible Daily SPF 30. It’s easy to apply and doesn’t leave white residue on your beard.
Struggling with beard dandruff or just need some beard advice? Text "STYLE" to 512-879-3297. Our resident beard and style expert will text you back with personalized advice—for free.
Keep on Growing.
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