As we all might have noticed in the recent years more and more men are trying to grow a beard and enjoy their new look. But nothing comes easy and once you start building the look you have been wishing for, you may encounter some problems – like beard dandruff for example. Like the one on your head, beard dandruff is just the dead cells of your skin’s upper layer. And that is the problem half of the globe’s male population is struggling from. This article will help with the why and how to get rid of beard dandruff.
However, there is a hope. Beard dandruff is not something you can never get rid of. One has to keep in mind certain instructions and tips. First of all, let’s have a closer look at the enemy we are fighting.
What is beard dandruff?
One can easily know if he has seborrheic dermatitis, or simply dandruff in a popular language – small white flakes on the beard say it all about the problem on hand, but that is not the only symptom. The itchy skin under the beard or skin rash that may come out of nowhere may be good signals which mean some actions have to be taken.
As the medics say fungal infections and dry skin are the two main causes of beard dandruff. That is true as well for head dandruff but let’s maintain our focus on the beard for now.
A microbe called Malassezia globose turns natural skin oil into oleic acid. Fungus infection is basically an allergic reaction of a human body to oleic acid, which causes redness, itchiness and turns skin cells into dandruff – that is where those white flakes come from. Another microorganism causing dandruff as some of the recent researches have proved is yeast called Pityrosporum ovale – it uses our skin to live on and makes it peel off.
Dry skin can be caused by using wrong cleansers for your beard, such as regular soap, or by extreme climate conditions. For example, a severe cold can dry your skin and be followed by beard dandruff or head dandruff.
How To Get Rid of beard dandruff
Now we move to how can we stop the beard dandruff and discuss some useful tips in details:
- Shampooing your beard
Shampooing your beard with a proper shampoo, which is made specifically to remove dandruff is the fundamental approach in a case of beard dandruff, as well as head dandruff. But there are some differences you have to keep in mind while choosing a beard shampoo. That means, if a shampoo is proved to be effective in stopping head dandruff does not necessarily work well for your beard as well.
Here are some main points of difference about head dandruff shampoo and beard dandruff shampoo to help you to choose the correct one for your beard:
- There are some chemicals contained in head shampoo which are aimed to remove skin oil from your head. This is the oil produced by sebaceous glands at the roots of the hair which make your hair look greasy. The thing is, unlike your hear this oil is vital for your beard because this is the basic instrument in keeping the beard nourished, good-looking and moisturized. There is a big variety of beard shampoos on the market that clean your beard without removing the skins natural oil. So, using head shampoo for your beard is the most basic and common mistake a beginner beard-grower can make.
- If a quality beard shampoo is used it removes the dead skin cells (which, as mentioned above is what causes dandruff to appear), without washing away the skin oil. You will get a clean, moisturized beard, nourished by both – beard shampoo and natural oil produced by human skin.
- Pay attention to an important ingredient that is normally included in a beard shampoo – Ketoconazole. Its primary action is treating fungal infections and seborrheic dermatitis.
Once you have chosen the proper shampoo for you, it’s time to use it – just wet your beard with warm water, apply a little shampoo on your hand and scrub your beard in all directions. Watch the water temperature and make sure it’s not too hot, because warm water opens the skin pores, while hot water can dry your skin out.
Another important point about washing your beard is the final stage of drying it with a towel. Try to dry it thoroughly, because too much moisture can irritate your skin.
And one last thing about shampooing the beard – it is not necessary to shampoo it on a daily basis. In fact, two or three times a week is totally enough to maintain the health and natural beauty of your beard. And also there is no danger of washing away the natural skin oil.
- Using a beard oil
Beard oil is something that will definitely benefit your beard whether you have any beard-related problem or not. Here are it’s some, but not all positive effects:
- Moisturizes your beard, keeping it hydrated.
- Stops itching and treats irritation of the skin.
- Reduces beard dandruff.
- Moisturizes the skin – the beard takes much of the moisture from the skin, so normally skin under the beard becomes drier than before.
- Softens beard and skin.
One reason to love beard oil is that it contains carrier oils and essential oils. Carrier oils are what carry essential oils to your skin and applying their therapeutic qualities. These oils are made from the fatty portions of a plant. Generally, the following vegetable oils can be found in beard oils: coconut oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil… Different vegetable oils have different treating qualities and should be chosen according to your needs and your beards specifications. Coconut oil, for example, is rich with antibacterial and antifungal qualities. Lauric acid contained in coconut oil can decrease inflammation and prevent beard dandruff. While tea tree oil, which has been used in different ways for many years soothes the skin and beard.
Essential oils contained in beard oils are lacking the health benefits in comparison with carrier oils but that is what can deliver a unique, stunning scent to your beard.
There is no restriction on how often you use it. Unlike beard shampoo, it is proved to be okay to use it on a daily basis. The recommended usage is at least three times a week, preferably after a shower. Keep in mind to dry your beard before applying the oil, but it is ok if the beard is just a little damp. You can apply the oil with your fingertips or use a beard brush if your beard is long.
Just a few drop per application is normally enough. Try to avoid the ingredients which can plug your skin pores in case you have overly sensitive skin, or your skin is naturally oily. Also, try to avoid oil if it contains alcohol.
- Using a beard brush
Brushing with proper beard brush makes your beard look neat and clear but that’s far not everything that is good about brushing it. With a brush, you sweep the dead skin cells we call dandruff to the surface of the beard. It can be washed away easily afterward in a shower with a beard shampoo.
And still there are more benefits:
- Brushing helps and fastens the process of growing beard and prevents hair loss. Brush bristles gently massage the skin and increase blood flow to your hair bottoms.
- Beard brush helps to distribute skins natural oil evenly on your beard and your skin. This oil is what keeps your beard and skin fresh and moisturized. This way you treat itchy, dry and flaking beard.
- Of course, the visual effect – brushing loosens knots and curls and gives your beard more conditioned, soft look.
- Maintaining it all clean – with a brush you get rid of dirt and dust that accumulates in a beard during a day.
Similar to the case of beard shampoo, keep in mind that what you need is not just an ordinary brush but a special beard brush. As mentioned above in the article your head hair and your beard are quite different in many ways, like texture, thickness, the amount of oil etc..
A big range of different beard brushes is available including brushes with natural bristles or with synthetic bristles. You can easily choose the one that fits your needs most. However, as the experts recommend brushes with natural bristles are the best choice. Especially ones made of boar hair, because they are best in distributing the skin oil and loosening the knots on your beard.
Of course, a good brush is not all you need to get rid of beard dandruff completely, but it is an essential part of your grooming kit as long as dandruff is concerned.
A question naturally arises whether it is possible to use a beard comb instead of a beard brush or not. Both deliver different unique benefits but when it’s about beard dandruff brush is irreplaceable. Let’s have a look at the differences between a comb and a brush.
A comb is better in building a look of your beard you have always wanted – you can style and improvise the look more easily with it, while a brush gives your beard a fuller look and is especially useful at the earlier stages of beard grow. More benefits of a comb include preventing ingrown hair, keeping your lips and mouth clear of facial hair and distributing the oil.
- Using a beard balm
Using a beard balm along with beard oil can help fighting beard dandruff and also will benefit you in other ways as well. Hence you should definitely keep a place for it in your grooming kit.
Similar to beard oil beard balms are mostly made of the ingredients which closely resemble your natural skin oil ingredients. As mentioned above dry skin is one of the core causes of dandruff in general. While moisturizing your skin and beard a quality beard balm can be of a great help in fighting the monster named beard dandruff.
We don’t rinse the beard balm with water after applying it. It stays on the beard and makes it look and feel soft. It is much easier to comb and style your beard if you use a beard balm regularly and above all, as mentioned already it is a friend that helps fighting dandruff.
There are many different beard balms you can choose from, but mainly two core ingredients are included in each of them – beeswax and cocoa butter (or different vegetable butter, e.g. shea butter).
Beeswax is a building material for keeping a beehive together. It is a natural secret from the worker bees’ abdomen and is quite a strong, solid material. Because of this characteristic of this ingredient a beard balm helps you to maintain your beard’s style in place after combing or styling it.
Another important ingredient contained in a beard balm – a cocoa butter is what keeps your beard, skin and hair follicles hydrated and moisturized. No need to say any more about the importance of hydration. It is the first and probably the biggest step in fighting dandruff.
As your beard grows longer and denser more and more care is needed to keep it healthy and beautiful and to keep its shape after styling it. So a beard balm is particularly useful for longer beard. But at the early stages of your grooming beard balm will help you to keep your skin and facial hair moisture, hydrated and free of beard dandruff.
- Reduce stress
We all know how much of negative effects can stress have on one’s life. Studies have shown that men who live overly stressed life are more prone to develop problems related to hair (and beard as well), including beard dandruff. Of course it is impossible to live a life totally free of stress, still, there are some useful recommendations about how to reduce it.
Try to pay more attention to your rest – good night’s sleep is of a crucial importance as medics reckon. The lack of sleep alone can lead to many undesired results. Find time for physical exercises. Visiting a gym or going for jogging regularly will noticeably reduce stress and make life better in many aspects.
- Use a lactic acid cleanser
Lactic acid is a natural substance extracted from milk, certain fruits and vegetables. It is commonly used in the cosmetics industry for making skin-care remedies. Lactic acid skin cleansers are very easy to get, you will find it in almost every store.
But how exactly does it help you in fighting beard dandruff? It exfoliates the skin on your face and peels off the upper layer of dead cells. As we know these cells are what actually become dandruff later on. Except exfoliating and cleansing the skin lactic acid cleansers also moisturize the skin and protect it from dehydrating.
Glycolic acid has similar effect as the lactic acid, but when it’s about beard lactic acid is recommended in the first place, because it is less irritating. Apply lactic acid cleanser to your skin, rinse it off with water and you may well find your that the beard dandruff has disappeared.
- Natural alternatives
As described so far in the article using different chemicals and other modern solutions can be very helpful and that is one way to fight beard dandruff. Another way is using conventional methods which, as many people believe is as well very effective.
So what do we have here?..
- Baking soda
Amongst plenty of benefits a baking soda can provide one is fighting against dandruff. When applied to the beard it reaches the hair bottoms, exfoliates skin and removes the upper layer of dead skin cells.
- Aloe vera
Aloe vera is very widely used worldwide in skin-care, beard and shaving products. Containing ingredients which are necessary for a skin to maintain naturally healthy state it has a soothing effect, stops itchiness and hydrates your skin.
Lemon’s natural acid can settle down flaky skin. Try mixing lemon juice, honey and water and apply it to your skin.
We know how important it is to drink enough water every day for the whole human body. Along plenty of other positive effects water washes away the toxin which can cause dandruff.
No, it’s not only about a headache. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which can be found in almost every anti-dandruff product.
- Eat healthy
Healthy food is crucially important in human’s physical and mental health and we all know it. Now let’s see how a healthy food can help your skin, facial hair and fight beard dandruff. Foods which contain vitamin A, for example eggs, milk, carrots repair skin structure, renew the damaged skin cells and stimulate hair growth.
Vitamin C and vitamin E help the skin to produce sebum oil, which hydrates the skin and beard and fights beard dandruff. Omega 3 fatty acid, found in different fish products strengthens the membranes of the skin cells and helps them to stay hydrated.
- Live active
Regular physical exercise is beneficial to your body in various aspects. No wonder it has a positive effect on your skin health and your beard as well. Exercise helps your skin to regenerate and promotes the production of sebum oil. Increased blood flow delivers nutrition to the skin cells more efficiently.
As discussed above it also relieves stress and this is very important for your overall health and for your beard in particular.
- Visit a doc
If you are one of them who have tried every possible method to fight beard dandruff but still couldn’t get rid of it, probably you may need to visit a dermatologist.
Not everyone’s skin is the same and there is no guarantee that above-mentioned methods will fit everyone. Your beard dandruff may need a special treatment and in this case, you should consult a professional.
To sum up it all let’s see how a regular routine of a groomer looks like:
- Try to find time for exfoliating your skin. It will help you to get rid of dirt in the beard, remove dead skin cells and reduce dandruff.
- Use a shampoo made specifically for beard 2-3 times a week. Carefully choose a shampoo which does not irritate your skin.
- Pay attention to water temperature while washing beard. It should not be hot, rather lukewarm.
- Dry your beard with a towel after washing. Leaving it wet can irritate the skin.
- Use beard oil. Massage it gently into the hair roots. In some cases, when a beard is long you may want to replace beard oil with beard balm, but you don’t need to massage the balm into the roots.
- Use a proper beard brush – the best is beard brush with natural bristles, especially with bristles made of the boar hair. It gives your beard a better look and evenly distributes the oil on your beard.