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How To Stop Beard Dandruff

Posted by Drew Plotkin | Chief Dude Officer on

You have a beard. Congrats!

If you’ve had it a while, you know that growing a beard is an ongoing work in progress—sometimes painstaking work—especially if you’re beard-challenged. It takes time and patience to grow it to impressive Viking status—the epitome and culmination of beard envy. You also know it’s something to maintain and requires some grooming to keep it looking good and manly, instead of sasquatch-like.

Rouzbart Viking Beard

Maybe you’re one of the lucky few blessed with quick beard growth, while most of us are plagued with sparse, patchy and uneven growths and need some ‘outside help’ to reach beard-envy potential. And then, there are dudes with scruffy mugs who have just begun the beard-growing process, all in the hopes of achieving a full, lumberjack-quality beard in the foreseeable future.

Maybe you have been trying to grow a beard for years and you can never get past that itchy phase that is beard dandruff or you're just not sure what it takes to grow a beard. Trust me on this, most any dude can grow a beard if they follow the right steps.

Itchy Beard

@gregendries

Regardless of whether you’re growing a beard or already have one, you’re most likely aware of the ugly truth that comes with beards—itchy and yucky beard dandruff

In most cases, battle scars that show your journey to the promised land are a badge of honor you’re proud of sporting. But no matter where you fall on the spectrum of beard growth, you don’t want the dreaded souvenir of “beard dandruff”

 Should I shave my Beard Off?

It’s very common to impulsively consider shaving off the beard to eliminate it. STOP! Don’t panic, and put down the clippers and the razors. So, what then? Use a dandruff shampoo? Ehhh. Wrong again!

In order to stop beard dandruff, you should first understand what it is and how you get it in the first place.

Beard Dandruff noun
bird \ dan·druff | dan-dref \
Definition of beard dandruff
: a buildup of white or greyish flakes of dead skin cells especially of the beard, the hair that grows on a man’s face often excluding the mustache

also: the condition marked by excessive shedding of such flakes and usually accompanied by itching

BEARD DANDRUFF EXPLAINED

What are the causes?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that people associate dandruff with ‘dry’ skin – but it’s actually the opposite. Oily skin is more often than not the culprit.

1) Seborrheic Dermatitis, also known as seborrhoea, is the most common cause of beard dandruff. It’s a very common skin condition that most frequently affects the scalp, resulting in scaly patches, red skin, swelling and stubborn dandruff. But this can also affect other oily areas of the body – such as your face. This is considered a chronic form of eczema and typically appears anywhere on the body where there’s a lot of oil-producing (sebaceous) glands. This chronic inflammatory disorder is also more common in males, especially between the ages of 30 and 60, also known as prime beard-growing years.


Seborrhoea on Face
Beard Fungus | Dermatitis

2) Malassezia buildup is another cause of beard dandruff, and very often connected to Seborrheic Dermatitis. Malassezia is a genus of fungi (or yeast) naturally found on the surface of skin. Seborrheic dermatitis, humidity, oily skin, excessive sweating and improper hygiene can all acerbate a buildup of Malassezia on the skin resulting in beard dandruff.

Beard dandruff is exactly like the dandruff you get on the scalp of your beard, except it appears in your facial hair instead. So why can’t you use a dandruff shampoo, just as you would for your scalp?

HOW DO I STOP BEARD DANDRUFF?

To get rid of beard dandruff and prevent it from happening, you need to keep your beard (and the skin underneath) clean, hydrated and healthy.

Step #1:  Exfoliate your beard

Scratching your beard isn’t enough. Whether it’s a brush, a loofah, washcloth, or an exfoliating glove – use something that can help get under your beard to remove all of the old, dead, dry skin, in addition to any buildup of yeast, oil and bacteria. Not exfoliating properly can lead to the white flakes on your shirt! If you have a beard, you should have a beard brush. It tames strays, detangles, distributes oil and helps exfoliate skin under the beard.

Step #2:  Use “beard-specific” products

Beard wash, oils and balms
Let’s put it this way. If you want your car to run properly, you need to check the oil, put in the right type of gas and give it regular maintenance checks, right? You’re not going to put baby oil or olive oil in the car. It’s the same with your beard. For your beard to be healthy, you need to feed it with the right stuff.

First things first, that means you need to wash your beard daily with a beard wash – a wash made specifically for beard hair and the skin underneath. A good beard wash contains natural oils without the harmful, harsh chemicals found in regular and dandruff shampoos that strip away oils. That means a beard wash is designed specifically to cleanse your beard (the coarse, wiry follicles) and the skin underneath to remove dirt, bacteria and any buildup of natural oil production. Beard wash will maintain proper hydration without stripping and will also nourish both your hair follicles and the skin beneath.


Beard Wash | Beard Dandruff
Beard Oil Application

After you cleanse your beard with a beard wash, you need to use a hydrating beard oil to replace any natural oils lost. Now, there are a ton of beard oils on the market – lots to choose from. Do they really work? Yes, a good beard oil works! Using the proper brand of beard oil helps keep problems at bay, like beard dandruff, as well as itchy skin and rough hair with split ends.

Once your beard has been cleansed, adding back in the right kind of moisture will help eliminate frizz and keep the hair strands softer, more manageable, and easier to tame or shape.

Beard Oil

Using a beard oil is not reserved for only fuller, thicker beards. As a matter of fact, some beard oils are specifically formulated to promote fuller beard growth. No matter what length your beard is, or what stage of growth you’re at, using a conditioning beard oil that uses a blend of natural, essential oils will help condition and moisturize your beard and the skin underneath – all while promoting and encouraging growth. It’ll even give your beard some shine and make it soft to the touch. Beard oils made with natural oils can have tremendous benefits for both your hair and skin. It’s important to look at the ingredients and make sure you avoid using any beard oils with synthetic ingredients or fragrances, which can put you at risk for further skin irritation.

The right beard oil can accomplish a lot for your beard. It inevitably keeps your beard ultra-healthy and strong so it can grow properly, prevent flakes, red, scaly patches, inflammation, and dry patches. The natural oils can help repair the integrity of your hair, help strengthen the follicles and add moisture protection throughout the day.

Tattoo Petroleum
Sons of Hollis Beard

@sonsofhollis

Beard Balms

Beard balms are another bullet proof step in armoring yourself against annoying beard dandruff and keeping your manly mane soft and smooth. Massaging a natural balm into your beard after washing with a beard wash can help add other natural ingredients that help keep your beard smelling and looking nice. Balms are particularly effective in colder temperatures and winter months when skin tends to dry out much quicker.

IF OIL CAUSES BEARD DANDRUFF – WHY USE BEARD OIL?

Good question, Sherlock. Beard dandruff happens when there are excess oils on the skin and the presence of fungi. Using a natural beard oil to replenish needed moisture will not cause beard dandruff. The reason being is beard hair is different than the hair on your body and head – it’s much coarser and it absorbs any moisture away from your skin. So, it’s important to make sure your skin doesn’t dry out and is replenished with hydration. Beard oils that are 100% natural absorb properly into hair and skin, providing the right type of hydration and nutrition and without leaving a greasy buildup.

Even if you are prone to oily skin, don’t be afraid to use a natural beard oil. You still need to nourish and moisturize your skin and beard correctly to keep it balanced and healthy. Sensitive skin, or acne-prone skin still require proper hydration and nutrients, especially if it’s covered with coarse beard hair. Try using beard oils with antibacterial or anti-inflammatory ingredients that help calm and soothe skin.

Think of beard oil as the ‘conditioner’ for your beard. If the beard wash is your shampoo, the beard oil is your conditioner. And the beard balm is your additional styling product. All together, they are designed for the makeup of your beard hair and skin underneath, giving your beard what it needs to grow, thrive and look clean, fresh and healthy.

You’ve invested your time into growing a beard you can be proud of – or eventually be proud of. Don’t let beard dandruff get in the way. Invest in quality beard products to blast the flakes once and for all so no one notices anything, but your beard.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and be a Viking!

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