Beard Shampoo? Shampoo, for your beard — what’s that all about then? Is it some kind of joke — a beard placebo cooked up by snake oil salesmen with facial hair?
Surely shampoo is shampoo is shampoo, right? Because hair is hair wherever it is on your body and what works on your head must work just as well on your beard?
These questions deserve answers. And we, bearded brothers, have them. Let’s get to the bottom of all this shampoo for beards thing once and for all.
What is beard shampoo?
First of all, it’s a real thing. Beard shampoo exists. Type the term “beard shampoo” into Google and you’ll find lots of people selling it. Type the term into the Mo Bros’s website, though, and you’ll find nothing.
That’s because we call it “beard wash.” There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Beard wash is different from regular shampoo and calling it shampoo confuses things.
- Shampoo is a strange word. Sham-poo. Shamp-oo. Weird. “Wash” just makes more sense.
For the rest of this post we’ll stick to calling it “beard shampoo” for consistency’s sake, but if you’re looking for the right product to wash your beard from us, beard wash is what you want.
How beard shampoo differs from regular shampoo
Regular shampoo (the one you use for the hair on your head) is designed to remove the natural oils from your hair and contains ingredients to help do this: sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and cocamidopropyl betaine. These ingredients, along with other ingredients like citric acid, panthenol and zinc pyrithione are great because they stop hair looking greasy, which none of us want.
Beards, however, rely on the natural oils that regular shampoo is removing to stay strong, healthy and manageable. Strip them away and you’re left with facial hair that's dry, coarse and brittle. The roots of the hair also become weaker, which leads to split ends and patchiness due to hair loss.
So beard shampoo (wash) contains different ingredients that are designed to preserve the natural oils and keep your mane in peak condition, components like jojoba oil, cocoa butter and shea butter.
The two shampoos work in the same way to prevent dandruff and add a silky finish, but beard shampoo does its works alongside the hair's natural oils, rather than taking them out of the picture.
What are the benefits of beard shampoo?
Besides leaving natural oils where they belong, using a beard shampoo offers several benefits:
- No more itch. Unwashed beards get itchy. Beards washed with regular shampoo get even itchier. Beard shampoo softens the hair and cleanses the skin underneath to take away the irritation.
- No more stink. Beards are a magnet for dirt and dust. They also live in incredibly close proximity to your mouth, which means all kinds of crumbs and fluids get into the hair on a daily basis. Then there’s the fact, beards must be stroked by force of habit at every given opportunity, whether hands are clean or not. If left without washing for a couple of days, things are going to get funky up in your mane. A good beard shampoo leaves your beard smelling great — not in a perfumey way like regular shampoo, but in a woody, zesty or spicy way.
- Easy grooming. Beards are notorious for not playing ball. If allowed to step out of line, facial hair grows in whichever direction it so pleases. Beard shampoo helps keep hair in check, softening it and making it more pliant for grooming, styling and shaping.
How do I use beard shampoo?
Beard shampoo is used much like regular shampoo: pour some into the palm of your hand (three pumps of the beard wash bottle if you’re using our product) and work it into a lather before massaging it into your beard and skin so it’s all nice and soapy. Then, rinse off the shampoo thoroughly with warm water and towel dry.
Here’s our Trev showing you how it’s done:
How often should I wash my beard?
This is a question we get asked a lot and it’s a tricky one to answer because it depends on a couple of different factors: how dirty your beard gets on a daily basis and how naturally oily your skin is.
The general rule is to wash with beard shampoo three to four times a week on alternate days. That’s enough to keep any irritation at bay while leaving hair feeling soft and smelling great.
If your beard is kept short and your skin isn’t all that oily, you might be fine washing 2-3 times a week, with a soaking of warm water only on days in between.
If you do manual labour work or spend your days working outside, you might prefer to wash your beard every other day, with warm water washing on non-shampoo days.
The idea is not to wash your beard too frequently so as to avoid stripping facial hair of its natural oils. That said, if your beard gets so dirty on a daily basis that shampoo is a must, go ahead and use it. Just make sure to choose a product that’s suitable for sensitive skin.
What should I use after beard shampoo?
Once your beard is clean, it’s primed for some serious grooming. We’ve developed the Mo Bro’s 5 Step Process that covers everything you need to know for magnificently maintained facial hair. You can read all about it here. To give a quick overview, though, after step one (wash it), you should:
- Condition it with a beard conditioner to soften and soothe the hair so it’s easier to manage.
- Hydrate it using beard oil to moisturise the hair and the skin underneath.
- Style it using beard butter, beard balm and moustache wax.
- Comb it using a beard comb or beard brush.
If you’ve any questions about beard shampoo, beard wash or anything else that you put in your beard, head over to the Mo Bro’s Facebook Community. We’ll be there, along with thousands of other shampoo-using bearded brothers, to answer them.