There’s no doubt about it, every man’s skin is different. But when it comes to treating beard dandruff, I hear “beard oil” being shouted far too often. The truth is, beard oil is not the only solution out there.
For some beardsmen, it’s what literally snowballs the flaking problem in the first place.
Sometimes a simple shampoo and condition is all your beard wants on a regular basis.
I put this guide together to show you that the same approach doesn’t always work for every man.
There are other solutions you can turn when you’re struggling those pesky flakes.
Don’t give up, within time you’ll be wearing black again without the worries.
Healthy bearding to all!
What causes beard dandruff:
Dandruff and skin flaking is more than often the result of fungus. While most men might think it’s directly related to dry skin, that’s not always the case. Remember, dandruff is not the same as dry skin.
For instance, if you started using a moisturizer you might end surprised once you discover that it doesn’t work. While in comparison, if you applied a dandruff or skin flaking shampoo specifically formulated to targeted those problems, you’ll more than often see a dramatic improvement.
The truth is, any beardsman must uncover the source first in order to get rid of the flakes.
From there it becomes much easier to find the right treatment.
Now, your beard can start snowing flakes for all sorts of reasons:
Dry skin, fungus, shampoo and conditioner residue, oil and balm irritation, Sebhorreic Dermatitis, water temperature, and lack of drying among other causes.
How to cure beard dandruff:
Before I jump into the cures, understand that it takes time!
From a few days to a few weeks, sometimes two or three.
To keep your beard soft, hydrated and the skin beneath it healthy, use beard oil at least two to three times per day. If the weather is extremely humid or dry, apply more often.
Look for products that contain jojoba oil, like Viking Revolution Beard Oil Conditioner. It will more than often do the trick!
Remember, soak the beard oil into the roots of your hairs!
Understand, beard oil is often touted as the miracle cure for dry skin, but that’s just not always the case! For light or minor flaking you’re chances of eliminating dandruff are usually pretty high. However, if you have moderate or heavy flaking, more than often you’ll need to investigate other solutions.
Considerations: If you have super sensitive skin, beard oil can actually make your problems worse by clogging your pores. Not to mention, too much oil can be a contributing cause of dandruff in the first place.
If you on the go and haven’t had time to wash your beard, a little beard oil will often prevent light flaking.
See the: Top 13 best beard oils for men and where to buy them here.
Brush, Wash and Exfoliate
Pick up a two-sided brush like the Annie 2 Way Wooden Military Brush, which has a course side and a soft side. Brush away. The key here is to distribute natural oils more easily.
When you take a shower in the morning, grab a gentle wash cloth and scrub your face. Exfoliating will shed all those dead skin cells away before they can dry out and flake off during the day. Just remember, the key is to exfoliate without overly irritating your skin; never scrub aggressively.
Try washing your beard twice per day; take morning and night showers.
If you’re using soap to scrub your beard clean, please do your face a favor and stop!
While shampooing in the shower, work your fingertips down to the roots of your beard hair. Ensure you are making contact with the skin underneath your beard.
Considerations: For some men, too much shampoo only makes matters worse. Limit shampooing your beard to once or twice per week if helps relieve your dandruff.
Special beard shampoo
Regular shampoos not working in your favor to control dandruff? Try replacing your normal shampoo with a more specialized beard shampoo like Wahl Beard Wash.
Considerations: Don’t be surprised if beard specific shampoos don’t work for you. Some solutions won’t work for every single man out there.
Believe it or not, but sometimes baby shampoo like Johnson’s Baby Shampoo can work wonders.
Perhaps the most recognized of them all, Head & Shoulders. Just look for Pyrithione Zinc. It generally works for most men, but not every single man out there.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to rotate of your treatments. By doing so you’ll help prevent hair follicle mites, bacteria and yeasts for mutating and adapting.
In other words, add coal tar extract (T-Gel), Salicylic acid (T-Sal), and Selenium Sulfide (Selsun) to your routine.
Remember to be cautious, as anti-dandruff medications like Head & Shoulders can potentially dry out your skin, and produce more dandruff if you use them too frequently.
When using anti-dandruff medication, give it time to soak in before rinsing off. The same is true for any man’s acne medication too; you must give it enough time to penetrate deep into the skin!
See the: Top 12 best anti-dandruff shampoos for men here.
Prescription Antifungal Shampoo
A prescription antifungal shampoo from your dermatologist will fare better than Head & Shoulders.
Understand, there’s always the chance you are suffering from Seborrheic Dermatitis. Sometimes the best cure is the miracle snake oil your dermatologist prescribes. Make it a point to see one and get checked!
Considerations: For Seborrheic Dermatitis, shampoos and soaps with Ketoconazole can often do the trick.
There’s also steroid-based shampoos, such as Clobex, however they are not intended for daily use.
If you aren’t moisturizing already, start today regardless of the flakes. It’s incredibly easy. Go ahead and moisturize your face first, then once you get to down your beard, message it deep into the hair roots.
Considerations: When selecting a moisturizer out, try to go for a fragrance-free product like Lubriderm Daily Moisture.
A question I get asked a lot is when to moisturize? Before or after applying beard oil. Moisturize first.
Some men seem to solve their flake problem by simply dropping the shampoo all together.
Try soaking your beard in conditioner and cold water for five minutes every day, then rinse it away.
If you’re not a fan of conditioner either, give hot/cold water and scrubbing a try without the grooming products.
For other gentlemen, conditioner is too oily and makes the problems worse.
Consider dropping it from your routine if that’s the case.
If you’ve ever broken out in hives, rashes or itched all over from the wrong laundry detergent, body wash or soap, you’ll know what I mean. The truth is, some men have sensitivities to certain chemicals, like dyes and perfumes (fragrances).
Look over the ingredients label on all your grooming products; aim for all-natural. You might discover an ingredient that you’re allergic to. It’s not all too uncommon to have a negative reaction to things like laurith/sulfide.
Sure, hot water feels incredible, but it can often lead to an unruly beard. No matter if you have dandruff or if you’re dandruff-free, I always recommend washing with cold water. The majority of men I’ve talked to have had significant improvements within a the first week by simply switching from hot to cold water.
Remember to consider the water temperature of your shower! Not just the water temperature when washing your face/beard over the sink.
Considerations: If you have really dry skin on your arms or legs for example, switching to cold water can often heal those uncomfortable itchy patches too.
When making the switch from hot water to cold water you’ll end up needing less beard oil.
No I don’t mean moisturize, I mean drink more water!
Food Sensitivities and Allergies
Allergies to wheat and milk products are actually quite common in men. To determine if you are affected by them or any other foods, stop eating one food for a week and evaluate your skin condition.
You might be surprised.
Considerations: Try cutting carbohydrates from your diet too. It’s easy to binge on them; reduce your intake. The sugar in your blood can feed these microorganisms.
Take the time to dry your beard properly, it’s important! Avoid air drying which can lead to leftover residue on the skin and in return, produce flakes.
When you go to bed at night, don’t sleep with damp skin under your beard.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Some gentlemen swear by this home remedy, other simply can’t stand the smell. Apple cider vinegar works by treating excessive bacteria and yeast-like fungus, and acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial aid. Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most trusted products.
To apply it, just use a cotton ball. You’ll want to repeat the process daily or as needed.
If you have red patches of skin that you can identify, give an anti-fungal cream a try. Think Athlete’s Foot for example, you’ve probably heard of it. If you haven’t, look for tinactin (clotrimazole).