Ask five different guys how often they wash their beards, and you’ll get five different answers. It’s a common question we get from customers, and unfortunately there is no easy answer. Instead, how often you wash your beard depends on a number of factors, including your skin type, beard type, where you live, and your daily activity level.
The idea is to wash your beard often enough to prevent it from smelling like last Saturday’s steak dinner, but not so often as to dry out your beard and skin.
Follow the guidelines below for a place to start, and adjust frequency until you find a balance that works for you.
Your skin produces excess oil (sebum). Wash your beard more frequently – even daily if your skin can tolerate it – to prevent buildup in your pores, which can lead to beardruff and acne.
Your skin does not produce much sebum. To avoid drying your skin out even further, wash your beard every 2 – 3 days. If your skin still feels tight and flaky, cut back to every 3 – 4 days.
Your skin is oily in the T-zone and dry everywhere else. Wash your beard every other day. If you’re getting oily in between washes, rinse your beard with plain water.
Coarse and/or thick hair tends to be on the drier side. If you have curly hair, it can be even drier. That’s because it’s easier for sebum to travel down straight hair than curly hair. To avoid dehydration (and ensuing frizz), try washing your beard once every 3 days.
Thin hair gets greasier faster than thick hair, so you can get away with daily washing to remove the extra oil. Daily washing will also make your beard appear fluffier and fuller, a major plus if you’ve got a patchy beard.
Where you live directly impacts the moisture level of your beard.
If you live in Sedona, Arizona – where it’s either really hot or really cold and almost always dry – your skin and beard will be lacking moisture. Extreme heat + dryness parch skin and beard, while extreme cold + dryness can freeze and even break your beard hairs. In this case, the solution is to let a day or so of sebum to build up on your skin to keep it naturally hydrated.
Cut back on how often you shampoo, and ALWAYS follow up with conditioner and beard oil to replenish lost moisture. We also recommend sealing the moisture with an emollient like beard balm.
High humidity levels are great for your beard and skin, keeping both soft, supple, and strong. But there is too much of a good thing: excess moisture and sticky skin mean more microorganisms and dirt can hitch a ride on your skin, causing clogged pores, inflammation, and acne.
Increase how often you shampoo, and follow up with conditioner and beard oil to restore lost moisture.
Do you work as a subcontractor, hauling heavy objects for a living? Or are you a gym rat who hits it hard in the weight room every day? If your lifestyle calls for sweaty activities, you’ll need to wash your beard daily. This prevents grime and oil from clogging pores.
Other things to consider
What kinds of products you’re using
If you’re using a bar of soap to clean your beard, just give up now. Bar soap contains harsh ingredients that strip your beard of its natural oils.
Using a shampoo designed for your beard will aid in preserving your beard’s moisture. That’s because beard shampoo is formulated with ingredients that clean gently, without removing natural oils. If you use a quality beard shampoo, you’ll be able to shampoo more frequently simply because it’s a more nourishing product.
Zeus Beard Shampoo contains green tea to reduce inflammation, plus aloe, vitamin E, and vitamin B5 to moisturize while calming the skin.
No matter how good it feels (especially on a cold day), don’t blast your beard with hot water. Hot water increases circulation to your skin, causing inflammation, dryness, and itch. Stick with warm water as you’re washing your beard, and finish with a splash of cold water to seal in moisture by closing the pores.
Are you using conditioner?
Never. Skip. Conditioner. To keep things even healthier, apply beard oil. After washing your beard, follow with both beard conditioner and beard oil. Beard conditioner instantly restores lost moisture, while beard oil penetrates even deeper, acting like your skin’s own sebum to create balance in your skin’s ecosystem. Beard oils don’t contain heavier ingredients found in lotions or creams, so they’re able to deliver a high concentration of active natural ingredients into beard and skin.