January 20, 2022

Sure, you can use hair shampoo on your beard – if you hate your face and beard. And, of course, you don’t.

The question really is “Should you?”. There’s a huge difference between can and should.

But the answer to the should question is still… No! No! God no! Please don’t! It’s simply not OK to use hair shampoo on a beard.

Now, we know it seems like great manly efficiency to use the same shampoo or body wash on everything. But hair shampoo and regular soap are way too aggressive for your face/beard and will cause issues, big time.

This is not marketing BS, but a genuine health concern for your beard and skin. Being a rugged bro should mean having the healthiest beard and skin, not the driest or itchiest. 

Hair isn’t just hair

Head hair and beard hair simply aren’t the same. Therefore, don’t wash them with the same products. 

The hair on your body that sprouted profusely during adolescence – including facial hair – is called androgenic hair. How much androgenic hair you have depends on hormone levels. Women have less body hair and don’t grow beards precisely because of hormones.

Androgenic hair is thicker and coarser than the hair on your head. BUT that doesn’t mean your beard can handle being scrubbed with regular hair shampoo. Quite the contrary. You need to use gentler products.

That’s because…

Skin isn’t just skin

The hair and skin on your face are also very different from everywhere else on your body. Different hair types grow out of different skin types – and facial skin is much more sensitive than on the scalp.

If you don’t wash your head hair for a few days, it becomes greasy. That’s because your scalp’s skin has more glands and pores, so it produces a lot of oil, coating hair and making it able to withstand aggressive shampoos that are designed to remove oil. 

On the other hand, if you don’t wash your face and beard for a few days, your skin suffers and your facial fuzz becomes dry and coarse. Your facial skin produces much less natural oil (sebum). As your beard lengthens, that sebum has to stretch further to keep the hairs hydrated, shiny and soft.

If you wash your beard with regular hair shampoo, you’ll further deplete its sebum oil. Your skin then reacts either by increasing oil production or by drying out. If it tries to up the oil levels, that oil doesn’t reach the beard, but gets mixed with skin flakes and dirt to block pores and follicles, causing beard acne and ingrown hairs. If the skin dries out, it cracks and flakes. The next thing you know, your whiskers are wiry and brittle and you’re dealing with beard itch, beard dandruff (beardruff) and skin irritation.

What makes a beard wash different than regular hair shampoo?

After all, don’t many beard washes and hair shampoos share similar ingredients?

Yes, some do. Some. But any of their mutual ingredients are formulated in very different proportions.

Meanwhile, hair shampoos contain other things like sulfates that cause the foam and lather. While we might like foam when washing, sulfates damage facial hairs. They’re like a harsh detergent.

A properly formulated Beard Wash contains no harmful sulfates or other nasties (like parabens, phosphate, mineral oil, silicone or colorants) so it can clean gently while preserving the important balance of natural oils in the whiskers and on your skin. A soft, silky, hydrated beard is a healthy beard. Less oil stripped away means less after-wash products are needed, which saves you money.

But ultimately it comes down to comfort. If your beard feels awesome, you feel awesome. If it feels irritating, you’re irritated. So choose wisely.

The bottom-line benefits of beard wash

  • Less beard itch.
  • Less cracked, scaly skin.
  • Cleaner pores.
  • Healthier hair follicles.
  • Less flaky beardruff.
  • Less beard acne.
  • Less frizz.
  • Fewer ingrown hairs.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Antibacterial.
  • Shinier beard.
  • Softer whiskers.
  • Fewer split ends.
  • Easier to brush.
  • Easier to style.
  • Easier to train hair direction.


What about bar soaps and body washes?

They’re for your body, where skin and hairs are different. Just like hair shampoo, they’re not for your face.

What if you don’t wash your beard and face at all? 

Well, you’re welcome to find out. But it won’t be fun. A smelly beard is pretty much guaranteed. You’re very likely to develop beardruff or beard acne – or both. Your whiskers will be wild and frizzy. Split ends and ingrown hairs can develop. And your discomfort with itchy, wiry hairs will be enough to make you want to shave.

And that’s just for starters. It’s so easy to prevent this with a good Beard Wash.

How frequently should you use beard wash?

Every dude is different. Some spend their days indoors while others endure harsher environments. Some have oilier skin, some have dryer. Some exercise and sweat a lot, while others take it easy.

You’ll figure out what works best for you, but a good rule of thumb is to use beard wash two to three times a week. On the off days, just rinse with warm water.

A good routine

Like cultivating a healthy garden, developing a healthy beard requires regular effort and maintenance. And it’s sooooo worth it. 

So, now that you know to keep hair shampoo well away from your beard, here’s how to get your face flourishing and fine…

  1. Wash your face and beard with beard wash two or three times a week. Use warm water only, never hot. (Hot water contributes to stripping away essential oils.)
  2. Pat dry with a towel. Never blow dry.
  3. On other days, rinse your beard with warm water, pat dry, and brush.
  4. Apply a small amount of Beard Moisturizer, right down to the skin.
  5. Apply a few drops of Beard Oil, right down to the skin.
  6. Brush with a Wild Boar Bristle Beard Brush. No combs – they snag and tug. Boar bristles distribute oil evenly and massage the skin.
  7. Apply a small amount of Beard Balm for shaping and styling, but also to enrich the moisturizer and oil and to provide a protective outer layer as they work their awesomeness.

Keep up this routine and you’ll see and feel a massive difference in your beard and the health of your skin beneath it. And keep the hair shampoo for your head hair only.

Beard on and be badass, bro!

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