Too many people begin to grow a beard without considering the effort and work into caring for it properly. As a result, they end up with an unkempt, dry, or brittle beard.
Of course, one important part of caring for your beard is washing it regularly. But how often should you be washing your beard?
The answer differs depending on the person – there is no ‘magic number.’ Broadly speaking, you should wash your beard anywhere from two to four times a week. You can do this in the shower, or in the sink – whichever best fits your routine.
To figure out how many times you should wash your beard to best work with your skin and hair type, consider all of the following factors.
Skin Type Impacts Washing Frequency
Your skin type can really impact how your beard looks, but it can also impact how often you should be washing your beard. You want to make sure you don’t dry your skin out or remove its natural oils (like sebum) while also ensuring your skin and beard stay clean.
If you have dry skin, it is important to not wash your beard on a daily basis, as this can have drying effects on the skin. When you wash your beard, you should be sure to use beard oil or beard balm to restore moisture to the skin and combat dandruff.
If you have oily skin, it is recommended to wash your beard three or four times a week. Washing your beard and face will help to prevent any excessive oil buildup. This can help to reduce acne and clogged pores as well.
If you have normal or combination skin, you should only wash your beard two or three times a week.
Beard Length & Washing Frequency
Whether you have stubble or a long beard may impact how often you wash your beard as well.
Longer beards should be washed more frequently to prevent it from looking greasy or matted. Regular washing of bigger beards will also remove any pollutants or debris that may have been stuck with your beard.
For stubble, you can use a face wash and cleanse daily. For a more concentrated beard wash or shampoo, then wash your beard once every couple of days.
Sometimes there are factors outside of your control that can affect how often you may need to clean your beard:
If your job involves you getting dirt, pollutants, or debris in or around your beard, for example, you must wash your beard to remove them. This is not just to benefit your appearance but also to ensure minimal irritation to your skin. Consider wearing a beard net or face mask to reduce exposure.
Whether you are doing cardio or participating in organized sports, sweat can make a beard smell and look bad. So be sure to wash your beard afterward.
The change in climate can impact how your beard looks and feels.
Dry climates can lead to dryer skin and hair and may need washing less to prevent irritation or beard dandruff.
Alternatively, a humid or wet climate is good for your skin and hair as it keeps them moisturized and soft, but it is still important to wash your beard as excess moisture creates a breeding ground for microorganisms.
Does Type of Beard Wash or Beard Shampoo Matter?
Beard washes are available either as a liquid or in a bar, like soap. The type of beard wash you choose to use doesn’t impact how often you should wash your beard, nor should it impact how clean your beard is. A beard wash should be used with warm water and applied then rinsed from the beard.
Watch For Chemicals in Beard Washes
When shopping for beard care products, it is important to check the ingredients. Some mass-produced shampoos rely heavily on chemicals to provide the right scent, consistency, or properties.
Unfortunately, these chemicals may lead to dry skin, inflammation, and brittle hair follicles. If you’ve already purchased a beard shampoo like this, reduce the frequency of use and consider applying your beard conditioner more liberally.
Alternatively, shop around for a beard shampoo with more natural ingredients, including carrier oils, essential oils, and more.
Signs of Washing Your Beard Too Often or Too Few Times Per Week
If unsure whether you’re over or under washing your beard, just pay attention to what your beard and skin are telling you. There are a few signs that might suggest your washing routine is wrong.
Beard Itch & Beard Dandruff
Suddenly developing beard itch or beardruff may be a sign that you have washed your beard too frequently, leading to dry skin beneath the facial hair. To reduce the beard itch, you can reduce your shampoo use and apply a conditioner more liberally.
Greasy Looking Beard
If your beard is looking greasy, nappy, or matted, then there is a chance you are not washing it often enough. To reduce the unkempt appearance, increase the frequency of washing and reduce the amount of beard oil you may be applying to your facial hair.
Dry or Brittle Hair Follicles
You may find that your hair follicles are breaking more than usual or that your beard is rife with split ends. If this is the case, it means that the shaft of the hair is too dry. To reduce breakage, reduce washing and condition more frequently.
Is it okay to use regular shampoo on my beard?
Using hair shampoo on your beard hair won’t cause too many issues if it is not done regularly. However, a regular shampoo designed for head hair is more potent and will strip the excess oil from the facial hair, resulting in an increased likelihood of experiencing beard dandruff. One exception would be if you are using natural or organic shampoo.
Can you wash your beard every day?
Daily washing is not advised as it rids the skin of its natural oils and can lead to dry skin and irritation. In some cases, this can lead to dandruff within the beard. Instead, it is better to wash your beard every other day or two or three times a week and create your beard care routine around your washing days.
Does washing your beard prevent ingrown hairs?
Regularly washing your beard may help clear your pores so even a curly hair follicle can safely exit the skin and not become ingrown. However, this will only be applicable to guys just starting to grow a beard immediately after a clean shave.
Will washing your beard improve growth?
Regularly cleaning your beard is unlikely to impact facial hair growth rate. However, a clean and well-nourished facial hair follicle will be less likely to break or experience split ends. A healthy diet and genetics decide how quick a beard grows.