As any seasoned beardsman will tell you, making your beard look and feel great is no easy task. A critical component to comprehensive beard care is regularly using a dedicated beard wash or shampoo that brings out all the right qualities of your prized beard without causing adverse side effects such as split ends, beard itch, or beard flakes.
The best beard shampoo should not only have quality ingredients, but also work to gently rid your beard of dirt and grime while also making your beard feel softer and look better. We found that the Professor Fuzzworthy’s Beard Wash demonstrated all these exemplary qualities and was awarded the best beard shampoo of 2020.
Not only will this beard shampoo work perfect for any man with either a slight stubble or a full-blown beard, but the heavy reliance on natural ingredients allows this beard wash to be perfect for men with any skin type (oil, dry, normal, combination) along with those men who suffer from sensitive skin.
In this guide we not only review the best beard shampoos currently available, but we also provide you with explanation of key features that you should consider when making your decision.
In addition to our expert analysis, we also answer a few common questions men had when selecting the right beard shampoo for their beard and skin type.
Let us help you in finding the perfect beard shampoo to meet your unique needs:
Table of Contents
|Professor Fuzzworthy’s Beard Shampoo|
|Billy Jealousy Beard Shampoo|
|Ranger Beard Shampoo|
|Honest For Men Beard Wash|
|Medicine Man’s Itchy Beard Wash|
|Viking Revolution Beard Shampoo & Conditioner Set|
Best Beard Shampoos & Washes Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Best Overall: Professor Fuzzworthy’s Beard Shampoo
This beard shampoo by Professor Fuzzworthy’s is the real deal.
Packed with a plethora of natural ingredients such as olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, soy wax, leatherwood beeswax, and even Mount Wellington spring water – it will fee like a dream when applied to your beard.
Not only will these rich conditioners keep your beard feeling both clean and soft, but the carefully formulated blend of ingredients will be effective at stripping away dirt and other pollutants that would otherwise make your beard look and feel both nappy and greasy.
If the natural formula wasn’t enough, this beard shampoo is notably absent of nasty chemicals such as parabens, SLS, SLES, colorants, synthetic fragrances, and even palm oil.
If you are getting serious about your beard maintenance and are tired of the constant itching due to dry beard, this beard shampoo will provide some instant relief.
For those men looking for a shampoo that is travel friendly, the block form of this bar will fit easily within any toiletry or gym bag.
Just be sure that when you do use this beard shampoo, rest it in a soap dish or metal rack (for drainage) as the all-natural composition will dissolve a bit quicker than your standard bar of soap.
Unlike many other beard shampoos made in faraway countries with poor quality controls, this beard shampoo by Professor Fuzzworthy’s was made in Australia – which must adhere to strict regulatory requirements.
Now typically for a bar made with such ingredients, prices tend to be quite high. However, with a typical retail price of $15 – we think this beard wash is a steal given the quality.
Lastly, we weren’t alone in our assessment of Professor Fuzzworthy being the best beard wash and conditioner. Other beardsmen have stated that they were “constantly get compliments on how soft it is” to “definitely recommend”.
- Relies on quality ingredients
- Will make your beard feel and look great
- Made in Australia
What You Need To Know
For men with a color treated beard, the Billy Jealousy Beard Shampoo should be a top consideration for you. This sulfate-free shampoo won’t strip away any dye from your beard with continued use.
While the sulfate-free formula may be the best selling point for this beard shampoo, those men with a short to long beard may also want to consider this product as well.
The formula is paraben-free and contains some great ingredients including aloe vera, green tea, and soy protein.
The aloe vera is of note as it will help to not only build volume should you have a thin beard, but it will also work to both soften and hydrate your facial hair as well.
Soy protein allows this beard shampoo to have conditioning properties. Therefore, you can expect your beard to naturally resist breakage and split end with continued use.
If there were any downsides to this beard shampoo it would be around the reliance of a chemical fragrance (as opposed to naturally derived one) and its price.
With the price pushing the high side of our expected range, it may be a bit too expensive for so men to incorporate into their grooming regimen.
However, if you are a man that likes to buy products made in America, the elevated price will be worth it.
- Smart formula hydrates and conditions beard
- Made in the USA
- Light woodsy scent
- Sulfate free
- Chemically derived fragrance
What You Need To Know
Ranger is no stranger when it comes to quality beard care products. Known primarily for their outstanding unscented beard oil, they deliver the same quality of craftsmanship with their beard shampoo.
Made from 73% organic ingredients, this shampoo will provide your beard with all the necessary nutrients it demands.
Relying on effective ingredients such as tea tree and peppermint, it will also evoke an invigorating scent to help kickstart your day.
In addition to a great scent, tea tree and peppermint oil are often cited by beardsmen as helping them to grow a thicker or fuller beard a bit quicker. While we couldn’t find any hard science to back up this blend – it is worth mentioning.
Now men who suffer from acne may be hesitate of using this nearly all-natural formula given the high concentration of oils. However, based on our research and the reports of other people, we found no issues mentioned with continued use.
Given the composition of ingredients, we think that this beard shampoo will be most effective for those men looking for a largely organic formula and are currently fighting beardruff.
- Mostly organic formula
- Invigorating scent may promote beard growth
- Made in the USA
- Scent may not work for some men
What You Need To Know
4. Best Value: Honest For Men Beard Wash
Just like the Professor Fuzzworthy’s beard wash, this one is pretty spot on for beardsmen everywhere when it comes to a fine balance of ingredients and performance. Unlike the other beard washes, this one does not contain any harmful parabens or SLS or SLES ingredients.
Therefore when using this shampoo on your beard, you will have a gentle cleansing that won’t do long term damage on your follicles. While containing great essential oils like patchouli, lavender, and orange – some men might feel that the scent is a bit too strong upon initial use.
However, like all the other beard shampoos reviewed, this is largely just contained during the washing phase and should quickly dissipate upon drying out your beard.
If scent still remains an additional rinse may be necessary, however this is going to likely not be the case.
When compared head to head with the similar Professor Fuzzworthy’s beard wash, we feel this one is just a small bit behind regarding performance. The main differentiating factor between the two products is that Fuzzworthy’s does contain both beeswax and soy wax which help provide a nice protectant for your beard.
Ingredients and performance aside, this beard was among the cheapest that we reviewed Therefore if you are a beardsman on a budget, this is cheap beard wash that performs well.
We weren’t the only ones who loved this product, other folks found this beard wash “lathers like nothing I’ve seen” to their beard feeling incredibly more softer just after one use. From a quantitative perspective the online ratings were an impressive 4.6 out of 5.
Lastly, the product is proudly made in USA (Indiana).
- Made in USA
- Naturally derived
- Scent can be polarizing
What You Need To Know
5. 100% All Natural: Medicine Man’s Itchy Beard Wash
Medicine Man’s beard wash has all the right ingredients that will effortlessly compliment to your daily beard care regimen.
Relying on standout ingredients such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, sea fennel extract, and countless others – it is one of the few all-natural beard shampoos available.
When used a few times per week, you can expect to have a healthy beard that will be free of any irritation due to dry skin.
The shampoo itself will form a nice lather that will gently remove any dirt or pollutants that your beard may have picked up during the day.
One standout ingredient in this beard shampoo is the inclusion of Vitamin E oil. While we didn’t cover it earlier given its relatively rare appearance in beard shampoos is a welcome addition to making sure that you have strong and healthy hair follicles. Vitamin E can help make your beard appear more lustrous and generally healthier looking. In addition, Vitamin E can help prevent split ends on your beard as well.
Given that this solution is 100% natural, it does command a higher price point as it doesn’t contain filler ingredients.
Size options are limited (4.7oz only) making it not the best for travel.
Lastly, this beard shampoo was made in the USA (Brooklyn, NY).
- 100% all-natural formula
- Contains premium ingredients that will make your beard look and feel better
- Made in USA
What You Need To Know
One of the best beard shampoo and conditioner that we came across during our research was this set by Viking Revolution.
Available in several different sizes – 5oz, 10oz, and 17oz – it can easily work within any man’s budget and size preference.
Packed full of natural and invigorating ingredients such as peppermint and eucalyptus, it will not only wake you up in the morning but will also help to promote healthy beard growth.
Beyond the naturally derived scent where this product really shines is the results.
This beard shampoo and conditioner will work to clean your beard thoroughly with a rich lather that will pull dead skin cells and pollutants away from your beard while also working to make your beard soft.
Recommended to only be used a few times a week, it delivers exceptional value.
For those men not really sold of the differences between a regular shampoo and quality beard shampoo and conditioner – we recommend trying out this offering by Viking Revolution to see what you have been missing.
- Gets rid of dirt without stripping necessary oils
- Great product for the price
- Only needs to be used a few times a week
- Smallest size still not TSA friendly
What You Need To Know
Other Beard Shampoos & Washes Reviewed
Generates a nice lather that will leave your beard feeling clean and fresh. Relies on a mix between chemical and organic ingredients.
This 2-in-1 natural soap by Honest Amish is handmade and will cleanse your beard and skin gently. Relying on olive oil (virgin), pumpkin seed, apricot kernel oil and others – it will make your beard look and feel healthy.
Available in 5 different fragrances and 2 sizes (4oz and 8oz), this all natural shampoo gives your beard the attention it deserves. Able to cleanse deep without stripping natural oils – it works well for guys of all beard lengths.
Relying on a mix of chemical and natural ingredients (i.e. aloe vera, coconut oil, etc.), Spartans Den helps to provide relief to an itchy beard. The 8oz size is great for home shower use.
What To Know When Buying A Beard Wash or Shampoo
As we researched a variety of beard washes and shampoos, we identified seven key factors that men sought out when looking for the perfect beard wash to meet their needs:
1. Intent – All In One (Shampoo + Conditioner)
Your overall beard care routine may determine the type of beard wash or shampoo that will work best and provide the most satisfactory results.
If your beard always feels dry or is in the need for additional moisture beyond the regular use of a beard oil or beard balm – then picking up a natural beard wash that contains natural moisturizers will be key.
Common ingredients found in beard washes that will compliment your skin and provide you with a much softer beard include the following:
- Jojoba oil
- Argan oil
- Castor oil
- Grapeseed oil
And many more.
Beyond simple moisturizing of your facial hair, a beard wash with a built-in conditioner will help to smooth the cuticles/scales on your beard hair and will give your beard a smoother and shiny (non-greasy) look.
This will improve your beard presentation making it look great throughout the day.
Furthermore, an added conditioner to your beard wash will help to prevent the beard hairs from breaking or suffering from split ends – this is especially important for men with thinner facial hair.
When evaluating any product to add to your grooming regimen – its important to know what is within the product before you apply it regularly to your skin and hair.
Here are a few key ingredients within beard washes and shampoos to be mindful of when making your decision before buying:
Carrier Oils – Used primarily as a conditioning agent, carrier oils naturally mimic your natural sebum oil that your skin produces. Carrier oils help to soften your beard hair and relieve beard itch. Common carrier oils within beard washes include jojoba, argan, olive oil, and more.
Essential Oils – These oils are for both therapeutic and scent. While the science has yet to be proven on their medicinal remedies – many men claim that essential oils within a beard wash can be helpful in preventing acne, spurring additional beard growth, and stopping beard flakes. However, the primarily reason that beard companies include essential oils in beard washes and shampoos is for scent. Delivering a variety of scents including peppermint, cedarwood, pine, and more – essential oils can provide an invigorating and satisfactory scent.
Vitamins – Vitamin B12 (Biotin) and Vitamin E are two of the most popular vitamins often included within beard shampoos. Biotin is often used for beard growth purposes (for those men seeking a thicker or longer beard) whereas Vitamin E is used for strengthening a beard. Often found in premium beard washes, these Vitamins can be a critical component for some men in search for a great looking beard.
Parabens/Chemical – From cheap beard washes to massed produced beard care products – ingredients such as parabens (ingredient preservation), sodium lauryl sulfate (foaming agent), etc. are used for a variety of purposes in the making of grooming products. Many naturalist men may avoid these products on principle alone. If you are a cautious buyer of grooming or beauty products, we recommend doing your research beforehand on individual ingredients if you are uncertain of the reason for their inclusion. We recommend going to trusted sources such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG – a non-profit dedicated to protecting human health and the environment), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or National Institutes of Health (NIH) for further information.
3. Liquid Shampoo vs. Shampoo Bar
All men lifestyles are unique – and we tried to keep this in mind when review beard washes and shampoos to meet your needs.
As you will see in our reviews, beard washes come in many different sizes and form factors.
If you travel via air regularly, keep in mind the 3.4fl oz. restriction that the TSA enforces on all liquids. If you plan on traveling with your beard wash, we recommend buying a solid bar soap form (rather than liquid). This not only prevents you from having to check your carry-on luggage should it exceed the size limitation, but a solid bar also prevents leaks from occurring in your toiletry bag.
If regular air travel isn’t a concern for you – another key point for many men is going to the gym. If after working out you like to make use of the showers, a liquid bottle might be better and easier to carry with you too and from the gym.
For home shower use we recommend going with a larger size as it will often be significantly cheaper on a price per ounce basis.
In the world of beard care products – some brands really like to turn up the dial on the overtly masculine scent of their products…and that can be completely fine for some.
However, we understand that many beardsmen may not want their beard wash to be overly scented – or perhaps some men just want a more muted scent that won’t linger all day long.
Whatever your preference, know the following when buying a beard shampoo:
Natural Scents – Beard washes or shampoos scented with essential oils, while strong, will largely dissipate after an hour or so of use. These scents are generally considered safe for most skin types (exception for severely sensitive skin).
Chemical Scents – Scented marked as ‘parfum’ or ‘fragrance’ on the ingredient label are dangerous – not only from a safety standpoint (chemical fragrances are scored 8 out of 10 on EWG’s ingredient danger scale) but they also can be really strong and linger for several hours. If you have a sensitive nose or skin, its best to avoid chemically derived fragrances in your beard wash or shampoo.
Scent within your total grooming routine:
Proper beard care doesn’t end with a simple wash.
If you are conditioning your beard with a beard oil or balm, or perhaps are applying a great smelling cologne after you are done getting ready in the morning – then we suggest that you get a beard wash that has a complimentary scent to your other fragrances.
Therefore, if your cologne or beard oil is woodsy – then we recommend keeping things consistent by selecting a woodsy beard wash.
Several clashing fragrances between all your grooming products can confuse your nose (along with those around you) by sending mixed signals.
5. Additional Benefits
When selecting grooming products, its important to respect limitations. While its always great to see when a product can pull double duty by not only being a beard wash, but also a conditioner, growth product, etc. – more often than not – your grooming regimen will be best served by selecting products on an individual and specialized basis.
With that being said – we wanted to touch on a few additional benefits that you will likely come across during your research on the top beard wash to meet your needs:
Growth – Whether its through the inclusion of vitamins linked to hair growth (Biotin), or through other natural ingredients such as saw palmetto, peppermint, etc. – beard growth shampoos are designed to give you a thicker and fuller beard. Many of these brands rely on ingredients that either spur growth or add volume. While the results may (and likely will) vary from one man to the next – the inclusion of these ingredients may prove helpful for those men with thin or sparse beards.
Acne – For men, particularly those who are at the tail end of puberty, growing a beard can not only be a great self-esteem booster, but one that can cover up the prevalence of acne. Whatever your reason for growing your beard, having a beard wash that fights the acne that is on the surface of your skin can be great at reliving itchiness or balancing out your oil production.
Color Treated Beards – Just like the hair on the top of your head, if you color treat your beard, you will want to be mindful of the ingredients within the beard wash in order to prevent the shampoo from altering your beard dye color. The two most common ingredients to avoid in your beard shampoo will be sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate. Both will strip away any dye from the hair follicle with regular use – which will require your beard to be color treated much sooner.
When shopping for a new grooming product, buying from a trusted brand is important. Not only will it alleviate any concerns on product effectiveness, but in the age of the internet where anyone can sell a product from their basement, its important to find a brand that has quality controls in place.
Therefore, before making a purchase we recommend that you always do your research on a beard wash brand before handing over your hard-earned cash.
This includes finding an actual website about the company, picture of the company owner or team (this is surprisingly rare – and raises further questions), contact info (in case you have a mild skin reaction), etc.
At the end of the day, price will always remain one of the most important factors when making a purchase. During the course of our research we found that most quality beard washes or shampoos will typically cost around $15 to $20.
Now of course this price range doesn’t fully reflect the entire product category as you will find some great picks both above and below this range. However, this range is the sweet spot for a lot of brands.
Complimentary Products Worth Considering
If you are just starting a proper beard grooming routine for the first time, you might want to know about these essential beard care products as they can help to soften your beard and make it look much better:
Should you just get a beard wash without any complimentary conditioner, then we advise purchasing a conditioner separately.
A conditioner is just like a regular conditioner that is used for your hair. A beard conditioner should be used once you are done washing your beard in the shower.
A beard conditioner will help to further soften your facial hair along with providing rich moisture to your skin. If you live in a dry climate or are suffering from beard itch and have started to see beard dandruff appearing, a conditioner can help. Its easy to use in tandem with a beard wash and will make your beard feel even better.
Beard Oil or Beard Balm
A beard oil or balm will help to further soften and moisturize your beard and hydrate dry skin. A secret weapon used by men with great looking beards, oils and balms add a light shine to your beard and provide additional styling properties.
While beard oil is the more popular of the two products, beard balm contains both wax and butter (typically shea butter) and can provide a light hold to keep your beard looking great all day long.
Comb or Brush
Beard combs and brushes are designed to not only style your beard much more effectively, but also distribute the natural oils that have been applied through either a beard oil or balm.
However, its worth noting that beard combs and brushes are slightly different from one another.
Beard combs are more focused on styling and provide much better control.
Beard brushes, typically made from boars hair bristles, will help to train your beard to grow in the same direction along with adding volume to a thinner beard by pulling the hair follicles away from your skin.
Beard Wash & Shampoo FAQs
Q: What are some classic beard shampoo scents men like?
The most popular beard wash scents among beardsmen are the following: sandalwood, honey, and rosemary. These diverse scents are not only familiar but can provide an invigorating smell that can get you going in the morning.
Q: Should beard shampoo be used only in winter months?
Beard shampoo should be all year. Whether you have a beard that is 1” in length or one that is several inches long, a beard shampoo will work to gently cleanse your facial hair without stripping out the natural oils.
Q: What’s the difference between beard shampoo and regular shampoo?
If you are using a low end shampoo that you typically use on your head and also use it on your beard – stop.
Many of the generic shampoos on the market contain several harmful ingredients. Some of the most harmful ingredients found will be:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): is a cheap detergent that gets beneath the surface of your skin and can actually circulate within your body for up to five days! That aside, SLS strips away any oils (sebum oil) from your hair and skin which can have a direct cause of skin irritation and ultimately beardruff.
- Parabens: These guys aren’t great at all and have been found in numerous studies of causing both reporductive, infertility, obesity, asthma and even allergies.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): Very similar to SLS mentioned above, SLES is used to try to tone down the nasty side effects of petroleum derived products. Unfortunately though SLES is actually a known carcinogen (substance that is capable of causing cancer). Unfortunately the by product of SLES is dioxane which can float around in your body for quite some time as the liver just simply cant metabolize it effectively.
- Polyethylene Glycol: This stuff is actually banned in California as it might actually interfere with human development.
- Fragrance: Being such a generic and lighthearted word can also cause severe long term damage. “Fragrance” is derived from over 3,100 ingredients and are extremely toxic. These chemicals are so harmful that they may cause allergies, brain fog, obesity, cancer, asthma, and many other conditions.
As you can see just from a few ingredients listed above, cheap shampoos shouldn’t even be placed on your head, let alone on your beard.
Chemicals aside the biggest differing factor between a generic shampoo and a beard shampoo will have to do with you your naturally producing oils are treated.
At the root of every hair follicle you have these tiny glands called sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for ensuring that your beard follicle is moisturized and well nourished. Not only do they make sure that your beard follicle looks and feels great, but they also give a lot of nutrients to your skin as well.
When you use a generic shampoo, its core focus is to “wash” your hair and effectively strip out all of the dirt and oils from the follicles. When you use this type of shampoo on your beard you are doing a huge disservice to yourself.
Therefore with that being said, the best beard shampoos are designed to not completely wash away all the oils from your face.
But don’t worry about your beard feeling oily. In fact beard shampoos are intended to only give a gentle wash and are a compliment to your sebum oil – we will go over this more in a minute.
Q: How do you wash your beard?
To wash your beard effectively – follow these steps:
- Rinse: Once in the shower, fully rinse out your beard and make sure that water has penetrated to the skin level.
- Beard Shampoo (Liquid): Apply a quarter-sized amount of beard shampoo into the palm of hand.
- Beard Shampoo (Solid): Lather the bar in your hands until you generate a rich layer of suds.
- Cleanse: Massage the product into your beard by starting at the root of the follicle and scrubbing with the tips of your fingers. Make sure that you scrub for about one-minute.
- Rest: Once you have thoroughly scrubbed your beard, let the beard soap rest for about one minute in order to latch onto any dead skin cells or grime that was trapped in your beard.
- Rinse: Run your beard directly under the shower and work the soap out with your hands. Continue this until the water runs clear.
- Conditioner (Optional): If you purchased a beard shampoo with a conditioner, work the conditioner into the beard.
- Pat Dry: Once you are done with your shower, be sure to pat dry your beard with a towel. Rubbing vigorously may result in follicle breakage.
Q: How often should washing your beard?
Even though some beard shampoo manufacturers may want you to wash your beard on a daily basis, that just isn’t necessary.
Whether you live in a bustling city or in the rural fields of the midwest, your beard does pick up dirt/grime or pollen throughout the course of the day.
A general rule of thumb that many expert beardsmen follow is to wash their beard once every couple of days.
This will help ensure that your sebum oils stay within your beard and that you don’t dry out your beard too much.
Even the best beard shampoos if used excessively may cause some irritation on your beard due to dryness. So its important to not overdo it.
Q: How to make your own beard shampoo?
Many beard shampoos are made very similarly to natural bars of soap. Therefore, if you want to make your own beard shampoo, we recommend that you follow one of the many tutorials online on how to make a bar of soap. Our recommendation here is to make sure that you incorporate ingredients that will naturally compliment both your skin and beard. Of course, if you want to get inventive, you can add unique fragrances such as leatherwood honey or cocoa powder to give your beard a wonderful and unique scent. Secondly, if you like essential oils for therapeutic reasons, adding tea tree oil may provide some nice antibacterial properties to your beard wash.
Q: Can I use a face cleanser on my beard?
As you begin growing your beard, using a simple facial cleanser to keep your beard clean will more than suffice. Once your beard begins to grow to at least an inch in length, then a beard products (i.e. shampoo wash) will be more effective at getting your beard clean. The reason is that face washes don’t often contain natural oils to keep your beard follicles hydrated and nourished. Face washes and cleansers are designed for men who shave or wear a short stubble beard.
How We Determined The Best Beard Shampoos & Washes
Finding the best beard shampoo of 2020 was tough. With so many great options out there that serve many different purposes, narrowing our list down to a select few proved challenging.
However, in order to find the perfect beard shampoo out there, we looked at them on a variety of factors such as price, brand, ingredients, and more.
Once we found some great products, we then researched each beard wash by looking at review scores, product ranking, etc. along with reading and analyzing personal feedback from men at countless websites and forums.
With the amount of time and effort put forth in making our list, we are confident at those beard washes listed will provide you with great results.
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