How Often Should You Be Using a Beard Wash?

Washing your face is an important part of your daily routine. However, when it comes to beard washing, things get a little more specific. You’ll need to adjust your routine based on your beard’s length, texture, your skin type, and even the climate you’re living in.

In general, it is recommended to wash your beard 2-3 times a week. Overwashing can strip your beard of its natural oils, leading to dry, brittle hair and irritated skin underneath. On the other hand, under-washing can also lead to problems such as itchiness and beard dandruff. Therefore, maintaining a good balance is crucial.

We’ll be unpacking more details about each of these factors to help you understand how often you should wash your beard.

Typical Washing Frequency

On average, you should wash your beard with a beard wash or shampoo about two to three times a week, depending on various factors, including your skin type, the nature of your job, and the environment. However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t wash your beard every day unless you’re exposed to a lot of dirt and pollutants.

Here is a simplified chart to help you know when to wash your beard:

CircumstancesFrequency of Beard Wash
Daily exposure to dirt or pollutantsDaily
Regular exercise or sweatingEvery other day
Oily skin typeEvery other day
Dry or sensitive skin typeTwice a week
Normal skin type2-3 times a week

How Does a Beard Wash Work?

man stroking beard with bubbles

Unlike shampoo, bar soap, or body wash, a beard wash is specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of facial hair and the skin beneath it.

Facial hair is coarser than the hair on the scalp, making it more difficult for natural oils to spread evenly across the hair strand. This is why beards often become dry and brittle. Beard washes are primarily formulated with mild ingredients that effectively cleanse without stripping these essential oils.

Even more, the skin under the beard is sensitive and can be easily irritated. A beard wash helps to soothe and hydrate this area, preventing issues such as dryness, itchiness, beard dandruff, and even acne.

The Reason Behind the Beard Washing Rule

Washing your beard too frequently can disrupt your skin’s natural balance. It could strip away the natural oils (sebum) that your skin produces to keep your beard moisturized and healthy. Overwashing can lead to a dry, brittle beard that’s prone to breakage, and it can also cause flaking and itching due to dryness on the underlying skin.

man with confused expression and wet beard

This may also lead to irritability and the development of beardruff, a specific type of dandruff that affects bearded individuals. Beardruff is characterized by flaky, itchy skin under the beard, which, while not harmful, can be quite a nuisance.

Conversely, under-washing your beard can also lead to troubles. Dirt, sweat, and excess oils can accumulate in your beard, making it look and feel unpleasant. This buildup can clog the pores in your skin, leading to acne, irritation, and potentially resulting in a poor-looking beard.

So it’s crucial to strike a balance in your beard cleaning routine. Beyond the frequency, the products you use also matter. Some soaps and shampoos can be harsh and strip the natural oils from your beard, so it’s recommended to use specially-formulated beard shampoos or washes.

Some men go so far as to create their own beard wash using natural ingredients such as essential oils to ensure their beard is cleaned without being stripped of its natural oils.

Adapting Your Beard Washing Routine to Specific Conditions

man looking into camera while standing in front of mirror

Of course, the general rule of washing your beard 2-3 times a week doesn’t apply to everyone equally. You should take into consideration special factors that might affect you.

For instance, if you live in a region with a hotter climate, you may sweat more than average, and thus your beard might attract more dirt, requiring more frequent washes. Similarly, cold and dry climates can cause your skin to dry out quicker, requiring you to adapt your washing routine to maintain a healthy beard and skin.

Here are some special considerations based on common circumstances:

  1. Hot and Humid Weather: Just like scalp buildup, your facial hair is likely to accumulate sweat, oil, and environmental dirt more quickly in hot and humid weather, making your beard feel heavier and look less clean.
  2. Cold and Dry Weather: Dry weather can result in your beard and the skin underneath becoming dry and potentially result in beardruff. You’ll still need to cleanse regularly, but it’s paramount to be extra cautious about not over-washing in this climate.
  3. Physical Activities: If you have a cardio-focused workout routine or a physically demanding job that causes you to sweat a lot, then you can’t afford to skimp on beard cleaning. However, be sure to replenish the moisture in your beard with a good-quality beard oil after each wash.
  4. Skin Type and Beard Type: People with oily skin might notice their beard getting greasy quickly, while those with dry skin might struggle with a dry, itchy beard. You’ll have to fine-tune your washing routine according to your skin and beard type. For oily skin and beard, washing every other day can be beneficial to prevent clogging of pores and accumulation of excess sebum. Conversely, if you have dry skin and a dry beard, washing twice a week using a gentle, moisturizing beard wash, and following with a beard oil or balm could keep your beard and skin healthy.
  5. Environmental Pollutants: If you live in a city with high pollution levels or dust, or if your work environment exposes you to dirt and grime, these particles can get trapped in your beard, leading to the need for more frequent washing.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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