Is A Beard Shampoo and Conditioner Really Worth It?

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Alright bearded brothers – let’s chat.

Beard shampoo – is it really worth it or is it just another way for companies to try to cash in on the beard craze?

I mean when you think about it, only a few short years ago, beard oil was hardly a market at all, now it has become so insanely oversaturated like we have never seen before.

Pop over to Amazon for instance and all you see is an entire line up of every single smelling kind of beard oil possible…

915 results related to beard oil – and it keeps growing every week!

But to not stray too off topic – heres the deal with beard shampoo (or sometimes known as beard wash as well) – often times it works.

In full Tools of Men fashion, don’t just take my word for it.

We will dive a bit deeper about beard shampoos and conditioners, what they are and aren’t, why you should actually spend a few extra bucks on beard shampoo vs a regular generic bottle of shampoo, how often you want to wash that furry mane of yours, the importance of washing your beard, and when you don’t actually need to use a beard shampoo

Oh and before I forget:

A few products that might be worth exporting to get you started.

What Beard Shampoo and Conditioner Is And Is Not

The thing men often sometimes think is that if they start using a beard wash in their regular basis – they can now finally nix out the beard oil or balm that they are plunking down their hard earned cash on.


First and foremost beard shampoo isn’t a replacement for a top rated beard oil or beard balm.

In fact, beard shampoo is a compliment to the regular morning routine and ultimately your beard care routine.


Its another layer on your already compressed time in the morning that you don’t already have!

But not to worry, application (which I will go over in just a bit), is pretty quick and painless.

So chances are you aren’t going to skip a beat in the morning – besides if you want to look your best whether its for an important event or even going out on a date – take the extra minute to wash your beard!

How Is Beard Shampoo Different Than Your Regular Shampoo

beard wash vs regular shampoo

A very important distinction about beard shampoo when compared to the same shampoo that you may use on your head is that beard shampoo is designed specifically for your facial hairs.

How so?

Let’s face it – no one likes oily hair right?

You probably remember that person – whether it was in high school or at your first job that had super greasy hair and you used to wonder if they ever washed their hair.

Chances are they didn’t – and here’s why:

Regular off the shelf generic shampoo strips away all of that oil making your hair on your head not appear shiny or stuck together.

This is why your hair, nor anyone else’s, ever appeared oily or greasy!

But why?

Two words:

Sebum oil!

What’s sebum oil you wonder – and more importantly, why should you even care?

Check this out:

At the root of each one of your hair follicles there are these glands called sebaceous glands.  As your hair grows, these glands excrete a finite amount of oil:

sebacous glands produce sebum oil

Since sebaceous glands are finite in size – you can only produce so much sebum oil within a day.


When it comes to your beard – you need all the oils you can get in it.  Otherwise your beard will be dry, frizzled out, and very susceptible to breakage and split ends.

No man with self respect wants to have their beard look like a Brillo pad.

This is in fact why you would use a beard oil or balm in the first place!

How do beard shampoos factor into the equation?

Beard shampoos are designed not to use the harmful chemicals that strip out your natural sebum oils.

Therefore, beard shampoo effectively gets your beard clean without stripping out the good stuff.

Don’t worry though – since your beard is being washed – its not going to look matted down and unappealing.

Beard shampoo keeps in just enough of the good oils that you will look your absolute best.

So do yourself a favor and stop using that old bottle of generic shampoo and swap it out for a beard shampoo.

To note:

When you introduce beard shampoo into your regular routine, you will likely see a much healthier beard and also likely a decrease in the amount of beard oil or balm used on a regular basis.

How Often Should You Wash Your Beard

Even with generic regular old shampoo – there has been much discussion on how often you should even be washing your hair in the first place.

Per the experts, as a good middle ground, you will want to wash the hair on your head once every couple of days.

When it comes to beard shampoo, you should follow the same routine as your hair.

A recommended guideline would be to wash your head one day and your beard the next.  Continue to alternate on an every other day basis.

While beard shampoo keeps in your natural sebum oil, there is no real point in washing it every day as you will simply be wasting both your time and money.

Importance Of Washing Your Beard

best beard trimmer for 2015 - tools of men

Remember that whole poop in beard thing?

In the end it ended up being totally debunk according to several sources.  There are a few important things here to note however.

First off it was quickly debunked as it was not a scientific study.

It found a common bacteria that is found in fecal matter, but doesn’t necessarily equate to having poop in your beard.

In fact just the opposite is true when it comes to beards:

Beards do a tremendous job at warding off pollen and other particles flying through the air.

But look:

Whether you live in New York City or in Jackson Hole, WY – there are certain environmental factors that can play a part of beard on a micro level.

In busier cities, you are susceptible of having a lot of natural dirt, dust, and pollutants kick up into your beard on a regular basis.

Like any great filter be it your car, AC, or beard, they need to get cleaned out every now and again – and this is why washing your beard regularly is important.

To note:  Just want to thank a passionate beardsman for bringing the poop article into question!

Color Your Beard?  Yes A Beard Wash Is Recommended

Should You Dye Your Beard - tools of men

Getting old sucks!

I am right there with you guys!

I lost much of the hair on my head before I could even have my first (legal) beer!  Now at the age of 31, I am getting these nasty grey patches sneaking up on my beard.

So if you color your beard to fight off father time every month or so, then you will want to use a beard shampoo instead of generic shampoo.

When you use a generic shampoo, it not only strips out the natural sebum oil, but will also quickly decay the coloring that you used as well.

While a beard shampoo will help lengthen the amount of time that your beard will retain the coloring dye – you might actually also look at getting a shampoo specifically for colored hair.

Warning though:

This may strip out the important sebum oil – therefore make sure you use your beard oil on a regular basis to account for this shortfall of oil.

When You Don’t Need a Beard Shampoo

patchy beard

Just like beard oil – you don’t always need a beard shampoo.

While it might be great to help maintain the natural sebum oils within your hair – if you have a shorter beard (general rule of thumb is shorter than .5″) then you can simply pass on the beard wash.

Your sebum oil production throughout the day will compensate for any of the oil stripped out of your hair if you use a generic shampoo.

But still make sure you only wash your hair and beard once every couple of days.

Washing daily is a bit excessive and a waste of money.

Does Beard Shampoo Help With Beardruff?

Ah beardruff!

The bane of any beardsman newbie.

What’s beardruff?

If you don’t know and you have a respectable beard – do me a favor and look down at your shirt real quick.

No seriously – look down at it.

Notice any white specks?

If you do – that’s beardruff.

Gross right?

Ah don’t worry  – its completely natural.

As your beard gets longer and longer, your sebum oil can’t keep up with the daily demand that your beard requires of natural oils.

When this is the case, your skin drys out and begins to flake.  When this is the case you need to start using a beard oil or balm in your regular basis.

Beard oil will largely cure any sort of beardruff, however, with that being said, an extra layer of protection against beardruff never hurts.

Thats when a beard shampoo is great compliment.

Beard shampoo by itself will likely NOT prevent beardruff.  So you can’t interchange beard oil with a good beard wash.

However, a beard wash will further help out the beard oil in fully nourishing and hydrating your skin to get completely rid of beardruff.

A Few Beard Shampoo Products That Might Have Seen or Are Checking Out

In no particular order or any specific vouching for one product over another – here is a list of beard shampoos that will help get your beard back in shape and make you look your absolute best:

Professor Fuzzworthy’s Beard Shampoo

all natural beard shampoo

Coming in bar form, this beard shampoo contains natural ingredients that shouldn’t be at all intimidating for even the novice beardsman:

  • Spring water
  • Olive oil
  • Castor oil
  • Soy wax
  • Beeswax
  • Seaweed extract
  • Honey
  • Cocoa powder
  • Essential oils

This beard shampoo simply contains all of the right ingredients.  What we really like about it, is that there is no filler junk and the addition of ingredients that are also found in other high quality beard products (olive, castor, and essential oils) make it a great compliment to your existing routine.

Beardsley Ultra Shampoo

beardsly beard shampoo

A traditional beard shampoo that contains a plethora of ingredients (a bit too much for our liking).  Unfortunately, while having a lot of the right ingredients at getting your beard washed properly, it also does contain parabens:

  • Water (Aqua)
  • Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice
  • Sodium C14-16 Olephin Sulfonate
  • Cocamide DIPA
  • Decyl Glucoside
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate)
  • Polyquaternium-10
  • Chamomilla Recutita Flower/Leaf (Chamomile) Extract
  • Fragrance (Parfum)
  • PEG-16 Macadamia Glycerides
  • Citric Acid, Glycerin
  • Sodium Saccharin
  • Methylparaben
  • Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5)
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Propylparaben

If you aren’t aware, parabens have been linked to some diseases and should often times be avoided if possible.  Unfortunately though, parabens are commonplace in many skin care products (about 85%).

Zeus Beard Shampoo

zeus beard shampoo - paraben free

Another traditional beard shampoo that contains a hefty ingredient list does pride itself in being paraben free, sulfate free, and cruelty free.

  • Water (Aqua)
  • Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
  • Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate
  • Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
  • Fragrance (Parfum)
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • Lauryl Glucoside
  • Coco-Glucoside
  • Xylitylglucoside
  • Anhydroxylitol
  • Glyceryl Oleate
  • Xylitol
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Lauryl-Glucoside Crosspolymer
  • PCA Glyceryl Oleate
  • Daemonorops Draco (Dragon’s Blood) Extract
  • Chamomilla Recutita Flower/Leaf (Chamomile) Extract
  • Camellia Oleifera Leaf (Green Tea) Extract
  • Tetrasodium EDTA
  • Sodium Saccharin
  • Citric Acid

Even with all of the ingredients – its important to note that it does contain Dragon’s blood extract.  While it does sound pretty cool – this stuff does yield some excellent benefits such as anti-inflammitory, antiviral, and antiseptic (useful for combating acne).

Final Thoughts on Beard Shampoo

Beard shampoo is a great addition to your bearded routine.

Generally generic shampoos are downright bad to use on your beard since it strips out the sebum oil and will leave you with a dry frizzled out beard that is very susceptible to breaking and of course split ends.

Beard oil and beard balms play the role of being a great compliment to any sort of beard shampoo.

You cannot at all give up on oils or balms and use a beard shampoo like Professor Fuzzworthy’s in its place.

So that’s it! Just about all basis covered on beard shampoos and their role in your morning routine.

Got a question?

Drop it in the comment section below and I will get back to you!

About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

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