We’ve been getting a few queries in as of late, regarding ‘beard’ washing.
So we want to clear up a few details.
After we wrote up ‘how to wash your beard the right way’ we had a few extra questions regarding point 4, with regards to how much is too much and how little is too little, with some guys getting a little worked up about it.
Which is great, cause we love beardsmen who are passionate about their beards.
So we are going to use this article, talk about our experience and clear some stuff up.
And to be honest, we are just going to come straight out and say ‘well it sort of depends’ -- I know we hate those sucky answers too, but it really does.
We basically think there is nothing that we can say for one guy that will absolutely apply to the next guy, different beards, different jobs, different climates, different skin types, different beard wash products, different beard grooming routines… you get the picture. What we do want you to do from this article is experiment a little.
Mix it up. Wash every two days, three days, four days. Do you notice your beard getting better over time? Is it becoming too greasy? Maybe that product isn’t working out for you. Then ultimately, you land on something that works best for you.
That’s why you might come across conflicting beard advice too.
You might have one guy with a great beard saying he is adamant ‘washing his beard everyday’ is great for his beard and another with a great beard saying you shouldn’t ‘wash it more than once a week’.
Of course, though.
You want a basic idea of what the heck is going on.
And for us, we’re with the second guy.
See, here’s the thing:
You want to be washing your beard often enough so that it doesn’t start to smell or when it is getting dirty or starts to feel greasy and you start finding food crumbs in it.
Then balance that aspect.
With not overwashing it. The reason behind this is (even with a good beard friendly shampoo) is that it dries out your beard. It strips all the natural oils that reside in your beard and leave your beard, dry and weak.
So, you can see the balancing act.
You can also see that working in a office job, where your beard is kept pretty clean through the week (there are little external aspects getting involved) - really you don’t have to be washing your beard all that often - perhaps max twice a week.
In this case, where you do want to wash it more often, we recommend co-washing. This is basically just using a conditioning product rather than an out and out shampoo, and it should better protect the sebum that resides in your beard.
Of course, if you are a manual worker who is going out getting his beard grubby every day and it starts to gather dirt and so on. You’re going to have to be washing it more frequenty. That’s just a given. To make up for the fact that you’re going to be stripping your face of the oils, we recommend that you certainly make use of a quality beard conditioner and that you are religiously applying a good whack fo beard oil to keep that beard as moisturised as possible.
Also when it comes to the weekend, give it some time off too.
Again a quick note on ‘shampoos’.
For beards, they most certainly are not all created equal.
The ones that are meant for your head and going to quite frankly give your beard a literally rough time where they first strip the moisture of your beard, then secondly shield any moisture getting in. So make sure that you are looking to grab a beard wash, soap or shampoo that has a much more natural ingredients profile - and kinder to your beard.
Remember also, just because it states that it is beard friendly. Doesn’t always mean that it is. Investigate the ingredieints. Plus, if they claim that it is gentle enough to use everyday, that’s a great sign.
Make sure you properly follow up a beard wash though.
This can really make the difference between that of a good beard and a beard. This seciton as previously mentioned for those work manual jobs (e.g. an actual lumberjack).
So during the lukewarm shower, you want to be applying a beard conditioner to follow up with the shampoo either scentless or one that matches the scent of the shampoo (unless that is, of course, scentless too). This will help to supply additional moisture your beard is craving in the quickest time.
Then it comes to dry towel-patting the beard (please don’t ever, ever try to blow dry it or worse still reach for hair straighteners), you don’t want to go ahead and dry it completely. Get to around 10%. Then reach for your beard oil.
Here add a couple of extra drops than you would do on a normal beard application routine, as you need to help out your beard in a big way as it is at it’s most vunerable. Then lightly, comb or brush through. At this stage, any snagging will do more harm than good. If you are struggling to distribute the oil thoroughly, either invest in a softer beard brush (or just use your hands thoroughly).
If you are running into issues of a dry beard, it might be worth taking an extra step further after a few hours after the beard oil, reach for a beard moisturiser (add a drop of beard oil) beforehand and this should help you to lock in the moisture. It might be worth holding back on the amount of shampoo you are using too.
The short answer: no more than once or twice a week (in most cases). The exceptions are when it comes to basically the type of beard that you have and your job. If you have a manual job where your beard is going to get messy, you need to pay extra special attention to it.