Is there anything more annoying than beard dandruff?
We mean, you put all that effort into growing and grooming your beard into something to be proud of, only to start noticing the dreaded flakes of dandruff appearing.
Well in this article we’re going to help you to fight back.
We’ll look at how to treat the problem so you know how to get rid of beard dandruff right now!
Then we’ll look at the underlying causes so you can stop it coming back.
But first, we need to understand just what beard dandruff actually is.
Use the table of contents below to jump to the sections most important to you.
Table of Contents
- Is Beard Dandruff a Thing?
- What Causes Beard Dandruff?
- How to Get Rid of Beard Dandruff
- Natural Alternatives to Get Rid of Beard Dandruff
Absolutely it is, and that’s not all either.
Not only is it a real thing, but it’s also a real thing that affects an awful lot of men.
We’ll get into this a little more in a second, but the bottom line is that beard dandruff is exactly the same as the dandruff you get on your head.
Why does that matter though?
Well, here’s the deal about that:
About half of the population will suffer from dandruff at some stage in their lives.
First of all, that is a heck of a lot of people!
Secondly, since the same things that make people genetically susceptible to dandruff in their head hair are the exact same things that give them dandruff in their beards, this is a big problem for a lot of people.
Like we mentioned above, beard dandruff is exactly the same as head dandruff.
That means, surprise surprise, it has exactly the same causes.
Ladies and Gentlemen… well in this case mainly gentlemen, unless there are any circus performers reading too.
Gents (and bearded ladies) here at Prim and Prep we know that you’ve got to know your enemy to defeat your enemy.
So if you suffer from beard dandruff, say hello to your nemesis: Malassezia Globosa.
Yeah not very scary, huh?
Lets call it Dr. Doomsday, for some added drama.
(And also so we don’t have to keep typing Malassezia Globosa).
Dr. Doomsday is a microbe that lives on everyone’s skin.
Whilst he is there, he feeds on your sebum. These are the natural oils that your skin secretes.
Too much sebum can actually make your skin look shiny and oily, so in some ways Dr. Doomsday is doing you a favor by eating some of it.
But there’s a catch!
When he is breaking down and eating your sebum, Dr. Doomsday is also producing a byproduct called Oleic Acid.
It is this substance that causes dandruff, as some people are allergic to it.
For those people, the Oleic Acid on their skin makes it irritable, red and itchy.
Your skin attempts to fight back against this allergic reaction by upping the production of skin cells.
These extra cells slough off in white clumps causing…
… Dramatic Pause…
So really if you think about it, Dr Doomsday (or Malassezia Globosa) is not really the bad guy here.
He’s just doing his thing, trying to keep your face clear of oily Sebum.
It’s kind of like when the Batman chases the Joker through Gotham city.
Yes he causes millions of dollars of property damage and probably accidentally kills a whole bunch of innocent bystanders.
But these are just byproducts in his fight against oily skin.
By oily skin, we of course mean The Joker and Two Face.
It’s a metaphor, we’re smart.
Anyways, the moral is that Malassezia Globosa is not a villain. He’s the hero that your face deserves, not the one it needs.
So that is what causes dandruff, which we’re sure you found very interesting.
But we know what you’re really here for – how to get rid of the damn stuff.
Luckily most cases of dandruff are pretty easy to tackle with the right tools and the right know how.
So what are you going to need?
- A Beard Brush
- Beard Shampoo
- Beard Oil
Once you’ve got your basic weapons ready to go, tackling beard dandruff is a simple three-step operation.
Step 1 – Brush Your Beard
The first step is to grab your Beard Brush.
Once you have your beard brush ready to go, then you really need to pay attention, because this next step is really complicated.
Are you ready?
Take your beard brush and brush your beard with it.
Did you get that or do we need to slow down a little?
We’re just kidding, but we’re deadly serious about brushing your beard here.
It will detangle the beard allowing the shampoo to really penetrate during step 2 (oops, spoiler alert).
That’s not all though, as more importantly the brush will exfoliate the skin underneath your beard.
Since tackling beard dandruff is really about making your skin feel happy and special, this exfoliating will really help to tackle dandruff.
Step 2 – Wash Your Beard
The next stage is to clean your beard hair and your skin.
Now, a quick heads up, but we are heading into controversial waters here.
Traditional shampoo for use on head hair contains a laundry list of chemicals that you may be better off avoiding.
These chemicals are simply too harsh to use on your face.
In fact, far from tackling dandruff, if you have sensitive skin already, they may end up just making the whole situation worse.
One exception to this is (or at least could be, for some people) Head and Shoulders.
For one thing, it is a heck of a lot milder than many other commercial shampoos out there.
There is also the fact that it is specifically formulated to tackle dandruff.
There are still plenty of people who will still say that even Head and Shoulders is too harsh to chuck on your fragile little face.
These people will suggest that a beard shampoo is better because it is specifically designed for use on the face.
The bottom line here?
Both sides are right, or at least they’re not wrong (which is a different thing, trust us).
What works for one person won’t for the next, so don’t be scared to experiment a little.
Whichever product you go for, we suggest cleaning your beard in the shower.
That way you get a continuous stream of lovely clean water to rinse the shampoo suds, sebum and dandruff flakes out of your beard.
Remember to not use water that is too hot, and once you are done, dab your beard dry with clean towel – don’t rub it!
Step 3 – Apply Beard Oil
Last but not least, it’s time to get the oil out.
Not for a sensual back rub, that comes later after you cure your beard dandruff.
Instead, this oil is for your beard.
Not many people know this, but beard oil is actually more useful for the skin underneath than for the beard itself.
Oh sure, a quality beard oil will make your beard look great.
But it’s primary purpose is to soothe and moisturize the skin underneath.
As you now know, beard dandruff is a problem with your skin.
Applying quality beard oil can go a long way to calming the skin and stopping dandruff.
That’s not all too!
Beard oil will also help keep your skin calm going forward.
That means that the oil is a key item in not only stopping beard dandruff but also in keeping it from coming back in the future.
Some people will keep clear of Head and Shoulders due to the chemicals in the ingredients.
We’re not here to pass judgment, it’s your beard and it’s your face that it’s attached to.
If you want all natural remedies for beard dandruff, we’re here to help.
We do know that many of you want that too, as we get emails on this exact subject all the time.
The best part?
Natural alternatives exist, they are easy to find and they can be very effective.
You could for example try:
Tea Tree Oil
This substance has been valued for centuries for its medicinal properties, in particular when it comes to skin problems.
Studies have been performed into its effectiveness against dandruff and the results were very positive.
It should be noted that pure tea tree oil is actually quite potent, so it’s best if it is diluted a little before applying it to your skin.
Pure coconut oil can be a great medium for this.
Just a few drops into a dollop of oil in your palm will be enough, though your face may smell like coconut cake for a little while.
This is another substance famed for its skin calming abilities.
Again, by working to reduce skin irritation, aloe vera can help to eliminate the direct cause of beard dandruff.
Fish Oil Supplements
No, we’re not talking about taping a side of salmon to your beard before you go to bed at night.
(Though come on, how funny would that have been?
We’re actually talking about the Omega 3 oils that are found in oily fish like salmon.
Because these oils reduce inflammation, even in your skin, they can also play an important part in tackling beard dandruff.
You could take Omega 3 supplements or just increase your intake of oily fish.
(Salmon tastes great grilled on a BBQ covered in Cajun rub).
Of course, the ingredients we looked at above are often found in beard oil anyway.
Well, not Salmon, but certainly Aloe Vera and definitely tea tree oil.
It could be simpler and more convenient to look for beard oil that is loaded up with one or more ingredients designed to sooth the skin.
That way you get all the skin soothing (and dandruff fighting) properties of the beard oil along with the benefits of all the other ingredients.
And you won’t smell like fish.
There you go, everything you need to tackle you beard dandruff problem.
You know where it comes from and what causes it.
You know how to get rid of beard dandruff.
You know that a clean beard is a happy beard.
Finally, you know that if you want to keep the dandruff at bay you need to keep your skin cool, calm and irritation free.
We hope you enjoyed the ride and we wish you a long, happy and flake free life with your beard!
Prim & Prep Editors are a team of male grooming experts in their respective fields, including Karl Schmidt (Beards / Facial Hair), Ben Rose (Shaving / Body Grooming / Skincare), and Ethan Stone (Men’s Style). Their work has been featured on many prominent men’s publications including AskMen, Men’s Health, and GQ. Be sure to check out the review process for details on Prim & Prep’s product review methodology or contact them below.