Beard Alert: Why Normal Shampoo Is Bad For Your Beard

Alex Cutler

Hair is hair, right?

Unfortunately - or fortunately if you’ve realised early enough - it’s not that simple when comparing head hair and beard hair.

Not only do the hair types themselves differ, so does the skin beneath them, with facial skin being much more sensitive to the skin on your scalp.

So when it comes to whether or not regular shampoo should be used on your beard, there is one simple and straight answer.

Can I Use Normal Shampoo On My Beard?

Hair shampoo should never be used to directly wash your beard. Beard shampoo should be used instead, which is not only much more gentle on the skin beneath your beard, but can also nourish it to help it grow and thrive.

Regular hair shampoo is designed to eliminate oil and grime from your hair and scalp so that it won't become greasy.

The issue is that a lot of these treatments include surfactants, which deplete your facial hair of its natural oils, which are essential for retaining moisture and maintaining the health and softness of your face and hair follicles.

Beard shampoo, however, is formulated specifically to work with your beard and face. You don't have to be concerned about washing away the natural oils your skin generates since it lacks the chemicals present in body soap or hair shampoo.

Beard Shampoo Ingredients To Avoid

While there are some great ingredients out there that work wonders on your facial fur, many beard shampoo formulas can contain some harsh chemicals that should be avoided at all costs.

The list is long and hard to spell, but we’ll always make sure you know what to look out for and avoid.

  • Sulfates - cause dried-out hair and cell damage.
  • Mineral Oils - prevent hair follicles from taking in moisture.
  • Dimethicone - makes your hair look shiny, but also seals out moisture.
  • Phthalates - can negatively impact hormones (the last thing you want when growing a beard).
  • Polyethylene Glycol - damages texture and can even lead to hair loss.
  • Formaldehyde - can result as a byproduct of other ingredients and can cause allergic reactions.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol - good for hygiene but terrible for hydration.
  • Chlorine - causes split ends and breakages.

Be sure to always double-check for these ingredients. Growing a beard takes hard work and dedication, and there’s nothing worse than discovering that your trusted beard shampoo is undoing that hard work.

Beard Shampoo Ingredients You Want on Your Face

Beard shampoo isn’t all doom and gloom. There are a number of products out there packed with ingredients that’ll do your facial hair the justice it deserves. When shopping, look out for products that contain these ingredients to get the most out of your beard wash:

  • Aloe vera: a powerful moisturiser and anti-inflammatory, aloe-vera gel will help keep the skin underneath your beard healthy.
  • Argan oil: the ingredient everyone’s heard of - and for good reason. Argan oil hydrates your skin and can help prevent acne from occuring.
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulphate: this is a foaming agent used to help remove dirt from your beard, and is gentler on the skin than the commonly-used Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate.
  • Linalool/linanene: these might sound like chemicals, but they’re actually two of many naturally-occurring terpenes, used to give products a scent.

If you’re concerned about artificial ingredients in your beard shampoo, opt for a product that’s as close to natural as possible.

Be wary, though - some 100% natural beard shampoos rely on palm oil, which has caused severe deforestation across the world. There are sustainable sources of palm oil, but if you consider yourself environmentally-conscious, it could be better to steer clear.

Why Beard Shampoo is Worth the Investment

Picking up a bottle of regular shampoo during your morning ablutions might be the easy option, but if you’ve got ~$15 to spare, beard shampoo is worth the investment. Here’s why:

  • It keeps your pores clean: helping to reduce any inflammation that could be caused by dead skin cells
  • It cleanses gently: beard shampoo will remove dirt, debris and remnants of last night’s pizza without stripping away valuable natural oils.
  • It soothes irritation: ingredients like aloe vera help to soothe irritated skin.
  • It softens tough hair: argan and jojoba oils soften unruly hair, making your beard more manageable and reducing uncomfortable itching.

>> Learn more: Read the 7 Crucial Benefits of Beard Shampoo for the full list.

That’s why you need it. Now, which product is right for you? Let’s dive in, you bearded beauty.

What Is The Best Beard Shampoo?

While there are certainly many fantastic contenders out there, the best beard shampoo is the one that best suits your requirements.

Our beards are all different and some beards crave particular ingredients more than others. Additionally, we all have different levels of sensitivity on the skin beneath our beards.

So for us to state one particular beard shampoo is the best around simply would not make sense. However, we can tell you what to look out for in order to give your beard exactly what it needs:


The vast majority of beard shampoos are formulated with all-natural ingredients, such as carrier oils, essential oils, beeswax, and other substances, as opposed to harsh chemicals like sulphates.

These natural compounds have the potential to provide benefits that may make facial hair feel notably softer and smoother as a consequence of their combined effects.

The effects go far beyond this as well, relieving beard itch and stimulating hair growth among other great advantages. If these benefits appeal to you, you should look into beard oil as well.

If you suffer from dry, itchy skin or dandruff in your beard, you might think about using a natural beard shampoo.


Scents for beard washes come in a wide variety. Consider a shampoo that goes well with any other aromas you could be using in your grooming regimen when choosing one.

If you've already spent ridiculous money on a fancy cologne, it's a good idea to use beard wash that doesn't include any fragrance.

As many beard washes are known to be chamically perfumed, it is important to choose a scent that is naturally produced.


Like with regular soaps and body washes, beard wash can come in either liquid form or as a bar, a choice which, as you can imagine, should be influenced by the length of your beard.

Bars are fine with stubble and shorter beards, but we’ll always recommend getting a liquid beard shampoo as they’re suited to all beard lengths and simply easier to apply.

How Often Should I Wash My Beard?

Similarly to your head hair, you don’t want to wash your beard more times than is necessary.

The number of times you should be washing your beard heavily depends on your lifestyle and routines, but should generally be 2-3 times per week.

Men with more sensitive skin may only want to wash theirs once or twice, but in saying this this should not matter too much if you’ve bought yourself a suitable beard shampoo for your needs.

If you find your beard gets greasy or oily far too often, which can often come down to your skin type as well as your lifestyle, you may want to consider washing it at least 3 times per week.

These are general guidelines, though, and your beard is your own. Wash your beard as many times as you see fit, you beautifully bearded specimen,

Do Beard Shampoos Cure Beard Dandruff?

Itchy beard? Since it is such a prevalent problem, the majority of men have experienced beard dandruff. The skin behind the beard is dry, flaky, and inflamed, which causes this ugly condition.

Therefore, even if your beard looks beautiful and is the ideal length you were striving for, you will still have those bothersome white flakes slipping through your facial hair and onto your clothes if the skin underneath is dry or inflamed.

Even while beard dandruff is surely aggravating and unattractive, it's luckily easy to get rid of and avoid with good grooming habits.

You just need to use a high-quality, good beard wash that is designed to get rid of beard dandruff on a regular basis and is enriched with premium, natural oils like almond, argan, and Inca Inchi.

Some Of Our Favourite Beard Shampoos

Beard care is important, so we very often like to share with you the products we’re using on our own beards, and when it comes to beard shampoos, this is a particularly exciting prospect.

Here are 3 wonderful beard shampoos we’ve been using over the years:

1. Seven Potions Beard Shampoo - Woodland Harmony

The Woodland Harmony beard wash from Seven Potions effectively cleans your beard while also nourishing your skin and facial hair.

It provides a gentle wash that soothes irritation, itch, and beard dandruff without removing your skin's natural oils.

This Seven Potions product has a very subtle sweet and woody perfume that doesn't overpower your aftershave and is said to be suited for all skin and hair types.

2. Prophet 3-in-1 Beard Shampoo with Conditioner & Facial Hair Protection Treatment

An unkind, lifeless, and dry beard is not appealing to anybody. The 3-in-1 beard conditioner from Prophet will give your beard the greatest amount of softness, healthy conditioning, and powerful hydration it needs, leaving you smelling fantastic in the process.

The triple-action lotion fights the three symptoms of dandruff: flakes, irritation, and dryness while cleaning and caring for your beard and hair.

The gentle cleaning formula has been specifically developed to remove even the toughest and most stubborn dandruff and trapped dirt, while also easing the discomfort of dry, itchy skin.

3. GRAVE BEFORE SHAVE - Beard Wash & Conditioner Pack

Everything you'll need to tame your rogue beard and simplify care is included in this superb beard wash and conditioner kit.

Grave Before Shave's mildness cleans and moisturises your skin and beard, minimising itchiness and dandruff.

Combining a beard wash and conditioner creates an unmatched rejuvenating effect by cleansing daily dirt buildup and moisturising your facial hair.