How To Clean Your Beard (Full Guide)

Let’s face it, most men neglect washing most of their body. As long as you clean the three main areas, everything else will take care of itself, right?

Not exactly.

Your beard is in a class by itself on your body, and it needs some special care and attention. In this complete guide to washing your beard we will cover everything you need to know to have that manly mane looking and feeling its best.

First, we are going to cover all the reasons why you should be washing your beard. Hopefully, after reading this section, you will have a little more understanding and compassion towards that patch of hair on your face. Then, you can give it the treatment it deserves.

Next, we will go over the mistakes that most guys make when cleaning their mustaches and beards.

Finally, we will give you a step-by-step list for the perfect beard washing routine. At this point, you will pretty much be an expert on the topic, so then it will be time for you to put all you learned into action.

Sound good? Let’s get into it.

4 Reasons To Wash Your Beard

When we say “washing your beard,” we mean with an actual beard shampoo. Sure, there are many days when you can just get away with rinsing it with water, but to get these benefits you will have to use a cleanser.

1. Keep it Smelling Fresh

man washing beardIf there is one thing that women do not like when it comes to beards, it is a foul odor coming off of it. Especially when they are trying to get close to you, or when you are moving in for a kiss.

If you do not wash your beard, then you are letting conflicting scents build up and fester. This includes things like sweat, food, drinks, drool, and beard products. Yeah, gross!

When all these scents have time to combine and become rancid, it is not a good thing. These things smell bad on their own, but they also lead to increased bacteria and fungal growth. On top of the things already in your beard, these little critters also give off bad smells.

Finally, some of the best beard washes contain essential oils that help to make you smell incredible while helping improve beard health.

So, by shampooing your beard regularly, you can ensure that you always have a fresh and clean smelling beard.

2. Prevent Beard Dandruff

If you have worn a black shirt while having beardruff, you know how annoying it can be. It seems like the flakes are never-ending.

By washing your beard regularly, you can help to prevent and treat beard dandruff. Most often, dandruff is the result of either a fungal infection or improperly treated skin.

First off, most of the top natural beard shampoos contain essential oils and ingredients that are natural antifungals like tea tree oil. These ingredients are excellent at preventing and treating fungal infections.

Secondly, washing with a cleanser helps to exfoliate the skin. This helps to strip off those excess flakes, so they do not have a chance to build up.

Just be careful not to use any cleansers with harsh chemicals because they can irritate the skin and actually lead to more flakes.

3. Reduce Itchiness

shower headExcess buildup of dirt, grime, and other materials could lead to flaking and itchiness.

Maintaining a healthy environment in your beard encourages the growth of healthy bacteria and helps decrease the excess moisture on your skin.

In this end, this will help to stop beard itch by keeping your skin underneath healthy.

4. Promote New Growth

After a period of not washing your beard, follicles start to become clogged. These clogged follicles can lead to ingrown hairs and eventually stop producing new hairs.

Washing your beard with a beard shampoo helps to exfoliate and clean hair follicles, making sure that your beard is growing exactly as it should be. Also, many shampoos and washes contain vitamins and oils that deliver nutrients to the skin and could help encourage new growth.

4 Mistakes Most Guys Make When Washing Their Beard

Now that you know why you should be washing your beard, let’s check out the mistakes that people make while doing it. These are very important because some of these could cause more damage to your beard than by not washing it at all.

1. Washing Too Often

The first thing that most guys do once they begin cleansing their beard is to wash it every day. Not only is this a complete waste of your beard wash, but it also does a lot of damage to your hair.

When you shampoo your beard, it washes away dirt and grime, but it washes away the good stuff too. Your face and follicles produce natural oils that are good for your skin and hair.

Washing too much removes these oils and could lead to dry and brittle facial hair.

Most dermatologists recommend washing your facial hair 2-3 times per week. This is that happy middle ground where can remove the harmful bacteria and dirt while still allowing the natural oils to protect and hydrate your skin and beard.

2. Using Hot Water

people in hot springHot water is another thing that helps dry out your beard and skin. Yeah, cold water often feels unpleasant and hot water is soothing, but resist the temptation to use hot water when cleaning your beard. Also, using warm water can increase frizz and flyaways.

Using cold water also helps to lock in hydration and keep those good oils around. On top of that, it also helps to increase blood flow, which can promote beard growth.

So, turn that faucet to the cold side when shampooing. At most, don’t go past lukewarm temperatures if you want your best beard.

3. Using Harsh Shampoos

Unfortunately, there are many shampoos on the market that are loaded with harsh chemicals. Some important ones to look out for include sulfates, parabens, food dyes, and petroleum byproducts.

These dangerous ingredients can have adverse effects ranging from potentially causing cancer to disrupting your hormones.

Anything that messes with your testosterone should not be used on your skin and facial hair. In the end, this could lead to interrupted beard growth and could lead to patchy and bald spots.

Also, sometimes these chemicals cause allergic skin reactions, which could increase itchiness.

4. Not Conditioning Afterward

Even the mildest beard shampoos strip away some of the natural oils that are needed for hydration. So, be aware and do your best to recondition and re-hydrate the hairs with a conditioner afterward.

As we covered in our best beard conditioner article, these can come in many forms. First off, there are leave-in and rinse-out options. Even further, in the leave-in conditioner category, you have beard oils and beard balms.

If you want to make your beard soft, you can use several of these products. While rinse-out conditioners and beard oils are primarily meant for conditioning your facial hair, things like beard balm help with styling as well.

Step By Step Instructions How To Clean Your Beard

Now that you know all the mistakes to make, this should be pretty straightforward.

  1. While in the shower or in front of a sink, wet your beard completely with cold to lukewarm water.
  2. If you are using a liquid beard wash, squeeze a small amount into the palm of your hand. Rub hands together and distribute throughout your beard, creating a lather. If you are using a beard shampoo in bar form, rub the bar on your beard until you work up a good lather.
  3. Clean your beard deeply with your hands being sure to massage the product into individual hairs and onto your skin underneath your beard. This will help to ensure you are cleaning the hair follicles.
  4. Let beard wash sit in your beard for a couple minutes.
  5. Rinse out completely with cold water.
  6. If using a rinse-out conditioner, repeat the process with a beard conditioner.
  7. When finished, pat beard dry with a towel.
  8. Apply beard oil or beard balm.
  9. Comb through to detangle your beard and style.


Washing your beard properly is a simple process that will give you a bunch of benefits. Using the correct technique and a high-quality product, you will have a healthier and better looking beard.

Not only will this improve your appearance, but it will also be less itchier and smell better.