If you find this in your keyboard, you’re in bad shape!
Beard dandruff—the bane to bearded gentlemen everywhere! We spend years growing chin masterpieces (or should I say chinterpieces?), only to discover that a chin, like a head, can flake. There is little more embarrassing than a flaky beard.
Thankfully, curing beard dandruff is pretty straightforward, though it may take a little patience and some dedication.
Why do beards have dandruff?
There are a variety of things that can cause beard dandruff. The first, and most likely, is that you’re washing it too frequently, and using products designed for head hair instead of beard hair. Many of the hair products you’ll find in a supermarket come packaged with waxes and chemicals that clog pores and are harsh on skin, especially facial skin. This robs your body of its natural oils that are essential to maintain a supple face. When your skin dries out, it begins to flake away. Additionally, obese men (like myself–I’m not hating on you here) tend to not only develop beard dandruff more often, but also beard acne, or red, raw patches, because their skin is stressed. Having a healthy diet (and taking your vitamins) can help treat these issues.
How to Get Rid of Beard Dandruff
Here’s the regime I follow to ensure that my beard doesn’t flake:
For Light Flaking: Pine Tar Soap
Pine tar is an ingredient proven over generations to cure dandruff, psoriasis, and other skin ailments. There are a number of soaps that I list on my beard soap page that include coal and pine tar, which will help prevent beard flakes. That said, you also need to wash your beard less often. Instead of shampooing your beard every day, try using beard soap or a beard shampoo once or twice a week. This will keep your natural beard oils longer, allowing a suppler chin.
I also enjoy the shampoo version, as you can see.
For Moderate Flaking: T-Gel
I’ve been using T-Gel for years. It acts super-fast. Even with only one application, I have found T-Gel to shed big flakes the next morning, freeing my beard of them. When I have a light dusting, I use the pine tar soap mentioned above. But when I have raw spots on my chin, or if I see big white scales, I use T-Gel. It works best if you shower and use it every day. Yes, it will rob your beard of oils, but you need to use it every day to shed the big flakes and soothe the skin. Then, when the flakes are gone, return to washing it less frequently with pine tar soap.
For Extreme Flaking: Polytar
For extreme cases, and to remove built-up white scales, use something stronger like Polytar. This is for skin that is cracked–even bleeding. You may want to consult your dermatologist, if this is the case.
I recently asked my doctor about beard dandruff. Now bear in mind that you should always seek medical advice from your own doctor. But mine said that beard dandruff is caused by lack of blood flow through your facial capillaries, which causes surface skin cells to die, making them flake off. This is due, he said, from lack of vitamin E in your diet. He told me to take 3 vitamin E capsules a day, and to split open one and spread the oil on my flaky skin once a day.
Since my beard dander was cured by T-Gel, I’ll try this method when it comes back, and let you know how well it works.
Once your beard dandruff is cured, make sure you’re using products designed specifically for beards instead of head hair. I have collected some of the top-rated beard shampoos and beard conditioners, which have proven to be popular and to prevent beard dandruff.
Every morning, dab your beard with some beard oil. There are a number of great beard oils on the market, and I have collected my favorites on my beard oil page. Try to find an oil that includes either almond oil or jojoba oil, as those oils mimic a human’s natural oil very well. Simply rub a little into your chin every morning, and then comb it through your beard. This will give your beard a nice sheen (bonus!).
Take Your Vitamins
Since your overall health plays such a pivotal role in the health and look for your beard, consider taking a beard vitamin. Most beard vitamins simply give a man the nutrients he needs to function at peak capacity. Vitamin E is important for skin tone and suppleness, while protein is important for optimizing the growth speed and follicle strength of your beard. Vitabeard is the most popular (and highly tested) beard vitamin, while Beardilizer is another option:
Finally, perform necessary beard maintenance. Every month, I check my beard for split ends and trim them off (this keeps beard hairs from splitting further and agitating your follicles). Try to remove as many knots as possible, as beard knots will catch on other hairs, tug, and cause stress. If your beard is “crunchy” or unhealthy, use some beard repair (by Bluebeard’s), and make sure you rid your face of all ingrown beard hairs (there is a handy ingrown beard hair remover that works wonders).
This is my regimen, and it has worked wonders for me. Do you have a different beard ritual that works for you? Sound off in the comments with your beard tips!