What to Know About Washing Your Beard

Shampooing and conditioning your beard are arguably THE most essential grooming steps to an impressive beard. It’s not just about the hair but the skin underneath as well. Regular washing is not only crucial in helping you achieve a fuller and softer beard, but it also helps prevent issues like clogged pores, odor, beard itch, and ingrown hairs.

Proper beard treatment is essential for every stage of your beard as it eliminates trapped food and excess skin cells that can lead to itchiness and dryness. Beards have the potential to harbor bacteria and fungus, so it’s essential to clean your beard regularly. At Cremo, we know a clean beard is a happy beard.

That’s why we have put together a complete guide on how to clean up a beard. You’ll learn how to wash your beard, how to make your beard soft, and all the questions in between.

What you will need:

Why use beard-specific wash and conditioner?

Beard wash and beard conditioner are perfectly formulated for your beard, specifically the skin under your beard. They will keep the oils you need while also cleaning off odors and other grime that can build up in your beard throughout the day.

Regular shampoo and conditioner could be too harsh for the skin on your face. The skin on your head has the thickest skin on your body and has more follicles, and in turn, more sebum. Sebum is the oil that helps your hair coat itself and retain moisture. Your beard’s delicate skin doesn’t have as many follicles, so it doesn’t create as much sebum. Because of this, A gentler shampoo can be less harsh and doesn’t remove your beard's natural oil is necessary to keep it healthy. 

Using regular shampoo and conditioner on your beard will strip away too many natural oils, leaving your beard dry, coarse, and brittle. The hair roots also become weaker, leading to split ends and patchiness due to hair loss. You want to choose beard specific products to help make your beard softer, shinier, and less brittle.

Why use beard-specific wash and conditioner

How To Wash and Condition Your Beard

Step 1 - Get your beard thoroughly wet with lukewarm water, running your fingers through it to make sure you reach all the hairs. REALLY get in there.

Step 2 - Squeeze a nickel to quarter-sized amount of beard shampoo into your palm. Rub your hands together and liberally apply the shampoo to your beard. With beard wash, you want to get your skin and the roots of your beard more so than the beard hair. During your washing, don’t be afraid to move your nails in a circular motion to really get in there, exfoliating and ridding your beard of dirt, dead skin cells, and sebum flakes that might be trapped. Don’t forget your sideburns and mustache.

Step 3- Rinse your beard out with a similar technique as you did when wetting it. Make sure to get all the product out of your beard.

Step 4 - Follow up with a beard softener. Using this product on its own, without beard wash, is referred to as co-washing. Use approximately the same amount of conditioner as you did shampoo. Work it into your hands, then apply to your beard, this time focusing on conditioning the hairs, not so much the skin. Depending on the texture of your beard, leaving the conditioner longer or shorter will give your beard different results. Play around with what works best for your beard.

Step 5 - Grab your towel and GENTLY pat your beard till it is damp but not soaking wet. For more drying tips, check out how to dry your beard properly.

Step 6 - Grab your beard oil to replenish your beard's moisture. Even with a proper beard shampoo, washing your beard can strip your beard of some natural oils that are important to keep your skin and hair healthy. Cremo’s beard oils are specifically designed to nourish, hydrate, and soften beard hair. You will want to apply your beard oil while your hair is still a little damp, making sure it reaches the skin to be most effective.

How Often Should You Wash Your Beard?

For those asking, how often should I wash my beard? In general, you should wash your beard 2-3 times per week. When you wash your hair, you could be stripping away your natural oils. Doing this too often can leave your beard and skin dry.

However, Cremo’s beard wash is specially designed to be gentle enough for everyday use for those beardsmen who might need it. If you are working out regularly or working outdoors getting muddy and dirty, then wash your beard every day. If you need to wash every day, we recommend always following up with a beard softener to prevent over washing damage and bring back any lost softness.

Beard Washing Routines

There are options for the other five days of the week for those who do not need to wash their beard daily. Just because you aren’t washing your beard every day doesn’t mean you can’t be doing some beard care every day. Diversity is important to make your beard healthy, happy and keep your skin and beard guessing.

Example of a washing routine:

  • Wash + Condition - combo of using beard wash and following up with a softener
  • Washing - using only your beard wash, most men won’t want to do this daily as this can strip your beard of much-needed oils drying out your skin and facial hair
  • Co-washing - Washing your beard with only a beard softener. Most softeners include a few detergents so you can cleanse your beard very gently while still softening. Beware: beard conditioning too often or not rinsing off enough product can cause your beard to lose volume
  • Rinsing - No product, just water. You can still exfoliate with your fingers and really get in there to rinse out grime and dirt

Mix and match the above options as needed to find your balance of washing, co-washing, rinsing, and conditioning. Finding a routine that works for you will depend on your habits, daily lifestyle, and beard/skin type.

Products For Softening Your Beard

Softening your beard lessens the risk of irritation, eliminates beard itch, and makes grooming your beard more manageable. You might be wondering how exactly you achieve a softer beard? The best way to soften your beard hair is to consistently use proper beard products and put effort into your grooming routine.

Beard Wash -A hydrating cleanser will get out all the dirt, grime, and pollutants that may have built up on your facial hair. Regular washing helps balance and replenish the natural oils your beard needs and keep your skin moisturized. Clean facial hair will also absorb beard grooming products better than a dirty beard to keep your beard looking its best.

Beard Softener - Follow up your washing with a beard softener. Beard softeners will give your beard a smooth texture and help calm irritation. Softeners reduce stubble stiffness and help your beard retain the moisture it needs to stay healthy and hydrated. After using your beard softener, your beard comb will glide right through your beard. You can even use a softener daily. Not to mention, the softer your beard hairs, the more compliant they will be for grooming, styling and shaping.

Products For Softening Your Beard

Beard Oil - Cremo Beard Oil is packed with hydrating and nourishing ingredients such as jojoba and argan oil that work together to add softness and shine to your beard. The intention is to protect the skin underneath your beard and provide a kick of hydration for your follicles. You will want to apply beard oil right after you get out of the shower and have pat-dried your beard while your pores are still open for the best results.

5 Most Common Beard Washing Mistakes

1. Overwashing

Most men just need to wash their beard 2-3 times a week. Unless you have a very active lifestyle, doing more will dry out your skin and beard hair. This lack of moisture can lead to beard itch, beardruff, and other common beard issues.

2. Too Much Conditioner

Beard conditioner/softener is meant to nourish and create a layer of moisturizing protection for your beard hair and root. After applying the product, whatever you don’t rinse out will be left behind. Not washing off enough or using it too often can overcoat your beard. Conditioner build-up prevents oils and other replenishing products from soaking into your skin and hair follicles. It can also leave your beard hair flat and hard to style.

3. Not Using Beard Specific Products

You might be thinking hair is hair, so it’s not a big deal to use shampoo on your beard? Not true; the environment on your face is entirely different from your head. Choosing products specific to your beard will vanquish the grit and grime in your beard without compromising your PH balance and leaving your beard dehydrated.

4. Washing with the Wrong Temperature of Water

Hot water strips your skin and hair of the protective oils leaving it vulnerable to damage. That can leave your skin dry and irritated. Cold water is no better than hot water. When skin becomes cold, the pores close up preventing all that nourishing product you are massaging into your beard and skin from doing its job.

So what temperature water should you wash your beard with? Split it down the middle and use lukewarm water to wash and rinse your beard. Lukewarm water is gentle enough to take care of your delicate facial skin and hairs while still allowing washes and moisturizers to work most efficiently.

5. Not Moisturising Properly

The best time to apply beard oils and beard moisturizer is right after washing your beard. Washing your beard can wipe your skin of needed natural oils, so replenishing those right after while your pores are nice and open is most effective. Similarly, picking a hydrating wash and conditioner designed specifically for beards will help prevent irritation and dryness from harsh chemicals and ingredients in non-beard focused products.

Beard Washing and Conditioning- Takeaways

Ultimately, beards get dirty and regularly washing yours is essential to keep your beard healthy and soft. Most men will need to wash their beard about 2-3 times a week, but it is important to find a routine that works for your activeness, skin, and hair type. Choosing shampoos and conditioners formulated specifically for your beard will also make a big difference.

Cremo products are created with astonishingly high standards - to meet your standards. Cremo is made for those who want to upgrade their grooming routine with astonishing performance, superior ingredients, and dramatic results. Check out our full barber-grade beard care line.