Most people are familiar with dandruff in the hair, but those who keep beards, know that those tiny white flakes are a disaster when they start appearing in facial hair.
Known also as ‘beardruff’, it is something that is much more apparent since your beard is dead center occupying prime real estate below your face. And since men tend to touch their beards more than their hair that dandruff is going to end up on your clothes. Who wants to show up at work with white and yellow flakes on the button section of his shirt (because ‘beardruff’ lands more in the center – whereas dandruff that falls from the scalp of your head is more likely to settle on the shirt collars).
Why Beard Dandruff Needs To Be Treated Right Away
That’s because beard dandruff affects us in one of two ways or a combination of both:
1.) On a social level: This is where treatment is important for psychological reasons and irritation is of little concern. Beyond the embarrassment of those visible flakes, the skin is fine and you’re prone to scratching.
2.) On a comfort level: This is when the itchiness and discomfort is the main cause to seek a remedy. Here relief is the name of the game.
As far as the social aspect of beard dandruff is concerned, it is more apparent and visible than the head. Whether at work of play, people tend to look at your face, and that’s where your facial hair is. In some people its more apparent than in others, but generally if its at a point where you are reading this article, then you need some form of treatment.
But first, lets try to understand what’s going on before we discuss potential treatments. Just like your scalp the skin that lies at the base of your beard is also prone to dryness. New growers will find that as their beard grows it can absorb the natural oils on the skin and make that area dryer – which naturally makes your beard itchier.
You try to resist the urge to scratch until you can’t take it anymore and then mania scratching sets in and a vicious cycle of beard inflammation, redness, itchiness continues to exacerbate leaving you helpless and frustrated.
I really need to scratch my beard. What should I do?
Well, we suggest massaging with your fingertips. If you use your fingernails you will inevitably end up irritating the scalp further. Putting a tiny amount of beard oil and using the tips of your fingers is a good way of getting rid of that itching sensation. If your situation does not improve, contact a dermatologist to see what can be done.
Indoor Heating Worsens Dandruff
Beard growers will also notice (especially if you live in a cooler climate such as the Northeast or Midwest United States) that the beard dandruff – and dandruff in general – increases during winters. This is because you’re inside with the heating on, and it makes your scalp all the more drier.
The reason this is important is because, when summer comes around and this condition naturally improves you might assume that your dandruff is getting better – but that’s not the case. Its just that the heating is not making your skin drier.
So, bottom line is that you don’t want to be fooled into thinking that its getting better when in reality its just a change of seasons.
Did the guy with the beard “pass on dandruff” to me?
Some men wrongly assume that they “caught” dandruff from someone else. Well, that’s not true because dandruff is not contagious and doesn’t pass from one beard to another. If you have the ‘beardruff’ chances are its the dry scalp or sensitivity to a product.
Sensitivity to Hair Care Products
Where discomfort is the main issue, as far as possible you want to use natural and gentle beard products. Ideally these would contain plant-based ingredients that have healing properties. You want to avoid harsh products and chemicals that will end up causing discomfort and irritation.
You might have noticed that your dandruff started after using a certain shampoo or hair care product. That’s a pretty good indication of sensitivity to an ingredient or ingredients in that hair care product. So if you are having an allergic reaction to a shampoo or conditioner, you need to switch.
Beard Dandruff Remedies
Remedy #1: Jojoba Oil. A shrub native to southern Arizona, southern California and northwestern Mexico. This is great for reducing the shedding and the oily deposits since of its great properties is that its not greasy.
Since this ingredient is very familiar to natural human oils the popular understanding is that it is quickly absorbed, leaving the hair follicles open. We recommend two products that contain this ingredient: Bay Lime Beard Oil and Hazelnut & Cedarwood Beard Conditioner. Both of these can be gently massaged into the facial hair. You’ll find both products here: Beard Conditioners
Remedy #2: Aloe Vera. Used for centuries by people, this popular plant has many beneficial properties which may be anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
It has been used to treat dandruff as well, and works well as a shampoo since it can be a bit drying, but using a conditioner afterwards helps take care of that. We carry two great products: Bluebeard’s Original Beard Wash and Ultra Beard Shampoo by Beardsley, both of which contain Aloe Vera. We also have a specialty beard conditioner that can be used after shampooing to prevent any drying. You can find all these great products here: Beard Shampoos
Cleanliness Is Key
Chances are that you have a brush or a comb – or a number of them that you brush your beard with and keep looking neat. While you’re probably good about washing your beard – how many times do you was your beard comb? or about that brush?
Make it a habit to rub down and clean the grime, dirt, and oil that accumulates on your brushes and combs – because that is part of maintaining a nice dandruff-free beard. We recommend a once a week clean using a natural soap or anything else that works for you. Use your fingers to remove the grime – since it will tend to cling and stick on teeth of the comb.
Quick & Practical Short-Term Solution
Besides products, another quick and practical solution is not wear dark colored shirts or clothing. The reason – as you may have guessed – is obvious. Those little tiny white flakes of ‘beardruff’ will be all the more apparent on dark-colored clothing. This a good temporary solution while you treat your beard dandruff and work on longer-term solutions.