Any self-respecting beardsman knows that you have to take care of your beard or your beard won’t take care of you. That’s why if you aspire to live the bearded life, you need to add a beard wash to your bathroom counter or shower.
A great beard wash features all kinds of oils and hair-rejuvenating ingredients to help cleanse and bring some life back to your beat-up beard. But it’s not all about appearance. If you’ve ever grown a beard beyond the short stubble length then you’re familiar with beard itch. Beard itch tells you that your hair and skin are dry, which is one problem a great beard wash can help solve.
Not to mention, your beard accumulates all the sweat and dead skin you make as you go about your day and a beard wash will help make that dirt and grime a thing of the past. Not only will it leave your hair feeling softer and less itchy, but it’ll also just be straight-up cleaner, healthier and nicer-looking. While a great beard oil will help with the former, and leave you feeling a bit oily, only a good beard wash can help get your beard cleaner. With the right beard brush, you have everything you need to keep your beard soft, smelling great, itch-free and untangled.
To help get you started on taking better care of your beard, we reached out to Stephen Wu, a barber at Fellow Barber in Brooklyn in New York City, to answer a few questions about beard wash. Though we’re regular users of beard wash ourselves, expert input always helps.
Why Should I Use Beard Wash?
You should use a beard wash simply because you can! Seriously though, beyond the obvious cleansing benefits, beard washes and beard cleansers are “specially formulated” to “gently cleanse without drying out the skin underneath,” Wu told SPY. You don’t want to be trying to clean your beloved beard — and it does need cleaning — with something that could make it worse.
Are There Any Downsides To Beard Wash?
The short answer is yes, but it’s all about how you use it. Wu said, “If you wash your beard too often, you will continue to strip its natural oils and that of the skin beneath it. Especially for longer beards, the drier it gets, the easier it is for the strands to break off, leaving it wiry and less dense.” He also suggested avoiding scalding hot water as it may damage the hairs.
How Do I Use Beard Wash? Do I Need Beard Oil and Balm, Too?
Thankfully, washing your beard isn’t rocket science. For most guys, Wu recommends using beard wash twice a week. Depending on your lifestyle, e.g. you work a job that regularly leaves your beard feeling trashed or if you’re a regular smoker, you may wish to wash more often and follow it up with a beard balm or beard oil to replenish and retain moisture.
In terms of actually washing, Wu advised, “Use cold to warm water. Apply beard wash at [the] fingertips and gently scrub the beard and skin. Rinse off beard wash using cold water to seal skin pores and hair cuticles.” Once you’re washed, Wu said, “Towel dry your beard and brush it with a boar bristle brush or comb to spread the natural oils through the beard.”
In between washes, warm water and fingers will be good enough to “rid most of the debris lodged in the beard,” Wu said.
And that’s all there is to it. Whether you’ve got a thick or thin beard, long or short beard or dry or oily skin (or some combo of all of the above), you’ll find a great beard wash below to upgrade your beard care.
Fellow Everyday Tonic
BEST BEARD TONIC
It’s not a proper beard wash but the Fellow Everyday Tonic is the perfect refresher in between washes to keep your skin and beard hair feeling fresh. With witch hazel, aloe vera, eucalyptus and vitamins A, C and E, this little spritz will help lift dirt, remove grease, get rid of any product surface residue and hydrate skin and beard hair. Wu recommends using it daily and said he and his fellow barbers use it “religiously” with all their clients.