Beard shampoo is an entirely new product that men are working into their grooming routine.

But is beard shampoo any different than the standard shampoo, bar soap, face wash, or body wash that you may be currently using?

Perhaps.

Below we look at how beard wash differs from other cleansing products, when you should use beard shampoo, and if it’s worth considering.

Let’s begin:

How Beard Wash is Different From Other Cleansing Products

Hair shampoos, body washes, and soaps are made in a variety of ways.  Some are mass-produced and rely heavily on chemicals, whereas others are derived from natural sources.  Here’s why this matters:

Chemically Derived Cleansers

Many mass-produced products found in grocery stores and drugstores rely heavily on chemical-based ingredients.  They are affordable and have a long shelf life.  Many of these cleansing products are designed to strip both oil and dirt effectively.  With prolonged daily use, these cleansers may cause dryness or mild irritation.  

Naturally Derived Cleansers

Within the past decade, naturally sourced products have risen in popularity.  From bar soap to shampoo, it’s easy to find a grooming product with a natural base.  Able to remove dirt while nourishing the skin, they can make both skin and hair feel soft and supple.  However, depending on the ingredients, allergic reactions may occur (source).

Why this Matters for Beard Wash

Many beard washes rely on natural ingredients, including carrier oils, essential oils, and various extracts.  You can expect a beard wash to clean your beard while nourishing both the follicle and skin beneath.

When you use a chemical-based cleanser on your beard, your facial hair and skin will often become brittle and dry.  

Naturally derived shampoos, body washes, or soaps, such as the Dr. Squatch bar we reviewed, can be used instead of a beard wash.  The final results will often be similar.

Is it Worth Buying a Beard Shampoo?

Suppose you are only growing your beard for a few weeks or a month. In that case, a beard shampoo likely isn’t necessary, especially if you have a natural shampoo or other cleansers currently available.  

However, if you are serious about growing a healthy and soft beard, then you should consider beard shampoo.  With repeated use, you can expect noticeably softer facial hair and a reduction in beard itch.

Frequency of Use

Most beard care companies recommend that you wash your beard with a beard shampoo every other day.  This will ensure that your beard doesn’t appear greasy while also giving it a break between washings.

Consider a Beard Shampoo if You Dye your Beard

Should you dye your beard regularly, then a gentle, low pH beard shampoo won’t strip the dye away from the hair.  

Some products, such as the Just for Men Grey Reducing Beard Wash, are a hybrid cleanser and dyeing agent that gently washes your beard while reducing the appearance of grey hair.

Cheap shampoos may contain sulfates which can strip the dye from facial hair.  Always check the packaging before purchasing to make sure that you achieve the expected results.

Required Length Before Using Beard Shampoo

You want to get in the habit of using a beard wash once you have grown past the stubble phase, typically a few weeks of growth for most men.

For a stubble beard style, men’s face wash works well.  

Beard Care 

While using a beard wash is essential for proper facial hair care, you should also be regularly conditioning and styling your beard.

For conditioning, which is applied after you are done showering, consider using beard oil or beard balm.  Both of these beard care products rely heavily on natural oils and nourishing, moisturizing agents.

A beard brush or beard comb is also an effective way to get your beard looking presentable.  Beard brushes help distribute products while also allowing for a fuller appearance.  Beard combs are particularly useful for styling purposes.  

Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

Published: December 23, 2015

Last Updated: May 10, 2021