Unlike your favorite shirt, you can't just throw your beard in the washing machine at the end of a long day. However, neglecting its needs just isn't an option. Unfortunately, simply slapping some water on your face isn't going to cut it either. After all, a clean beard comes with using proper products and techniques.
Even if you have a gentle beard soap in your routine already, using it wrong can reduce its effectiveness. Luckily, small changes can quickly fix up your beard and mustache game. In addition, investing in your beard also means investing in good health and hygiene.
Zeus Beard is here to take out the guess work of beard care and break down everything you need to know about keeping up a clean beard.
Mistake 1: Using harmful products
Surrounding your smile, your beard and mustache play an important role on your face. Suffocating them with harsh cleansers and ingredients can be detrimental to a budding beard.
When it comes to your sensitive facial hair, ingredients like isopropyl alcohol and polyethylene glycol in products dry out and damage your beard and mustache.
Isopropyl alcohol is a cleaning agent that pulls the bad stuff out of your beard like dirt and bacteria. However, it also takes the good stuff with it in the process, dehydrating your facial hair and stripping away natural oils.
On the other hand, polyethylene glycol is a chemical lurking in some beard balms that can cause your beard to lose hair and be stiff to the touch.
It's definitely worth it to opt for natural cleaning products that will be gentle on your facial hair. After all, using creams or cleansers that destroy your beard and mustache defeat the purpose of buying them in the first place.
Mistake 2: Only using shampoo or conditioner
Similar to the hair on your head, it's important to wash and condition the hair in your beard and mustache.
Waiting too long between washes can lead to oil and bacteria build-up causing a range of issues from beard itch to acne and even cause your facial hair to carry a funky smell.
The first step in your new shower routine is to understand the difference between shampoo and conditioner.
The two haircare products aren't interchangeable. In fact, one without the other will only get the job half done.
Shampoo is intended to give you that clean beard by scrubbing away the irritants. However, even the gentlest shampoos leave your hair feeling a little vulnerable.
That's where conditioner comes in. Conditioner is the softening agent that packs the moisture back into your beard and mustache.
If you're only reaching for the beard shampoo in an attempt to get a clean beard, you may come back with some dry strands. On the other hand, if you're only reaching for the beard conditioner, your beard may be soft but still house some left-behind irritants. Utilize both and you'll give your beard the perfect balance.
Mistake 3: Washing your beard too much
We know what you're thinking. We just told you washing your beard is super important. Now, you can wash your beard too much? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
While it may seem strange, one of the most common mistakes men make is actually washing their beard too often. Keeping up a clean beard isn't always a problem with products. Even with the most gentle moisturizing products, over-washing your beard can lead to damage and dryness.
In reality, when you wash your beard too much, what you're really doing is stripping the sensitive hair of its protective natural oils.
So how much is too much?
The answer varies based on your environment and hair type. Oilier skin and hair types need more frequent washing.
In addition, men working in dirty or humid environments need to reach for the beard shampoo more frequently (daily or every other day).
Others dealing with dry skin, hair or climates should be reaching for the shampoo less and the conditioner more. For these types of beards and mustaches, it's best to limit washing to every three to four days.
Mistake 4: Washing your beard with hot water
Even with all the right products and a healthy beard washing schedule, water that is too hot can quickly make everything go downhill.
A hot shower is relaxing for a stuffy nose or sore muscles. However, when it comes to your skin, a hot shower acts as a harsh exfoliator.
This is bad news for your beard, causing a range of issues from dry hair to inflammation and irritation on the skin underneath.
It's best to stick to cool or lukewarm washes to keep your beard fresh without the added irritation. After the shower, avoid blow drying your beard on the highest heat setting which can make your beard brittle. Instead, stick to the coolest setting on your blow dryer, which is actually even better for your beard than letting it air dry.