A common beard question we often receive is whether beard wash is different from hair wash, and how you can go about washing your beard in the healthiest way. You might think that hair is hair no matter where it is on your body, but, there are very specific reasons why you shouldn’t use shampoo in your beard that might surprise you.
Long story short; No, you should not use hair wash and shampoo in your beard, simply because the hair on your scalp and the hair in your beard is located in places where the skin behaves differently, and because your beard needs to be hydrated in a different way.
Continue reading for the detailed explanation of the answer above!
Why You Should Wash Your Beard
Like many others, you may be asking why it’s important to wash your beard at all. After all, some hot running water in the shower does wonders, so why go deeper and actually buy a dedicated beard wash? Well, the answer is simple. Buildup.
The buildup of oils, dead skin cells, dirt, and debris is not so easily cleaned away. Have you ever gotten cooking oil or vegetable oil on your hands while cooking? Even with running water, oil is difficult to wash away, and it tends to become sticky and grab hold of things like dust and other debris. Well, the oils in your beard behave much the same way.
Without using a dedicated beard wash, the built-up oil in your beard that collects debris isn’t easily washed away. This can cause trouble later on like redness, irritation, breakouts, and more.
Now, oil in your beard is not inherently a bad thing. Only old dirty oil is. In order to better manage and replenish the clean oil in your beard, you’ll have to use a beard wash to strip away the dirty oils first.
Shampoo and Beard Wash are NOT The Same Thing
You might think that shampoo is the same thing as beard wash, and that would be an understandable misconception. However, there are important differences, mainly the formulation of these two hair cleaning products.
Despite using many similar ingredients, it’s the blend and proportion of those ingredients that makes a difference. You see, shampoos and hair washes are designed to strip hair of many of the natural oils, dirt, and debris that can accumulate. While this may not be a bad thing, stripping away too many of these oils (or not replacing them) certainly is a bad thing and can cause damage to your hair.
The shampoo you use for your scalp tends to be pretty harsh at stripping away oils. But shampoo can get away with this because the skin on your scalp isn’t very sensitive, unlike the skin on your face near your mouth, nose, and eyes. Essentially, the skin where your beard is is more sensitive skin, and is more prone to dryness and irritation.
Beard wash tends to be a bit “softer” compared to hair shampoo. A softer shampoo doesn’t strip away as many oils and cause excess dryness in sensitive skin.
Conditioner and Beard Oil are NOT The Same Thing
In a similar way to how beard wash and shampoo are not the same thing, beard oil and conditioner are not the same thing. Hair conditioner, while not unhealthy for your beard, doesn’t do too great of a job at hydrating your beard enough to keep the oils replenished. Hair conditioner is left in for a few seconds and washed away, almost completely. In order to keep your beard and the sensitive skin around it healthy, you’ll need to use a “leave-in” conditioner.
“Leave-in” conditioners are exactly what they sound like. You apply them to help hydrate your beard hair without having to wash them out. Perfect classic examples of which are beard oil and beard balm.
Beard oil, the most popular beard product out there, is a blend of natural oils that help mimic and replenish the oils that your skin produces to keep your hair healthy. Beard balm, on the other hand, combines those natural oils with some waxes that help keep your hair in place and provide you some styling benefits as well.
Overall, using a leave-in conditioner is going to be more beneficial for your beard hair than using traditional hair conditioner on your beard. Hair conditioner doesn’t replicate the natural oils your beard needs well enough in order to make it particularly useful.
Beard Products are Best For Beards
There’s a reason why beard wash/beard shampoo is better for your beard than the shampoo you use on your scalp. Just like there’s a reason your beard oil or beard balm is more suitable for your beard than typical hair conditioner. It’s made for beards! Your scalp hair and beard hair don’t behave the same way, and are located in areas where the skin behaves differently as well. It’s important to use beard-dedicated products to get the most out of your beard as you possible can.
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