Regular Shampoo or Beard Wash? What should you use?

cleaning a beard

In the history of mankind, beard wash is a relatively recent invention as men start to become more conscious of the importance of trimming and shaving, taking care of their health, well-being, and grooming. Prior to the invention of beard wash, men would use soap, regular shampoo, face wash, or various other products to wash and maintain their beards.

So you might be led to think, is it necessary to add beard wash to your routine, or is using shampoo on beard perfectly fine?

The short answer is beard wash is tailored to the unique needs of facial hair and the skin it grows from, making it a better choice for maintaining a healthy and comfortable beard. Regular hair shampoo is formulated for the scalp and hair, often containing stronger cleaning agents and fragrances, which can dry out beard hair, irritate the skin on your face, and leave a very pronounced fragrance.

In this article, we will explain the differences between beard wash and regular shampoo, explore the benefits of using a high-quality beard wash, and provide our recommendations on some best beard shampoos for you to try.

shampoo on beard

Regular shampoo is typically not recommended for use on beards primarily because it is formulated with the scalp and head hair in mind, which have different needs from facial hair.

These shampoos often contain strong detergents and chemicals aimed at removing excess oils and build-up that are common on the scalp. However, these ingredients can be too harsh for the beard and the more sensitive skin on the face.

Harsh, strong chemicals like parabens and sulfates, particularly sodium lauryl sulfate, is very common in regular shampoos. These chemicals are effective for deep cleansing scalp hair but can strip the natural oils from beard hair, leading to dryness and making the beard hair coarse and brittle. Moreover, these chemicals can also cause irritation, redness, and discomfort in individuals with sensitive skin. 

The facial skin under the beard is typically more sensitive and produces less sebum oil compared to the scalp. This natural oil is crucial for keeping the beard hair soft, moisturized, and healthy. Using shampoo on beard can disrupt this natural oil balance, leading to a dry, uncomfortable, and itchy beard and facial skin. Therefore, to maintain a healthy and comfortable beard, it is advisable to use products specifically formulated for beard care, which are gentler and designed to cater to the unique needs of facial hair and the underlying skin.

Why Beard Wash Is Good For Your Beard

Beard wash is more than just a cleanser; it’s a vital part of beard care. It’s formulated for both your beard and the sensitive skin underneath. The skin under your beard is different from your scalp. It makes less sebum oil, which is fundamental for keeping hair protected and moist. Sebum oil is what gives your beard its natural shine and smooth texture.

Viking Revolution Beard Wash & Beard Conditioner Set w/Argan & Jojoba...

Regular shampoos, designed for scalp hair, are often too harsh for beards. They strip away these crucial oils, leaving your beard feeling dry, rough, and brittle. This harsh treatment can weaken the hair at the roots, causing split ends and leading to patchy hair loss.

Beard wash, on the other hand, is created to clean both the beard and skin gently but effectively. It ensures that your beard gets thoroughly cleansed without stripping away the natural oils that hold importance for maintaining a healthy beard. 

This careful balance helps to retain the essential moisture in your beard and skin, preventing dryness and keeping your beard looking and feeling its best. Using a beard wash regularly can help maintain the natural luster, softness, and health of your beard, making it an indispensable tool in your grooming routine.

Natural Ingredients in Beard Wash

Beard washes typically include natural ingredients that are suitable for your beard and skin. These include:

  • Argan Oil: This is a powerhouse for beard care. Rich in nutrients and antioxidants, argan oil deeply nourishes and moisturizes the beard. It helps to soften the hair, making it smoother and more manageable. Additionally, it adds a natural shine, enhancing the overall appearance of the beard.
  • Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is unique because it closely resembles the natural oils produced by our skin. This essential beard oil makes it an excellent hydrator for both the beard and the skin beneath. It aids in balancing oil production, preventing the beard from looking greasy while ensuring it stays well-hydrated and healthy.
  • Coconut Oil: Known for its strengthening properties, coconut oil is a must-have essential oil for beard health. It penetrates the hair shaft, nourishing the hair from within. This natural ingredient helps in promoting beard hair growth and preventing hair breakage. The result is a fuller, thicker, and stronger beard.
  • Shea Butter: Shea butter is like a soothing balm for the skin under the beard. It conditions and soothes the skin, preventing dryness and irritation. This butter is particularly beneficial for those who experience beard itch or flakiness in their beard area. Shea butter also makes the beard softer and smoother.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Renowned for its antibacterial properties, tea tree oil ensures that your beard remains clean and hygienic. It helps prevent bacterial and fungal infections, a common beard-related issue most people face. This ingredient keeps the beard fresh and helps in maintaining healthy skin.
  • Aloe Vera Extract: Aloe Vera is celebrated for its soothing and healing properties. It’s particularly effective in treating skin irritation and inflammation. When included in beard washes, Aloe Vera helps calm the skin beneath the beard. This ingredient is highly recommended for people with sensitive skin or conditions like acne, as it provides gentle healing and reduces redness and irritation.
  • Chamomile: Chamomile is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory abilities. It’s great for the skin, especially in combating irritation and inflammation. Chamomile in beard washes helps soothe the skin, making it ideal for those prone to acne or skin sensitivities. Its antibacterial properties also contribute to a healthier, cleaner beard and skin.

How To Choose the Right Beard Wash for You

Skin Type Considerations

Your skin type is essential when choosing a beard wash. If you have oily skin, you might need to wash your beard more often to keep it clean and balanced. For people with dry skin, less frequent washing is better to maintain moisture. Pay attention to how your skin feels and reacts after beard washing to find the right balance.

Consider Your Daily Activities

Your daily environment affects your beard. If you are often in dusty, polluted areas or sweat a lot, you should get yourself a good beard wash that can effectively remove dirt and grime without over-drying. Consider the level of exposure to elements when choosing your beard wash’s strength and frequency of use.

Gentle, Natural Ingredients

Choose a beard wash with gentle, natural ingredients. Avoid harsh chemicals like parabens and sulfates. Look for calming ingredients like aloe vera and oat extract, especially if you have sensitive skin. These natural soothers keep your beard clean and reduce the risk of irritation.

Beard Growth Promoters

For those looking for a fuller beard, you can select a beard wash containing growth-promoting ingredients. Ingredients like caffeine, organic rosemary oil, and CAPIXYL™ can help stimulate hair follicle growth and density. These components are great for encouraging a thicker, healthier beard.

Tips for Selecting the Best Beard Wash

Check the Ingredients List

Always start by looking at the ingredients list. Avoid harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens. Look for natural ingredients that nourish and moisturize, such as aloe vera, jojoba oil, and shea butter. The right ingredients make a big difference in how your beard feels and looks.

Read Customer Reviews

Customer reviews can be a goldmine of information. They offer real-world insights into how a beard wash performs. Look for reviews from people with similar beard types and skin conditions as yours. Their experiences can guide you in making an informed choice.

Test a Small Amount on Your Skin

Before fully committing to a new beard wash, test a small amount on your skin. This patch test can help you see if you have any allergic reactions or irritations. It’s a simple step that can save you from discomfort later.

Choose a Scent You Like

The scent of your beard wash can impact your daily routine. Some prefer subtle, natural scents, while others might like something more pronounced. Choose a fragrance that you enjoy, as it will linger on to you throughout the day.

Below are our recommended beard washes.

The Viking Revolution beard wash is like a breath of fresh air for your beard with its natural peppermint and eucalyptus scent. It leaves your beard feeling softer and cleaner without any annoying itching or irritation.

This Grave Before Shave Beard Wash has a handy pump dispenser and comes in a larger 16 oz size, giving you bang for your buck. It totally levels up your beard game, leaving it soft and shiny.

The SheaMoisture Beard Wash has a pleasant scent and leaves beards feeling soft, clean, and moisturized. Its gel texture is just right, not too heavily scented or weighty. A small amount goes a long way.


Understanding the difference between beard wash and regular shampoo is essential for optimal beard care. Beard washes contain special formulations that gently cleanse the beard and the sensitive skin beneath, preserving essential sebum oils. This contrasts with regular shampoos, which are often too harsh for facial hair and can lead to dryness, skin irritation, and damage. 

Today, we have explored the enriching natural ingredients commonly found in beard washes, such as argan oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter, tea tree oil, aloe vera extract, and chamomile. These ingredients not only clean but also nourish and protect the beard and skin, promoting hair growth, softness, and overall beard health. 

The takeaway is clear: for a healthier, more comfortable beard, switching to a beard wash tailored to the unique needs of facial hair and skin is a move. This switch may look like a minor change in your daily grooming routine, but the difference in the health and appearance of your beard can be remarkable. Avoid using shampoo on beard and trying out a beard wash today.

Last update on 2023-12-28 at 05:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alex William

A 34 year old review writer from LA. I write reviews for MyBestShaver to help people to find their best electric shaver ever. I'm contactable on email | More About Me.

You may also like...