washing beard

Like the hair on your head, your beard needs care to be comfortable. If you’re used to having a dry beard — one that leaves a faint earthy odor or results in stringy hair — you don’t have to live like this! Your beard can be soft, it can be well-behaved in any type of weather, and it can be shiny and clean-smelling. All you need is the right shampoo.

Shampoos work for all types of hair, including beard hair. Of course, there are also special shampoos that are made exclusively for beards. By the end of this list, you’ll know which one to pick to make your beard appear and smell the way you want.

Choose your goal

There are many, many shampoos for you to choose from, and for that reason it’s important to go in with a goal — specifically, how to solve your beard’s biggest problem. Here are some of the most common problems with men’s beards, and how they can be addressed with the right shampoo.

Dryness is one of the most common problems with beards. You probably fully wash your face more often than your hair, and that means that natural oils don’t have time to build up and provide natural moisture for the skin beneath. Moisturizing shampoos directly target this problem. They provide an alternative source of moisture than natural oils, and can be used to make the skin underneath the beard more comfortable.

Roughness, on the other hand, is a problem that will not resolve on its own if the natural oils are left alone. If you have rough beard hair, you’ll need to address it with a shampoo designed to soften hair. Look for shampoos that advertise increased “silkiness” or include conditioner. Hair softening shampoos can take a while to work, and not all of them should be used on the face, so make sure you check the label closely.

Discoloration can mean a bland or inconsistent color throughout your beard, and is a common problem. However, it can be solved with the right shampoo — look for formulas that focus on shine, vibrancy, or on emphasizing certain hair colors. These can make your beard’s coloring look more vibrant and healthy.

Manageability should be your goal if you have trouble with getting your beard to sit well or to go all in the same direction. You can choose shampoos that will help you with manageability by focusing on those that advertise volume or frizz control.

Choose your scent

After you have a list of shampoos that are going to match your goals for your beard, you can start narrowing them down by scent. You have to be careful when choosing shampoos for your beard. You don’t want to choose a really powerful scent because it may contrast or overpower the scent of your hair shampoo. It’s best to pick scents that match your other hygiene products.

If you don’t want to bother with balancing or matching different scents, you can avoid the issue entirely by going with a scentless shampoo. No matter what beard problem you’re looking to address, you should be able to find scentless versions locally, or by searching online.

Start weekly experiments with several different shampoos

Once you know what your goal is with your beard shampoo, follow up by picking up a few varieties at your local store to test out. Start by choosing from a set of three or four that target your goal, and bring them home for weekly tests. Test out each shampoo for one week to find out which one is the best for you. If you don’t like any of them, you can always switch out others for the test.

It may be helpful to take notes on each on one as you’re trying them out. Create notes on how the beard hair responds to each one, and how the skin underneath responds. Rank the scents by how much you like them so that you remember which ones were the best by the time you’ve finished testing them all.

Follow up with proper skin care

The skin around your beard suggests a lot about the health of the area underneath it. Beards can trap a lot of oil and particles around your pores, so it’s important that proper facial skin care becomes a part of your beard care regimen. Make sure that you use a moisturizer on your face once you’ve started growing a beard. You may also want to consider using an exfoliator to clear up some of the gunk.

With these tips, you can effortlessly choose the right shampoo for your beard. Make sure that you give enough consideration to your goals and scents, and test out how different products respond before you choose the best one.