How To Get Rid of Beard Dandruff: A Definitive Guide


Get the lowdown on how to get rid of beard dandruff with this ultimate guide to the beardsman’s biggest curse.

Beard dandruff
If you’re reading this, you’re probably suffering from beard dandruff, the curse of beardsmen everywhere. Yep, beard dandruff is an equal opportunity thug. It can strike any bro with a beard. Anytime. Anywhere.

If you sport a beard, chances are at some point you’ll have to deal with this curse. I should know. I’ve had a beard for years, and have suffered through several bouts of beard dandruff. Each time, I’ve learned more about how to cure it and keep it from coming back.

I finally decided to put together this guide containing everything I’ve learned about beard dandruff and how to fight it. These tips will help you conquer the beast and keep it from coming back.

So let’s get to it. We have a lot of ground to cover. Your dandruff is impatiently waiting to see what you’re going to do about its itchy taunts.   

What the hell is beard dandruff, and why is it so itchy?

“Knowledge is power.” -Sir Francis Bacon.

“If you know your enemy as you know yourself, your victory is assured.” -Sun Tzu.

Yeah, great. The point is, you have to know what you’re dealing with before you can kick its ass from here to next week. This is especially true for beard dandruff. If you don’t know what causes it, how in bloody hell can you cure it? Answer me, dammit.

In most cases, it’s brought on by dry skin, stress or yeast. You heard me. Yeast. It turns out yeast loves human skin. But it usually can’t thrive there because ultraviolet light (sunlight) wipes it out before it has a chance to take hold.

But when you’re sporting a beard, yeast joyfully burrows underneath the hair and lives with impunity on the surface of your skin, mocking you. Same goes for your head.

The yeast, dry skin and other sources of dandruff create microscopic breaks in the skin that lead to a merciless itch. The only sure way to stop the itching is to get rid of the source. Read on to find out how.

If you’d like more info on the causes of dandruff, check out this WebMD article.

6 Tips to get rid of beard dandruff once you have it

  1. Wash your beard with a beard-specific shampoo

Beard dandruff
The first thing you should do after you realize you’ve got beard dandruff is simple: Wash that beard, buckaroo. But don’t think for a minute you can use the same shampoo on your beard that you use on your head. Most over-the-counter dandruff shampoos contain harsh chemicals that can irritate facial skin and may make your condition worse.

Make sure you wash your beard with a beard-specific shampoo. I use this one because it’s all natural and smells great, but mainly because it’s formulated to treat beard dandruff. Leave it in for about five minutes, then thoroughly rinse it out.

If you have a particularly stubborn case of beard dandruff, try a therapeutic shampoo like this one. Just don’t use it for more than five or six days. If you feel you need to use it more often, you might have something more serious going on. In that case, you should see a health care professional and follow their advice.

  1. Condition your beard after washing

Beard dandruff
While you’re dealing with your dandruff outbreak, be sure to use a beard-specific conditioner after every wash. Remember, if you have dandruff, your skin is highly irritated. A conditioner will soothe and moisturize the skin and help stop dandruff.

I like this conditioner because it contains natural ingredients like jojoba seed oil, avocado oil, aloe vera, and vitamin B5. It’s meant to treat beard dandruff and the irritated skin that goes with it.

Make sure to apply your conditioner immediately after washing your beard, before your skin has a chance to dry out. Leave it in for about five minutes, then rinse your beard thoroughly to avoid any residue buildup.

  1. Oil up that bad boy

Beard dandruff
You should be using beard oil every day. If you’re dealing with a case of beard dandruff, daily use is a must. Preferably twice a day. The idea is to keep your beard hair, and the skin underneath, thoroughly moisturized at all times. Remember, one of the causes of beard dandruff is dry skin.

When it comes to beard oils, there’s an enormous selection of high-quality options on the market. I like this beard oil because it uses Moroccan Argan oil to help prevent itching and flaking.    

  1. Practice good hygiene

Beard dandruff
When you’re suffering from beard dandruff, there’s always the temptation to itch the hell out of your beard. I understand. Still, I strongly advise against any form of scratching.  

First of all, when you mess with your beard and face, you’re only aggravating the condition. You’re irritating already damaged skin and spreading dandruff. Why do something that makes it worse? I know, because it feels good. I get it. But try to resist the urge.

Second, when you have dandruff, your skin is more vulnerable to becoming infected. Your fingers carry a lot of dust, grime, and bacteria. Itching spreads this into the irritated, broken skin, which causes infection and makes dandruff worse. Be sure to keep your hands clean and away from your face, no matter how much it itches.

  1. Drop the H-bomb

Beard dandruff
If you’ve tried all the above and the itching, flaking and soreness are still with you, it’s time to drop the H-bomb. Ok, not really. I’m talking about using hydrocortisone cream. This will usually do the trick if all else has failed, but use it sparingly and only as a last resort. Hydrocortisone is strong stuff that contains chemicals not intended for long-term use. Use it in moderation.

Apply as directed for three or four days. If you don’t see major improvement, it’s time to talk to your healthcare professional.

  1. Avoid the doctor – shave it off

Beard dandruff
If you still have your dandruff after doing all the above, it’s time to think about the unthinkable. That’s right: it’s time to shave it off. This is usually what your doctor will recommend anyway. After your face is clean-shaven and the sunlight works its magic, your dandruff will quickly disappear.

I know the idea of shaving off your beard sucks, but we’re talking last resort here. Just remember, you can always grow it back. And next time, consider taking the following preventative steps to keep those damn white flakes from appearing in the first place.

4 Ways to prevent dandruff from ever appearing

If you’re prone to beard dandruff but don’t currently have an outbreak, here’s what you should do to ensure you don’t get one.

  1. Keep your face clean

Beard dandruff
Beards are magnets for bacteria, dust, and dirt. They also trap spores and yeast fungi. As we’ve seen, yeast is a primary cause of dandruff. So the best way to stop a dandruff outbreak is to keep your beard, and the facial skin underneath, squeaky clean.

Since you’re prone to beard dandruff, I suggest you wash your beard and face twice a day. Once in the morning and again at night. This will prevent a buildup of the crud that causes dandruff. Simple, right?

  1. Use an antifungal soap

Beard dandruff
When washing your face, be sure use a gentle antifungal soap to help prevent dandruff from getting started. I like this one because it’s all natural and does a good job.

One important point to remember is not to overdo the face washing. Too much washing can dry out your skin, which makes it susceptible to cracking and potential outbreaks of dandruff.


  1. Brush or comb your beard after every wash

When you are shampooing your beard or washing your face, be sure you comb or brush your beard afterward. This not only detangles your beard but also exfoliates your skin. It also helps to spread beard oil throughout your beard.

I use this comb and brush on my beard because each does a great job of smoothing out my beard and spreading the beard oil. Beard combs and brushes are a personal choice and depend on many factors, including the size of your beard. Many brushes and combs on the market will do a good job.

For help selecting the right beard brush for you, take a look at our post about the Best Brushes for Different Beards.

  1. Finally – don’t forget the beard oil

Regardless of whether you’re in the throes of a beard dandruff outbreak or you want to ensure you don’t get one, you should be using beard oil. As mentioned above, a good beard oil will keep your beard and facial skin moisturized, which is essential for preventing dandruff outbreaks.

I hope this post has given you some insight into the best ways to treat and prevent beard dandruff. Eradicating it can be tricky, but if you follow the above steps, it should say sayonara in no time. Same goes for preventing it from developing in the first place.

Let me know what you think of this post in the comments section below. And if you found it useful, don’t forget to share it with friends.

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Mr. Wood has been growing a beard since he could first sprout facial hair. He lives with his wife, two boys and a mentally unstable dog. He loves to be outdoors and thinks that the best stories start with "Here, hold my beer..."