With the growing popularity of beards, millions of men worldwide are now experiencing a whole new problem – beard dandruff.
What Is Beard Dandruff?
Just like the dandruff on your hair and scalp, dandruff on your beard is your body’s response to irritation, and they have the same cause, a microbe called Malassezia Globosa.
This microbe feeds on natural skin oils that we all produce called sebum, breaking it down into oleic acid as they go. For half of the world’s population, that’s when dandruff starts since they are sensitive to oleic acid. Oleic acid triggers an irritation response which causes redness, itching and for the skin cells to shed and appear as flakes.
This is the same whether it’s your beard or your hair, Malassezia is found on everyone’s scalp and face and under the right conditions, will cause dandruff to appear.
How To Treat Beard Dandruff
Keeping flakes away on your facial hair simply comes down to having the right kind of grooming routine, and that doesn’t just mean going out and buying a special beard shampoo.
Much like your hair, you need to choose a good dandruff shampoo that’s proven to work on the root cause. Like many dandruff shampoos, in exactly the same way dandruff shampoos fight dandruff on your head, they will fight dandruff on your beard also.
Step – 1
Wet your beard, Just like you do with your hair, start off with a wet beard. This helps to soften the hair and loosen any dirt and grease in your beard.
Step – 2
Apply an anti-dandruff shampoo. Yep, that’s right, the same shampoo you would use on your head. There’s really no need for special beard dandruff shampoos since beard dandruff is caused by the same thing as dandruff on your hair, but, there are some really good beard shampoos that will help with dandruff and other things such as moisturizing and leaving your beard soft and smelling good.
Lather the shampoo into your beard before rinsing off. The lather contains skincare ingredients that penetrate through your beard to your skin to protect and moisturize it.
Step – 3
Condition your hair and face. If your beard is a little wiry, adding a conditioner can help soften your beard hair. There are several conditioners to choose from that will condition both your beard and face.
Step – 4
Dry off your beard. Its recommended that you do this with a cool blow dry or towel dry rather than using a hot hair dryer since a hot hair dryer can dry out your skin and hair. It’s also helpful to pat your beard dry to get rid of as much water as you can beforehand.
Step – 5
Moisturize and style as normal. Many men will choose a beard oil or beard balm to add softness, shine, and to style their beards.
Oils work to lubricate the hairs and add shine, and they won’t interfere with the dandruff-fighting protection of most dandruff shampoos.
More About Beard Dandruff
Like we said earlier, beard dandruff is caused by a microbe present on everyone’s skin, called Malassezia Globosa.
This is how it works:
* Malassezia feeds on the natural oils your skin produces called sebum.
* The breakdown of the natural oils produces oleic acid.
* That acid produces an irritation response in 50% of people.
* The skin becomes red and itchy.
* Your skin cells increase their rate of turnover, forming white clumps visible as dandruff flakes.
So all you need to be at risk of beard dandruff is a beard, plus a sensitivity to oleic acid. When you consider the fact that more than 3 billion people worldwide have that sensitivity, it’s a very common thing.
But Could It Be Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Beard dandruff shares certain symptoms with seborrheic dermatitis, a similar condition which tends to show more severe symptoms.
They have the similar causes but people with seborrheic dermatitis react more strongly, with more intense flaking patches, which may be yellowish in appearance, and could appear on the chest, back, face, and scalp.
If you notice flakes, the easiest way to check is to treat dandruff first and if it doesn’t go away, check with a dermatologist to see if it could be seborrheic dermatitis.