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Beard Dandruff – Causes, Prevention and Treatment

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Beard dandruff is a common complaint amongst those sporting facial hair. It is unsightly, itchy, and uncomfortable. But don’t reach for the razor just yet. We’ve compiled everything that you need to know into this complete guide on tips to cure beard dandruff, including what causes it, how to eliminate it and our top recommended products. 

What is beard dandruff?

Let’s start with the basics. Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff is a common skin condition that causes flaky skin and itchiness. It usually occurs on the scalp; however, it can also affect facial hair. 

What causes beard dandruff?

The two major causes of dandruff are fungus and dry skin. The skin contains a microbe called Malassezia globose, which is a fungus that helps to break down oils on the skin. It tends to grow in oily areas such as the scalp and face. Malassezia is usually killed by sunlight; however, it can hide from the sun beneath your beard. 

Dry skin can be caused by harsh cleansers or even regular soap, or by cold weather. Some people are also more susceptible to dandruff because they have a faster rate of cell turnover, which leads to more dead skin cells. Whatever the cause of your beard dandruff, you may find that the problem increases in cold weather or hot, humid climates. 

How to treat beard dandruff

The best way to cure your beard dandruff is with a regular routine of exfoliating, washing, and moisturising. Begin by using a beard brush to exfoliate prior to washing. Choose one with soft bristles, like Bossman Round Boar & Nylon Bristle Brush. 

This will remove dead skin cells whilst also helping to distribute oils from your skin, leaving your beard softer and more manageable. Use the brush to gently massage the skin beneath your beard. Scrubbing too hard can make dandruff worse.

Next, you will need to wash your beard in much the same way as you wash your hair. However, you may discover that the shampoo you use on your scalp is too harsh for your face, and can cause the skin to dry out even more.

If your dandruff is bad, you can try a beard shampoo designed specifically to treat dandruff, such as those containing tea tree oil, pyrithione zinc, coal tar, or selenium sulphide. However, although these are effective, they may also dry out the skin. Therefore they should be used on the beard once or twice a month at most, and always followed with moisturising beard oils

Unsurprisingly, the best beard shampoos are those designed specifically for beards, as they will be gentler on your skin whilst cleansing and hydrating the hair. Massage the shampoo into your beard gently, ensuring that it reaches the skin beneath. Leave it on for a couple of minutes before rinsing it out. 

Always use cool or lukewarm water when washing your beard, as hot water can dry out and irritate the skin. After washing, towel dry your beard carefully without pulling on the hair follicles. 

Moisturising is a crucial step in curing beard dandruff because it rehydrates and protects the skin. The best way to rehydrate your beard and skin is by using beard oil. You should apply the oil after washing, as soon as your beard and skin are dry. 

Rub a small amount of oil between your hands, and then massage it into the beard roots and the skin, before spreading it through to the ends. Begin with just a couple of drops to avoid build-up, and add more for longer beards if you feel that it wasn’t enough. Beard balms are a fantastic alternative to oils, particularly if your skin is very dry. Further, beard balms can be applied after you apply beard oil to shape your beard and make it look the way you want. 

In most cases repeating this routine regularly for a week or two should be enough to cure beard dandruff. However, if the problem persists after several weeks, you should see a dermatologist as you may require prescription medication such as antifungal shampoo or topical steroid treatment. 

How to prevent beard dandruff

Once you have successfully eliminated your beard dandruff, you will want to ensure that it doesn’t come back. Keep up your routine, particularly washing and moisturising your beard regularly. 

Many ask us, how to grow beard? Well, this process mentioned above is great for not just keeping your beard dandruff free but also to grow your beard. 

Monitor your skin, and if it begins to feel tight or itchy then apply some more beard oil or balm. You may also need to increase the use of beard oil or balm during cold or humid weather to keep dandruff away. 

Even if you haven’t experienced any beard dandruff, following the above steps will assist with prevention as well as keeping your beard healthy. 

Recommended products

Here are some of our favourite products for a healthy and dandruff-free beard.

To exfoliate your beard try Bossman’s Beard Brush (link for our online shop) with Boar Hair and Nylon Bristle ($36.60). It features longer and stronger nylon bristles to reach the pores on your skin, whilst gently massaging and unclogging hair follicles. It’s also excellent for styling and preventing hair breakage.

Try using Captain Fawcett’s award-winning Beer’d Shampoo (link for our online shop) ($39 for 250ml) to gently cleanse your beard, leaving it in fantastic condition with a delightful aroma. 

Alternatively, use Anthony Conditioning Beard Wash (link for our online shop) ($43.60 for 177ml), which is ideal for cleansing the beard and face, conditioning the facial hairs and suitable for all skin types.


Finding best beard oil (link for our free guide on best beard oils) can be hard. There are several worthy beard oils to choose from and some of them are top brands in Australia. We love Milkman King of Wood ($32 for 50ml), which is excellent for moisturising and leaves the beard looking, feeling, and smelling incredible. It’s also available in a travel size ($12 for 15ml) to keep dandruff at bay when you’re on the go. Don’t like the scent? Milkman have several others to choose from, as well as an unscented option. 

If you prefer a balm, opt for Bossman Brands Relaxing Gold ($36 for a 56g tub), to leave your beard hydrated, nourished, and sleek. 


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James Smith

James Smith is a fashion blogger and a fashion designer who often blogs about men's grooming, fashion and styling. James also love doing photography, designing and playing football.

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