If you think you'll never get beard dandruff, then you're in for a surprise. It happens to the best of us, after all. Those specks in your beard? They may not be crumbs, dude. Dandruff isn’t always confined to the scalp. It’s a gross fact of life, but anywhere your body sprouts hair is a honey trap for the flaking skin underneath. And the darker your beard, the more unsightly the problem. It can take some experimenting to find the cause, which leads to the best treatment. But once you do, your “crumb catcher” can go back to its day job.
How to Get Rid of Beard Dandruff
The Bad Guys
“Why you flakin’ on me, bro?” Just like scalp dandruff, “beardruff” can spring from a few different causes. The most common culprits are:
- Dry skin. Dry, irritated skin is, well, irritating no matter what. But once the resulting flakes start to festoon your luscious beard, they’re all the more noticeable. To find out if it’s simple dehydration that’s causing your beardruff, do a little detective work. Part those facial locks and peer underneath. If the skin doesn’t seem red or rashy, the root cause is probably regular, garden-variety dry skin.
- Neglect. Ironically, the opposite problem—excessive oiliness—also leads to beard dandruff. Guys who don’t wash their beards often enough are letting oil and trapped skin cells build up in their facial hair. When that happens, the oils and cells break down into flakes.
- “Hyper” skin. Everybody’s skin renews its cell supply every month or so, but you could be one of those people whose skin cells turn over at a faster rate. When that happens, the cells accumulate on top of your skin—and beard—rather than falling away unobtrusively.
- A fungus among us. That’s right! Fungal infections are one of the top reasons scalp and beard dandruff happen. These tiny fungal microbes are actually supposed to be there, helping to break down natural oils. But if there’s more oil than usual, or your skin just reacts badly to the microbes, they multiply. The resulting fungal infection causes redness, itching, patchy redness—and, of course, the dreaded beardruff.
Brush It Off, Bro
Your first step toward getting rid of the problem is removing the buildup of dead skin cells. That means exfoliation. For guys, the best method for this is a soft-bristled beard brush.
Before you get into the shower, brush your beard thoroughly. What you’re doing is sloughing off the dead skin cells under your beard.
As a bonus, you’re also redistributing your beard’s natural oils. And that’s a good thing—whether your facial hair is too dry or too oily. Brushing it helps redistribute those natural oils more evenly.