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Beard dandruff: What causes it and how to keep those white flakes at bay?

If you want to keep beard dandruff away, you need to religiously follow a beard care routine. @Shutterstock

There are plenty of ways to keep dandruff at bay without losing your awesome facial hair. Here are some simple tips to get rid of beard dandruff.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : July 30, 2020 11:22 AM IST

A beard is like makeup for men. It can define his jawline, conceal blemishes and enhance the shape of his face. But what if your glorious beard is overshadowed by some white, flaky beard dandruff? A flaky scalp is annoying but beard dandruff can be a lot more embarrassing as it's more prominent.

But what do you have beard dandruff? Two major causes of beard dandruff are dry skin and fungal infections. Both of which could be tackled with the right products and habits. Your skin under your beard may become dry from using harsh cleansers or regular soap. These products can rip off natural oils from your skin or beard hair and leave them dry. Cold weather can also cause dry skin, which flakes off. Sunlight kills or slows the growth of yeast (malassezia fungus) that lives on your skin. But your beard and mustache can protect it from sunlight and that can lead to fungal infections. Shortening the length or shaving off your beard may help solve the issue, but that is not what you want. Fret not, there are plenty of ways to keep dandruff at bay without losing your awesome facial hair. Here are some simple hacks to prevent or eliminate beard dandruff:

Regularly wash and exfoliate your beard

Wash your face and beard regularly using natural soaps or facial cleansers. Avoid harsh cleansers or regular soap since they can dry out your skin. You may opt for a high-end facial cleanser that can clean and moisturize your face at the same time. Also regularly exfoliate your skin under the beard using a brush or loofah or an exfoliating glove. It can help remove the old dead and dry skin, as well as any yeast or other fungi, before it flakes off.

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Don't use hair shampoo on your beard

Hair shampoos are designed for the scalp and not your face. The skin on your face is more sensitive than that of your scalp and so hair shampoos can be too harsh for your face. It can dry out your skin and result in flaking. Look for a beard dandruff shampoo that will be gentler on your face. Limit the use of dandruff shampoos to a couple of times per month, and don't forget to moisturize or oil your beard after the wash.

Apply oil to your beard regularly

Your skin produces natural oils that keep your skin moisturised and act as antimicrobial barriers. The use of cleansers or anti-dandruff products can wash away natural oils besides scraping off dead skin. Regular oiling can help replace the lost oils and fight off the fungus that causes flaky skin. Tea tree oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, safflower oil, evening primrose, perilla and hemp oil, are some best options. However, experts suggest, avoiding some oils such as olive, avocado, peanut or almond oil as they may damage the skin barrier, and even cause an allergy.

Your beard and skin under your beard should be dry before applying the oil. Pour a small amount of oil on your palm and massage it into your beard's roots. For a long beard, we recommend using a boar bristle beard brush to spread out the oil.

If none of these tips work, see a dermatologist. Your dandruff may due to an abnormal skin condition that may need prescription medicine to treat the problem.

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