Beard Care

Beard Dandruff The Definitive Guide On How To Get Flake Free

I really hate having flakes or dandruff in my beard because not only do I find it gross, but so does everyone else around me. That being said, I still want to keep my beard because it’s a part of who I am. “So how can I get rid of bear dandruff?” is a question I’ve been asking myself for quite a long time. We are all familiar with having dandruff in our hair and many men including me know what it feels like to constantly battle beard dandruff. The worst part is having my clothes coated with the stuff because women back away as soon as they see it, not to mention that my food usually gets a good helping of beard sprinkles too. It’s itchy, it’s gross, it’s unappealing, and nobody including myself wants to see it. I’m sure that you feel the same way about your own flaky beard situation! If you are like me, then you know that dealing with beard flakes is a never ending battle that seems like it can never be won. I’ve tried using a simple dandruff shampoo to get rid of those pesky white flakes, but it just doesn’t work. So you may be wondering, how do I permanently get rid of these nasty beard flakes? It’s a question easier asked than answered, but thankfully I have come up with a few solutions that just might do the trick.

What Causes Beard Dandruff?​

​Many people think that beard dandruff is caused by dry skin that flakes off and creates this facial snow storm. In some cases, this may be true as dry skin is sometimes the cause of flakes, however in many circumstances, the dandruff is actually caused by fungus or by other factors, often being a combination of things. The causes of beard flakes can vary from dry skin, a lack of drying after washing, shampoo or conditioner residues, oil or balm irritations, skin conditions, and fungus too. These flakes can even be caused by using water that is too hot when washing your beard. Every man is different, and that means the causes of beard dandruff can vary from one man to the next. The trick is to identify what the problem is and to use the specific cure for that issue. Let’s get to the root of the problem and help you cure those beard flakes. Below are some of the different options that you have regarding treatments.

The Causes And Treatments For Beard Dandruff​

​Like I said every man is different, and that means that different people require different solutions for the same problem, especially because that problem may have more than 1 cause. Here are all of the different solutions to the various problems that I have come up with so every man can rid themselves of beard flakes.


If you want to learn more about beard oils and how they work, you can read our how to article here

  • Beard Oil

Beard oil can help you get rid of your flakes with ease. However, it does have its drawbacks as well. This solution tends to work well for people that have light or moderate flaking caused by dry skin or by extremely dry or humid weather.

Beard oil helps to keep your beard soft and to keep the skin at the base of the beard soft and moisturized. If dry skin is the cause of your flakes then hydrating it is an important part of stopping the flakes. When you get some beard oil, you should make sure that it has jojoba in it and moreover make sure to soak the roots of your beard to ensure maximum penetration into the skin.

Note that if dry skin is not the cause of your flakes, then beard oil may not help very much. If you have extremely sensitive skin like myself, then beard oil can actually end up clogging the pores of the skin and cause the flaking to become even worse.

Beard oil is also a 2-way street because dandruff can actually be caused by having skin that is too oily, however, this balance is up to you to figure out and will take some trial and error. If the beard oil doesn’t work for you, then it’s time to move on to the next solution.


Our complete article on beard balms is here

  • Moisturizing

If your beard dandruff is caused by dry skin, one alternative would be to moisturize your face with a standard moisturizer. Don’t use a moisturizer that contains any fragrance because fragrances mean chemicals and that may mean further irritation. You can also try using beard oil and moisturizer in combination. If your dandruff isn’t caused by dry skin, it’s time to move on to the next solution.

  • Exfoliate

One of the causes of your dandruff flakes may be that your skin is not exfoliated and washed enough. This may be combined with the fact some people have skin that dies at a quick rate. When you have skin that dies quickly, combined with not scrubbing enough, those skin cells will end up dying and drying throughout the day, leading to flakes being everywhere.

The trick to taking care of this problem is to use a soft exfoliating brush or wash cloth to rub down your face and gently exfoliate the skin. This will help to remove the dead skin cells that will turn into flakes during the day and will also help to spread around the natural oils present in the facial skin. Keep in mind not to scrub too hard as that will cause irritation and possibly, even more, flakes. Also, use a moderate water temperature to make sure you don’t further irritate or dry out the skin.

Shampoo and Conditioner


We have a complete article on the types and benefits of beard wash, which you can find here

Shampoo can be a pretty big problem for some men and for others it causes no issues, the same thing goes for conditioner. For some men, the problem may lay with the shampoo in question as some men like me have chemical sensitivities. Certain shampoos make my face break out and become irritated, often making the dandruff problem even worse. Therefore, I found that one of the best options for me was to stop using generic shampoo all together, at least the ones that seemed to make the problem worse. If you are using a normal soap or shampoo to wash your face and beard, your best bet would be to stop using it and perhaps use nothing more than a conditioner.​ I tried using just a conditioner, and it did smell pretty good, but it also caused by beard and face to become oilier, actually making the problem worse. For these reasons I looked for a solution that involved being able to use shampoo, but not one that would irritate my skin. Here are some different shampoo options that you can try to get rid of your facial flakes.​

  • Beard Shampoo

These shampoos are specifically designed for men, and their beards and often enough they can solve the problem of flakes. Beard Shampoo is designed to moisturize and exfoliate the skin and is also meant for more sensitive faces. Keep in mind that these shampoos are not medicated and are more or less like using a special conditioner. That being said, it might not work for everybody, in which case it’s time to move on to a stronger alternative.


If you’re just interested in the best beard washes out there, you can find a list of the best beard washes and where you can find them here

  • Baby Shampoo

This shampoo is similar to a beard shampoo in the sense that it is made for extra-sensitive skin. It may very well get rid of your beard flakes, but the chances are just as high that it won’t.

Baby shampoo is more or less just for sensitive skin and won’t solve any other issues than flakes caused by other shampoos that irritate your skin. If the baby shampoo still doesn’t work it’s time to move on to yet a stronger solution.

  • Medicated Shampoo

Using a specially designed dandruff shampoo could do the trick seeing as they contain medications designed to specifically combat dandruff. When using a dandruff shampoo, you need to give it a few minutes to soak into the skin before washing it off.

Once again, different men have different skin, and that means using different medications. You can try using Head & Shoulders that contains pyrithione zinc, T-Gel that contains coal tar extract, T-Sal, which contains salicylic acid, or Selsun Blue which contains selenium sulfide.

Each one of these dandruff shampoos and the main compound they contain are proven to be effective at combating flakes. However, you will need to try them on a trial and error basis to see which one works best for you. Try not to use the dandruff shampoo more than 3 times per week because overuse may worsen the problem. If dandruff shampoo doesn’t do the trick, it may be time to move on to fungus treatments.

  • Anti-Fungal Shampoo

There is a condition called Seborrheic Dermatitis which is a fungus problem. To get rid of flakes caused by this condition, you will most likely need a prescription anti-fungal shampoo from your doctor. These shampoos contain special compounds that kill fungus and keep in under control to limit dandruff. There are also shampoos containing steroids which you can use to combat fungus however they can’t be used regularly.

Other Tips For Getting Rid Of Beard Flakes

If none of the above solutions have helped to get rid of your dandruff, as is the case for me, you can always try following any of these other tips as well.

  • The Water

Another thing that could be causing your flakes is the temperature of the water which you use to wash your face. Using hot water may be drying out your face and causing irritation. Therefore, the best choice is to start using cold water. Remember that this goes for washing your face in the shower too, not just in the sink. Cold water will help to control irritation and dry skin.

  • Water Consumption

You may not have thought about it, but dry skin and dandruff can also be caused by a lack of hydration. A simple way to take care of this is of course to drink more water.

  • Drying Your Face

Always make sure that your facial skin under your beard is dry. Having a constantly wet face can lead to moisture irritation and ultimately flakes. Not drying your beard and face properly can also leave behind residues of the shampoo that you have been using, thus also causing flakes. Use a soft towel to dab your beard and face dry after washing or conditioning it.

  • Anti-Fungal Creams

If you are experiencing red, dry, and itchy patches you may have a fungal infection, in which case you will need to see your doctor and get a prescription fungus cream. You can also try a weaker anti-fungal cream such as one meant to treat athletes foot.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

This is of course quite a smelly solution. However, the vinegar is shown to have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties which can all help to relieve irritation and the resulting dandruff.

  • Food Allergies

Another common cause of dandruff and facial skin irritation may be a food allergy such as lactose intolerance or wheat allergies. Try cutting down on certain foods for a week to see if cutting them out does anything for your skin. You can also try getting an allergy test done by your doctor.


Beard Conditioners – BEARD CONDITIONERS

We’ve written up a comprehensive guide on beard conditioners which you can find here.

​As you can see the causes of beard dandruff can vary greatly and finding out which one is the cause of your flakes may take some time and some trial and error too. The chances are that one or a combination of the above solutions will help you get rid of those nasty flakes. For me, using cold water, moisturizer, and a special dandruff shampoo did the trick. Don’t give up and try the options outlined above to see if you have any success. We hope that you can find success with ridding your beard of flakes and if you have any questions or comments always feel free to leave them below.

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About the author

Mark Beardman

Mark Beardman

MajorBeard - is a resource for those who want to know top-notch things about beard growing & care.

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