A personal tale…
When I (WeirdBeard) first started growing a beard, I kept getting these red itchy, dry patches and they drove me nuts. It always caused me to shave and start over. It seemed like I would never grow a real beard, because of this weird “beard rash” I kept getting. It always happened about the same point, once I hit about the 1 inch mark, the itch would get in. The itch was followed by scratching, which was followed by redness, irritated skin and, yes, even open sores. I know right? Gross. A couple of times I tried healing the areas with triple antibiotic, and even hand lotion. The only thing I got from all those remedies was dry flaky skin that left little white flakes all over my shirt. So, needless to say, I shaved again. After about 4 years of growing and shaving, I decided to get serious, and started looking for a cure. That’s when I found out this affliction I had was a common thing amongst bearded brethren everywhere. It was nicknamed” beardruff”
Beardruff is not a scientific term, however Seborrheic Dermatitis is. It is just fancy $20 word for dandruff. But I thought dandruff only affects the scalp? Nope. As it turns out it is a very common problem, with a relatively easy fix. I must remind you, I am not a dermatologist and I am not here to diagnose anything, or offer any permanent cure. I am just here to tell you my story and share my experience with you.
So what causes beardruff?
The good folks over at WebMD, don’t even have a definitive answer. In fact no one really knows exactly what causes it, however they do know a combination a factors contributes to it. Stress, your genetics, cold, dry weather, certain medical conditions and medications, and yeast, can all contribute to your dry flaky itchy beardruff. Here is an extreme example of beardruff.
Photo credit: http://book-med.info
So how do you get rid of it?
First you will want to start with and maintain a good clean foundation. Select a beard wash that cleans, and exfoliates the skin, while it conditions and softens the hair. WeirdBeard’s Whisker Wash (by Bearded Botanicals) is one example and currently the only one that does all three.
Next follow your wash routine with a quality beard oil, and be sure to not only work into the beard, but all the way down to the skin. Doing this will not only make your beard softer and more manageable, but it will moisturize and hydrate your skin and in some cases (Bearded Botanicals beard oils) feed your skin much needed nutrients that you may not be getting from your diet.
Then Brush, brush, brush. Get yourself a nice wood pin brush, a wood comb, or a natural boar’s hair brush (NOTE: Synthetic boar’s hair brushes are ok, but may draw moisture from your beard and skin, natural is preferred) Brushing your beard not only feels good and makes you look good, but when you brush deeply to the skin, it actually exfoliates and helps remove dead skin cells which reduces build up, that can lead to beardruff.
Finally Take a hard look at your diet. If you are putting in bad food, you can only expect a bad outcome. Try to incorporate fresher, healthier natural foods into your daily uptake. If you can get local, organic food the better off you will be. Local organic foods, have more of your local minerals and nutrients in them, plus being organic, they will be free of chemical pesticides and herbicides, none of which you want in or on your body. Think about adding a multi-vitamin to your daily routine. BEWARE! There are multi-vitamins out there that are supposedly formulated for beard growth, these are scams don’t waste your hard earned money. If you are going to invest in a quality daily supplement I would suggest bioptimizers. These folks have done their homework and have created some of the finest vitamins and supplements I have ever used.
So in summation, beardruff does not need to mean the end of the road for your beard. There are some easy steps you can take if/when you get it. If you suffer from an extreme case of beardruff, you may want to seek the help of a professional. There are some over the counter remedies as well as prescriptions you may need to cure the itch.