Best Beard Washes

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

25 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
382 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best beard washes

Last Updated July 2020

Bearded men know that their beard hair is as sensitive as the hair on their head — if not more so. Regular shampoo strips away oils to keep your hair from looking oily and limp. But the stiff hair in your beard needs some oil to keep it soft and shiny. If you use your regular shampoo on it, you’re going to be defeating your own efforts to keep your beard healthy.

Instead, you need to use a beard wash — and possibly a conditioner — that will clean out the dead skin cells, reduce itching, and leave your beard soft, shiny, and fresh smelling. Some beard washes contain a specific scent, while others wash away any odor and leave your beard with its own natural, healthy scent. In addition, the ingredients in beard washes can vary significantly from one product to the next.

If you’ve never used a beard wash before, now is a great time to start. With most products, you could notice an improvement in the feeling of your beard and skin after a few weeks. Keep reading our thorough buying guide and we’ll help you pick the right product.

When you add beard wash to your regular grooming routine, you will likely notice a definite increase in the health and softness of your beard. It will take about two to three weeks to see the difference.

Key considerations

Shampoo

A beard shampoo (or wash) can be used by itself. Beard shampoo is designed to remove dead skin cells without stripping away the natural oils that your beard needs in order to remain healthy.

Conditioner

Some beard washes come in a set that includes a conditioner. While the beard wash cleanses your beard, the conditioner does exactly what you’d expect — it treats your beard and mustache with oils that help keep it shiny, reduce itching, and make it softer to the touch. Beard hairs are naturally stiffer and scratchier than the hair on your head, so a good conditioner is an excellent addition to any wash. If you don’t like the conditioner that comes with your beard wash, you can get a shampoo-only beard wash, and then purchase a separate kit with beard conditioners, oils, and balms.

2-in-1 products

Some beard washes double as conditioners, eliminating the need for a separate product (and a separate step in your morning routine). However, as with other 2-in-1 products, your mileage may vary, and you may find that you prefer to choose each product individually to find the best fit for your beard and skin.

Popular Australian beard shampoo

Professor Fuzzworthy's Beard Shampoo is made in Tasmania, Australia using rainforest products and essential oils. It has a woody, masculine scent, along with an anti-itch formula and beard softener. This block of beard wash is 100% natural, and it contains no harsh chemicals. Simply wet your beard, work the bar between your hands until you get a good lather, and run the wash through your beard right down to the skin. Work it in well and rinse your beard. It only takes two to three uses a week to begin making a real difference in your beard.

Features

Ingredients

Whenever possible, take a close look at the list of ingredients for each beard wash you consider. Remember that it’s the chemicals in shampoo that strip away the oils in your hair, and they will do the same to your beard. Sulfate-free beard washes can irritate your skin and make your facial hair brittle and dry.

A completely chemical-free beard may or may not give you the results you’re looking for, but overall, harsh chemicals aren’t good for your beard. In addition, if there are any ingredients you are sensitive to, read the ingredient list of beard washes carefully.

Scent

The scents in beard washes vary from rich, earthy scents you will be smelling all day to scent-free products that allow your beard to maintain its natural fragrance.

Some manufacturers specify that their wash leaves your beard with a cedar fragrance, a hint of mint, or another classic scent. Remember, whatever you choose, it’s going to be with you for a while, so make sure it’s something that matches your style and personality. In some cases, getting a beard wash that doesn’t leave any odor at all might work best for you, leaving your beard with its own clean, natural scent.

Some popular scents include:

  • Mint
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Oak moss
  • Sandalwood
  • Cedar
  • Fresh sawdust
  • Peppermint and eucalyptus

Your beard doesn’t need to be washed as often as your hair. Every other day is enough for most men.

Accessories

Oil, conditioner, and balm: Bossman Essentials Beard Kit
Your beard care shouldn’t stop at your beard wash. This is a complete beard care kit that functions as a supplement to your main wash. This kit from Bossman is available in five different scents and types of oils and balms. You can mix-and-match this kit with the beard wash of your choice.

Beard grooming kit: GROW ALPHA BEARD Comb & Brush Set for Men's Care
This comb, brush, and scissors set from GROW ALPHA BEARD contain all the grooming tools you need to keep your beard and mustache tidy.

DID YOU KNOW?

When you stop shaving and start growing a beard, the dead skin cells that are normally scraped away by your razor can become trapped in the follicles and hair of your beard.

DID YOU KNOW?

Beards and mustaches can stop pollen and other particles in the air from reaching your mouth and nostrils, but in return, they need to be washed to get rid of those captured particles.

Beard wash prices

Beard washes start at around $5 to $9. These are generally a beard wash only, or a two-in-one product. Be careful with products in this price range, as the quality can vary. Chemical-based washes are common in this range.

For $9 to $22 is a variety of reliable beard washes. Typically, these have both a beard wash and conditioner. Anything in this range will suit likely your needs for beard and mustache care.

The high price range is from $22 to $60 or more. These are high-end products that are expensive to produce, often because they lack chemicals or use only natural ingredients. If you have sensitive skin, these products may be your best option.

Shampoo and conditioner in one set

The Viking Revolution Beard Wash and Beard Conditioning Set contains both shampoo and conditioner in one set for the same price as many individual shampoos. It contains plenty of essential oils and leaves you with a fresh, minty smell. It leaves your beard feeling light and fluffy, but there are some complaints about how tough the bottles are to squeeze.

Tips

  • As a general rule, thicker beard washes tend to be better than thin, runny products. There are exceptions, of course.
  • After getting your beard wet, work up a lather in your hands. Work it into your beard just like you would work a lather into your hair. Wash your beard for the same amount of time you do with your hair and be sure to focus on the skin in addition to the beard itself.
  • Always towel-dry your beard. Letting it air dry tends to increase the brittleness of the individual hairs.
A beard wash doesn’t replace beard oil. It cleans your beard without stripping away the natural, but you’ll still need extra oil for your beard.

FAQ

Q. Is a beard balm just another name for a beard wash?
A.
No. A beard balm is a waxy holding agent for molding and shaping your beard and mustache.
 

Q. Is beard oil the same as a beard conditioner?
A.
No. Beard oil is mainly used when your beard is first growing in to take care of the itching that often occurs because your skin is drying out under your beard. However, some men with long beards may use a beard oil to keep their skin and beard hair healthy.
 

Q. Why does my beard need more oil than my hair?
A.
The follicles on your face produce less oil than those on your head. When your beard gets longer than the follicles can provide oil for, your beard begins to dry out and become stiff and scratchy.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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