You’ve just spent good money on all of those hair products. Then you look in the mirror and see that your beard needs some attention as well.
The temptation of using some of these hair products on your beard is high. But should you do it? Can you use hair products on your beard?
Most hair products shouldn’t be used on your beard. These products are designed to handle the oily environment of your hair and will mostly dry out your beard. We have a few exceptions like anti-frizz and hair wax. But even then, it’s better to use dedicated beard care products.
To know why it’s a bad idea to use hair products on your beard, we should first understand the difference between beard hair and head hair.
Beard Hair V.S. Head Hair
Beard hair and head hair look the same. Sometimes, they even feel the same. But in reality, they’re somewhat different.
The type of skin underneath the hair is the main key difference. The skin under the head hair is known as the scalp. While the skin under the beard hair is just like the rest of your facial skin.
The scalp is a lot more resistant to scratches and irritants than your beard skin. This is why most hair products are designed to work in that resistant environment.
The scalp produces an oily substance known as sebum; an oil produced by the sebaceous glands of the scalp. This gives your scalp an oily texture. You can feel it if you run your hands multiple times in your hair.
The skin under your beard doesn’t produce sebum, which is why the beard wouldn’t feel as greasy as the hair if left uncleaned for a long time.
Sebum is essentially a moisturizer for your hair. It also hydrates your hair roots from beneath. However, excess sebum leads to an oily scalp which ends in dandruff.
The skin under your beard produces oil as well, but not as much nor as fast as the scalp.
The hair on the beard is often thicker than head hair. This makes it more prone to dirt, bacteria, and irritants in general.
The sebum on the scalp can protect it from strong products. On the other hand, sebum is absent in the beard skin, strong products could damage the skin under your beard hair.
Hair Products and Your Beard
We generally don’t recommend using hair products for your beard. Let’s discuss this in detail.
1. Hair Shampoo
Many men use the same hair shampoo for both their hair and beards. An understandable logic; it’s just hair after all.
We strongly recommend against that. Shampoos contain various soaps that are designed to deal with the oily nature of the scalp.
Hair dandruff is usually the result of excessive oil in the scalp. The shampoos dry out most of that excessive oil using soaps. This brings the hair to an acceptable oil ratio.
The beard skin, having much less oil, will be completely dried out by hair shampoos and their strong soaps. The skin will be itchy and dull.
Additionally, beard oil takes a long time to recover in comparison to scalp oil. The recovery process could take weeks.
We’d like to clear out that we’re talking about hair shampoos. There are dedicated beard shampoos that are fine to use.
2. Hair Conditioner
Hair conditioners contain less soap than hair shampoos. But it’s still too harsh for your beard. The excessive soap will dry out the oil in the beard skin and might cause dandruff.
If your beard is still in its early stages, you could occasionally use hair conditioner on your beard. The growth of hair at this stage is usually strong and hardly obstructed.
It’s when your beard gets longer that things get a bit tricky. The challenge is often when you want to push your beard beyond its usual length.
This is when you should be meticulous with the products you use on your beard. We recommend switching to dedicated beard conditioners to give your beard that extra edge it needs to shine.
With their less strong components, beard shampoos are more gentle on your beard skin. They render it moisturized and clean without drying out the oils.
3. Hair Oil
What makes most hair products harmful for beards is how they dry them out. This isn’t the case for oils.
Hair oil is one of the products that you can safely use on your beard. The point of oils is to moisturize and nourish.
Since beard skin produces less oil than your scalp skin, you’ll need more oils on your beard hair than your scalp hair.
However, it’s always better to use oils dedicated to beards to get the best results.
4. Hair Wax
Hair wax’s main purpose is to assist in holding hair and making it look straight. Technically, you “could” use hair wax on your beard. You’d still get a shiny-looking, straight beard.
However, using beard wax instead of hair wax will give you much better results. Beard wax contains more natural oils that moisturize your beard and keep the skin healthy underneath.
If you aim to moisturize your beard rather than hold the hair together, you’re better off using beard balms or butters instead.
Hairspray is one of the most popular methods to stylize hair. It retains the hairstyle without making the hairs too stiff.
However, should you use hairspray on your beard? We don’t recommend that.
Most of these sprays contain substances like aerosol which could cause damage if used in large amounts.
The highly resistant scalp hair can somewhat cope with aerosol. However, this isn’t the case for beard hair.
The skin under your beard will dehydrate if you regularly spray aerosol on it. If you’d like to style your beard, you should consider using beard waxes.
6. Hair Gel
Hair gel is another product used to style hair. However, because of its high alcoholic content, it’s advisable to keep it away from your beard.
The contents of hair gels will irritate the skin under your beard and may cause it to become flakey. This is even more prominent if your beard is short.
We recommend switching to beard waxes or balms to stylize your beard hair without damaging it.
Anti-frizz sprays are handy tools if you live in a dusty or sunny environment. Especially for those who have long hair.
Fortunately, you can safely use anti-frizz on your beard to give you the same result. The molecules inside the anti-frizz lock the hydration inside the hair and prevent foreign objects from sticking to it.
This is a great tool in your beard growth arsenal. The suffering of cleaning long beards is something not many people can understand.
Play it Safe
To be straight to the point, you can but shouldn’t use hair products on your beard. Even if it’s safe to use a few of these products; dedicated beard products are there for a reason.
Play it safe with your beard and only use products that are specifically made for it.
If you’d like to support your beard growth with some supplements, check out this article.