Growing a beard has become more and more popular in the past few years, and along with this, the market for beard care products has exploded in growth.
We have thousands of different beard oils, combs, brushes, waxes, conditioners, special clippers, and even beard tints, and then we also have beard washing products. Shampoos and conditioners mostly.
The big question is this; Do you actually need beard shampoo and conditioner?
Well, not really, but sort of yes. If you have beard, you know that it grows perfectly well even if you wash it with normal shampoo meant for the hair on the top of your head.
But if you look deeper into it, there is a reason to actually opt for specific beard shampoo and conditioner (or not even specifically a product targeted towards beards, but different than most store-bought shampoos).
The hair on your face is hormonal, and its health is much more dependent on hormones such as testosterone and DHT, as well as the naturally produced sebum oil.
For this reason, it’s important to choose a shampoo and conditioner that is free of hormone suppressing chemicals like parabens, sulfates, and phthlates and hormone suppressing compounds like mint, vegetable and seed oils, saw palmetto, etc
(you generally find the above in anti hair-loss shampoos, but for the love of god don’t put those on your beard, they have the opposite effect on hormonal hair!)
So what you need to look for in a quality beard wash are the following:
- Chemical and endocrine disruptor free: no parabens, phthlates, sulfates, etc.
- Free of polyunsaturated fatty-acids: these suppress DHT and testosterone.
- Free of hormone suppressing herbs: avoid mint, licorice, eucalyptus, green tea.
- Opt for mild products: to make sure you’re not stripping all natural oils.
Sadly, even though there are hundreds of different brands of beard washes and conditioners out there, 95% of them are rubbish…
…The producers don’t understand hormones or hormonally driven hair, and they don’t design their products for beards at all, they simply slap in the word “beard” and junk up the price.
You should also avoid washing your beard on a daily basis. It has been shown that the healthiest beard is a 3-day beard (that is, 3 days of no washing), it is the optimal natural oil balance for growth and maintenance. So washing your beard 1-2 times a week, or even less, is our recommendation.
So finally, here are the 5 best beard washing products:
1. Scotch Porter’s Moisturizing Beard Wash
There are no synthetic chemicals or endocrine disruptors in the beard shampoo, and the ingredient list doesn’t show any prominent testosterone or DHT suppressive oils or herbs.
The base ingredients include shea butter, coconut oil, marshmallow root, aloe, agave nectar and silk proteins.
There are no sulfates, no estrogenic parabens or phthlates, and no vegetable, seed, or mineral oils used, so you know your beard won’t be in contact with any questionable ingredients.
2. Scotch Porter’s Hydrate & Nourish Beard Conditioner
It is also, incredibly good. The base ingredients are pretty much the same, but as in all conditioners, the portion of fatty acids is much higher than in shampoo.
These saturated fatty acids are excellent for the hormonal hair of the face, as they will not peroxidise (which is going rancid; like vegetable oils do) and they will not disrupt the level of DHT and testosterone at the follicle (like vegetable oils do).
Much like in the above shampoo, this conditioner is free from sulfates, parabens, and phthlates.
3. Nature’s Plus Pure Vitamin E Soap
And here is the best candidate when it comes to having just the necessary ingredients and nothing more.
That’s because the bar has only two ingredients in it;
- Vitamin E
It’s personally my go-to soap for normal use, and I’ve tested it on facial hair and despite being a “soap” it’s surprisingly good at cleaning the beard as well. The vitamin E in it will nourish the skin underneath and prevent oxidative damage at the hair follicle.
This is also consiredably cheaper than the above products, with little over six bucks you can grab a bar from Amazon.
4. Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo With Keratin and Dead Sea Mud
To compensate the small amount of bad in this shampoo, you will get an impressive array of beard nourishing ingredients such as;
- Argan oil
- Dead sea mud pearls
- E and B vitamins
- and chamomille extract
It’s not as great as the Scotch Portier shampoo above, but after looking through hundreds of shampoos for this purpose, the Moroccan Argan oil shampoo ranks #4 and is a very good choice to pick up.
You will also find that it’s cheaper than the #1 shampoo above, in fact, 50% cheaper. So if you’re short on money, consider this.
5. Cold-Pressed 100% Pure Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner
The monounsaturated fatty-acids in Argan oil are extremely good at hydrating the skin underneath the beard and while some vegetable oils can harm the androgenic hormones necessary for facial hair growth…
…Argan oil has been found to actually increase testosterone levels in people who eat it. So applying it to the beard area should be at least neutral for hormones, or beneficial. This simple conditioner beats the chemical and vegetable oil laden competitors 100-0.
4 fl. oz. bottle ends up costing little over $14 at Amazon, not bad for an organic oil, and definitely worth it as natural beard conditioner.