What makes a beard wash better than shampoo for your head? Well, I’m glad you asked. Simply put, a shampoo is designed for your head and scalp whereas a wash is designed for your beard and face. Your scalp has the thickest skin of anywhere on your body, and in addition has significantly more sebaceous glands than your beard. Sebaceous glands are responsible for producing sebum, which is the oily and waxy substance that protects your hair and waterproofs your skin.
Your scalp can tolerate a lot more than your face can and subsequently shampoos and conditioners were designed to dish out more cleansing power. A premium beard wash loves and supports your beautiful face.
Let’s talk about what makes a great beard wash:
1. DESIGNED FROM THE GROUND UP
The best beard washes are obviously the ones that were formulated with beards in mind, but be careful because not all beard washes on the market were designed from the ground up. How can you tell if the beard wash you are buying is original or if it’s simply a repackaged shampoo? Two easy ways. The first is to see if the scent matches the beard oils, beard balms, and other products in a company’s line. Having a unified scent blend for the various products is especially crucial for something that is applied directly under the nose. The second way to research if a beard wash is original is to simply copy and paste the ingredients into Google. If you see a bunch of results for other products then you are just using some generic product with a fancy label.
2. DOESN’T CONTAIN HARSH SURFACTANTS (SURFACE ACTING AGENTS)
A surfactant is a compound that will lower the surface tension between liquids and solids. Essentially it acts as a detergent. Shampoos are designed for more sebaceous glands (and subsequently more oil production) so they tend to have harsher surfactants. One particular surfactant that beards need to avoid is sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). Used in small quantities, it’s a great product, but the more concentrated the ingredient the more it becomes an irritant. High use of surfactants will cause a very nice, high lather. The lather isn’t necessary to clean the beard—it’s simply an indicator for the user. A premium beard wash will have a gentle, mild lather.
3. AVOIDS USE OF SILICONES
While silicones aren’t necessarily bad, they can present issues with maintaining your beard. Many silicones are not water soluble, and that means you’ll need a harsher shampoo to take the silicones off your hair. So what you begin is a vicious cycle of using a harsh chemical to remove the silicones from your hair, then using a harsher chemical to make your hair look more natural. In addition, a silicone will coat your hair and prevent nutrients from entering the hair. The advantage of silicones is that they can help lay down your hair and prevent frizziness, but if you aren’t properly cleaning your beard it will build up the silicones and the hair will start looking dull.
4. YOUR BEARD DESERVES THE BEST
Your beard is the first thing that most people see and it also happens to be the thing that’s closest to your senses. A man will stroke his beard, on average, 720 times a day, and your mustache is directly under your nose. It’s important to take care of the most prominent part of your appearance. Investing in a premium beard wash and softener will save you from dealing with a damaged, dull looking beard.