Let's face it: nothing takes away from a luscious beard like built up grime. Keep your beard clean and ready-to-wear with these tips.
There's a lot of talk these days about the beard.
A lot of people (like most members of the Boston Red Sox) love them.
Others don't agree -- and some of the harshest beard critics like to back their thoughts up with articles that talk about how beards can harbor bacteria.
This article from New York Post (and others like it) argue that there is an amazing amount of nasty stuff lurking in beards.
For example, some studies look at the “kinds of bacteria also in fecal matter” and declare that “your beard could have poo in it.”
Dare we say: how rude! This only happens when people fail to wash their hands after using the bathroom, and it's as simple as that.
Are these dire warnings really real in every single case? Some experts aren't so sure -- take this article from WebMD where writer Peter Russell cites studies looking at the real scoop on beard dirt.
Many of these found little or no difference in bacteria counts for men with and without facial hair.
Scientists found that in many cases, bacteria in the beard is similar to bacteria found on the skin.
While that may be enough for the dedicated beard hipster or lumbersexual, many anti-beard people refuse to be persuaded.
But regardless of some of these weird data points, here’s something most people can agree on -- a little cleaning goes a long way.
A Diversity of Beards
Every beard is different -- some are longer than others, and some can trap food and drink more than others.
But also, some get washed more than others.
No matter your beard type, here are the tips you need to keep your beard spick and span.
For Pete’s Sake – Wash Often
There are also a lot of opinions about how often to wash a beard or mustache.
Just look at this spirited discussion on Jeff's Beard Board - with beard aficionados suggesting everything from once a day to once a week.
Washing a beard, as one poster suggests, should be like washing your hair - and we all have our different opinions on that, too.
But really, the bottom line is that it doesn't hurt to wash often. So, why not err on the side of cleanliness?
There's nothing wrong with washing every day, and it’ll probably give you good brownie points with whoever is snuggling up to you at night.
But the other hand, a once-a-week regimen might not be quite enough to keep your beard sparkling clean.
For a clean beard and a rebuttal to the anti-beard fanatics, don't spare the soap and water.
Dealing with Flakes
We already mentioned how regular cleaning can get rid of small bits of food or other stuff that can get stuck in your beard. Is there anything worse than a little "hanging chad" hanging off of your beard hair? Frequent mirror checks = a good idea.
If you didn't know, there are also smaller particles that might come from flaking skin as a result of dandruff of skin conditions. That's why you need to use the right kinds of soaps and scrubs to get cleaner. You might try using regular over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoo on your beard.
But again, every beard is different. And what's really important is to find a super conditioning product that's not abrasive, and doesn't dry out your skin too much.
With that said, what soap and conditioner provide the magic bullet for a clean and comfortable beard? That's the million dollar question!
With some trial and error, you can figure out what products are right for you.
Antibacterials for Cold and Flu Season
Suppose it’s wintertime, and you're coughing and sneezing.
This is another one of the biggest arguments against the beard.
Sure, your beard keeps you warm – and in a cold climate, that’s no little thing.
But it can also be a problem when you’re sniffling all day.
However, your beard doesn't just have to be a burden in the winter - you can add substances that will actually help you to beat the winter blues and conquer invasive germs.
Rapid Home Remedies points out that tea tree oil, a popular natural oil available at nearly any health food store or homeopath, is not only an anti-bacterial agent - it actually fosters hair growth. So, this might be one of the ingredients you want in a winter beard oil.
With a little of these natural oils under your nose, you’re less likely to “get sick from your beard.” Actually, your beard will be part of your natural defenses over the winter, blending in well with your knitted scarf. Even when it gets frosty (if you’re up north, you can see those negative temperatures) you’ll still be walking around in comfort and in style.
Beard Oil and Beard Soap
Some beard soap products are specially formulated to put on beards.
Beard oil is a great way to keep your beard shiny and attractive while keeping it clean.
We go a step further and make these beard products out of beer or other alcoholic beverages.
Why not wash your beard with the fine aroma of wine soap?
Or try an old-fashioned root beer soap, or a coffee bean or chocolate variety.
All of these products capitalize on the link between our senses. We like to eat and drink these things, so why not smell like them too?
There's also a set of beard oil products that can hydrate and help prevent skin problems.
These are crafted with attention to the biggest problems that beard growers can have as they cultivate their facial hair.
All of this can be a great addition to your beard care arsenal.
With the right care and cleaning, you can be proud of your beard, and make the nay-sayers back off!
You can let those comments about bad hygiene roll off your back -- because you know that you are using the right stuff.
Products that can keep you clean and healthy no matter how long your beard and mustache are, whether you look like a white-collar professional or a salty sea captain.
After all, it's hardly fair to completely throw out the idea of having facial hair just because some people's beards are fairly dirty.
With a new cleaning regimen, you can sport your Lumberjack beard feeling like a million bucks.
Learn how to make your own soap by clicking here.