There's more to beard care than just letting nature take its course. Of course, at some point you'll have to trim it - or not, depending on which style you prefer - but there's more to beard maintenance than just that. Keeping your beard clean is also an important part of the process.
While your beard doesn't come into contact with as much as other parts of your body, it can still get dirty. Food particles, dust, the smell of tobacco are just some of the things that can keep your beard from being clean and looking its best. Moreover, not keeping it clean can bring on unwanted issues such as itchiness and dandruff.
Beard Care Tip #2: Washing Your Beard
Just like the hair on your head, your beard needs a thorough, proper cleaning. You don't need to shampoo it as often as your head hair, but three to five times a week will make sure that you're not leaving yesterday's food particles and other dirt and grime behind.
When it comes to keeping your beard clean, don't shampoo your beard with the same product you use to shampoo your head, however. Shampoo and conditioners that are used on your head and scalp contain harsh chemicals and detergents that can damage your beard. Beard "washes" are more gentle than shampoos and soap, and don't contain foaming agents that really don't have anything to do with cleaning effectiveness.
It's particularly important to shampoo your beard in its early stages when new-growth itchiness is exacerbated by trapped food and skin cells.
Beard Care Tips #3: Shampooing Basics
Like washing your head hair, there's nothing too complicated about shampooing your beard. Start by rubbing the shampoo into your hands to produce a good lather and then rub it deep into your beard. It's important to massage the shampoo right down to the skin to get rid of any dead skin cells that may have accumulated. It's best to leave the shampoo in your beard for a few minutes to allow the oils from the beard shampoo or wash to get soaked in.
Note: On days when you're not shampooing your beard, hold your face under warm water and gently massage your beard. This will hold you over until your next shampoo.
Beard Care tips #4: Conditioning
Conditioning your beard is the next step after washing, and provides extra moisture that helps prevent your beard from drying out. Apply as you would with shampoo, making sure that your rub it in deeply, and then let it soak in for a minute or two before rinsing. Don't worry about applying conditioner after every time you shampoo, and you can even use it on days you don't use wash.