One of the latest crazes to take place in the facial hair grooming industry is something called beard co-washing.
It didn’t start from beards though, but instead women and men with long, curly, dry hair started to shun off the shampoo, as many noticed that it was drying up their hair and making it brittle.
Instead, they started washing their hair with just conditioner, and noticed that the hair will stay clean, but also moisturized and hydrated at the same time.
Bearded men know this all too well since facial hair also goes dry very easily, especially if you wash it with generic shampoo instead of beard shampoo (and even with excessive use of special beard washes as well).
But what exactly does a beard co-wash mean, how does it differ from the normal beard cleaning routine, and what are the claimed benefits?
That’s what you will find out about below. So stick with us and continue reading below. ↓
What is Beard Co-Washing
The term beard co-wash is a short version of the word “beard conditioner washing”.
What it means is that instead of washing your facial hair with normal shampoos (which have strong detergents) or even beard shampoo (which have mild detergents)…
You would instead wash your beard daily or every other day with nothing else than just a beard conditioner. Doing this, you would not be continuously stripping away the natural sebum oils from your beards, which are essential to the health and growth of your beard.
There are minuscule amounts of mild detergents in the beard conditioners, but they’re also chock-full of things like shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and other moisturizing and nourishing compounds.
This means that if you wash your beard only with conditioner, you can wash it daily without issues – while your beard gets reasonably clean – and your beard will get softer instead of drying up (which would happen with daily shampooing).
Does that mean you should not use beard shampoo at all? Nope.
You can still properly wash the beard with it once or twice every week, but the beauty of co-washing is that you don’t need to limit the times of doing it, as it will not dry up the beard.
The Benefits of Using the Beard Co-Wash Method
Most beard grooming experts recommend that you wash your beard no more than 2-3 times per week, and some (like us) recommend washing it even less often, like once per week at tops.
Why so few times?
Simply to preserve the natural sebum oils in the beard.
You see, the facial hair is much more reliant on the natural oils than your head hair is, and stripping that away constantly with harsh detergents (or even with the mild detergents in special beard shampoos) would be a cardinal beard mistake.
However, a recommendation like that can prove difficult to follow for bearded men who work in dirty blue collar jobs, exercise regularly, and otherwise, enjoy doing some manual labor or recreational activities.
I still remember the days when I used to work as a car mechanic (before transitioning to working online), even though I didn’t have a beard at the time, my face was dirty all the damn time.
Would I had been able to grow a beard back then, there’s no doubt in my mind that I would also have to wash my beard on a daily basis too.
And herein is the first massive benefit of the beard co-wash method. Men who have dirty beards can still wash their facial hair daily if they just use conditioner instead of shampoo.
Their beards will get clean, but they will not get dry and brittle. Would they use shampoo – even if it was the mild beard shampoo – their beards would get itchy, full of beardruff, and their facial hair would develop lots of split-ends.
Another great benefit of co-washing the beard is that it moisturizes and hydrates your beard so well that you don’t need to use so many beard products on it.
Wash your beard with shampoo? You kind of need to add beard oil in afterward to replenish the lost oils. Wash it only with conditioner? Then you don’t need to add anything, the conditioner itself already moisturized the beard without stripping the natural oils, so there’s nothing to replenish.
Many men who have tried the beard co-wash routine also say that it significantly reduces beard tangles and knots, and makes your beard much more manageable & soft.
So in a nutshell, the beard co-washing benefits include:
- The ability to wash your beard daily without drying it up.
- Using fewer beard products since you already moisturize the beard.
- It makes your beard more manageable and less of a tangled mess.
- It still gets your beard clean thanks to the minuscule amount of detergent.
The Best Beard Co-Wash to Use (My Opinion)
I have tested about a dozen of different beard conditioners as part of the normal beard washing routine, and for beard co-washing.
Hands-down the best conditioner for both of those jobs – but especially for co-washing – is the Hydrating Beard Conditioner by The Scotch Porter Brand.
This thing is absolutely amazing and it has all of the ingredients derived from nature. There is only a very small amount of mild detergent, and they use no parabens, no silicones like SLS, no mineral oils, or any other beard harming ingredients.
If you want to give the beard co-wash a try, I highly suggest you start with this conditioner as it will leave your beard soft as a pillow and the scent makes you feel like you’ve just walked out of a barbershop.
Sure, it’s considerably more expensive than basic head hair conditioner, and it’s certainly not mandatory to use one when growing out a beard…
But let me just tell you that you do not even understand how soft and pleasant your beard will feel after co-washing with something like this for a week or so.
Beard co-wash means that you’re not using any shampoo, just beard conditioner, to wash your beard.
The biggest benefit is that it does not strip the facial hair from its natural oils at all, and this leaves your mane feeling soft and moisturized, instead of brittle and dry.
You can also do beard co-washing daily, as there are no harsh detergents that would hurt your beard gains.
What’s your take on beard co-washing? Will you be doing it instead of the common beard cleaning methods? Let us know in the comments below.