Do think you can just slap some basic Head&Shoulders scalp-hair shampoo on your beard and call it a day?
No. Of course not.
Every seasoned beardsman knows that you need to use beard shampoo or soap. Otherwise, your facial hair will get dry, itchy, brittle, and there will eventually be beardruff all over your dark shirts.
Most head hair shampoos have the goal of completely removing the oils from the hair. Your beard, on the other hand, is much more reliant on the natural sebum oils which nourish the follicles and keep your facial hair soft and shiny.
This is why you should always be using a special beard wash that is mild and gentle enough to preserve some of the sebum oil, and maybe even beard conditioner if you want to go all-in with the beard care routine.
You see head hair and beard are two completely different things:
- The hair on top of your head is thinner, less curly, and it doesn’t grow in response to hormones.
- Beard hair on your face is thicker, coarse, tends to curl easily, and the growth is regulated by androgenic hormones.
The skin on your face – as well as the hormones that grow the beard – are very sensitive to harsh chemicals like parabens, SLS, and strong detergents.
And if you would compare generic shampoo to a beard wash, you would quickly see that the generic washes are loaded with chemicals and harsh detergents, while beard washes are made from natural ingredients and even scented with essential oils.
Sure, beard washes can be a lot more expensive than that $2 shampoo bottle from your local gas station, but let me just tell you that special beard shampoos are still worth the extra cost.
You only have one beard, and if you don’t want to maintain it to the best of your ability, only giving it the best beard products possible, then why grow one in the first place?
Ready to give that dirty beard of yours a proper wash? Good. Continue reading below to find out the best beard washes the World has to offer. ↓
Best Beard Wash Quick Summary
Best Beard Washes of 2021 Ranked
When buying beard washing products, you really can’t go wrong with the lineup of Scotch Porter.
Their 8 oz (236ml) container is filled with moisturizing shampoo that has a very exotic ingredient list containing things like slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, and burdock root.
What we love is that their products are 100% natural and free of SLS, parabens, phthalates, and harsh detergents. This makes their wash suitable for facial hair as it will not strip away too much of the natural oils.
The scent is hard to put into words, it’s sort of similar to the smell of cake and marshmallows, but in a weirdly masculine way. Something that I bet most women would appreciate their man’s beard to smell like.
When it comes to the price, a bottle of this moisturizing beard shampoo will set you back about twenty dollars, which is not bad at all, and around the average price for a beard wash.
(All Ingredients Derived from Natural Compounds) Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm Bark, Burdock Root, Neem Leaf, Rosemary Leaf, Chamomile Flowers, Argan Oil, Sodium Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Stearamide AMP, Aloe Leaf Juice, Sucrose Cocoate, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Kukui Nut Oil, Agave Nectar, Citric Acid, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, Polyquaternium 10, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.
- Made in the United States.
- 100% Natural beard nourishing ingredients.
- Good looking design and feel of the brand.
- Has some rare ingredients not typical to beard washes.
Bottom line: The Scotch Porter moisturizing beard shampoo is just one product in a larger selection of beard cleaners. We have previously talked about their beard conditioner, which has the same scent and is equally as amazing of a product.
Coming in hot from Australia, Professor Edward J. Fuzzworthy’s beard shampoo bar is in a league of its own.
Out of all the beard washes on this list, this beard washing bar has easily the best value. That is because of the 4 oz bar actually translates to 27 oz liquid shampoo when used.
With the price per beard shampoo bar being just under $15, this means that you will basically get two or three bottles worth of shampoo for less than what most competitors are asking for a bottle.
In other words, the price point and value of Prof. Fuzzworthy’s Beard Gloss Shampoo is unmatched.
The ingredient list is short and sweet, with all of them being of natural origin. So there’s not really many bad things to say about this beard cleaning product.
Springwater, olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, soy wax, beeswax, Apple Cider Vinegar, Seaweed extract, honey, cocoa powder, Kunzea & essential oils.
- Made in Tasmania, Australia.
- 100% Natural ingredients.
- Easy to use facial hair wash bar.
- Can also be used as a body and hair wash.
Bottom line: There’s a reason why this beard cleaner has gained such great popularity (thousands of reviews with a whopping 4.7 / 5-star rating at the time of writing), and it’s simply because they are good what they do, and they offer a product with great value.
Many beard product manufacturers use Viking beards and all kinds of Viking-related stuff in their labels and commercials.
In my opinion, the only brand that is truly close to anything Viking-like is the Risu from Finland.
They use exquisite ingredients in their beard oil and washes, such as sea buckthorn oil, which is only found in the stomping grounds of real Vikings.
Moreover, it’s one of the few brands that is actually manufactured in Scandinavia, the place which Vikings once inhabited.
But I’m getting derailed here. What I want to talk about is their beard wash, The Afternoon Orange.
The first thing you will notice is their design, which I think is one of the best – if not the best – from all of the thousands of beard care products I have reviewed already.
Most of their ingredients are of natural origin, and the beard shampoo itself is so mild that it will not strip away all of your natural sebum oils.
Price-wise, it’s slightly more expensive than some of its competitors, but the sizeable 8.4 oz (250ml) pump-bottle is well worth the investment.
The only downside is that as this product is manufactured in Scandinavia, the shipping costs may be bit higher when ordering it into the US. On the plus side, they do offer free shipping for all orders inside Europe.
Aqua, Caprylyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lauryl Glucoside, Citric acid, Baobab Seed Oil, Menthone Glycerin Acetal, Aloe Vera Leaf Powder, Hydrolysed Wheat Protein, Sodium Cococyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Xanthan gum, Sodium benzoate & Potassium sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Essential oils (Citrus Limonum) – Lemon, Bergamot, Lime, Rosemary, Limonene, Mica, CI 77891, CI 77491.
- Made in Finland.
- 100% Natural ingredients.
- Easy to use pump-bottle design.
- Mild orange scent.
- Lathers well, not too runny like some beard washes.
Bottom line: Amazing design, exotic ingredients, and just plain and simply makes your beard feel soft and moisturized instead of leaving it dry and brittle as a generic shampoo would. I’m using their shampoo and beard oil myself, and will be buying more.
If you’re looking for a washing product for your beard and your body with extremely competitive pricing and all-natural ingredients, then look no further.
The Smoky Mountain Beards have created a beard soap that has mild enough ingredients to not rob your beard from its precious natural sebum oils, while it’s still powerful enough to clean your beard and the rest of your body as well.
The best part is the value. Looking at the ingredient list, you could easily imagine each 5 oz bar to run upwards of 20 bucks per piece, but instead, you’ll only end up paying $8 for this chunky beard soap.
There’s plenty of liquid you can extract from each bar before you run out, and since this product essentially doubles as a beard wash and a body soap, you can use it to replace two products in your shower.
There are seven different scent options available, including an unscented beard soap bar for the beardsmen that don’t care too much for the aroma provided by essential oils.
Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Safflower Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitan oleate, Oat Protein, Fragrance Oil, Oxide Colorant, Activated Charcoal.
- Made in the USA.
- 100% Natural ingredients.
- Works perfectly on the beard and body.
- Multiple scent options are available.
- Big chunky 5 oz bar lathers well and lasts a long time.
Bottom line: All-in-all, the Smoky Mountain Beard Soap Bar is an excellent product that deserves its place as #4 in our ranking. If you like a great value 2-in-1 product that you can restock without breaking your budget, you’re going to love this.
One of my all-time favorite beard brands is OneDTQ and specifically their Big Forest lineup.
Their 100% natural beard wash comes in a 9.5 oz (280ml) bottle and costs about $24 at the time of writing. So it’s not the cheapest wash for facial hair, but well worth the investment.
The scent is mild and woodsy, thanks to the essential oils such as cedarwood and balsam fir needle oil.
If you take a close look at their ingredient list, you can see that every ingredient is natural and most of them are even organic. This is amazing news for the sensitive skin underneath your beard.
Water, Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Olive Oil, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Cedarwood Oil, Balsam Fir Needle Oil, Bergamot Oil, Vitamin E.
- Made in Brooklyn, New York.
- Foresty and woodsy scent.
- Fights beard dandruff and itchy skin.
- 100% Natural ingredients, no SLS or parabens.
Bottom line: I’m having a hard time understanding why some review this product as “runny” when I had the exact opposite experience. It lathers well and feels thicker than most beard washes or generic shampoos. Well worth the purchase in my opinion, and even as #5, a strong contender for best beard wash.
Beardsley’s Shampoo for Beards was one of the first big players to enter the beard cleaning market, and they did it well.
It’s crazy to think about it, but they actually launched their first beard care products in 1993. That’s the year I was born, 26 years ago, and here I am reviewing their beard wash.
In 2021, they have solidified their position as one of the best beard shampoo makers. In my humble opinion, Beardsley deserves all the credit they’re given.
Their products do exactly what they advertise; Clean the beard effectively, without leaving it dry and brittle.
With 8 oz container size and a price under $15, their shampoo has some of the best price-to-value ratios on the market.
There are few different scent options available, but in my opinion, their wild berry one is the best one out of the lineup.
Water, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamide DIPA, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Vitamin E, Polyquaternium-10, Chamomile Extract, Fragrance, PEG-16 Macadamia Glycerides, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Saccharin, Methylparaben, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Propylparaben
- Made in California, USA.
- Founded in 1993, the oldest running beard care company.
- Helps prevent beard dandruff, split-ends, and itchy skin.
- Mostly natural ingredients, but does have some synthetic ones.
Bottom line: I think Beardsley makes some of the greatest beard washes on the planet, and no wonder, they’ve been in the game for so long. As for the only negative factor, they do use some parabens in their shampoo, which is not ideal. But considering the small amount of them and the short time the wash is on your beard, it’s not a big deal really.
We already did focus on one beard wash bar earlier (The #2 on this list) but here’s another good one; The Dr. Squatch Pine Tar Beard Soap Bar.
It can be used on your body or on your beard but doesn’t go too well on the head hair (yes, I tried).
What hits you first is the scent – really, really – amazing manly and foresty scent.
But there are other benefits too, such as the fact that they use only all-natural ingredients and that they produce some of the funniest ads on the whole beard industry (which originally led me into buying their products).
Just look at their glorious commercial for yourself:
Aside from their amazing commercial, their price point is pretty good. With under $10 per 5 oz beard soap bar, you can expect to lather up quite a bit liquid.
(still, not quite as much as with the Prof. Fuzzworthy’s bar)
This is a great all-rounder of a product, which works well on your beard and your body, so you don’t need to get multiple different products.
Oh, and I almost forgot. Their bars have some exfoliating oatmeal in them, so it works as a beard soap, body soap, and a beard exfoliating scrub.
Saponified Olive, Palm & Coconut Oils, Shea Butter, Lye, Sea Salt, Kaolin Clay, Natural Fragrance, Pine Tar Extract, Pine Oil, Oatmeal, Sand, Orange Essential Oil.
- Handmade in the USA.
- All-in-one kind of beard cleaning solution.
- Masculine scents and exfoliating effect.
- Lathers well and lasts quite a bit.
- Chemical & preservative-free.
Bottom line: Okay so here we have possibly the best beard soap – and also the only one of its kind as far as I know. It may leave your beard feel a bit more dry than other beard shampoos, but where it shines is on helping you combine many products into one, as it works for the body, the beard, and as a scrub.
Seven Potions is a popular beard care brand from the UK.
They use a 3rd party facility to manufacture all of their beard products, which they formulate and design themselves.
According to them, this makes each batch exactly the same and is considerably safer than beard care products made from a garage of a little pop-up shop.
Their Woodland Harmony Premium Beard Shampoo is one of such products.
It comes in a bit small 3.38 oz (100ml) bottle and costs little under $14, so it’s not the cheapest beard wash out there, but still decently priced considering the quality of the ingredients (everything is natural and mostly organic too).
The lather is great and it foams well so you don’t need to use a lot of it to clean your beard. In my use, this softening beard shampoo lasts for about 3-4 months, but for someone with a long beard, it might be less.
There are no SLS, parabens, sulfates, colorants, or synthetic fragrances and the Woodland Harmony scent is somewhat self-explanatory because this wash has a mild woodsy scent.
Aqua, Capryl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Vegetable Glycerine, Sodium Benzoate & Potassium Sorbate, Hydrolysed Wheat Protein, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Aloe Vera Leaf Powder, Organic Blackcurrant Seed Extract, Organic Lime Extract, Cedar Wood, Sandalwood, Mix of Premium Essential Oils
- Softens the beard.
- Helps prevent beard dandruff.
- Lathers well and lasts long even though the bottle is small.
- Produced in a high-quality facility, tested for allergens.
Bottom Line: I have reviewed multiple Seven Potions products over the years, and in my opinion they are one of the better beard care companies out there. Specifically their beard balm and beard wax deserve a big shout out.
And this is where Medicine Man’s Anti-Itch Beard Wash claims to help you out.
It’s special in a way compared to the other beard shampoos on this list, as it has a much higher amount of carrier oils and essential oils in the formulation.
This is the “thing” that gives it the anti-itch benefits, as the oils will help replenish the sebum oils that you naturally lose when washing the beard.
However, the downside of including so many oils and helping reduce itchiness is that you have to also reduce the number of detergents and cleaning agents.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all, but it just means that the actual beard cleaning powers of this wash may be limited compared to some other products on this list.
This shampoo comes in a 4.7 fl oz (137ml) pump bottle and the ingredients are 100% natural and organic.
It lathers big and white, so even though the bottle seems quite small, it will last a very long time if you use appropriate amounts on your beard.
Water, Organic Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Sea Fennel Extract, Citric Acid, Lavender Oil, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Vitamin E Oil.
- Made in Brooklyn, New York
- Prevents dry beard and itchiness.
- Helps fight beardruff and brittle beard split-ends.
- Lathers well and lasts for a long time.
- Comes in an easy to use pump bottle.
- A higher amount of natural oils compared to other washes.
Bottom line: This is another product from OneDTQ, the same people that make the Big Forest Beard Shampoo I already mentioned above. They have a solid track record of manufacturing amazing facial hair care items, and I have no problem backing their work.
I think The Rugged Bros beard brush was one of the first products I ever reviewed on their website (and yes, it was a good brush that does the job).
When it comes to their beard conditioner shampoo (yes, that’s a 2-in-1 product) it’s also pretty good. I wouldn’t say it’s the best wash for beards, but if you end up getting it, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Their wash is actually manufactured in Morocco, and it contains the highly praised Moroccan argan oil as well, which is one key reason behind the beard conditioning effect this beard shampoo provides.
Their pump bottle is 8 oz (236ml) in size and contains no parabens, no silicone, no sulfates, no mineral oil, and no artificial coloring agents.
This beard cleaner has a fascinating scent which is hard to put into words. My guess is that the unique aroma is coming from the organic prickly pear seed oil in the formulation.
Water, Glycerin, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Sodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Oleate, Sesame Seed Oil, Rose Water, Coco-caprylate, Organic Argan Kernel Oil, Organic Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Fragrance, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Laureth-4, Polyquaternium-7, Benzyl Alcohol, Coco-glucoside, Tetrasodium EDTA, Dehydroacetic Acid, Citric Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene.
- Made in Morocco.
- Cleans and conditions the beard.
- Sizeable easy to use pump bottle.
- Decent lather and not overly runny.
Bottom line: You may think that there would be something wrong with this conditioning shampoo as it’s coming in at number nine on the list, but it’s actually still pretty decent purchase. With 4 out 5 stars after a bunch of reviews. It’s over-all well received.
I originally got to know the Duke Cannon brand through using their “Big Ass Brick of Soap” years ago, they have since started manufacturing beard care products as well, including what they call “The Best Damn Beard Wash”.
Is it the best? Not in our humble opinion, but it still makes our top 10 list for sure.
What Duke Cannon does really well are branding and design. You can see for yourself from the above image. Doesn’t their product look absolutely amazing?
If reviewing beard care products would be completely about visuals and nice bottles, I would easily rank these to the top, but sadly, there’s more to it than just a nice container.
One of the most important factors to look at before buying beard shampoo, are obviously the ingredients, and when it comes to the best damn beard wash from Duke Cannon, you are immediately presented with soybean oil as the second most used ingredient.
Not great stuff for beard hairs, since it’s polyunsaturated and possibly suppresses the hormones associated with beard growth. Same goes for rice bran wax which they use.
If it wasn’t for those two, you’d see me raving about this wash, as it the best-smelling beard wash of the whole list and decently priced considering their 6 oz (177ml) tub.
Purified Water, Soybean Oil, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Cocamide MIPA, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Beer, Lime Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Hops Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl, Hydrolyzed Barley Protein, Rice Bran Wax, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol
- Made in the USA.
- Benefits veterans.
- Amazing design and scent.
- Good size tub and competitive price point.
Bottom line: This shampoo looks absolutely amazing from the outside, and smells even better, but sadly the ingredients could use some improvements.
How to Use Beard Shampoo
It’s presumed that you don’t need directions on how to wash your beard, but still, I’m going to include you a quick how-to guide just in case.
Here’s how to properly use beard shampoo:
- In the shower or above the sink, thoroughly wet your beard.
- Squeeze or pump out a dime-sized dap of beard wash.
- Scrub and rub the facial hair shampoo all over your beard.
- Keep doing this until the wash lathers and foams up.
- Let the carrier oils, essential oils, and detergent work for a bit.
- Rinse your beard thoroughly and towel dampen the beard.
- Apply beard oil immediately after the shower to replace the lost oils.
In case you want a visual example, here’s a video tutorial:
How Often Should You Wash the Beard
Beards do get dirty, some even claim that facial hair would be as dirty as dog fur.
Does this mean you should be washing your beard daily?
No. Please don’t do that.
Every time you use shampoo on your beard be it generic or even special beard shampoo, you will be stripping away the natural sebum oils.
(beard wash is much gentler in this regard, but it still does remove some of the natural oils).
Sure, you can wash your head hair daily and it would not matter, but the beard is different and it relies much more on the natural oils.
If you wash it daily, your skin underneath the beard will quickly get dry and brittle, which is perfect breeding grounds for damage such as beard split-ends and beard dandruff which is caused by flaky dead skin cells.
Most experts recommend that you do not wash your beard for more than 2-3 times per week, and some seasoned beardsmen recommend that you only wash your beard once per week.
Beard Shampoo vs. Generic Shampoo
Beard shampoo is more expensive than scalp hair shampoo, but it’s still worth to get because there are many differences to the two products which seem so similar.
This becomes apparent if you flip the bottle around and take a close look at the ingredients…
Beard shampoos are mostly made of natural stuff like carrier oils, essential oils, and gentle detergents.
Generic scalp hair shampoos are mostly made of synthetic ingredients, like silicones and salts, and they come with harmful preservatives like parabens and benzoates. These are no good for the sensitive skin under your beard.
Head hair shampoos are notorious for being ruthless on the natural sebum oils, which may be a good idea for scalp-hair, but not for the facial hair.
You can also find much lower amounts of natural oils in generic shampoos, which means that they won’t replenish any of the sebum oils that you lose when washing the beard, which is again, one more negative factor to using Head&Shoulders. And one more reason to use special beard shampoo instead.
Yes, beards do get dirty, but no you don’t have to wash yours every day.
It’s enough to wash it once per week, and if you feel like it’s too greasy or starts to smell bad.
Or maybe you’re in a work that causes you to sweat a lot or get grime, dust, and dirt on your beard, then sure, use beard shampoo 2-3 times per week at most.
As for what are the best beard washes of 2021, we just gave you ten amazing choices above.
I hope our ranking helps you find the best facial hair shampoo for your needs and beard type, and if you made it this far, thank you for reading and keep on beardin’.