Treating Heavy Beard Dandruff


Beard dandruff is a fairly common and bothersome issue for many men, often stemming from factors such as dry skin, dead skin buildup, or a condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. Sometimes, the problem persists because of confusion on how to properly wash the beard, how to use beard oils, or how much oil to use in the first place. In this article, let’s reduce the confusion and simplify our approach!

Beard Dandruff Overview:

Heavy beard dandruff, while often viewed as a common grooming challenge, can vary in severity. In its milder form, it may be a result of dry skin or inadequate beard care practices. However, when the condition progresses, it can be classified as seborrheic dermatitis, marked by heightened redness and persistent itching. It’s essential to recognize the spectrum of severity to tailor your approach to the specific needs of your beard and skin.

Risk Factors:

Several factors can contribute to the development of heavy beard dandruff. These include dry skin, poor hygiene practices, and certain environmental conditions. Individuals with a history of skin conditions or compromised immune systems may be at a higher risk. Other factors, such as stress, have also been implicated.

Primary Causes:

One of the primary culprits behind heavy beard dandruff is a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia globosa. Don’t be alarmed. Malassezia globosa is a type of yeast that commonly resides on human skin. However, while it is a normal part of the skin’s microbiota, this organism sometimes becomes problematic and essentially infects the skin, creating an overgrowth. An overgrowth can contribute to skin conditions such as heavy beard dandruff and related conditions when it proliferates excessively.

What feeds Malassezia globosa & Makes it Worse?

Malassezia globosa’s affinity for sebum, the skin’s natural oil, makes proper beard care crucial. Lifestyle factors such as diet, hygiene practices, and the use of certain cosmetic products can either exacerbate or alleviate the condition. For example, an unhealthy diet high in sugars, infrequent washing, and poor grooming habits can contribute to an environment conducive to fungal overgrowth. By adopting a balanced diet and a meticulous grooming routine, individuals can create an inhospitable environment for Malassezia globosa, promoting a healthier beard and skin. You can explore ideas about diet by checking out my e-book, “Nature’s Intent.


Many individuals often buy a product, give it a try, and promptly dispose of it if it fails to yield results. However, it’s crucial to recognize that the product used may not have been the right fit, and the approach to treatment might not have gone far enough or only addressed part of the problem. Successfully addressing this issue requires a well-thought-out strategy and the use of appropriate tools. Remember that you are fighting a living organism that wants to survive.

In combating the challenge of beard dandruff, it’s essential to target the Malassezia globosa factor. Now, traditional treatments for persistent beard dandruff typically involve the use of antifungal remedies and low-potency topical steroids. Over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos can also be effective in managing this condition to a certain extent. However, it’s worth noting that anecdotal evidence suggests some of these therapies may offer only temporary relief and could potentially worsen the problem due to increased resistance.

The good news is that there are regimens that appear to work consistently without encountering resistance, delivering lasting and notable results. Although there isn’t a definitive “cure” for this condition, a particular regimen stands out as significantly more effective and enduring compared to many conventional treatments. Its success can be attributed to the comprehensive nature of the approach and the complexity and potency of the products used. Consider the following recommended regimen:

What You Will Need:

  • A beard comb or rigid brush.
  • A 3% Sulfur Gel Facial Wash and Cleanser
  • A Tea Tree Oil Face Wash

Pro Tip: For optimal results, consider incorporating this step into your grooming routine while shaving, trimming, or engaging in any facial hair maintenance. If you opt to integrate it during these activities, make sure to follow this regimen after completing the trimming process.

Step #1 – Beard Comb:

  • Thoroughly comb the beard with a beard comb (or brush), ensuring gentle scraping of the skin to remove excess skin flakes.

Step #2 – Sulfur Gel Facial Wash and Cleanser:

  1. Wash the beard thoroughly with warm water and a 3% Sulfur Gel Facial Wash and Cleanser.
  2. Ensure the product saturates the beard by massaging the product into the beard and skin.
  3. Ensure that the product remains in the beard (and on the skin) for several minutes. It’s okay if it begins to dry.

Product Example: Sulfur Grisi

Step #3 – Rinse:

  • Rinse out the sulfur gel. Don’t worry about getting all of it out (because you’re not done yet).

Step #4 – Tea Tree Oil Facial Wash:

  1. Follow up with a tea tree facial wash. Ensure the product saturates the beard by massaging the product into the beard and skin.
  2. Allow the lather to remain in the beard for several minutes.

Product Example: New York Biology Tea Tree Body Wash – Note: I like this product because it also has coconut oil, which also has antifungal properties.

Step #5 – Rinse:

  • At this point, you can wash out the tea tree oil.

Pro Tip: Enhance the convenience by waiting to rinse it out in the shower. To maximize its effectiveness, consider waiting until the end of your shower routine. Allowing the product to remain on the skin for a longer duration ensures deeper saturation.

Step #6 – Dry It Out

  • Take a blow dryer and ensure that the beard area is dry. Remember that fungi thrive in wet and dark environments, which makes the skin under the beard one of the best environments to be in. By making sure the beard is thoroughly dry, you create a less hospitable environment for fungus growth.

Why it Works:

Exfoliation: The beard comb aids in the removal of dead skin cells, promoting a healthier skin surface and exposing more of the hidden Malassezia globosa.

Sulfur’s Amazing Properties: Sulfur kills microorganisms, reduces sebum, and exfoliates the skin. In fact, sulfur has a strong history of effectiveness in conditions such as mild-to-moderate acne, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema. Moreover, sulfur has strong natural antifungal properties that can help combat Malassezia globosa specifically. It is thought that sulfur disrupts its life cycle.

Tea Tree Oil’s Antimicrobial Effect: Tea tree oil possesses strong antimicrobial properties, providing an additional layer of defense against fungal overgrowth. We end with the tea tree facial wash because, in theory, the face has already been cleansed. On a clean surface, the oil provides the skin with a barrier of protection that is toxic to Malassezia globosa. At the same time, you’ve probably heard that beard oil is important. Well, it is, and in this situation, the tea tree oil acts as a conditioner to moisturize and soften beard hair and moisturize the skin beneath your beard. However, this method doesn’t allow you to use too much oil. Moreover, when other antimicrobial oils (such as coconut oil) are included, it only improves the results. You’re killing two birds with one stone without going overboard and doing more damage.

This regimen should be followed several times a week. After several weeks, you should begin to notice that the irritation and flakes have reduced significantly. With continued use, you will likely not have to worry about wearing black shirts any longer. Remember, managing heavy beard dandruff requires a combination of proper hygiene and targeted treatments. This method just might allow you to effectively address this common concern and maintain a healthy, dandruff-free beard.

Pro Tip: In addition to the suggested regimen, maintaining a healthy beard involves holistic practices. Hydration plays a key role, so ensure you’re drinking plenty of water to keep your skin and beard well-hydrated. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports overall skin health. Regular exercise can also improve blood circulation, benefiting the skin beneath your beard. If you already work out, ensure that you’re addressing the sweat in your beard post-workout.


  • It is always wise to consult a dermatologist before starting any treatment regimen, especially if the condition is severe or persistent.
  • This regimen is not for everyone. If you are allergic to any of the product suggestions, you should avoid using them.
  • Results may vary depending on the strength of the product, frequency, thoroughness, and consistency of the treatment. Remember, there is no “cure,” it can really only be managed.
  • The product examples provided are Amazon Affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. However, while these are products that I personally use, you are encouraged to shop and make the best decision for yourself.

Dr. Robertson is a health researcher and educator, not a physician. The information provided here is not medical advice, a professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or service to you or any other individual. The information provided is for educational and anecdotal purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation, or the advice of your physician or other healthcare providers. Dr. Robertson is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or additional information, services, or product you obtain or utilize. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN.