Beard Smells Bad? Here’s What You Can Do to Fix It

Your beard should be a source of pride - but it’s going to be hard to feel good about your beard if it starts to develop a bad smell… Believe it or not, a smelly beard is not all that uncommon, particularly if this is your first time growing it out and you can’t work out what’s causing it to smell.

Fear not, we’re not here to shame you. In fact, we’re here to help. While a stinky beard isn’t ideal, it’s certainly not the end of the world - lets delve into what’s causing the odour, how to get rid of it, and what you can do to prevent it going forward.

What causes a beard to smell bad?

There are actually a bunch of different reasons that your beard may start to smell - from the food you eat, to the use of low-quality grooming products.

Let’s get into some of the most common reasons why your beard smells the way it does:


Different types of foods can leave lingering scents on your skin and beard. This is especially so for greasy foods that carry a strong aroma like pizza or burgers. Oils from foods can become trapped in your beard hairs, contributing to an unpleasant smell over time. 

Not only that, unhealthy foods can also affect the scent of the natural oils (sebum) secreted by your skin. These oils can become mixed in with your beard and cause it to smell bad too. 

Exercise and sweat

Sweat is the number one contributor to body odour, and your beard is not exempt from the smell it gives off. Thicker beards, particularly, are more prone to trapping sweat that drips down from your head and face.

In other words, the more you sweat, whether it’s from a workout or the hot weather, the higher the chances of sweat droplets mixing in with your beard and promoting bacteria growth.


Improper washing and care

Believe it or not, your beard needs a bit of TLC to continue flourishing. Not making effort to clean your beard of trapped dirt or food particles will inevitably make it start to smell.

Low quality products

There’s a reason why specialised beard products exist — they are formulated with ingredients that keep your beard healthy and the skin underneath the beard nice and hydrated. Using low-quality products may cause more harm than good.

Your environment

Much like the fibers of your clothes, the hairs of your beard can retain the smells in your close environment. Cigarette smoke, bbq smells, and even chemical scents can stay on your beard and blend together, causing a stale fragrance profile.

How to make your beard smell good

There you have it - there are plenty of causes for a smelly beard. If you’re worried about having a bad beard smell, you’re going to want to start with washing it regularly — and not just with just water. You should take beard washing seriously if you want to keep your beard full, healthy, and smelling good.

Aim to wash your beard at least 1-3 times a week, depending on how exposed to dirt, oil, or food your beard gets. You can start by washing it at least 2 times a week to remove any trace of lingering smells from sweat or skin oil. Once the bad smell disappears, you can tone down the washing and keep to at least once a week of washing.

Get the right products

So, what do you need for a beard wash to get it smelling fresh?  You’ll need two-three basic items — beard shampoo, beard oil, and beard balm. 


  • Beard shampoo — Beard shampoos are designed specially to be gentler on your face and beard hair. Use them to effectively clean your beard without causing dryness in your skin and hair that can lead to itchiness and dandruff. 

  • Beard oil — After a wash, gently pat dry and apply your beard oil. Premium beard oils usually come with fresh scents and will make your beard smell amazing while giving it much needed moisturising. 

  • Beard balm — As a finishing touch, you can apply beard balm to style it how you like. Beard balm will also work to lock in moisture for the day! A high-quality beard balm will also come in an array or fragrant scents to help your beard not only look it’s best but smell that way too. 

    Trim and groom 

    Using the right type of products to wash your beard is one half of the solution to a better smelling beard. Grooming your beard is also important.

    Trimming your beard regularly not only helps to keep it at an ideal length and style, but can also help to remove damaged hair ends that contribute to a shaggy/smelly beard. Trimming your beard of split ends also helps it to grow longer. Do your best to keep it tidy and it will be less likely to trap unwanted stuff like food bits or bacteria. 

    Get a better smelling beard with Jericho

    As the beard experts in Australia, if you’re looking for the best beard care products in Australia, you can find them with us. Check out our extensive collection of beard products to keep your beard smelling (and looking) great today!

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