So you have managed to grow a respectable beard and are feeling extra masculine and pleased with yourself. The next step in grooming your designer facial hair is to apply the right products to maintain healthy, soft and hydrated facial hair that looks amazing and feels great to touch. So should you use beard oil or beard balm? Read on to learn what is right for you.
What Does Beard Oil Do?
There are several great beard oils available for you to buy, but what does a beard oil actually do and is it really worth buying one?
The main benefits of using a good beard oil are:
- Hydrates your facial hair and moisturizes the skin underneath (don’t forget there is skin under your beard)
- Softens the hair, making it easier to style and groom.
- Adds shine to the beard hair for a more finished look.
- Helps to reduce itchiness and beard dandruff.
- Helps your beard to look fuller.
- Makes your beard smell great.
- Anecdotal evidence suggest that the right mix of premium oils can help promote beard hair growth.
Should I Use Beard Oil?
This one is easy – if you have a beard or are growing a beard then yes, you should use a beard oil or an alternative beard product to help give you the benefits listed above. Beard oils are the staple and most popular solution, and particularly beneficial for shorter beards or if you are in the first few months of growth.
Generic products are not recommended for the beard. Your beard hair is thicker and more wiry than the hair on most other parts of your body. The skin underneath is also impacted by this, so it’s best to use something that takes all this into account. In other words, don’t use what you use on your head or body or to clean your dishes on your beard.
You may already have a great beard without having used a good beard product before, but this means the full potential of that beard may yet to be realized.
How to Use Beard Oil
First make sure your beard is clean. A good time to apply is right after a shower on towel dry hair.
The amount of oil to use depends on your beard length, but a good guide is 1-3 drops for short beards, 4-6 drops for mid length and 7+ pumps for longer beards.
Pump the appropriate amount of oil into you hand and spread evenly over your palms and fingers. Work the oil into the hair and skin underneath, distributing evenly and going with the grain of the hair.
Make sure to cover the sides and the front of the beard. For longer styles, also bring your hands up through the bottom of the beard and use your fingers to apply the oil more precisely to your mustache.
What Does Beard Balm Do?
In terms of results, beard oil or beard balm share very similar benefits.
The main difference with beard balm vs beard oil is in the base of the product. A beard balm usually has a base consisting of beeswax, shea butter and cocoa butter. This makes the feel and texture of the product different to oil so some of the choice comes down to personal preference.
Beard oils are considered as more of a daily leave in beard treatment and conditioner, whereas beard balms can be perceived as a beard styling aid.
A beard balm has more of a waxy and creamy consistency. It usually melts into your hands and provides more of a hold than beard oil which can be a positive or a negative depending on the type, length and style of beard that you have or are looking to grow.
Should I Use Beard Balm?
Well if you have a beard then you should definitely at least use either a beard oil or beard balm. The two can be used in conjunction, with the beard oil being your staple daily product and the beard balm supporting when you have flyaways or a longer beard.
You may opt for a beard balm if you have the type of beard than needs consistent support to maintain it’s style or shape, or if you don’t like the consistency of an oil. Beard balm can sometimes be more effective for longer beard styles that need the extra control.
How to Use Beard Balm
Again always make sure you have a clean beard before applying product. You don’t want to be rubbing beard balm into last nights pizza that is still stuck in there.
Using your thumb or index finger, scoop out a small amount of balm to start with. A fingernail size amount is usually enough unless you have a longer beard.
Put the balm in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together until it melts and starts to feel like an oil. Now follow the steps mentioned above for the beard oil application as it’s a similar process.
The key is to cover all of your beard and make sure the skin underneath is getting the benefits too. As the balm has more hold, you can finish off by using it to shape the beard into the position you want to maintain. You should now be good to go.
We hope this guide has been helpful, but don't forget that grooming your beard is only one step towards having a face that looks and feels good.
Make sure to give the skin on your face as much or if not more respect than your beard. One day you might decide to lose the beard, but the skin is there for life.
For more information on how to look after your manly skin visit our skin care for men blog.