Beard balm is a facial hair styling product that softens your mustache and beard and makes the hair shiny. It contains different ingredients that help make facial hair soft and less frizzy.
In addition, the best beard balm in the market helps with styling your beard and mustache. Unlike beard oil, beard balm is thicker and gives enough hold to keep your beard and mustache in place. If you do not like having stray strands, you need to use beard balm.
Table Of Contents
- Best Beard Balms
- 7 Best Beard Balms Reviewed
- What to Look for in Best Beard Balms
- Beard Balm vs. Beard Oil
- FAQ About Best Beard Balms
Best Beard Balms
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For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.
7 Best Beard Balms Reviewed
Best Overall Beard Balm
Since it hit the market, we’ve regularly used Beardoholic Leave-in Conditioner and Beard Balm in our barbershop. We determined through our tests that where other beard balms fail to deliver (and you have to get other balms to cover for the things missing), this guy has it all.
I might sound biased, but we did make Beardoholic balm to be an all-in-one solution.
After doing extensive research and seeing what other balms miss, we created a product that fills in all the gaps while keeping the things bearded guys love in other balms.
We tested it in the barbershop on our long-term clients and 9/10 clients said they love the strong hold it provides, how lightweight and non-greasy it feels and how easily it absorbs. Another thing they reported is that beard itch and beardruff are completely gone within days.
As you know, I’m a big fan of natural, high-end ingredients and that’s what this balm offers. Sure, it’s stored in a classic 2 oz tin, but it can last for months if you don’t overdo it since a little goes a long way.
We can argue on the orange scent. Based on our observations, some like it, some not so much, but fresh, citrusy balms are always my go-to and it seems most of my clients feel the same. Matter of preference, I guess.
Softening and moisturizing ability, hold and absorption are the favorite things among buyers. Some men would prefer the smell to be stronger or unscented, so we’re working on that in the future.
Best Softener Beard Balm
We’ve been using the Honest Amish Beard Balm in our salon for all our customers with rough, scraggly beards for years. I’ve tried testing some other balm options out there, but none so far has managed to make a beard so soft as this one.
Our team discovered through using this product that there is less beard dandruff after using it on our repeated customers’ beards two to three times. So yeah, it’s my go-to resource for coarse facial hair.
I love how it also conditions and nourishes the skin beneath the beard. The one thing I appreciate the most about it is the all-natural ingredients. You don’t see this every day, even with the balms that claim to be all-natural. This one delivers, though.
However, I always ask the client if he’s allergic to nuts. Why? Because this balm has nuts in it, so I use it as an alternative in that case. It would be good to have an option without the nuts since the balm ticks all the other boxes.
Based on our firsthand experience, I think one thing that might be improved is the consistency since it’s thin, which makes it a little bit challenging to spread across the beard evenly. It comes in a 2 oz tin, which is a bit on the smaller side since you need to use a lot of the product due to its consistency.
The scent is something between licorice and anise, whether you like it or not. All in all, as said, it’s my go-to balm in most cases.
The favorite thing almost all the customers’ report is how soft their beard is after using the Honest Amish balm. Next is its ability to remove beard itch and dandruff quickly after only a few applications.
This is something we notice in our clients too. Some guys don’t like the anise scent, which is overpowering and tends to linger for quite a while. Also, even though it’s very thin, some report it tends to feel greasy and not absorb well into the beard.
Disclaimer: This might be due to the amount used since we haven’t received the same complaints in our barbershop.
Best Absorption Beard Balm
When you apply the balm to your mane, you want it to soak into every strand to moisturize the roots and face skin. This helps eliminate beardruff and dreaded itchiness.
And that’s exactly what the Viking Revolution Beard Balm does, which is why we specifically like to use it on clients with long beards.
We have found from this product that it lasts for ages, even though one tin is only 2 oz. We use about a pea-size (more or less) for every client’s beard and it’s still more than enough to cover all of it. The consistency is uniform; it melts quickly and doesn’t feel greasy on hands or strands afterward.
That’s a 5-star feature in our books (and in our long, bushy beards clients’ books since they’ve been raving about this).
Not every day do you find a balm with the highest-quality, all-natural ingredients that absorb so easily yet don’t make your beard look shiny like the Viking Revolution. I might sound picky, but I also love it when I can quickly get the product’s content out of the tin.
With the vast and shallow tin, this balm delivers in that compartment too. While I’d prefer the mango smell to last a little longer, our clients who are sensitive to fragrances love that the scent goes away after only a few minutes. A matter of personal preference, I guess.
With so many cool features and benefits (and an affordable price), we’re a bit disappointed by the weak hold of this balm. Our findings show that it might not be suitable for wild, scruffy beards just because of this, which is a shave since it delivers on every other end.
Just like us, bearded guys love the smell and affordability of this balm. Another praised feature is the absorption and the fact that it doesn’t make a beard look shiny or greasy.
However, quite a few report that it doesn’t help much in softening the beard or managing the very coarse, stray strands.
Best Ingredients Beard Balm
Not every day do you run into a beard balm with superior hold and shaping powers like Smooth Viking Beard Balm. This is one of the reasons why we don’t only use it in our barbershop, it’s also the reason why I personally use it when I want my beard to look a certain way.
Up to 87% of our clients report that it also makes their beard soft and moisturized and well-nourished the whole day.
How can it not with such a combination of potent, natural ingredients like sweet almond, jojoba, argan, sunflower and pumpkin seed oil, shea butter and vitamin E? Since it has a thick consistency and you only need a small amount, 2 oz tin lasts for a few months.
After conducting experiments with it, I’ve noticed you need to be really careful with the application, though, since it tends to leave a slightly greasy residue, which I’m not a fan of and neither are most of my clients.
I usually don’t like to comment on the scent since it’s mostly a matter of personal preference, but this balm could have a much better and longer-lasting smell.
Easy to absorb and strong hold seems to be the most common praises this balm receives from customers. On another note, some buyers claim it smells bad after only a few minutes. Many of them also dislike the greasy residue after the application.
Best Scent Beard Balm
Rocky Mountain Cedarwood Beard Balm was actually recommended to me by one of our long-term clients with one of the best, longest and thickest beards, so I had to order a few tins to test it out. After putting it to the test, it turned out that 7 out of 10 of them liked it.
What they particularly liked? The scent. The hold. The fact that it’s easy to absorb. What did I like the most? The eight powerful, all-natural and top-notch ingredients. It doesn’t leave a greasy or oily residue and doesn’t cause that weigh-down feeling.
We can argue on the hold since I like it a bit stronger. A mix of cedarwood and eucalyptus scent is light, not too overpowering, but not entirely my cup of tea if you’re clumsy (like me on the busiest barbershop days), you’ll like the nice little detail in the form of a screw-top lid.
This allows the balm and tin in which it is stored to never go to waste, accidentally open or get damaged. Drawing from our experience, it doesn’t last long due to its consistency and 2 oz tin.
Most buyers like the lightweight cedarwood scent that is the strongest at first and dissipates quickly. Others dislike this very same feature. It’s also very popular among guys who don’t like oily or heavy products in their beards.
The fact that it melts easily and ease of application are two other praised benefits. Among the many reviews, you’ll discover that the Rocky Mountain balm doesn’t do really well in getting rid of beard dandruff.
The texture combined with the small tin is another thing customers don’t really like.
Best Value for the Money
In the early days of our barbershop, I was searching for a quality beard balm that combines quality ingredients, melts and spreads easily and provides value for the money.
After trying out this product, I found all 3 of these things in the Prophet and Tools Beard Balm and it has since been the balm we regularly use in the barbershop.
Where all other balms contain only 2 oz, this one is 60gr. Where all other balms’ effects dissipate after a few hours, this one provides full coverage for up to 12 hours, so you only need to apply it once a day.
We usually use it on clients who need their beard to look a certain way for a special occasion since you apply it once and don’t think about it.
We’ve tested it on clients of all ethnicities and in 99% of situations, it made their beards neater and fuller looking and eliminated irritation, split ends and dandruff. Not to mention it didn’t leave yellow stains even on white beards.
Our analysis of this product revealed that when you rub it between the fingers, it’ll melt exceptionally fast and become crystal white, blending with your facial hair’s color without staining the strands. Now, you don’t see that every day.
When a new client walks into the barbershop, Prophet and Tools balm is what I like to use and I always ask for their feedback. So far, we had only a handful of guys who didn’t like its citrus scent, the others loved it.
Also, we’ll often hear: ‘It’s so lightweight, I hardly even notice it’s there, yet my beard looks amazing.’ It sure does.
On a side note, it contains nuts, so ensure you don’t have nut allergies before applying.
The favorite things amongst buyers are the subtle citrusy scent and how easily it melts and absorbs into the beard. On a side note, some argue this balm’s hold isn’t very strong.
Best Hold Beard Balm
If you have a beard, you know about the Honest Amish Heavy Duty Beard Balm, arguably the most well-known balm on the market.
That’s why it also holds a special place on the shelves in our barbershop.
Clients have asked for this balm to be used on their precious mane. We can’t argue about how expertly softens, tames and shapes the beard.
It contains the finest organic oils and butter, so no wonder (but also nuts, so make sure you’re not allergic before you get this one).
I also love using it on my beard because it provides good everyday hold without being stiff or too greasy (if you don’t use it too much). Been there, done that and it made my beard greasy, but I can’t blame it on the balm I overapplied.
Since then, I’ve been using the right amount and the 2 oz tin should last you for well over a month. You can thank the thick consistency for that. This enables it to soak up pretty quickly.
If you want a thicker-looking beard with no itch and flakes, get this balm since it helps with this after only 2 uses. You’ll probably like the fresh citrus scent that goes away rather quickly. I know my clients do.
With one of the best ratings in the beard balm category, the Honest Amish Heavy Duty version is loved amongst customers due to its ability to melt and spread easily, its subtle citrus scent and the fact that it doesn’t make a beard look and feel stiff or greasy.
A few complaints state that it became too dry or oily over the years and caused irritation to some men (might be due to an allergy to nuts or sensitivity, but who knows).
What to Look for in Best Beard Balms
As per our expertise, here are the things you should look for when shopping for best beard balms:
The ingredients are the most important thing you need to check before purchasing beard oil, balm, and wax. Ensure that the beard balm you get does not cause allergic reactions or cause blemishes on your skin.
In addition, choose beard balms that contain your choice of ingredients. For instance, would you rather have a beard balm that contains coconut oil or beeswax?
Consider your skin’s sensitivity as well. If you are prone to acne outbreaks, then it will be better to choose a beard balm that contains lighter ingredients so it will not clog up your pores.
You should also consider the length and texture of your beard. If you have thick and scraggly facial hair, you will need to use beard balm that is a bit thick, ideally one containing beeswax. This type of beard balm provides that extra hold you need to keep your whiskers tamed.
On the other hand, if you have thin facial hair that’s prone to breaking, you will need a beard balm that’s a bit milder. Also, choose a product that contains vitamins that promote the growth of stronger hair strands and strengthen the existing hair.
A good beard balm seals in the moisture inside the strands of facial hair. If this is the first time you will be using beard balm, your facial hair is likely already damaged. This means you will need a beard balm that both repairs the strands and seals in moisture to prevent further damage.
Do you like to style your beard and mustache? Do you like to curl your mustache to a handlebar style? Then you need a beard balm with a strong hold to keep its shape.
Meanwhile, you can use a lighter beard balm if you want a rather loose facial hairstyle. Typically, beard balms that contain beeswax provide a rather hard hold, while those with cocoa butter keep the beard soft.
You will only be using beard balms quite sparingly, so you do not need to buy the biggest tin of it that you can find. Even a small tin of the stuff can last for a few months.
If you are still looking for a brand of beard balm that you like, you should not purchase the largest tins. If you can get small tins or, better yet, sample packs, you do not have to spend a lot of money on something that you won’t like.
Beard balms do not have much in terms of scent options. The most common scent of beard balms is sandalwood, which smells nice. However, not all men like sandalwood. If you are one of them, you will have a rather hard time finding a beard balm with a scent you like.
Aside from sandalwood, some of the beard balm scents that you might come across include:
As you can see, most beard balm scents are pretty manly. If you are not into those kinds of scents, you can always choose the unscented brands.
Softening and Moisturizing Abilities
One of the hardest parts of growing facial hair is dealing with the itch caused by the coarse hair strands and dry skin. You must use beard balm to moisturize the hair and the skin underneath the facial hair. When the hair and skin are moisturized, it will prevent beard itch and get rid of beard dandruff.
In addition, a good beard balm should contain ingredients to soften the beard. Some of the ingredients that you should look for in a beard balm to soften the hair include:
- Olive oil
- Argan oil
- Aloe vera
Beard balm can be pretty expensive. High-quality beard balms can set you back $10 to $25 per 2 ounces. Beard balms are so costly because the ingredients used to make them are quite pricey. For instance, pure sandalwood essential oil is one of the most expensive, selling at nearly $500 an ounce.
You can still find cheap beard balms online, running $5 to $10 for a small tin. However, they might not provide quite the same amount of benefits as the ones that cost a lot more. In addition, they might contain rather harsh ingredients that might cause rashes and blemishes on your skin.
Beard Balm vs. Beard Oil
Although both products provide nearly the same benefits, there are several significant beard balm and oil differences.
Beard oil, because it is thinner, is more readily absorbed by the hair and skin. This is why most beard oil does not even leave an oily residue on the facial hair and skin. Even the beard oils that use rather heavy carrier oils, like coconut oil, seem to evaporate just a few minutes after application.
On the other hand, Beard balm is much more viscous since its main ingredients are usually beeswax, cocoa butter, and other hardened oils. Because beard balm is thicker, it takes longer to get absorbed by the facial hair, giving it a kind of slow-release mechanism.
This means that because it stays on the hair’s surface longer, the balm’s nutrients slowly seep into each strand.
Even though the delivery of nutrients from beard balms is quite slow, it is more effective because it makes it easier for the hair to absorb said nutrients. In addition, because beard balm tends to stay on your facial hair longer, it also acts as a styling agent. If you want to tame a frizzy beard, you should use beard balm.
FAQ About Best Beard Balms
When to use beard balm?
The best time to apply beard balm is right after you step out of the shower. Ideally, you should wash your beard with proper beard shampoo and then towel-dry before applying the beard balm.
You can also apply it as often as you want throughout the day. However, I do find that it is better to use beard balm once every morning before going to work. You may also apply it again at night, right after your hot shower before bed.
How long does a beard balm tin last?
Typically, beard balms come in 2-ounce tin cans. Since you will only be using a very small amount of beard balm per application, that small can likely last for more than two months if you have an average-length beard. If your facial hair is just around an inch long, that same 2-ounce tin of beard oil can probably last four to six months.
Why should I choose a balm rather than a beard moisturizer?
Ideally, you should use both these facial hair care products as they provide plenty of benefits. However, if you have a somewhat limited budget, I suggest you buy the beard balm first and then consider buying beard moisturizers later.
This is because beard balm can also help moisturize your facial hair. Despite the fact that it is not quite to the same extent as actual beard softener and moisturizer, the amount of moisturizing you will receive from beard balm is still quite enough.
You should get beard balm first because you can also use it as a styling aid for your beard and mustache.
How often do I need to use beard balm?
Ideally, using beard balm at least once a day would be best. This will ensure your beard receives enough vitamins and nutrients to strengthen each strand and eliminate beard split ends.
You will notice a significant improvement in your beard in just a few days’ use. This will also help train your beard and make the strands grow similarly.
Are all beard balms vegan-friendly?
Unfortunately not. Right off the bat, most beard balms use beeswax as their base. Other common ingredients in beard balm include collagen (from cows) and lanolin (from sheep). However, plenty of vegan-friendly options out there do not contain animal products. Check the label to see if they are vegan-friendly, or read through the ingredients list.
Do I need to spend a fortune to get good beard balm?
Aside from making homemade beard balm, which can also get quite expensive, you do need to spend a bit more money for good beard balm. As mentioned earlier, high-quality beard balm comes with a premium price tag.
However, you might stumble upon a bargain if you shop around and research by comparing beard balm and butter. Sadly though, if you want to get the most benefits from your purchase, you will need to spend upwards of $10 for a 2-ounce tin of beard balm.
Anthony Giannotti is a senior writer and editor for Beardoholic and a licensed barber for more than 13 years. He owns 3 barbershops and has his own hair care product line that is sold in barbershops worldwide. Known for his impeccable technique and skills, Anthony is an expert in hair and beard care and he knows the best products and tools to get rid of all beard problems and have an amazing beard.