Scientists believe that males in prehistoric times grew their facial hair for warmth, protection, and intimidation. Today, a lot of men sport a beard as a symbol of fashion. The reasons why men grow their beards may vary, but one thing’s clear. Facial hair has always been a serious business.
Despite the popularity of beards, the maintenance work necessary to keep one and the importance of beard care products don’t come up nearly as often as they should. Whether it’s still in the scruffy early stage or already a full beard, every man should learn to tame their wild facial hair. There are several ways to do this, but a beard conditioner is the most effective solution to prevent it from becoming harsh and scratchy.
Table Of Contents
- What Is a Beard Conditioner
- Benefits of Using a Beard Conditioner
- How Does Beard Conditioner Work
- Pros and Cons of Using Beard Conditioner
- Types of Beard Conditioners
- How to Choose the Best Beard Conditioner
- How to Use a Beard Conditioner
- Beard Conditioner vs Similar Products
- Does More Spending Mean More Quality
- Dos and Don’ts With a Beard Conditioner
- FAQ About Beard Conditioner
What Is a Beard Conditioner
A beard conditioner is somewhat similar to the regular conditioner used for the hair on your head. However, this wash-out product is specially formulated for facial hairs. You use this in the shower after cleansing your beard or mustache. It contains ingredients that help you hydrate, soften, and soothe facial hair. A good beard conditioner also nourishes the skin with nutrients and vitamins to keep it moisturized, supple, and comfortable.
Benefits of Using a Beard Conditioner
Bearded men have plenty of reasons to add these products to their beard-care routine. If you’re still feeling a little hesitant, we’ve listed some of the benefits of using a quality beard softener or conditioner that may help win you over.
Softens the Beard
Even if your beard looks smooth and silky from the outside, it may still feel like a bag of old wire. No one, not even your significant other, would want a stiff, rough, and wiry beard or even find it attractive. Lucky for you, the primary role of these beard conditioners is to leave your fuzz as smooth as a baby’s blanket. Even facial hair that’s thick and coarse will be easier to style, softer to touch, and incredibly tempting for your hands to run in.
Soothes Itchy and Irritated Skin
One of the top culprits that derail men from growing their facial hair into a full beard is the constant itching it brings. That’s why a lot of them invest more in high-quality razors, a premium shaving brush, stainless steel shaving bowls, and even the world’s best aftershave than facial hair care products. But it’s normal to experience itchy skin during the first weeks when those new sharp hairs break free from your skin’s surface and irritate it.
Even if you already have a full beard, your skin may still feel uncomfortable, especially when you have dry and wiry scruff scratching and irritating it. Failing to moisturize and condition will also make the skin underneath dry, leading to skin irritation, itchiness, and even dandruff. A beard conditioner helps prevent all these issues by making your hair and skin moisturized, supple, and softer.
Detangles and Straightens Hair
Although a comb will keep your mustache well-groomed, it may not be enough to detangle curly and coarse bed beards without hurting yourself. You will have to soften it all first if you want to get through those complicated knots and tangles. A good beard conditioner coats your hair with anti-tangling agents that prevent it from looking like medusa’s head and allow you to pass a comb or brush on your beard pain-free.
Hydrates and Nourishes Both Skin and Hair
The great thing about a beard conditioner is that it hydrates and nourishes facial hair and the skin underneath. Keep in mind that not all beard shampoo is good because some can strip away the natural oil from your beard. A conditioner made specifically for beards doesn’t do this. Instead, it locks in moisture for a healthier and more comfortable beard and skin.
Removes Everyday Pollutants
Much like the hair on top of your head, your beard is constantly exposed to the environment around you. From dust particles around your home to the car exhaust outside, all kinds of pollutants stick in your beard. Practicing a daily beard-care routine will help cleanse all the dirt and debris picked up by your facial hair.
Using a beard shampoo and conditioner may also help remove strong holding hair clay, gel, and other hair styling products. But, keep in mind that it may be slightly tricky to remove since a hair pomade has a waxy consistency, unlike the others.
How Does Beard Conditioner Work
A beard conditioner works the same way as a hair conditioner. The difference is that this facial hair care product features ingredients suitable for facial hair and the sensitive skin underneath it. As its name suggests, this hair-care product doesn’t cleanse your beard but rather conditions each follicle.
Under the microscope, your beard strands may seem a bit rough and flaky-looking. These scales or flakes are all dead skin cells overlapping to form a cuticle that protects the fragile inner layer of your facial hair. A beard conditioner works by covering these tiny cells, making your facial hair strands smoother and shinier. It makes your beard healthier, less prone to split ends, and easier to style.
Pros and Cons of Using Beard Conditioner
- Beard conditioners soften tough, rough, and wiry facial hairs.
- It nourishes and moisturizes the strands and skin, thereby eliminating dryness and irritation.
- A beard conditioner gives your facial hair a healthy shine.
- It makes your beard softer and easier to comb and style.
- A good beard conditioner also repairs damaged strands, prevents split ends, and reduces irritation and breakouts.
- Some beard conditioners can clog pores and cause acne breakouts.
- Some may also feel uncomfortable, weighty, and groggy because their formula tends to be quite heavy.
Types of Beard Conditioners
This beard conditioner comes in the same kind of 1 to 2-oz. tin container as a beard wax or balm. That’s why they’re often confused with each other. However, a leave-in conditioner has a thinner consistency than a beard balm or wax. As the name suggests, you can apply this conditioner after showering or cleaning your face and leave it in. You don’t rinse it out.
A classic beard conditioner is used the same way as a regular hair conditioner. It also usually has a beard shampoo to go along with it. So after you cleanse your beard with the shampoo, you apply the conditioner, wait for a few minutes, then rinse it out.
Instead of buying two separate products to wash and condition your beard, you can opt for a 2-in-1 beard conditioner. This double-duty facial hair care solution is a beard wash with conditioning ingredients. Although they can leave your beard and face feeling refreshed and cleansed, they often fail to do their designated jobs well. Some 2-in-1 conditioners are too dry to condition and too oily to wash the beard.
Beard Creams and Lotions
When searching for beard conditioners, results often show beard creams and lotions. These facial hair care products, however, are not formulated the same way as a classic conditioner. Creams and lotions are more of an after-shower regimen best partnered with beard oil. These solutions are also a little less oily than beard balm, giving you a light hold for styling and a more matte finish.
Conditioning Balms and Oils
Beard oil is simply an oil, while the consistency of the beard balm is thicker and heavier, similar to the balms used on chapped lips. Although they are under the same blanket term, conditioning balms and oils also have a different blend and consistency from conditioners. They still moisturize and nourish beards, but they are mainly used for styling purposes.
How to Choose the Best Beard Conditioner
Men with long beards tend to take in much more conditioner. They also require products that contain more natural oils to help keep their long fuzz hydrated and soft. Those with bushy beards may even need to use both a classic and a leave-in conditioner to get the best softening results.
Another rule of thumb when choosing a beard conditioner is to ensure it suits your skin type. If you have any skin problems, you might need to select a beard conditioner formulated for sensitive skin. Otherwise, you can suffer from irritation and itchy skin.
Ingredients and Hydrating Properties
When buying a beard conditioner, you should always check the ingredient list. Many people suffer from irritation because the ingredients included in the product aren’t suitable for their skin type. Many experts recommend going for beard conditioners that have natural ingredients. You should also look for hydration-retaining oils if you have flakey skin. For example, products with argan oil are perfect for men with extremely dry beards. Grapeseed and jojoba can help those with acne-prone skin.
Are you aware that as you age, your facial hair tends to become drier and more brittle? Older men sporting gray beards should consider buying a repairing beard conditioner to give them the extra boost for a soft and healthy-looking fuzz.
Although it’s easy to find unscented beard conditioners in the market, the majority contain some form of fragrance. Some may come in light and fresh fragrance, mild manly scents, or overpowering aromas. Depending on your tastes, you can go with a scented or unscented beard conditioner.
Anti-Dandruff Benefits and Damage Repair
If you’re suffering from dry, itchy skin and beard dandruff, know that there are formulations that contain anti-dandruff ingredients like coconut oil and jojoba oil. These beard conditioners can help rehydrate your skin and hair and eliminate the bacteria that causes these issues. Those suffering from beard damages like split-ends or ingrown hair should consider buying beard conditioners for damage repair.
There’s a vast selection of beard conditioners in the market available in various price ranges. You can choose one depending on your budget. But keep in mind that not all cheap products are always the best choice. As a rule of thumb, always try to balance the price and quality of your facial hair care products.
How to Use a Beard Conditioner
Step 1 – Cleanse your beard
Start by cleansing your facial hair area with shampoo and water. Then, rinse it off and make sure it’s free from all dirt, debris, and pollutants as much as possible.
Step 2 – Apply a small amount of conditioner
Based on the size of your beard, dispense enough beard conditioner into your palms. You can start small to gauge how much you need. Distribute the solution evenly on your hands.
Step 3 – Massage it through your bead
Run your fingers and palms through your facial hair and work the conditioner to the skin beneath. Make sure you coat everything from the top to the tips. Let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes so your hair and skin can absorb all the nutrients and vitamins.
Step 4 – Rinse out completely
Rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Beard Conditioner vs Similar Products
Beard conditioners are often confused with similar facial hair care products like beard balm and oil since they all help moisturize and nourish beards. However, these products have some slight differences in their properties and uses. It’s vital to understand what each one does so you can purchase the product suitable for you.
Beard Conditioner vs Beard Balm
While both softens, moisturizes, and repairs facial hair, there’s a minor difference between a beard conditioner and a beard balm. The first one focuses on improving the condition and health of your hair, while the latter is typically used for styling.
A beard conditioner also penetrates more deeply into the hair follicle, thereby leaving little to no residue, unlike beard balm’s thicker pomade-like consistency. Furthermore, most beard conditioners are classified as wash-out solutions used and rinsed while in the shower. The majority of the balm in the market sells itself as a leave-in product.
Beard Conditioner vs Beard Oil
A beard conditioner generally has more ingredients since it serves to accomplish more: hydrate the hair and skin, repair damage, reduce itchiness and irritation, and even soften the hair. However, beard oils only consist of carrier oil and several essential oils. While beard oils help moisturize your skin, hydrate hair and improve its shine, these don’t change your hair strands in any natural long-term way.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
Products with a higher price tag don’t automatically mean they have better quality than those cheaper than them. If you scour the market, you can find a ton of beard conditioners that offer similar attributes and benefits while being affordable and budget-friendly. You don’t always have to spend more to enjoy the very best. Sometimes, striking a balance between quality and price will give you more satisfaction.
Dos and Don’ts With a Beard Conditioner
- Do cleanse your facial hair with a beard shampoo before using a conditioner.
- Do thoroughly distribute the conditioner throughout your beard.
- Do let your beard absorb the conditioner for a few minutes.
- Don’t apply the bottle directly to your beard.
- Don’t put too much conditioner.
- Don’t forget to rinse out the conditioner thoroughly.
FAQ About Beard Conditioner
Can you use hair conditioner on your beard?
Yes, you can. Both products are formulated to lock in moisture and hydrate skin and hair. However, it’s still more ideal to use a beard conditioner since it is made specifically for the face’s sensitive skin. You’re less likely to experience itch and irritation caused by unsuitable ingredients.
Does conditioner grow a beard?
There’s not enough evidence to support that beard conditioners help stimulate growth. However, these products can protect your beard as it grows by making your hair and skin firm, healthy, and looking great.
Should I use a beard conditioner every day?
No rule says it’s mandatory to condition your beard daily. You can use a beard conditioner as often as you need. If you have a leave-in conditioner, you can use it every day. However, a classic beard conditioner should only be used several times a week, at most two to three times when you’re grooming your beard.
When should you use a beard conditioner?
A beard conditioner is best used in the shower, right after cleansing your facial hair using a beard shampoo. It’s ideal for men who suffer from dry and wiry facial hair, itchy and irritated beard, damaged beard, or beard dandruff.
Are beard softeners and conditioners the same?
Yes, they are. Beard softener and beard conditioner refer to products that nourish facial hair and skin, leave it feeling soft and looking healthy.
Beard conditioners should be a part of every man’s facial hair care regimen. These products can help make your fuzz stronger, softer, healthier, and more manageable. But with a plethora of choices in the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re shopping for beard conditioners. It doesn’t have to be like that. By understanding what beard conditioners are, what each type offers, and the factors you have to consider, you’ll be able to pick the best one that suits your needs.
Photos from: stetsik / depositphotos.com, fizkes / depositphotos.com, Jim_Filim / depositphotos.com, dima_sidelnikov / depositphotos.com and AgaveStudio / depositphotos.com.