Beard Oil vs Wax vs Balm

Men’s grooming industry has exploded in the last few years. From beard oils, balms, soaps, shampoos, scissors, shapers and everything in between.

If you’re confused, you’re not alone.

Your beard is your confidence-booster and pride and you want to keep it neat and clean. As a man who loves his beard and wants to give it tender love, care and appreciation it deserves, you probably want only the best for it.

The problem is – you’re not sure what that best is.

The only thing you know is you don’t want to look like a caveman, but you’re perplexed on where to start and which product to get.

With that in mind, we created this guide for you with 3 essential beard care products every bearded man needs to have in his arsenal.

To choose the right one for you needs, you need to know the differences, how and when to use each one of them since they all serve different purposes.

So, beard oil, wax or balm, what’s going to be for you. Read on and find out which one you should pick!

Table Of Contents

Beard Oil

In case you’re wondering why should you use beard oil in the first place, just keep in mind that your beard is no different than your scalp hair when it comes to maintenance.

You have to take care, clean and condition both of them to help them look their best. In fact, facial hair is much coarser than your head hair, which means it actually needs more tender love care from your side.

The longer your beard grows, it will need more care, providing that the natural nutrients your skin provides can’t get to the end of the hairs. That’s where a beard oil jumps in.

This product will hydrate and condition not only your beard but the skin under it too, giving you the one-two punch. By using it regularly, your skin and beard will always be moisturized, in addition to being much softer and enjoyable to touch. The benefits of facial hair oils don’t stop there.

In turn to softening a beard, an oil also eliminates beard itchiness and irritation that follow, especially in the first stages of beard growth when the hairs are very rough to your skin. Over time, you will notice less facial hair split ends and even an increase in beard’s growth and thickness.

What Is Beard Oil

Ever since the New York Times declared beards fashionable, bearded men have been turning heads for years. One of the products that you should use in your facial hair care routine is beard oil. 

Beard oil is a product that serves several benefits with the main ones being hydrating the skin as well as softening and taming facial hair. 

Beard oil is often used in the styling of facial hair and just like with every other product out there, there are so many brands on the market that you have to be careful about what you are buying.

However, the only way to settle on a particular beard oil brand is to try out several and see what works best for you. 

Benefits of Using Beard Oil

Benefits of Using Beard Oil

When it comes to beard oil, there are so many benefits you can reap from this wonderful product that most men have never realized.

In your beard care routine, it is recommended that you don’t skip on beard oil if you are to have a healthy and well-kept looking beard that continues to turn heads. 


This is the main reason for using beard oil in the first place. It hydrates and nourishes facial hair to make it softer and easily manageable. 

On top of that, besides hydrating the hair, beard oil will be able to hydrate the skin underneath. When you start growing a beard, chances are that the hair will absorb a lot of moisture from the skin, leaving it dry and cracked. 

Beard oil replenishes this lost moisture so that you can have healthy skin beneath the beard that is free of dryness and breakage which can lead to all manner of issues including inflammation. 

Prevents Beard Dandruff and Itchiness

The second reason why you should invest in beard oil is to prevent beard itch and dandruff that result from dry and broken skin. Beard dandruff is quite common and is caused by the excessive itching that results in dead skin beneath the hair. 

Using beard oil ensures that the skin underneath the beard is always moisturized creating no room for dandruff and itching.

Tames Unruly Facial Hair

Beard oil is also used in the styling of a beard. Naturally, facial hair will not only grow at different angles but lengths as well. 

Some men choose to style the beard based on the shape of their face which is recommended, while others will allow it to grow. Whatever your style is, using beard oil softens the beard to make it more supple as well as manageable.


A majority of beard oils will be scented such that your beard not only looks good but smells good as well. However, this is all dependent on the essential oils that have been used in the beard oil, which is the reason why you need to pay attention to the ingredients before you buy any beard oil.

Helps Beard Grow

While beard oil is not some magic formula that will boost facial hair growth such that you wake up the next day with a thick and full beard, it does help the beard grow in its own way. 

Beard oil nourishes facial hair, preventing split ends and strengthening hair follicles in the process. For those with patchy facial hair growth, the use of beard oil can promote healthy skin so that hair follicles flourish and there are less ingrown hairs. 

Prevents Inflammation

Skin type differs from one person to another and for those with sensitive skin, the use of beard oil helps in moisturizing the skin preventing irritation that can be caused by harsh cleaning products, and environmental changes. 

Contrary to popular belief, beard oil does not in any way interfere with sebum production, and neither does it clog pores. Rather it nourishes and cleanses the skin especially for those who are prone to acne and breakouts. 

How Does Beard Oil Work

When it comes to beard oil, experts recommend using it first thing in the morning after taking a shower. This is because pores and hair follicles are open hence the beard oil can be absorbed easily into the skin. 

Skincare, especially moisturization and cleansing is very critical if you live in an area that experiences dry and cold weather. A few drops of beard oil work perfectly otherwise you will end up with an extremely shiny beard if you use a lot of it. 

Beard oil works well when you rub it into the beard with your hand and then massage it throughout your hair. If you have a longer beard, then you need to use a comb to ensure that the product reaches all hair as well as the skin. 

Due to the moisturizing oils that are used in beard oils, a few drops as mentioned will do their job of taming any stray strands as well as eliminating dandruff. 

With so many woody and musky essential oils being used in beard oils like sandalwood and cedarwood, beard oil in itself can act as a cologne if you are the kind of man who doesn’t like buying so many products.

Beard Oil Ingredients

Beard Oil Ingredients

All the advantages you get from this product are made possible thanks to its ingredients.

The best beard oils are actually a mix of carrier and essential oils. Carrier oils are the base of the product and the most used ones are jojoba, grape seed, almond, castor oil and vitamin E.

All of them have amazing moisturizing and nourishing properties and are entirely hypoallergenic and natural, which allows them to work wonders on your face skin and beard.

Eucalyptus, tea tree, pinewood, fir needle, sandalwood, cedarwood are some of the most common essential oils used in beard oils.

Most oils include grapeseed, argan and tea tree, with a base of jojoba which is all great! They help in taming and softening the beard while helping in keeping the beardruff away.

Each of them has unique benefits to your facial hair, but they all work together in making your face mane moisturized and smelling irresistible.

There are also unscented facial hair oils that are highly popular among men who like to wear their favorite cologne, while at the same time being at the top of their beard game with the use of beard oil.

For those who prefer that their oil has a manly smell, it’s important to mention that essential oils also work as antiseptics and will clean up your pores and help you get rid of acne and eczema.

When Should I Apply Beard Oil

Fair question, taken into consideration that some men refuse to use oils on their beards because they consider them too greasy. Sure, a facial hair oil can be greasy, but only if you put too much of it.

To clarify – men with shorter beards shouldn’t use more than 2-3 drops of oil, for medium beards that’s 3-4 drops, while 4-5 drops will suffice for a long facial hair.

Most men put the oil on in the morning after washing their facial hair, because the hair follicles and pores are open and easily absorb it.

An optimal number of times to apply the oil into your beard is two times a day – in the morning and before going to bed, but you can do it more often if you prefer so, although it’s not necessary.

Make sure to always shower or at least wash your face before the application process as this will open your pores allowing them to absorb more of the oil.

However, note that your face shouldn’t be too wet because the water can dilute the oil. That being said, it would be ideal that your face is damp rather than soak in water.

How to Choose the Best Beard Oil

A healthy well-kept beard is a product of using only the best of products. When it comes to beard oil, in particular, you need to be very careful when buying it.

When you are starting, you can try out different products until you settle on the one that works for you. However, at the end of the day, here are a few things that you need to consider when you are choosing beard oil. 


When it comes to quality beard oil, it is very important that you pay attention to the list of ingredients. Experts recommend going for beard oils with natural ingredients since these ones tend to be less harsh on the skin and the beard.

There are however other considerations to make like the essential oils and carrier oils contained in the product. 

Oils used in beard oils can either be essential or carrier oils. Carrier oils can be applied directly to the skin and they are included in different products including pain relief and massage products. 

Carrier oils are extracted from nuts or other plants. When they are included in beard oils, they make up the higher percentage of the oil and they include argan, jojoba, coconut, and sweet almond oils. 

The main benefit of carrier oils, when used in beard care products, is to dilute essential oils so that they are suitable for use on any skin type. 

Essential oils, on the other hand, tend to be more concentrated and are too strong to be applied directly to the skin. Common essential oils include peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus. 

Skin and Hair Type

How to Choose the Best Beard Oil

When you are buying beard oil, another thing that you need to consider is your skin as well as hair type so that you can get a product that works for you. 

The skin and hair type is a good enough reason to pay attention to the ingredients. For instance, an oil that can work on a dry beard and skin will not probably work if you have a greasy and oily beard. 

Argan is especially great for use on dry beard since it has moisturizing benefits. for men who have sensitive skin and those prone to acne and breakouts, beard oil that contains jojoba oil will work for you. 

Again, regardless of your skin type, a beard oil that contains natural ingredients will work for anyone but avoid products that have alcohol since it dries the skin and can cause irritation. 

Safety Standards

With so many brands producing beard oil, not all companies produce products that meet the recommended safety standards as well as quality control and since you will be putting this product on your face, you need to be very careful. 

One easy way to know if the company has met these standards is to do some research to find out if they have ISO certificates for instance.  

For those products that are made in European Union countries, you need to check and see if the company is registered with the European Commission cosmetics database. 

The other thing you need to keep in mind is that even when the manufacturer claims that the product is handmade, it doesn’t mean that it is of the highest quality in terms of safety.

Always check for certifications as well as other evidence that a company claiming they produce handmade beard oil meets the safety and quality standards. 

Ease of Application

For a stress-free life, you need to ensure that the oil you buy is easy to apply because this means using it consistently. 

In such a case, go for a beard oil that has a rich texture but is not too heavy at the same time to make application easy and to ensure that the oil can be distributed throughout your beard. 

The container, as well as the cap, contribute to the ease of application of the beard oil also. A bottle that has a dropper is much better when it comes to application and at the same time prevents wastage. 


At the end of the day, your budget determines the beard oil that you buy. As such always be on the lookout for bargains and discounts but ensure that you don’t use price entirely to choose beard oil.

With that in mind, just because it is expensive, doesn’t mean that it is of the highest quality. However, well known and reputable brands that have been in the market for long have more expensive products that you can trust. 


Size is very important when you are buying beard oil because it determines if you will get value for your money. 

A majority of beard oils come in one or two-ounce bottles and the size that you choose comes down to a few things. 

If you are buying beard oil for the first time, you are better off buying a smaller size since you may have to experiment with the amount as well as smell to find the best fit. 

If you end up falling in love with one particular brand, then you can go ahead and buy a larger bottle keeping in mind that bottles have a shelf life that stretches to a year in most cases.

The last thing you want is to buy a large bottle that will expire when you are halfway through it because it will be a waste of money.  

How to Apply Beard Oil

How to Apply Beard Oil

As mentioned earlier, the best time to apply beard oil is immediately after getting out of a shower since your skin is clean and the pores are open enough for the oil to be absorbed.

There are however steps that you need to follow when applying beard oil to ensure that you use the right amount and apply it in the right way. 

Step 1 – Take a shower

Start by washing your beard with a specialized soap made for facial hair. Never apply beard oil when your skin or beard is dirt because it will not work. In such a case, take a shower first to open up the pores for maximum absorption. After cleaning it, dry the beard completely since water prevents the oil from being absorbed. 

Step 2 – Pour 2 to 3 drops in your palms

Beard oil works, when used in moderation since the last thing you need, is to end up with an oily-looking bead because you used too much. Two to three drops spread in your palms and fingers are enough.

Step 3 –  Apply the beard oil

Start by working the oil into the skin ensuring that you spread it onto the beard. It is very important to ensure that the oil gets to the hair roots to keep it strong and healthy. 

Distribute the beard oil evenly by applying it with and across the grain and then brush the palms along the beard sides and the front. 

Bring your hands through the bottom and continue spreading the oil evenly using your fingertips to coat all hairs including the mustache. 

Step 4 – Combing

If you want to distribute the product evenly, you will have to use a boar hairs bristle brush. In addition to spreading the oil uniformly, this type of brush will also make your beard seem much fuller.

As a final touch up and to give your beard the desired shape, use some top quality beard comb. A comb will allow you to style your facial mane any way you like.

You should have a quality beard specific comb. Combing your hair after oiling it comes with a lot of benefits. These benefits include but not limited to preventing ingrown hair, lining up the hair, and keeping unruly stray hairs from getting into your mouth. 

Combing also trains the beard to grow in a particular direction especially for those who are just starting to grow a beard. Lastly, combing is a good way of ensuring that the beard oil is distributed evenly in the hair. 

Beard Wax

Known mainly for its powerful sculpting properties and a thicker consistency than both oil and balm, wax keeps a styled facial hair in place.

Of course, that’s not all it does. As it contains numerous moisturizing agents and essential oils rich in nutrients, the wax will hydrate, nourish and condition your beard as well.

Over time, this product has shown to work the best for men who have long beards because those are usually harder to tame and control.

Nevertheless, having shorter facial hair doesn’t mean you don’t need to use wax. Quite the contrary, you should, if you want to have a manageable beard from the beginning.

Facial hair waxes are suitable for beards of all textures, which only adds to their appeal. They also usually smell nice, but less overwhelming than oils and balms.

Beard Wax

In case you’re debating what is better, beard oil or wax, the answer is both. Beard oil relieves itchiness, eliminates dandruff, speeds up the growth process and more.

Wax is more of a styling product. So, the success formula would be to massage the oil into your facial mane and after that style it in the desired way with wax.

In essence, a wax is the beards equivalent of hairspray, but it’s good for your beard and the environment. Wax is widely used at beard competitions to help sculpt and hold the beard in place.

Wax is great because it helps keep your beard looking nice and strong while keeping it protected from weather elements such as wind and rain.

What Is Beard Wax

Beard wax is often considered the love child of beard oil and it can be described as a waxier version of beard balm.

The ingredients used in beard waxes are no different from those used in beard balms but at the end of the day, beard wax offers a better hold and has more waxes such as beeswax compared to beard balms that have more oils hence less hold. 

Primarily, beard wax is used to style and tame facial hair and should be your go-to product if you want to have a well-kept looking beard. 

Benefits of Using Beard Wax

As mentioned previously, beard wax is used to hold and sculpt the beard in place. It is great since it keeps facial hair looking strong and nice while protecting it from elements such as rain and wind. 

Here are the benefits of using beard oil that you can’t afford to overlook. 

Protection From Elements

Beard wax acts as a coating that helps protect your beard from harmful agents such as dust, rain, wind, and more so that your beard looks good all the time. 

Taming Unruly Hair

Beard oil can be used to manage untamed, unmanageable, and dry beard as well as mustache since waxes have a stronghold that lasts long. 

Styling Agent

Beard wax is also used when styling facial hair to make it look good and attractive. All you need is to apply some wax and because of the stronghold, you can easily style your beard. 

Moisturizes and Nourishes

Since beard wax just like beard oils contains carrier oils and essential oils, applying it helps nourish and moisturize the beard as well as the skin underneath. 

How Does Beard Wax Work

Beard wax is known for its strong sculpting properties as well as a thick consistency that beard balms and oils don’t have and as such, it is mainly used to style facial hair. 

However, that is not the only benefit of using beard wax. Like beard oil, it contains moisturizing agents as well as essential oils that help nourish, hydrate as well as condition the beard. 

Beard wax works quite well for men who have long beards that are hard to control but it also works for short beards as well. 

Waxes are used on all beards regardless of the texture and not to mention they smell good but not as overwhelming as balms and oils. 

Beard wax should be used together with beard oil. This is because beard oil serves its own purposes of eliminating dandruff, itchiness as well as speeding up beard growth. Beard wax, on the other hand, is more of a styling product after beard oil has been applied. 

Beard Wax Ingredients

Typical ingredients for wax include beeswax, coconut oil or shea nut butter and scented oils.

As you can see, based on the ingredients you would assume that the wax is almost the same as the balm. However, that’s not the case because the proportions of the ingredients differ.

In waxes, beeswax is more dominant in the mix, to provide a stronger hold. Also, some of these products also have lanolin. Lanolin is yet another waxy substance that further enhances holding properties of the wax, giving your beard an additional hold.

The best beard wax is, therefore, the one that can hold your beard’s flyaway hairs in place for hours, maybe even the whole day. Make sure to always check the ingredients to ensure there are only natural ingredients included for maximum results.

Beard Wax Ingredients

Good To Know: How To Make Homemade Beard Wax (DIY with Recipes)

How to Choose the Best Beard Wax

When you are buying beard wax, there are certain things that you need to consider so that you can get a product that works well for you. 


The main reason why beard wax is used is to hold the beard in place as well as tame it hence why waxes are often referred to as styling waxes.

As such, it would be in your best interest to go for a product that will provide the best hold when applied but that can be tricky to know especially if you are a beginner. 

The best way to determine the level of hold is to look at the ingredients. A good beard wax should have wax on top of the list of ingredients in higher percentages. 

A wax that contains essential and carrier oils before you see any wax will most likely not have the kind of hold that you are looking for. 


When it comes to ingredients, you want to go with natural ingredients. Pay close attention to the type of ingredients used in the product that you are about to buy to determine if you will be getting value for money. 

Avoid waxes that contain products such as alcohol because it dries the skin and causes itching for those with sensitive skin. Also look out for ingredients such as water, synthetic wax esters, and silicone since manufacturers use these to fill the container in order to increase the profit margins.

A good wax should contain ingredients that will be beneficial to your beard as well as the skin underneath. 


Beard waxes are usually scented with natural essential oils or synthetic fragrances. The amounts that are required to give the wax some aroma are minuscule but it’s an important factor to consider.

For one, you need to decide on whether you want a scented beard wax at all. Since the wax is applied directly under the nose, you need to make this choice. 

Secondly, when essential oils are used, only a few drops are used in a single container but they tend to be powerful as well as extremely volatile. 


Just like with beard oil, the size of the container matters for a few reasons. It determines the value of the product, how long it will last, and the shelf life. 

When you are starting, go for a smaller size to determine what works for you. Beard waxes come in 2 oz tins and others in smaller 1 oz tins. A smaller tin is easier to carry around but it will run out quickly when you use it frequently. 


The last thing that you need to consider when buying beard wax is how much you will be paying for it. A high-quality DIY 1 oz wax will cost around $3 to 5 compared to pre-made waxes of the same size that cost around $15. 

If you don’t want to make your own beard wax, ensure that the wax you buy gives you value for your money. Beard waxes from reputable brands tend to cost more but they are worth it since there is guaranteed quality as well as safety when using. 

How to Apply Beard Wax

How to Apply Beard Wax

Step 1 – Clean the beard

The last thing you want is to apply beard wax on a dirt beard. During the day, your beard collects dust and dirt that can accumulate in the hair blocking the pores in the process especially if you have a longer beard.

A dirty beard is harder to style and not to mention the wax tends to trap dirt in the whiskers. 

Step 2 – Dry the beard

When you have shampooed and rinsed the beard with warm water, dry it completely with a towel before you proceed to apply the wax. 

Step 3 –Comb to untangle it

The next step is to comb the beard. Combing untangles the whiskers making them more manageable while providing a much better surface for the wax. 

Use a beard specific comb and start from the bottom working your way up.

Step 4 – Prepare the wax

Before you apply the wax, you need to soften it first since the fatty acids found in such waxes tend to solidify at room temperature. 

The easiest way to do it is to expose the tin bottom to boiling water for a few minutes but you could also run hot water over the entire tin. 

Step 5 – Apply the wax

Once the wax has softened, you can go ahead and start applying it to your beard. Using your finger, scoop a small amount and rub it between your thumb and forefinger or the palm to soften it further.

Start by applying wax to the beard sides ensuring that you don’t apply too much. Apply small quantities and massage it evenly. Unlike beard oil, you don’t need to apply beard wax all the way down to your skin.

If you have a beard comb, you can use it to distribute the wax evenly throughout the beard. Repeat the process, concentrating on one side at a time. Once you have covered the entire beard, style it in the desired way with a facial hair comb or brush.

Step 6 – Finishing off

Give the wax a little time to dry before you go out. If you have applied too much, you can always wipe out the excess with a dry towel or cloth. 

You can also use a comb to remove the excess. If you are in a hurry, you can use a hairdryer, but if the wax has been applied evenly, there is no use for it.

Beard Balm

As the lovechild of oil and wax, a balm has the conditioning components that help revive your beard with the hold of wax. Like the wax and oil, it comes in many scents, and they’re a little less subtle than the wax because it has oil mixed in.

While balm has the holding elements of wax, it’s not as strong of hold so it’s suggested that balm is best for shorter beards. With a balm, your beard will be more conditioned, moisturized and softer, easier to style and with added volume.

The balm will also give your facial hair the essential nutrients and vitamins that will make both your beard and skin look and feel healthier.

By now, you can tell that these are all the same benefits that facial hair oil also offers. So, why would you get a balm then?

Beard Balm

First of all, because a balm is also a great styling agent that works pretty well in holding bushier and scruffier beards at bay, looking more polished and neat.

This is due to its very thick consistency that is very much different than the texture of the oil. One good thing to remember about this product is that it tends to leave a residue on your fingers if you touch the beard after you apply it.

If you can avoid doing this, that would be great, but we all know how tempting and almost impossible this can sometimes be.

What Is Beard Balm

Beard balm is similar in terms of use to beard oil but the two products are very different. The biggest difference between the two is the ingredients as well as the consistency in which beard balm is a pomade rather than an oil. 

The ingredients vary depending on the manufacturer but most beard balms tend to contain a sealant and a moisturizing agent. 

In terms of moisturizing benefits, shea butter is a popular ingredient in most beard balms. It has great moisturizing properties while at the same time adding volume to the beard. 

Beeswax is used as a sealant and helps to retain moisture. Regardless of the ingredients, you are better off buying a beard balm that is 100 percent natural. 

Benefits of Using a Beard Balm

The benefits of beard balms in most cases are the same as those of beard oils. Here are a few that are worth mentioning;

Prevents Beard Dandruff

One of the main problems that bearded men suffer from is beard dandruff caused by dry skin. While the best defense against dandruff is using beard oil, beard balm can also work wonders.

It works by preventing flakes from forming and ensuring that skin cells don’t die at a high rate by moisturizing the beard and the skin. 

Prevents Itchiness

If you have been growing a beard, you know just how itchy it can get. It’s annoying and it can make you give up on growing a beard in the first place. 

Adding beard balm to your beard care routine will help eliminate any kind of itching that you may experience in the process. 

Protects Against Elements

Like beard oil, beard balm adds protection against elements such as cold, humidity, and excessive sun that can damage the hair fibers. 

Adds Volume

While beard balm will not magically make your beard grow thick and full it contains beeswax as well as tropical hard fats such as cocoa butter that are thick and can add volume as well as weight to your facial hairs. 

Helps in Taming and Styling

When it comes to styling a beard, nothing works better than beard wax since it has more hold. However, quality beard balms contain high amounts of beeswax enough to be used to style the beard. 

If you don’t have beard wax and need to tame the beard, you can apply beard balm and use a beard comb to shape it. 

How Does Beard Balm Work

How Does Beard Balm Work

Since beard balms are thicker than beard oils, they take longer to be absorbed which helps the beard to stay soft for longer. 

If you are the kind that doesn’t like going to all the trouble of styling your beard, you can use beard balm to provide a strong hold. 

This makes beard balm ideal for use on longer, unrulier beards. In most cases, beard oil will leave a matte finish, while beard balms leave a shiner appearance which helps you stand out. Beard balm is best applied to slightly damp hair. 

Beard Balm Ingredients

The most important advice regarding the facial hair balm ingredients is that you should look for the ones that are 100% natural.

Balms are usually made of four essential ingredients. Those are the carrier oils, essential oils, moisturizing agent (usually shea butter) and a sealant (usually beeswax).

Most of the benefits in your product come from the carriers oils, like argan and jojoba oil. These oils make sure that your beard is softer and eliminate beardruff.

There are, of course, other carrier oils, but jojoba and argan are your safest bet as they are similar to your skin’s natural oils and won’t cause any allergic reaction or acne.

Essential oils are the ingredient that gives your balm its unique scent. On the other hand, they sometimes tend to be harsh on the skin.

To avoid this problem, always apply the product on a small skin area first to test whether it will cause you allergies.

The most popular choice for a moisturizing agent is the shea butter, followed by the cocoa butter. Besides their moisturizing qualities, these butters can also add volume to your facial hair.

An ingredient that is often used as the sealant is the beeswax. Beeswax is responsible for retaining the moisture in your facial hair and giving it a slight hold.

How to Choose the Best Beard Balm

When you are buying beard balm, here are a few considerations that you need to make to get something that not only gives you value for your money but works as well. 


When you are buying beard balm, one of the most important things that you need to pay attention to is the hold.

A high-quality beard balm should have a good hold especially if you don’t like styling your beard. The amount of hold will be determined by the percentage of beeswax in the product. 


A good quality beard balm should have certain ingredients that include carrier oils, essential oils, beeswax, and butter. 

Carrier oils are the most important ingredient that you need in a beard balm to hydrate and provide nutrients to the skin as well as the hair to not only reduce itchiness but to soften the beard as well.  

Beeswax is important since it is what gives the balm the hold to ensure that your beard stays in shape throughout the day. 

Beard Type

Beards vary from one person to another. As such, a beard balm that may work for one person, may not necessarily work for you. 

When you are buying beard balm, therefore, go for one that is suited for your hair type. For those with short beards, a beard balm that has a lighter hold will do. 

Additionally, since African American men tend to have denser beards, balms made for black men specifically will work.

Growth Vitamins

Growth vitamins are new features that you need to look for in beard balms. A majority of men desire full and thick beards and there are balms that support just that. 

If you have no problem growing a full beard that is thick, then there is no need to spend more on a balm that has growth vitamins. 

Can You Use Beard Oil and Balm Together

Given the similar ingredients, most men usually ask themselves what to choose – an oil or a balm. Or maybe both?

But is it good for the beard and skin to use both? Of course, it is.

Although both products can make your facial hair softer, a balm tends to keep it that way for much longer because of its thicker consistency and the fact that the beard needs more time to absorb it.

Next, beard oil should be massaged not only in your beard but the skin beneath too. That’s not the case with balm, that should be applied on your beard only.

Can You Use Beard Oil and Balm Together

So, combining a beard balm and oil can be the best solution, given that this way you will take care of both your skin and facial hair at the same time.

The right order of application would be to start with oil, then balm. This should be repeated once every morning and again at night.

How to Apply Beard Balm

Step 1 – Clean your beard

To get the most of a beard balm, you need to clean your face first before you apply. Cleaning your face will not only remove surface grime and dirt but it also removes balm that you may have applied earlier. 

Additionally, hot water will also soften the hair and opens up the poles ensuring that the balm absorbs easily. 

Step 2 – Scoop out a little balm

Place the tin into your palm and then using your thumb, scoop out a thumbnail size amount if you have a short to medium-length beard but adjust the amount if you have a longer and thicker beard. After that, place the scooped out balm into the palm of your hand. 

Step 3 – Rub your hands together

For the best results, use the balm on a slightly damp facial hair, but make sure there isn’t any excess moisture. Rub your hand together in a circular motion to melt the balm to ensure an even application. 

Step 4 – Work the balm into the beard

Rub the balm into the beard making sure that you are rubbing the surface of the skin all the way to the follicle tips. 

It is very important that the balm gets into your skin to nourish as well as moisturize it preventing itching and flaking. 

Once you are sure that you have gotten the balm into your skin, you can then work it to the tip of the beard. 

When applied well, the balm should leave your beard with a light sheen and not feel or look greasy. 

Step 5 – Comb or brush the beard

Once you are satisfied with the application, you can then brush or comb the beard the way you normally do.

I prefer a beard that has oil in it. I can actually run my hands through it and feel how soft the beard is without getting wax or balm residue all over my hands.

And the scents of the oils are fantastically amazing. Don’t get me wrong, wax and balm are both great but I like a softer more silky feel and look. Since beards have become more popular, most of my friends have them now.

When we are getting ready to go out for dinner or a quick drink I am in charge of making their beards look presentable. I usually put the balm or wax in, oil is more of a first thing in the morning kind of thing.

How to Apply Beard Balm

It’s always fun to see how proud they are of their beards after they are styled and look great. If you or someone else is applying the oil, be sure to remember that less is more and don’t overdo it.

All three of these are great beard care products in their own way and hopefully, they will become some of your favorites as they are mine!

Things to Consider When Buying Beard Oil, Wax and Balm

When it comes to beard grooming, beard oil, wax, and balm are a must-have if you are to have a healthy, good looking beard. 

Just like with everything else, before you buy any of these products, there are a few things that you need to consider.  

Beard Thickness

When you are buying beard oil, balm or wax, the thickness of the beard matters because it determines the kind of product that you get as well as the size of the bottle.

For one, if you have a thick beard, it doesn’t make sense buying the 1 oz bottle of beard oil since this doesn’t give you value for your money.

At the same time, if the main reason why you are thinking about trying beard products is to increase the thickness of your beard, then you need beard balm that has growth vitamins for instance. 


When it comes to scents, the main issue of concern is whether to buy a product that has a scent or one that doesn’t.

Beard oils, for instance, contain essential oils hence the reason why they can still be used in place of cologne.

You, however, need to be careful with some essential oils, since they tend to be very powerful and volatile which is the last thing you want in a beard product.

At the end of the day, whether to buy a scented or unscented product is a matter of personal preferences and what you are comfortable with. 

Skin Type

The skin type differs from one person to another. If you have dry skin, for instance, you need a product that has moisturizing properties to prevent dandruff as well as dryness. 

It’s a different case for those who have sensitive skin. If you are in this category, then you really need to pay attention to the ingredients in the product that you buy.

You want to avoid anything that has alcohol since it not only dries out the skin but may cause irritation after use. 

If you have sensitive skin, ensure that you only buy products that are indicated safe for sensitive skin.


Age determines the thickness of the beard. If you are just starting to grow a beard, it doesn’t make sense buying a big bottle of beard oil or a can of beard balm and wax.


The most important factor that you need to consider when you are buying any beard product is the list of ingredients. 

Beard oils and waxes contain almost the same ingredients such as beeswax while beard oils have more carrier oils and essential oils.

The kind of ingredients contained in a certain product will determine whether the product will work for you or not.

At the end of the day however, you are better off sticking to a product that has 100 percent natural ingredients since you are assured that it is safe to use. 

Beard Oil, Wax and Balm Comparison

One of the major concerns for most men is whether you are supposed to use beard oil, wax, and balm at the same time.

Hair Growth

In terms of hair growth, beard balms with growth vitamins are more effective if you are looking to increase the volume of the hair.

Beard wax is mainly used to style the beard and will not increase the volume of the hair. Beard oil on the other hand while it will not boost hair growth instantly, nourishes the skin, preventing any split ends, and strengthening the hair follicles. 


When it comes to hold, beard oil has very little hold and should not be relied on to style a bear which is why it’s mostly used to nourish and moisturize the beard plus the skin beneath. 

Beard wax, on the other hand, contains a high percentage of beeswax which is why it is primarily used to style beards because of the hold.

When it comes to beard balm, while it has hold, it can’t be compared to beard wax. You can, however, use beard balm to maintain that hold if you don’t have beard wax. 


With styling, beard wax and beard oil work best to style the hair. This is because they contain less percentage of oils hence have a stronger hold.

Beard oil, on the other hand, cannot be used for styling since it contains essential oils and carrier oils but it can tame unruly hairs.  

Beard Oil, Wax and Balm Comparison


When it comes to moisturizing properties, beard oil wins in this category. It contains carrier oils that work to nourish the beard as well as the skin underneath.

Beard balm also contains essential oils that are essential in hydrating and providing nutrients to your skin and the hair so as to reduce itchiness. 

Beard wax, on the other hand, is mostly used for styling purposes and doesn’t do anything to moisturize the skin which is why it is not applied to the skin. 

Softening Properties

Any product that contains carrier oils and essential oils has softening properties. As such, beard oils and balms besides moisturizing the beard and skin also soften the hair. Beard wax, while being used for styling mostly, also has softening properties despite the strong hold. 

Hydrating Benefits

Beard oil has the best hydrating properties thanks to the essential oils and carrier oils that are part of the ingredients. At the same time, beard balm is also used to nourish the hair and provide essential nutrients to the hair follicles. 

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

When it comes to beard care products, in some way more spending does mean more quality. For one, products from reputable brands tend to be more expensive but they are worth every dime.

This is because such companies produce products that meet quality standards and that are safe. 

However, there are still less known brands that produce high-quality beard products so instead of being stuck on the price the most important things you need to pay attention to are the ingredients, scent, hold and the size. 

Do’s and Don’ts With Beard Oil, Wax and Balm

  • Do consider the size of the bottle or the can. If you have just started growing a beard you need to test out a few products first, therefore, buy them in small sizes. 
  • Do always check the shelf life of any product that you buy which is usually about a year to ensure that you don’t end up buying something that will go to waste.
  • Do comb the hair as you usually do after applying any beard product.
  • Do ensure that you use a few drops of beard oil for every application to avoid walking around with a shiny and greasy looking beard.
  • Don’t ever neglect the skin underneath the beard when you are applying any products except beard wax.
  • Don’t use beard oil, balm, or wax on a dirty beard. During the day, your skin gets clogged by dirt and grime, and applying any product will only be a waste because it won’t get absorbed. 

FAQ About the Difference Between Beard Oil, Wax And Balm

Can you use beard balm and wax together?

While beard balm works better for shorter beards because it has an attractive appearance, you can use both beard wax and balm together but there are ways to apply them. If you will be using both, you should always start with the balm and follow up with wax for that firm hold you need when you are styling the beard. 

Should you use beard balm and oil together?

Yes, beard balm and beard oil have different uses but they also aid each other. Beard oil is used as a moisturizer and light leave-in conditioner to moisturize the beard so as to make it stronger and aid in growth. Beard balm, on the other hand, can be used to maintain a firm hold when you don’t have a beard wax. 

Are beard balm and mustache wax the same?

Beard wax and mustache wax are almost similar but beard wax tends to be softer than mustache wax. Beard balm, however, is described as the love child of mustache oil and beard oil. 

How much beard oil, wax and balm is enough?

When it comes to how much you should use, it depends on the thickness and length of your beard. However, the rule of thumb is to use one to two drops of beard oil and a thumbprint of beard balm or wax. You can, however, adjust the amount if your beard is longer or thicker. 

How often should you apply beard oil, wax and balm?

Beard oil can be applied at least twice a day since it’s supposed to keep your beard moisturized and looking shiny. Beard balm and beard wax, on the other hand, can be used only once a day depending on the amount of hold. High-quality wax or balm should last you a whole day when applied in the morning after a shower. 


The difference between beard oil, beard wax, and beard balm lies in the ingredients used in each product. However, at the end of the day, they can be used at the same time. Beard oil and balm serves to moisturize the skin while beard wax is used mainly because of its styling properties. What it all comes down to is that you need to buy beard products if you have decided to grow a beard.

Vinnie - Barber

About the author: Vinnie – Barber

Vinnie is one of the members of the Beardoholic writers team. He’s also a barber and hairstylist for 15 years now and he has a kick-ass beard of his own, so he surely knows what makes a magnificent beard and hair and how to achieve them. He’s our go-to guy for all the latest beard and hairstyle trends and he always has a tip or two on how to grow and style a thick beard fast.

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