Studies have shown that beard balm is one of the most used beard care products and it’ll be even more popular in the next 6 years.
This isn’t surprising at all. Although there are many facial hair care products, not one of them has the same 5-in-1 effect.
It eliminates the itch, treats dandruff, softens your beard, tames unruly hairs and keeps your mane in place all day.
If any beard care product can be called the perfect, magical solution, it’s the balm. But (yes, there is a but), only if you use it properly.
Failing to do so will make your facial hair lifeless, with dry, brittle hairs poking out everywhere.
Not the most attractive look and also a total waste of money and a good beard balm. To avoid all that, we’ll guide you step-by-step through the process of proper beard balm application.
Don’t worry, the steps are rather simple and there are just 6 of them. Let’s start!
Table Of Contents
What Is a Beard Balm
Beard balm can be defined simply as a sort of leave-in conditioner that is used to condition, moisturize as well as soften your beard. It also works to style your facial hair.
Beard balms differ from one brand to another, but a majority of them contain shea butter to soften and moisturize the beard, sweet almond oil to condition, and boost beard growth and a protectant like a beeswax to seal the moisture in.
These ingredients are meant to facilitate proper facial hair grooming and when they are used naturally, there shouldn’t be any negative side effects on either the skin or the beard.
Good quality beard balms will be scented with blends of natural essential oils rather than synthetic ones. Synthetic fragrances, most of the time, contain toxic chemicals that can irritate the skin and alcohol that will leave the beard dry and brittle.
This is why it’s very important that you carefully read the list of ingredients before you commit to buying any beard balm.
Beard balms are easy to apply. In most cases, the only thing you need to do is to take a sizable amount of the balm, rub it between the fingers and apply it to the beard starting from the neck and working your way up.
After that, you need to reverse the direction of the motion and run your fingers from top to bottom, ensuring that you spread the balm to every hair root to nourish them and facilitate growth.
It is often recommended that you apply beard balm after washing and drying the beard. When applied correctly as well as regularly, beard balm should help the beard stay strong, healthy, and give it shine while promoting healthy growth.
Benefits of Using Beard Balm
- Strong hold that lasts all day long
- Gets rid of beard itch and beardruff completely
- Doesn’t make your beard feel greasy
- Entirely natural and organic ingredients with a pleasant scent
- Some men would prefer the smell to be a bit stronger
But before we get into the step-by-step, let’s clarify how exactly does a metal tin full of wax can make your beard healthier?
Our skin produces natural oils called sebum, to remain naturally moisturized. When your skin produces too much sebum, you get acne and oily skin – we’ve all been there in our teen years.
But when you have a beard, the hairs become a bit of a sebum hog, causing the surrounding skin to become dry, itchy and flakey. When you have a beard, your sebaceous glands need help to keep your skin from drying out.
That’s where beard balm can help – using a combination of hydrating oils and butters, the balm replenishes the skin, allowing you to grow your beard as long and wild as you’d like without any of the annoying side effects.
How Does Beard Balm Work
To understand how beard balm works, it’s important to understand the importance of including it in your beard grooming routine. Beard balms often contain ingredients that help nourish, condition, and moisturize the beard while promoting healthy growth at the same time.
Beard balm is a leave-in conditioner for your beard that works to soften the beard when used regularly. They also help to get rid of any tangles that may develop in your beard.
Your skin will naturally produce sebum oil, but when the natural supply of this oil is depleted, dandruff develops.
Beard balm contains carrier oils and butter that are designed to resemble and mimic sebum oil, which helps to moisturize the beard and prevent dandruff from appearing.
Just like conditioner and beard oil, beard balm also works to prevent beard itch. It is also used to treat beard dandruff that may result from sensitive and dry skin by locking the moisture in.
While ‘hold’ is not the selling point of beard balms, the product can be used to keep stray hairs at bay.
Thanks to beeswax that is often a common ingredient on all beard balms, you can tame stray hairs and help hold a style in place though the hold is not as strong as when you use beard wax.
Finally, beard balms can be used to detangle your beard. If you have a long and full beard, then knots and tangles are often the order of the day.
You can use beard balm to soften as well as moisten the beard, which removes and tangles and knots. As a result, whenever you run a beard comb or brush through the beard, it will not feel brittle and will not get tangled up.
Beard Balm Ingredients
Beard balms, as mentioned earlier, differ from one brand to another, but they all contain certain common ingredients that are meant to condition, moisturize, nourish and boost beard growth.
These ingredients include beeswax, carrier oils, essential oils, and butter, all serving different purposes in the beard balm.
Beeswax is the common ingredient in every beard balm you will come across regardless of the brand, with the only difference being the amount contained in the balm.
Beeswax, when used in beard balm gives your beard a slight hold though the hold will not be as strong as when you use beard wax. Besides giving your beard a better hold, beeswax also helps to lock in moisture that is given by the other ingredients contained in the balm.
While beeswax in beard balm is used primarily for the hold, butter is used for spreadability. When it comes to butter that is contained in beard balms, it’s not the typical butter that you may have in your fridge.
Rather butter that is used in beard balms is more in the line of cocoa and shea butter, which smell incredible.
Cocoa and shea butter tend to add a few benefits when it comes to beard balms. For one, they are rich in moisture. Second, shea and cocoa butter help to provide a sufficient amount of moisture that you need for your beard.
This is very important, especially if you happen to live in areas that experience a dry and cooler climate. In such a case, the butter that is contained in beard balm helps to maintain a healthy-looking beard.
However, perhaps the most important benefit of butter in beard balm is that shea and cocoa butter help to improve the spreadability of the balm.
Simply put, if there was no butter included in beard balms, the application would be difficult because it would take too long for the wax to melt.
Carrier oils are a core ingredient in beard balms. Carrier oils offer more benefits in beard balms that any other ingredient.
They complement the butter used to ensure that your beard remains soft and healthy-looking. Carrier oils come from different types of plants, with the most common being jojoba, sweet almond, and argan.
Also found in beard oils as a core ingredient, carrier oils serve the purpose of nourishing your beard, which explains why some men will just use carrier oils in their beard and nothing else.
If you have sensitive skin, for instance, jojoba oil will work for you since it’s as close to the natural sebum oil that your body produces.
This reduces the chance of getting any allergic reaction, although it is highly recommended that you do an allergy patch test before you apply any new product on your skin.
Another critical ingredient in beard balms is essential oils. Essential oils, in particular, are what give beard balms the scent and provide all the aroma in any quality beard balm.
They range from typical woodsy scents to peppermint and citrus, giving beard balms that incredible scent.
This, however, doesn’t take away from the other ingredients. If you buy beard balm that has shea or cocoa butter, you can still have a scent but as an undertone.
This begs the question as to whether essential oils are more than just scents and the answer is yes. If, for instance, you happen to use a beard balm that has tea tree oil as an essential oil, the balm will not only have a terrific smell, but it will act as a natural antiseptic.
So what does that mean for your facial hair? If you happen to suffer from acne, for instance, tea tree oils can be used to clear up the skin and, at the same time getting rid of dandruff.
Things to Consider Before Applying a Beard Balm
How you use beard oil to maximize on the benefits is dependent on several factors. For one, when you are buying beard balm, it is always a good idea to go with one that contains natural ingredients.
Synthetic ingredients like sealants tend to irritate the skin and damage hair follicles. Beard balms that contain natural ingredients, on the other hand, such as shea butter and beeswax, help hold the beard in place, soften the beard, and reduce irritation.
When you are buying beard balm; therefore, there are certain important factors that you need to consider.
Beard balm tends to be thicker than other beard grooming products, something that you can tell just by looking at the product.
Since it is thicker, in general, beard balm tends to work on thicker and longer beards. For a beard to be considered long, the hair follicles need to be at least 1.5 inches in length.
The reason why beard length is an important consideration is that longer and thicker beards require products that offer a firm hold when applied, which is not to say that beard balm will not be as effective on shorter facial hair.
Beard balm offers a lot of benefits that are offered by beard oil like reliving beard itch and moisturizing the beard. As such, shea butter that is found in most beard balms helps offer a superior hold regardless of the length of your beard.
In general, your go-to product when your beard gets thicker is beard balm so that you can easily tame the stray hairs that are likely to increase in number.
Applying Beard Balm and Oil Together
There has always been a never-ending debate as to whether you are supposed to use beard oil and beard balm together.
Some claim that you should use one or the other but not both at the same time, while others say that a combination of the two products offers more concrete benefits that are hard to ignore.
As such, most of the time, it’s up to you to decide on whether you need to use both at the same time or choose one.
Start by applying beard oil after taking a shower. How much beard oil you apply depends on the thickness as well as the length of your beard, but generally, a few drops should do the trick, although you could always apply more if needed.
Once you have rubbed the beard oil between the fingers and massaged it into the beard, use a high-quality beard comb to distribute the oil.
The bristle of the brush will penetrate every layer of the beard, exfoliating the skin in the process while a comb massages the skin underneath, stimulating better blood circulation.
The next step will involve applying beard balm to the mustache and the beard. Work the beard balm through the beard using your fingers and then use a beard comb or brush to distribute it evenly.
The balm will add moisture and tame any stray hairs while adding a touch of shine. One other way you can use beard balm and oil is to use one in the morning and the other one at bedtime.
Beard balm works well when applied in the morning when your beard is full of unruly hairs. While you can still use beard oil in the morning, you can apply it before you go to bed to keep your beard moisturized and soft.
Beard oil also works well when you are heading out for a date since most beard oils are scented as long as the scent is not so overpowering that it bothers other people.
When to Apply Beard Balm
The main concern when it comes to beard balm is whether there is a right and wrong time to apply the product. In general, no – although most grooming experts recommend using beard balm after getting out of the shower.
You want to gently pat any excess moisture with a towel, but you also need to leave the beard slightly damp since this makes it easy to work the balm into the beard and skin.
When you have gotten rid of excess water in the beard, comb or brush it to remove any knots and tangles as well as any stray hairs that may have fallen out, which is normal, whatever grooming tool you opt for, it’s always a good idea to use a brush that has bristles made of boar’s hair and a handmade comb.
Tools Needed for Beard Balm Application
A beard balm, of course. The type of balm you choose will depend on the amount of hold you want, the type of scent that you prefer, and how much you’re willing to spend.
It’s a real all-rounder with a light, pleasant and mild scent of fresh orange that won’t break the bank. Not to mention, it’s a safe option for all beard types and lengths.
All beard balms are made up of beeswax, butter and a combination of oils.
The wax is what gives the balm its hold – don’t expect to be able to shape your beard into a Ferris wheel or anything crazy, but it will help keep your flyaways down. The butter, usually shea or coconut oil, is what moisturizes your beard.
Coconut oil products, on the other hand, tend to make your beard look shinier. For this reason, many prefer the more matte look that shea butter gives.
Oils, like sweet almond oil and jojoba, contain vitamins that improve your beard health and nourish your skin.
The most prevalent of these, vitamin E, is known to reduce inflammation and promote hair growth. Additional oils, like lavender and pine, are added for scent.
Comb or Brush (or both)
Which is better, a comb or a brush? It mostly depends on the length of your beard, but it doesn’t hurt to have one of each either.
Combs are recommended for detangling longer beards, while brushes do the trick for smoothing out shorter beards. Combs can be one of three materials – plastic, metal, or wood. Plastic combs are the cheapest, but they can also create static and give you a frizzy beard.
Metal combs are a bit better and look badass, but they can still snag and cause split ends. Wooden combs are typically the best for having them in a beard grooming kit – they’re gentle on hair and static-free.
If you don’t know what type of brush to choose or which is the best beard brush, bristle brushes are one of the most universally liked options. Usually made from boar hair, bristle brushes are gentle on your skin and hair.
Plus, they even help spread the balm or oil you’ve just applied evenly throughout. More than anything, though, they simply feel like a mini massage.
This one seems a bit obvious, but you shouldn’t attempt to style your beard without one – trust us.
It’s best to use a bathroom mirror, but that doesn’t stop many from using their car’s rearview mirror on the way to work most of the time.
How to Use Beard Balm
Step 1 – Take a shower
Clean your beard. While it isn’t recommended that you wash your beard with shampoo every single day, you should still be rinsing your beard with warm water every morning and every night.
This gives you a clean canvas to work with and ensures you’re not gunking up your beard with too many oils, while still retaining the skin’s natural moisture.
It’s important to dry your beard thoroughly before applying beard balm so that the hair and skin can absorb it properly. Don’t use hair shampoo on your beard – they’re two very different types of hair.
While you may shampoo your hair every day, your beard is much more prone to drying out and should only be washed once or twice a week.
Step 2 – Rub a small amount of balm into your hands
A little goes a long way, so don’t overdo it and risk wasting product – besides, you can always add more as you go.
Use the back of your nail to scrape up a dime-sized amount of balm and rub it between your hands until you feel it melt and soften.
Don’t rub the balm between your fingers – it’ll make washing the oil off of your hands much more difficult when you’re done.
Step 3 – Work the balm into the beard
Work the balm into your beard, starting at your neck, moving your hands upwards toward your chin. Scrape up some more balm if parts of your beard are still dry.
Once the bottom portion of your beard is thoroughly moisturized, work the balm into your sideburns and work your way down.
Don’t just apply the balm to the surface of your beard – massage it into your skin. A beard is only as healthy as the skin it grows from.
Plus, massaging your skin can help stimulate your hair follicles, potentially helping your beard grow faster.
Step 4 – Style your beard with a comb or brush
Use your desired comb or brush to style your beard to your liking. While a balm won’t give you an extra-strong hold like a gel or pomade would, it does offer more control than oil or just plain water.
Step 5 – Rinse and repeat (literally)
Before you go to bed at night, rinse out the oil in your beard with warm water. When you wake up, do the whole thing over again.
Unlike shampoo, beard balm can and should be applied every day. You’ll notice that your beard becomes softer gradually.
A lot of men mistakenly believe that having a beard is easier than shaving every day, but it takes just as much work to maintain it properly.
Beard Balm vs Similar Products
When it comes to beard grooming, there are a variety of products that you can use from beard balm, oil to waxes that handle everything from cleaning the beard to providing a firm hold when styling.
Beard balm, beard oil, and beard wax tend to serve the same purposes, but they are different products.
Beard balm is often described as the love child of bear oil and beard wax. The main reason why that is the case is that the beard balm combines the conditioning ingredients of beard oil with the hold that only wax provides.
In short, beard balm is more like putting beard oil and wax in one container and mixing them. Most beard balms include ingredients such as beeswax and butter, mostly cocoa and shea butter.
It has the same consistency of light hair wax and lip balm and comes in a paste that is easy to shape with your hands as well as apply to the beard.
The beard balm’s list of ingredients also includes carrier oils and essential oils, which explains its similarity to beard oil.
However, while beard oil moisturizes and conditions the beard, beard balm has the additional benefit of helping hold the beard in place when styling.
Beeswax is the ingredient that is responsible for this and helps the balm remain in a solid-state while providing a bit of hold that sets beard balms apart.
However, not to be confused with beard wax, beard balm doesn’t have the same hold as beard wax, but it can also be used to tame unruly hairs that tend to stick out when styling the beard.
In such a case, the more beeswax that is contained in beard balm, the stronger the hold it will provide. Besides, beeswax helps hold in moisture, which is important when your beard gets longer and the follicles deplete the sebum oil that is produced by your skin.
The butter that is contained in beard balms helps provide that much-needed moisture to the beard and the skin underneath, which also makes it easy to spread the beard.
Shea butter, for example, helps to reduce wrinkles while also softening the beard, which results in less irritation, itching, and dry skin.
Cocoa butter serves the same purpose of moisturizing and healing irritated skin. Aloe vera is also included in beard balms to help hydrate the skin and heal any irritation.
According to a majority of grooming experts, beard balm works best on thicker and longer beards, although you can still use it on shorter beards for its moisturizing properties.
The main difference between beard balm and beard oil is that beard oil doesn’t provide the kind of hold that the former provides.
Rather, it nourishes the beard while making it softer and smooth to the touch. Quality beard oil will sink deeply into the hair follicles to the roots and the skin underneath.
When you experience beard itch, whether as a result of dry and irritated skin or because you are just starting to grow a beard, beard oil is the go-to product.
Beard oil will also work well when you want to smooth your beard and tame any unruly hairs. Just like beard balm, beard oil contains essential oils as well as carrier oils to help maintain a healthy-looking beard.
Essential oils in beard oil provide nutrients and minerals that are necessary for a healthy beard and provide the scent that is found in such oils. Carrier oils, on the other hand, handle the heavy lifting of softening and moisturizing the beard.
Beard oils differ in terms of scents depending on the ingredients used. Be very careful with the amount of beard oil that you apply since too much of it will result in a greasy looking beard, which is the last thing you want.
Unlike beard balms, beard oil works on any length as well as style of beard, although it is more effective on shorter beards.
Beard balms tend to weigh down shorter beards and you may not get value for your money if your beard has just started growing.
While a beard oil offers a lighter feel as well as shine on any beard regardless of the length, beard balm serves the same purpose on longer beards, especially when it comes to providing additional moisture while having that added advantage of providing a firm hold during styling.
One of the better ways of understanding beard wax is by comparing it to hairspray. Hairspray is used to provide a firm hold on the hair and it’s the same way that beard wax works.
Beard wax can also be compared to mustache wax, with both serving the same function of providing a firm hold. As such, beard wax is more often used to style the beard when compared to beard oil and beard balm.
Beard wax ensures that the unruly hairs in your beard don’t fly out of place while ensuring that your beard has a strong enough hold to survive even the strongest of winds.
The main ingredient in beard wax is beeswax in more concentration than what is found in a beard balm.
While beard wax doesn’t provide the moisturizing and conditioning qualities of beard oil, it includes nutrient-rich essential oils as well as moisturizing agents that help prevent beard dryness and itching.
Do’s and Don’ts With a Beard Balm
- Do get a product that contains natural ingredients, especially if you have sensitive skin.
- Do use beard balm in the morning after taking a shower since the pores are open and there will be better absorption.
- Do ensure that the beard oil you get has butter as an ingredient since it makes it easy to work the balm into your beard.
- Do use beard balm on long and thick beards to provide a light hold to keep stray hairs at bay and to maintain your chosen style throughout the day.
- Don’t apply beard balm on a very wet beard since the balm will not be absorbed into the hair follicles and the skin underneath.
FAQ About Using a Beard Balm
How often should you use beard balm?
Beard balm serves the same purpose as beard oil but with the added advantage of providing a firm hold. As such, it works best on longer and thicker beards and should be used at least once a day after taking a shower.
Should you use beard balm at night?
While grooming experts recommend using beard balm in the morning after a shower, if your beard tends to be dry, you can apply beard balm at night to help condition and moisturize the beard. However, the main reason why it works better in the morning is that your pores will be more open after a shower hence better absorption of the balm into the skin.
Where can I get a beard balm?
You can buy bear balm anywhere from local stores as well as beauty shops and not to mention online shops like Amazon and eBay. The only thing you need to check when you are buying is the list of ingredients and go for something that has natural ingredients since there is a lower risk of the product irritating your skin.
Simple enough, right? Hopefully, this little guide has been able to teach a new thing or two about applying beard balm. So, have you been converted to the balm life and want to try some out for yourself?
We know how annoying a dry beard can be, which is why we decided to create this guide with insider tips on how beard balm could be your salvation.
If you get into the habit of moisturizing your beard daily and doing it the correct way, you’re going to notice a huge difference.
At the end of the day, if you have a beard, one of the products that you can’t afford to miss out on is beard balm. One thing that is worth noting is that the texture of your beard is different from that of the hair on your head, which is why special care is required.
The last thing you want is a beard that is too rough or that is full of unruly hairs or worse has dandruff and looks dry. Beard balm helps to nourish, condition as well as moisturize your hair. At the same time, beard balm is important in promoting healthy beard growth.
When you are buying beard balm, consider factors such as the length of your beard and whether or not you will be using it together with beard oil to get value for your money.
How do you style your beard with balm? Or are you more of a beard oil guy? Let us know in the comments below! If you found this guide helpful, don’t forget to pass it along.
Photos from: dmitriykp / depositphotos.com, elenathewise / depositphotos.com, OlgaZakrevskaya / depositphotos.com, simbiothy / depositphotos.com, elenathewise / depositphotos.com and stocco.claudio.libero.it / depositphotos.com.