An Intro to Beard Balm: What It Does and Doesn’t Do


An Intro to Beard Balm

Guess what a bearded man’s best friend is? Beard balm!

“Wait, what? I have to get a shampoo, beard oil, shavers, trimmers, and now beard balm too?” Well, look at it this way: if you leave your beard to grow without tender loving care, it’ll just grow wild like a wayward child! While other beard products are great, your “tools of the trade” will be incomplete without beard balm, as far as caring for your beard is concerned.

Beard balm is a special wax for taming medium and long beards. It softens brittle facial hair and keeps it from looking frizzled and dry. It helps in styling and moisturizing the beard while preventing split ends that can ruin a perfect-looking beard. The balm improves the beard’s overall health.

But, doesn’t beard oil perform the same thing as beard balm? Do you really need it, or is it just some clever marketing hype?

I get it! A lot of my fellow bearded men don’t really know what beard balms do or don’t do. However, in a bit, you’ll see why adding a small tin of wax to your grooming arsenal can improve your beard’s quality dramatically.

What is the Purpose of Beard Balm?

If you keep a beard, then you already know that it requires a dedicated effort to keep it in great shape. However, trimming it once in a while just won’t cut it. I suggest you let go of the idea that growing a beard is easier than shaving every or almost every day.

Here’s the truth: growing and maintaining your beard properly requires as much effort as cutting it daily (if not more!). And no one enjoys a dry beard—not you, and not anyone who somehow comes in contact with your beard, which is why you need something to condition, moisturize, and soften it.

No doubt, good quality beard shampoos like the Viking Revolution Beard Wash & Beard Conditioner can provide deep cleansing. But a clean beard doesn’t necessarily translate to a likable one. If you have a medium to full-length beard, you’ll want to be able to style it in whatever way you choose.

What Exactly is the Purpose of Beard Balms?

Here’s a short answer: to enhance your beard.

Here’s a more in-depth explanation: Beard balms are formulated to serve as leave-in conditioners that condition, nourish, soften, and make beard styling easier. Good quality beard balms contain botanical extracts for moisturizing the beard and locking in the moisture.

Apart from stimulating healthier facial skin, the purpose of the conditioning and moisturizing is to facilitate appropriate beard grooming (no odd-looking flakiness or “orphaned” hair strands on your face).

Naturally based beard balms are safe to use and have no known adverse effects on beard or skin. Artificial ingredients, such as synthetic fragrance found in some beard balms, can cause skin irritation, more brittleness, and dryness. Thankfully, you will be able to distinguish between artificial and natural-based beard balms after reading this.

What’s in a Beard Balm?

Like other beard grooming products, there’s quite a wide range of beard balms on the market, and each is different from the rest (which is why they are different brands, right?). However, they all contain these four basic ingredients:

  • Beeswax: This ingredient softens and moisturizes your hair and gives the balm the quality of having a long-lasting hold. Beeswax also locks in moisture produced by other ingredients in the balm.
  • Essential oil: This is the ingredient that provides nearly all the terrific scents found in beard balms. Besides aromas, some essential oils such as tea tree are natural antiseptics. In other words, if you have acne and beardruff, using beard balm on your beard can treat those annoyances, leaving you with healthier skin.
  • Butter: This is not your regular dairy product sitting in your refrigerator! Instead, it is natural cocoa butter, shea butter, or some other form of butter that makes it easy to spread the balm throughout your beard. This ingredient is rich in moisture that nourishes your beard. It protects your beard hair from becoming frizzled, keeping it healthy and smooth to the touch throughout the day. Without butter in beard balms, it would take quite an effort to melt the wax.
  • Carrier oils: These are added to beard balms for one major purpose—to nourish the beard. Carrier oils are extracted from argan oil, jojoba, sweet almond, and other plants. If you have sensitive skin, I strongly suggest that you start with a beard balm that contains jojoba or argan carrier oils. These oils are similar to sebum—the natural oil produced by your skin—thus, minimizing the risk of allergic reactions.

Do you see now why beard balms are not just snake oil? Your beard deserves the best care you can provide from the long list of essential beard products, and beard balm ranks high on that list.

What are the Benefits of Beard Balm?

Beard oil is great, and you should have it in your beard product collection. However, you should try combining it with beard balm, and you’ll notice a dramatic difference in the shine and flexibility of your beard.

Before long, you’ll notice the following tremendous benefits:

  • Beard Balm Prevents Beardruff

This tops the list of benefits derived from beard balms, and here’s why.

When you start to grow a beard for a couple weeks, you’ll start to notice some whitish flakes all over your beard—those are beardruff, which can be incredibly embarrassing! That’s your body’s way of telling you that your beard is sucking up your skin oil (sebum).

So, what does this mean for you and your beard?

Here’s the thing: as soon as your beard becomes long enough and has soaked up more than a fair share of sebum, your skin will start to dry out, become irritable, and produce dead scales that fall off as whitish flakes. Washing your beard with shampoo alone will not stop the flakiness or beardruff. Besides, it is not healthy to shampoo your beard every day. You’ll end up washing off more skin oil and worsening the situation.

So, what’s the solution? Definitely not shaving off your beard! Regular application of beard balm will completely eliminate beardruff in no time. Remember the different ingredients mentioned earlier? They all provide several layers of protection for your beard.

Carrier oils will keep the beard hydrated; the beeswax locks in the moisture provided by the carrier oils; the essential oils repair any damages on the skin; and lastly, the butter ensures that the balm is distributed evenly to cover all the hairs on your beard.

Clearly, beard balms go way beyond styling beards!

  • The Balm Softens Your Beard

If you’ve ever used a hair conditioner before, you’ll know that it conditions and softens your hair to make styling your hair effortless. Well, that’s what beard balms do for your beard too.

Beard balms reduce the brittleness of your beard hair and also prevent split ends. Using the product regularly will ensure that your beard presents better without looking dry and frizzled out. Beard balms are your go-to beard product if you need your beard to look its best.

So, make sure you apply it before going for that important interview, date night, or any event that requires you to look good!

It is important to mention briefly that beard balms and beard oils are not mutually exclusive. You can have and use both for the best results. Combining good quality beard balm with a top-rated beard oil like the Honest Amish Classic Beard Oil will give you the ultimate soft beards.

  • Beard Balm Eliminates Itches

As mentioned earlier, beard balms are great at locking in moisture and preventing beardruff. With facial skin irritation taken care of, beard itches are almost nonexistent. This is possible because of the potent ingredients in beard balms.

  • Beard Balm Keeps Hairs From Straying

You are less likely to experience the peskiness of stray or fly-away beard hairs if you maintain a short beard. However, if you have medium to long beard, stray hairs are a frequent occurrence.

Apart from giving your beard a long-lasting hold, beard balm helps keep your beard hairs in place. Your beard looks well-maintained and less fuzzy when you use beard balms regularly.

  • Beard Balm Untangles Your Beard Hairs

This is a no-brainer! It is logical to have fewer knots and tangles in a soft and well-maintained beard, regardless of length.

Combing a fuzzy, dry, and tangled beard can be both uncomfortable and painful! Beard balm eliminates that unnecessary pain. Your brush or comb will glide easily through the strands of beard hair and give you the smooth beard grooming experience.

  • Beard Balm Provides Volume for Beards

If you want your beard to look thicker, beard balm is the way to go. The all-natural butter in the balm adds volume to your beard and makes it quick and easy to control or style as you desire.

Does Beard Balm Moisturize Skin?

Does Beard Balm Moisturize Skin

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: The natural ingredients in beard balms (remember jojoba and argan?) are a good source of natural oil to your skin. Quality beard balms don’t leave you feeling greasy; instead, they nourish your facial skin by moisturizing the skin beneath your beard.

Beard balms are effective for eliminating (or at least, significantly minimizing) itches and skin irritation.

What all of this comes down to is simple: regular use of beard balm ensures a healthier facial skin.

Does Beard Balm Help Your Beard Grow?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Beard balms do a fantastic job of keeping your beard and the skin underneath healthy. The balm offers several layers of beard and skin protection, along with styling flexibility. However, it does not necessarily make your beard grow faster than it should, nor does it increase the length.

Your beard will grow at its normal pace, but it will have better chances of thriving.

How to Use Beard Balm for the Best Result

A beard product with a combination of natural and effective ingredients definitely needs a special method of application, right? Well, not really. There’s nothing complicated about applying a beard balm. All it takes are a few simple steps.

Here’s how you can do so:

Step 1: Clean Your Beard

Wash your beard with warm water. If you’ve not washed your beard for a couple of days, it is best to use a shampoo to get rid of all the oils and dirt. Here’s my number one beard shampoo recommendation from Beauty and the Bees.

Remember to shampoo your beard just once or twice weekly. On other days, rinse it with warm water.

And, while we’re still on the topic of shampoos, do not use hair shampoo for your beard. The hair and skin on your scalp are totally different from those on your face. The products for each are formulated differently, too.

Step 2: Dry and Comb Your Beard

Get a good dryer, like the Remington Hair Dryer, to blow dry your beard while combing it. Make sure to comb it out smooth and nice to untangle the hairs.

A beard brush works just fine for short beards, whereas a comb will do the trick for longer beards. If possible, use a wooden comb for your beard hair. A plastic comb can create static and cause your beard to frizzle. A metal comb is a cool option, but it can cause split ends. Here’s a good quality wooden comb set that can help you straighten out your beard hair without causing problems.

Step 3: Scoop a Little Balm into Your Hands

Scoop a small amount of your beard balm into your hand, and about the size of a thumbnail will do just fine. You can always add more if necessary.

Don’t apply the balm directly to your beard because it will be difficult to spread throughout your hair. Instead, scrape the balm into your hand and rub them together until they feel a bit warm. Doing so will melt and soften the balm, making it easy to distribute evenly on your beard.

Step 4: Massage the Balm into Your Beard

Gently massage the balm into your beard and skin. Start from your neck and move upward toward your chin. Make sure to dig deep into the root of your hair follicles. Your skin will benefit from the deep balm massage and help your beard grow faster. Remember—a great-looking beard can only grow from healthy skin.

Reverse the direction and massage downward from your cheeks. Don’t leave out your mustache and hairs under your lower lip.

Step 5: Style Your Beard with a Brush or Comb

Use a brush or comb (depending on your beard length) to style your beard. The balm makes it easy to tame any stray hairs and achieve your desired look.

There you have it! Quick, easy, and simple steps, right?  

I get it if all of this sounds a bit vague to you. I see it happen all the time, especially for guys who are just getting started with beard balm, which is why I’ve included this impressive short video. You can learn some cool tips about styling your full beard with the balm of your choice. I highly recommend you check it out:

Before I forget, here’s something you should never do: don’t melt beard balm using stovetops, microwave, or open flames. If your balm separates due to weather or temperature fluctuations, there’s no need to panic. All-natural beard balms tend to separate since they contain natural ingredients without chemical emulsifiers. The balm will still work perfectly well; all you need to do is rub it briskly.

However, if you are worried about the tiny bead-like wax giving it a not-so-smooth consistency, you can place it on a window sill, inside a hot car, in direct sunlight, or near a heating vent for about an hour. Shake it thoroughly for a minute or two, and then place it in a fridge for another one hour. Remove it and place it at normal room temperature. Your beard balm will be as smooth as butter!

Check out this post to learn more about how to revive your beard balm after it has melted.

How Often Should You Apply Beard Balm?

Now that you’ve known how to use a beard balm to soften your beard, how often should you apply it?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this. It all depends on your beard length, thickness, texture, individual need, and motivation.

Once a day is ideal, if you don’t have a dry beard, and you spend more time indoors. You can choose to apply it more than once, but you probably won’t have any need to do so. If your daily routine requires frequent styling and your beard is pretty dry, consider applying your beard balm twice a day.

However, whether you choose to apply a beard balm once or more times, I’ll suggest that you apply it at least every other day.

In any case, go with what works for you. These are general recommendations and not some hard and fast rules. With time, you’ll find your perfect rhythm and routine. Keep in mind that quality beard balms usually last all day and generally don’t require repeated application in one day. You want your beard to have a healthy sheen without it looking oily or greasy.

Remember to use beard balm all year round and not just during cold weather. Your face and beard are exposed to harmful elements, both during the cold and hot months, so you need to keep them moisturized throughout the year.

Tips for Choosing High-Quality Beard Balm

Guess what? This info will make no significant meaning to you if you don’t know how to identify a good beard balm all by yourself.

As with every other product, not all beard balms are created equal, so, before you add just any brand to your online shopping cart or pick one from the shelf, you should look out for a few things:

  • Check for the best oils in the list of ingredients. Some of these include grapeseed, jojoba, and argan.
  • Go for beard balms with excellent hold. Look for higher beeswax concentrations, as they tend to have a stronger hold.
  • Look for one with all-natural ingredients. They may separate due to temperature fluctuations, but that doesn’t alter their effectiveness. Your beard and skin will thank you for choosing a product with natural ingredients. And guess what? The environment will be better, too!
  • Choose one with natural butter, such as cocoa butter and shea butter. Apart from locking in moisture, butter makes it easy for the balm to spread throughout your beard.
  • Lastly, make sure the balm can prevent dandruff or beardruff. It’s a complete waste to buy one that cannot provide the single most important benefit of using the product.

Most manufacturers will include a list of ingredients on the product label. If a brand doesn’t list its ingredients, I strongly recommend that you avoid buying it. In any case, test any new product on a small patch of your skin to be sure you are not allergic to it before using it regularly.

What Brands Do I Recommend?

So, you don’t want to spend too much time going through the plethora of beard balms that are all claiming to be the best. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here’s a small list of high-quality beard balms you can choose from.

1. Honest Amish Beard Balm

It is not strange that the Honest Amish Beard Balm tops this list. I mean, beards are right at the center of the Amish culture! The unique thing about this beard product is that it is handmade and contains no artificial preservatives, chemicals, colorings, or fragrances. Even the tin packaging is 100% recyclable.

Besides conditioning and softening your beard, the all-natural ingredients in this product will also repair and nourish your precious facial hair. The balm contains natural hair-strengthening and enhancing botanicals, such as argan, kokum, virgin avocado, grapeseed, golden jojoba, shea butter, and essential oils.

The Honest Amish Beard Balm is formulated to effectively eliminate itching and condition your beard. The balm has exceptional softness, making it easy to melt in your hand and spread on your beard. It has a mild woodsy smell that you are sure to love.

With all these hard-to-beat combinations, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Honest Amish Beard Balm is rated as the best beard balm available.

2. Badass Beard Balm

Here’s a brand I recommend if your beard is thicker than most. Of course, Badass Beard Balm is not formulated for wild beards only, but it sure can help you manage unruly beards.

It is great for repairing split ends, eliminating beard itches, softening facial hair, and taming stray hairs and fly-away whiskers.

It has lesser beeswax content compared to other brands because it is formulated to provide more moisturizing benefits than long-lasting holds.

3. Scotch Porter Beard Balm

This beard balm from Scotch Porter acts as a leave-in moisturizer that contains no harsh chemicals. It is enriched with amino acids, protein, and vitamins B, C, A, and D. It also contains ingredients like white willow bark that reduce skin irritation and inflammation, along with biotin liposomes that promote healthy beard hair.

If you’re looking for a balm to pamper your beard, the Scotch Porter Beard Balm is your best bet.

4. Seven Portions Beard Balm

Gentle, fabulous woodland aroma combined with organic ingredients make the Seven Portion Beard Balm a great choice for bearded men looking to get rid of beardruff, split ends, and itching.

Its vegan-friendly glycerin will leave your skin feeling well-moisturized. You will enjoy the level of control this balm offers. It also comes in a bigger tin than most other brands. So, if you want a quality beard balm that will last a long time, this is a perfect choice.

5. Smooth Viking Beard Balm

Last on this list, but definitely not the least, is the Smooth Viking Beard Balm. No matter how stubborn or unyielding your beard is, and no matter how long it grows, this balm will help you keep it in check.

Smooth Viking provides your beard with adequate hydration and makes your beard look more robust. One cool thing about this brand is that it doesn’t make much mess. Rub a small amount evenly all over your beard and just let it dry—nothing more is required.

Maintain a Regular Beard Grooming Routine

Adding beard balm to your grooming arsenal is one thing; committing to proper care of your beard is a different ball game entirely.

You will need to make out time daily to look after your beard, trimming it when necessary. Beard balms will promote healthy hair growth, but it will not magically transform your beard if you don’t have the discipline to follow a grooming routine.

Conclusion

Beard balms may not be the end-all of beard maintenance, but they play a vital role in giving you the texture and shine you’ve always wanted.

There are many beard balms available that could leave you confused. If you follow the recommended tips above, however, you can select a product that will be a perfect fit for you. We have also discussed the best way to use a beard balm to get optimum results.

If you follow the recommended strategies for using each product, it won’t be long before you realize that a wax-filled tin might just be the best thing that could ever happen to your beard!

Roland

Hi, my name is Roland. I started Beard Guidance so I can share the knowledge I’ve acquired from years of beard-having experience in easy-to-read but informative and practical articles.

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