Do you ever have one of those days where your scalp itches to no end? We all experience them from time to time. If you’re a bearded man, then you will be familiar with this irritation around your beard. When it happens, we treat it with a beard oil or a beard butter. But can this approach work for the hair on your head?
You can find many of the same ingredients from beard oils in various shampoos and conditioners. Beard oils are a more distilled version of that, cutting out many of the ingredients. But those that are left can help to moisturize your scalp. However, using beard oil on your head hair is an expensive waste of product. Shampoos and conditioners are packed with far more ingredients for a much better result. It is best to stick to these products rather than use beard oil in your hair.
So, the short answer is, “Yes, but…”. To learn more about the difference between shampoos and beard oils, as well as when it makes sense to use beard oil in your hair, stick around. We’ll cover these and more as we dive deep into the world of shampoos and beard oils.
Comparing Beard Oil to Shampoo: Which Should You Use?
The primary purpose of beard oil is to moisturize your beard and the skin underneath it. To this degree, we could easily replace a beard oil with a moisturizer. This would help the skin but not the hair. Two of the positive side effects of beard oil is that it softens your beard hairs a little and it helps to keep your beard clean.
So, if proper applications of beard oil can be used to increase your cleanliness, shouldn’t it do the same in your hair? Not really. Beard oils achieve their results and are great for your beard, but the hair on your head should be looked after differently.
In this article, we looked at what beard oil is made from. It uses essential oils and a carrier oil. That’s all it really is. But shampoo is much more involved. This is because it uses a type of chemical called a surfactant to remove dirt, dead skin, and oil from the hair. That’s right, it removes your hair oils. While shampooing your hair is important for keeping your head clean, doing it too often damages the hair because these oils are necessary.
You might think that this actually improves the case for using beard oil in your hair. After all, couldn’t it be used to help limit the negative effects of shampoo? You might think so, but just because the word oil is present in both doesn’t mean that they are the same. The oils in your hair are produced by your body and are necessary. Using beard oil is not a replacement for your natural oils.
The thing that makes the difference between shampoo and beard oil the clearest is the ingredients list. Beard oil has a minimum of two ingredients: a carrier oil and an essential oil. Multiple kinds of essential oils might be present, but there aren’t any other ingredients otherwise.
A quick look at the ingredients of a bottle of Head & Shoulders reveals a ton of ingredients. It uses pyrithione zinc, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, glycol distearate, zinc carbonate, sodium chloride, sodium xylenesulfonate, cocamidopropyl betaine, and so many other ingredients that nobody can pronounce. Clearly, shampoo is working to achieve a different effect.
That is why it is important to use beard oil in conjunction with shampoo. Just like you shampoo your head, you should shampoo your beard. However, when you shampoo your beard it is actually important to apply beard oil afterwards for the best effect.
One of the reasons for this is the fact that beard hair and head hair are not the same. The hair on your head and the hair on the rest of your body function completely differently. For one, the hair on your head keeps growing in a uniform fashion whereas body hair doesn’t. But more so, the hair on your body does not produce as much oil as that on your head, so it can use the assistance of extra oil application.
It is important to keep in mind that not every beard oil is made the same. You might find that some of the oils in one type irritate your scalp but not your face. This is one of those, “There is an exception for every rule,” pieces of information.
I Have Way More Hair Than I Do Beard, Won’t This Waste My Oil?
Yup, it absolutely will. This is the main reason why you shouldn’t use your beard oil in your hair. There are plenty of oils that are specifically made for hair. Some are for softening and keeping it shiny, like this one. Others are to help your hair grow, such as this oil.
The only time where it really makes sense to use beard oil on your hair is if you rock a shaved head or a very short haircut. After you work your beard oil into your beard, run your hands through your hair to use the excess. Normally, we just wash our hands and wash that extra oil down the drain. This will let your hair soak it up to be less wasteful. But keep in mind that this is just an extra step to beard application, not a new application.
If I Can Use Beard Oil On My Hair, Can I Use Head Products On My Beard?
For the most part, no. You can use shampoo and conditioner on both your head and your beard. There are better products to use, though. For example, they make wonderfully effective beard shampoo and conditioner which you can buy in an affordable pack.
But beyond shampoo and conditioner, you should avoid using products on your beard if they are made for your head. The most harmful product by far is hair gel. These chemical concoctions can be very unhealthy for your beard and clog up the pores of your face. Stick with a strong beard wax for styling instead. For the strongest hold, try an extra strength mustache wax like these.
Can I Use Beard or Mustache Wax In My Hair?
As the previous section pointed out, it is harmful to use hair gel in your facial hair. You might think that this goes both ways then, but you’d be wrong. The truth is that beard products are typically made with natural ingredients and they aren’t harmful to people.
The problem with hair gel is that it is a chemically produced product which can be harmful. It doesn’t have anywhere to really go and clog when it is used on the head. This is good because hair gel actually has a stronger hold than mustache wax does, but this is because it has to hold up much longer and much less coarse hair.
Applying mustache or beard wax to your hair won’t hurt it, but it really is a waste of the product unless you have shorter hair. If your hair is short, using a little bit of mustache wax to style it won’t hurt anything except maybe your wallet.
What is a Great Beard Oil?
There are a ton of great beard oils available for purchase. These can range from cheap to expensive, but you shouldn’t confuse price as a sign of quality.
You can find high-quality, highly rated beard oils for a more than reasonable price. One that comes to mind immediately is Grave Before Shave. This looks after your beard while leaving behind a manly pine scent.
A more expensive beard oil is Northern Fir. Nearly twice the price of Grave Before Shave, Northern Fir is lightly scented; but what it lacks in scent it makes up for in the level of care it was made with. This is a high, high quality oil.
If you don’t know where to start with beard oils and want to try a few different scents, then try the Viking Revolution three pack. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t purchase more than three beard oils at once, because they do expire. We talked about this in depth here.
Beard oil is sold in small batches. When you look at a container of beard oil, it should immediately be clear that it isn’t for use with your head simply because of the size. If it was meant for use with your head hair, there would be more of it in a bigger bottle.
The main idea that this article’s question poses is an equivalency between the products you use on your beard and the products you use on your head. While there are exceptions to the following rule, it almost always proves to be true: You can use the products for your beard in your hair, but you can’t use the products for your hair in your beard.
This rule is important if you want a healthy and strong beard, but it could use an addendum: You can use the products for your beard on your hair, but there really isn’t a point.
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