Over the last several years, the beard has become an object of obsession among men and women alike. A thick, full, shiny and soft beard is often viewed as the epitome of masculinity. But whether you have a short or long beard or are interested in learning how to grow a healthy one, it’s important to know the difference between beard oil and balm.
Although both beard balm and oil moisturize your facial hair, one beard care product may be better suited for your face, skin and beard type. Generally, we’d recommend using beard balm and oil together for long beards, and just beard oil for short facial hair in the early stages of beard growth.
If you’re having trouble choosing to get balm or oil, read on to learn about the benefits of both. Specifically, we will discuss what beard balm and oil do, when to use them, and how to apply these grooming products effectively to moisturize, condition, soften your beard.
Here’s an in-depth comparison of beard balm and oil!
What Is Beard Balm?
Beard balm is a pomade of moisturizers and sealants that are mixed, heated and cooled. Balm is designed to condition your beard with every use, but it also makes your beard more manageable, meaning it doubles as a styling and shaping product. Simply put, beard balm is to your beard much like a good pomade or wax is to your hair.
The best beard balms should moisturize and soften your facial hair, get rid of beard dandruff, stop itchiness and flaking, provide a strong hold for styling and grooming, and make your beard look thicker and shiny. The latter is particularly crucial for men with patchy or thin beards. By preventing your hairs from drying out or becoming brittle, balm can also help you increase beard growth.
Ultimately, when you apply beard balm, it is possible to take your beard from scruffy and out-of-control to well-maintained, shiny and smooth. When it comes to buying beard balm, you will notice that these products come with various ingredients, so choose the one that best suits your needs.
We highly recommend you only get a balm with all-natural ingredients to avoid irritating your skin. An organic balm is especially helpful for guys with sensitive skin. Here are the core ingredients that make up beard balm:
- Shea Butter – Shea butter is an all-natural ingredient that makes your beard appear thicker after application. In addition to improving the thickness of your hairs, shea butter is a sealant that will keep your beard hydrated and healthy all day.
- Beeswax – Beeswax acts much like shea butter does, but it requires less processing and is therefore not as likely to irritate your skin. It is also somewhat thicker than shea butter for some added manageability and styling power.
- Jojoba and Argan Oil – These carrier oils are common in beard balms in small amounts, and they serve a very important purpose. Argan and jojoba oil are all-natural moisturizers that provide the hydration the shea butter and beeswax will seal in. Failing to use a balm with a quality oils can actually make your beard brittle and dry, resulting in breakage and slow growth.
What Does Beard Balm Do?
Here’s a quick overview of the benefits of beard balm and everything it can do for your beard!
- Moisturize and condition your facial hair
- Keep your beard feeling soft and looking shiny
- Prevent beard dandruff, itch, and skin irritation
- Reduce split-ends and breakage to maximize growth
- Offers a light to medium hold for styling and grooming
If you’re looking for a leave-in beard conditioner that will nourish your hair and skin all day, get a top-rated balm!
What Is Beard Oil?
Beard oil is a moisturizer made up of carrier and essential oils. Because of its liquid form, a good beard oil is more effective in hydrating the skin under your beard as well as reaching all parts of your face and hair. Furthermore, a quality beard oil will also stop beard itch, get rid of dandruff and dry flakes, promote growth, and soften your beard.
When picking between beard oil and balm, it’s critical to remember that using both on thick, full facial hair is ideal and can maximize the benefits. While beard balm is designed to lock in moisture while providing you the ability to shape and manage your beard, beard oil is purely a moisturizer and conditioner.
If you’re a guy with sensitive skin who is prone to excessive itching or dryness as you grow out a beard, then a high-quality beard oil may be all you need. This is especially true for men with short beards who don’t need much styling control yet. And because beard oil absorbs into the skin and hair quickly, it can provide faster relief than balm.
Another important consideration for beard oil is the scent and ability to deodorize. If you prefer a scented oil – and many men do – be sure to pick a product with essential oils and not artificial fragrances. Those fragrances contain harsh chemicals that can actually dry your skin and beard, completely reversing what the oil was designed to do in the first place.
What Does Beard Oil Do?
Here’s a quick overview of the benefits of beard oil and everything it can do for your beard!
- An easy and quick way to moisturize and condition your beard
- Hydrate and nourish the skin under your facial hair; works well for guys with sensitive skin
- Reduce itchiness, stop beard dandruff, and soothe skin irritation
- Soften your beard and make it shiny
These best beard oils will get you the perfect facial hair you deserve.
How To Use Beard Balm
For best results, guys will need to learn how to apply beard balm properly. For starters, take the time to wash your beard with an all-natural soap. Then, towel-dry and let it air dry naturally for a few minutes before you use the balm. Scrape a dime-sized dollop of balm (a little more for very thick or long beards) and rub it between your palms to make it warm and pliable.
Now run your fingers through your beard from the neck up, paying close attention to rub the skin where your beard is growing. Not only does this help to coat individual hairs, but it also protects and nourishes your hair follicles at the root. After, apply the remaining amount to your mustache and the area of your beard just around your mouth.
After spreading the balm as evenly as possible, brush the balm through your beard with a high-quality boar’s hair beard brush. A brush will ensure you distribute the balm throughout, touching all the hairs and gently penetrating down to the skin. You can use the brush to straighten your beard, or if you prefer a curly style, use your hands to “scrunch” your beard.
You can apply most forms of beard balm as many as three times per day as needed, and as long as your balm of choice contains only natural ingredients, there is no harm in leaving it in until your next shower. If your balm contains petroleum jelly, you should wash it out every night to avoid damage.
How To Use Beard Oil
Beard oil is even easier to use than beard balm. For best results, wash your beard with a shampoo and conditioner, and then gently towel-dry. Allow to air dry for a few minutes before you apply beard oil. Put a dime-sized amount of oil in your hand, rub it onto your palms until it is warm, and simply massage it into your beard and skin.
Again, using a boar’s hair brush or handmade wooden comb, ensure that you’re spreading the oil all over your beard, face and the skin under. In the process, use the comb to untangle knots and style your beard in the direction you want it to grow.
Like balm, you can apply beard oil as many as three times per day, and as long as you’re using an all-natural, organic product that does not contain drying ingredients like alcohol, there is no need to rinse it out.
Beard Oil and Balm
Whether you should get beard oil or beard balm doesn’t need to be a difficult decision – we recommend both. This is one of the rare times that too much of a good thing can’t be bad. If you have a thick beard that needs additional moisturizing and conditioning, a beard oil will deliver hydration immediately. After you’ve nourished your hair follicles and skin with an oil, guys can utilize a beard balm to seal in moisturizers and keep their facial hair healthy and soft throughout the day!