The ultimate guide to beard butter [Everything you need to know!]

Beard products are starting to get more nuanced in their range. Beard balm, butter, oil, and even beard filler pencils are becoming a common item in men’s bathroom cabinets. Here I want to do a deep dive into the different aspects of beard butter and how it is different from oil, balm, and wax. There is a load of excellent reasons for using beard butter as part of your daily maintenance routine. Or there’s even a case to made for the occasional use of beard butter for deep hydration and extreme emergency care of your beard. Here is everything you need to know about beard butter!

Beard butter is an incredible product that contains natural butter that can hydrate, condition, and repair your beard hair. It creates a softness, smell and the butter is the most important part so choose a beard butter with Shea butter to receive all of its amazing properties.

Beard butter benefits

There are so many awesome reasons to use beard butter and it all comes down to the ingredients that go into a good quality beard butter. we’ll be going over them in a lot more detail below. First of all, I want to list the reasons that you may want to consider using a beard butter on your beard – it’s for more than just the hair – it’s got some great properties for your skin too!


Is your beard a little too coarse? Are you finding it a little too hard to get your beard to lay flat? It could be that your beard hair is super dry. That’s where a generous application of beard butter may help you! Beard butter is formulated to be as hydrating and nourishing as possible to your beard.

The combination of Shea (or other) butter with another carrier oil like Jojoba and Coconut oil are the perfect combination for your hair and skin under it. After the application of a good quality beard butter, you can expect your beard hair to be much softer and easier to control. If you need to, you can apply it every day.

Just make sure that you apply it evenly throughout your beard and that you brush it through so that it reaches every part of your beard.

You’ll certainly notice the difference in touch – but it’ll look healthy too!


Beard butters are a fabulous way to make your beard look good too! A well-conditioned beard will also look a little bit shiny but not look so shiny that it appears wet. For a guide on how to make your beard shine – check out my other article: How to make your beard shine. 8 magic tips!

Your beard should have a slight sheen to it when the sunlight hits it directly and a matte looking texture when not in direct light. This is due to the outside of the hair, also known as the cuticle, not laying flat against the hair and causing the light to be reflected and scattered more. The most important thing you can do for your beard hair is to hydrate it.

One human study found that a high fatty acid content cream (like Shea butter) can help prevent hair breakage as the butter can more easily penetrate the hair. Along with the vitamin A and E they will reduce the dryness of your beard and make it look really conditioned.

The fatty acids in Shea butter may also protect the hair from heat treatment like blow-drying and beard straighteners too!


Beard butters can also make your hair smell lovely too! Beards can smell a little bit musty if left unwashed for more than three days – that’s due to the build up of oils and dirt at the base of the hair. Having a regular washing schedule will get rid of most of the problem but there is a way that you can boost the nice smell!

Essential oils are included in a lot of beard butters. They are added in very small amounts because they are potent and can provide some therapeutic properties above the smell.

It’s important that you choose a beard balm that you like the smell of as you’ll be the one smelling it most of the day. also, make sure that it matches the smell of your other products too – you don’t want a horrible clash of scents. I recommend that if you are using a combination of beard products that you use unscented ones for all but one of the products. That way, you won’t be overpowered by the smell of different essential oils.


Every beard grower has had the issue where itchiness is starting to make them reconsider growing a beard. It can happen in the early stages of growth and later on if there is a significant trim. One of the best things about a beard butter is that it can help protect your skin from being irritated by the hairs growing and curling underneath.

Bear butter does this in two primary ways:

  1. It makes the hair softer so that when the hair is brushing up against your skin it doesn’t irritate the skin as it is not so tough. The shea butter hydrates the skin so it is not so scratchy!
  2. It has anti-inflammatory properties one study has found that shea butter (the main component of many beard butters) helps your skin react less to outside irritations.

So, if your beard is particularly itchy at the moment you may wish to consider using a beard butter to cut down on the issue! Now, let’s take a look at the perfect technique for applying beard butter!

How to use beard butter – the perfect technique.

To get all of the benefits listed above you must be able to apply beard butter to the surface of each hair. The effects of beard butter rely on being able to get the beard butter to sit on the hair or at least 30 minutes. That will give the butter enough time to be absorbed by the hair and skin.

Here is the best way to apply beard butter:

Step 1: Open the lid and scoop out the amount required. Typically the beard butter is applied in multiple small amounts. So don’t be afraid of using a small amount and then going back for more. If your beard butter is stored in a cold spot – you may be to warm the top of the butter with your fingers before scooping. Likewise, if you are in a hot climate you may have to place it in a cooler place as it can turn into liquid.

Step 2: Warm the beard butter between the palms of your hands until it is evenly distributed. You need to keep going until all of the beard butter has melted and no lumps remain.

Step 3: Run the beard butter over the top of your beard with a flat palm. Use flat hands to spread the beard butter on to the top of your beard. Use your fingertips to get into the beard as well. Unlike balm and wax, you need a full even coverage to get the maximum results. Get right down to the skin too.

Step 4: Then, work the underside of your beard with sweeping motions up and towards your chin. Don’t forget about the underside of your beard too and again, use your fingers to get into all of the hair. Remember to get your fingertips right down to the bottom of the beard to the skin.

Step 5: Use your fingertips to place some beard butter on to your mustache and roll the hair around with the butter too.

Step 6: If you have a particularly long beard you should go for multiple applications until the beard balm has been applied in a small even amount across the whole surface and depth of the beard. If you want to be extra sure that you are not putting too much on wait 20 -30 minutes before adding any more.

Step 7: I like to use a combination of my plastic comb and my natural hair brush to further refine the distribution of the butter. I start with a narrow toothed comb and then use my natural fiber brush to go over the top of the beard. This does a couple of things:

  1. Gets rid of any clumps of beard butter that I may have created during the application
  2. Separates the hairs that I have have pushed together during the application of the beard butter and cats them more evenly.

If you follow these steps your beard butter will be applied perfectly throughout your beard. Here are a couple of questions that I get asked when talking about beard butter and the best way to apply it.

When to apply beard butter?

The best time to apply beard balm is after your beard has received a deep shampoo and conditioning and it dry. Use medium heat on your hairdryer to dry your beard and, just as it is becoming dry, you can use beard butter. It is used to lock in the moisture from the shower.

But be careful when applying it to freshly washed hair – wet hair is easier to break.

You can also apply beard butter later on in the day if you are finding that your beard hair is still a little bit dull and you want to bring it back yo life a little bit more! If your beard is still looking a little bit worse for wear and not sitting the way you want it to you will have to apply a wax or a balm!

Do you wash out beard butter?

The only time that you should wash out beard butter is if you have put too much in or you are having a reaction to some of the ingredients. If you have put too much beard butter in your beard will look heavy and slick. You can first try to remove the excess butter by wiping the top with a towel or you can wait to see if it will get absorbed. Washing should be one of the final acts to consider as overwashing your hair can cause it to become dry and brittle.

In the case of an allergy: when buying a new product I always test out a small amount on the top of my hand first – to make sure that I won’t have a strange reaction to any of the ingredients. If you are having any crazy reaction that I recommend seeking help as soon as possible and take the new product with you.

Beard balm and oil together

Because there are so many different types of beard products it can be hard to know what products you should use and if you can use each product together. Whether it is beard oil, balm, butter, and wax most things are okay to use together there are just a couple of important caveats when you are thinking about combining different products.

Beard butter ingredient breakdown

The reason that beard butter is so great for your hair and skin is that it is made up of ingredients that combine to create a powerful product. Each beard butter has its own unique makeup and so you need to look at the ingredient list to make sure that you are getting a great product. And a product that will match the properties of your beard. Let’s take a look at the most popular of each family of beard butter constituents.

Butter base

The butter is what makes up the majority of a beard butter. These tend to be a soft solid at room temperature that quickly heat up and become more malleable when heated using the hands or fingers. While Shea butter is one of the most popular there are some others that are also awesome.

Shea butter

Shea butter is extracted from the nuts of the Shea tree. The raw form has an off white color and is a solid at room temperature. Shea trees are found in Africa and has been used for centuries for it’s medicinal properties.

The shea butter has so many awesome properties that it would be silly not to buy a beard butter that has this as one of it’s main components:

  • It can help you beat beardruffIn 2018 a study found that when used in combination with other products it helps reduce flakes.
  • It may help hair get strongerSimilar plant-based butter has been shown to make hair much more resistant to breakages
  • It is antibacterial and antifungal – if your beard is smelling or you have some issues with a dirty beard. Shea butter will help fight off the bacteria that are in your beard. Want more about beard bacteria? Check out this article all about beard bacteria.
  • Can add slight sun protection to your beard hair – If you live in a sunny and hot environment shea butter ats an extra layer of sun protection that has been estimated to provide a 3 – 4 SPF protection.

These properties mean that it is amazing to use as often as you want on your beard!

Cocoa butter

When you think of this you may instantly think of chocolate or your favorite smoothie! However, there’s much more to this seed than meets the eye! Cocoa butter is a fat that is squeezed out from the cocoa beans before the rest is turned into the powder you stir into your treats!

This butter feels thicker and nicer than Shea butter and also contains many fatty acids that are good for your skin and hair. There isn’t as much research out on this and it lacks the vitamins that Shea butter has. It smells slightly sweeter than Shea butter and is included in the butters to improve the feel and spread ability in your hair product.

Mango butter

Mango butter is a natural butter that is made from the kernel of the mango fruit. As the cocoa butter, the mango butter is cold-pressed from the seed and because of this a load of the active molecules is removed into the butter. There isn’t much evidence to support claims of hydration or anything else but the texture and feel is enough to make it a lovely addition to the beard butter as it is crammed full of vitamin C!

Babassu Butter

Babassu butter and oil comes from the seeds if the babassu palm that is found in South America. It is squeezed out the the seeds and is has loads of fats and antioxidants that can give you wonderful effects for your beard hair. This butter doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily or greasy.

This butter melts very easily at skin temperature which makes it easily absorbed by your skin. The great thing is that he Babassu butter does not cause acne – so is perfect for teenagers or other people who are prone to breakouts on their faces. It is known for adding volume to dry and flat hair which makes it perfect for making your beard look fuller and more awesome!

Now, lets take a look at the oils that are found in beard butters – it’s similar to beard oils but they are found in much lower concentrations so it remains a solid at room temperature.


The same oils that are found in beard oils are found in the beard butter. They impart the same properties as they do in beard oils. So it’s not necessary to double up on the oil but there is no harm in doing so if you want to. The oils in the beard butter each have a different therapeutic property and here we shall look at each one and why you would choose each.

AraganIt is rich in vitamin E, carotenes, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Argan Oil is used to nourish the hair making it shiny and healthy-looking.
JojobaIt is known to closely resembles the sebum of the skin and is rich in vitamin E.
SunflowerUse this oil to treat dry & damaged skin, eczema, and psoriasis.
AvocadoIt is typically added to other carrier oils in order to boost protein and vitamin content.
CoconutCoconut oil can be used as a skin moisturizer, helping with dry skin. It also reduces protein loss when used in hair.
CastorIt is used to treat split hairs and add volume to the beard.
Rice BranIt adds sheen while moisturizing and conditioning the hair without weighing it down.
Sweet AlmondIt is rich in proteins, Olein Glyceride Linoleic Acid, and Vitamin D, and should be used by those with dry skin.
GrapeseedThe high contents of omega 6 fatty acids are known to nourish and improve the texture of the skin.

These oils are added to the beard butter to impart the properties in small amounts. They also help the butter melt and make the butter easier to spread on the hair. Beard butter also contains essential oils that do more than just add a great smell to your beard.

Essential oils

Essential oils, when used directly, can burn the skin and cause damage to the beard. We add them in a very small amount to the beard butter. This provides a nice smell but also each oil has its own benefit too. Here are my favorite oils and how they can help your beard!


  • Antimicrobial cleanser
  • Relieves itching due to dry skin
  • Cleaner for acne-prone skin
  • Revitalizes the appearance of hair

Cedarwood Oil

  • Exudes a woodsy aroma
  • Improvement in feeling through calming, lingering, energizing scent
  • Moisturizes to relieve dry, itching, and flaking skin
  • Purifies skin by removing dirt
  • Antibacterial cleanser
  • Supports hair growth

Clove Bud

  • Exudes a spicy aroma
  • An antibacterial cleanser that is ideal for acne-prone skin
  • Nourishes and thickens hair
  • Strengthens the hair


  • Antibacterial cleanser
  • Fights bad odour
  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Adds shine to and thickens hair for a healthier look


  • Purifies skin and hair by removing dirt
  • Cleans oily and acne-prone skin
  • Removes loose dandruff flakes from the hair
  • Alleviates dry skin
  • Replenishes/protects the skin’s moisture barrier
  • Strengthens and adds shine to hair


  • Cools and invigorates skin
  • Antibacterial cleanser
  • Makes hair stronger and thicker
  • Cleans hair without stripping away its natural oils
  • Moisturizes and nourishes hair for enhanced beauty


  • Energizes and revitalizes the appearance of the hair
  • An antibacterial cleanser that is suitable for cleaning oily and acne-prone skin
  • Hydrates skin to relieve itching due to dryness
  • Cleanse hair and removes loose dandruff flakes
  • Strengthens hair


  • Relieves itching due to dry skin
  • Moisturizes and tightens skin
  • Improves the texture of skin
  • Protects against and alleviates chapping, cracking, and roughness due to dryness
  • Antibacterial cleanser
  • Kills odour-causing bacteria
  • Improves skin elasticity and resiliency
  • Has skin brightening effects, which may benefit discoloration from dark spots and tans
  • Tightens skin
  • Cleanses oily skin and removes oil
  • Moisturizes and nourishes hair

Tea Tree

  • Fortifies and thickens hair
  • Repairs split ends as well as dry and damaged hair
  • Moisturizes hair for shine, texture, softness, and beauty
  • Removes loose dandruff flakes from the hair
  • Relieves itching due to dry skin
  • Cleanses oily skin and removes excess oil
  • Protects the skin’s moisture barrier
  • Promotes the healthy appearance of hair and skin

For recipes for DIY beard oil check out this blog post.

Wax (optional)

The last major component of beard butter can be wax. It is common to have no beeswax in a beard butter because we do not use the beard butter for hold. However, there may be some brands that include a small amount of wax in their beard oil as it allows for a small amount of hold. Enough hold that there is more than beard oil but not as much hold as beard balm or wax. Once a beard butter has a load of wax in it it is closer to a balm than a butter.

What is the best beard butter?

There are a number of awesome products on the market but here is a list of my favorite beard butter products:

Beard Guyz Beard Butter

beard butter recommendation

The reason that this is in my list: This beard butter comes in a really satisfying cream that doesn’t leave your beard greasy or oily. It leaves a lovely matte effect on your beard and the smell is just awesome. It absorbs quickly into the hair and skin and a little bit goes a long way – so you’ll be keeping this in your cupboard for a long time!

Maestro’s Classic Mark of a Man Beard Butter

The reason that this is in my list: This beard butter is perfect for a long beard – a little goes a long way and the effects are long-lasting! The scent is excellent too. this beard butter is water-based and is readily absorbed through the skin and hair. Because of that, it is a little runnier than other beard butter. If you store it in a cool place you will be able to scoop it out with ease with your fingertips.


The reason that this is in my list: This beard butter smells super nice and it has all of the ingredients you need to make your beard soft and malleable. It is also on the runnier side and so a little bit goes a long way. Make sure that you cool it down before you use it!

Even though there are so many options to choose from when it comes to beard butter – as long as you choose a reputable brand with a good amount of organic and natural products (like those listed above) you can’t go wrong! Apply sparingly to start with to find out how much you really need to add and then increase the amount if you think you need more! Let’s now look at some of the commonly asked beard butter questions.

Frequently asked beard butter questions

What’s a butter whats a balm? Can use them together? There is a load of different options out there for your beard product routine. Here we’ll cover the most important beard butter questions that I get commonly asked.

What’s better beard oil or beard butter?

This question depends entirely on what you want your beard product to do. If you want a daily light application that will help eliviate less advanced beard issues like light dryness and split ends, then beard oil will be the best product for you. On the other hand , if you need something a little more intense to fix your beard issues then a buter will certain be better for that.

That is because a beard butter stays in your beard for longer and the butter has a much more intense hydrating effect on your beard because of the fatty acids than oil does. Beard butter also contains some of the carrier oils in beard oil so you are getting a two for one when you re using beard balm. Beard oil is much more suited to a daily application.

Should I use beard butter at night?

Beard butter is most effective when you leave it on your hair for as long as possible – this gives it the time required to get absorbed into the skin. The issue is that if you put it on your beard just before you head to bed it may come off on to your pillow. That is not only a waste of money and products but it definitely will not leave your beard as well-conditioned and nourished as it could be.

If you want to use your beard balm at night you should put it in your beard at least 30 minutes – but better if it is an hour – before you go to bed.

That way, the beard butter will have plenty of time to be soaked into the skin and you’ll be able to rest your head on the pillow without losing the butter on the sheets!

Does beard butter help beard growth?

There are plenty of beard products that claim to have growing properties. Whether it is beard oil, balm, wax, or tablets – there’s one thing that all of these products have in common – none of them can really help you grow a beard. Now, there’s something to be said about making sure your beard is in the best condition possible so that it can grow at it’s best naturally. However, there’s no evidence to back up any claims of increasing the growth of the beard.

One of the only products that can actually grow your beard is Minoxidil – a compound found in Rogaine hair products. This, combined with micro needling, has benefited some beard growers and helped them grow a thicker beard. So, the long and short of it is that if your product only contains the natural butters and oils that are mentioned above – it almost certainly doesn’t help grow your beard.

When should I start using beard butter?

The great thing about beard butter is that it is brilliant for skin too! The Shea butter and the oils contain a load of fatty acids and vitamins that can help your skin. Like beard oils, you can add the beard butter to your routine as soon as you want to – but steer away from the products that contain wax.

You can use beard butter for your face and hair as soon as you want to!

I’d recommend using a beard butter in the second month of growth – that is when a lot of people have problems with itchiness and dryness. You can use the beard butter every couple of weeks for a deep hydration treatment too!

Does beard butter go bad?

When you are buying a beard products you need to make sure that you can use the amount you have purchased before it goes off. The main components of beard butter are Shea or Cocoa butter. These products can go off but there are some quick and easy methods to make sure that they stay fresh for as long as possible.

If the butter is stored well there is no reason that it can’t last a very long time. Shea butter has a much higher concentration of the more stable fatty acids so keeping it in moderate conditions will ensure a long shelf life. That means you need to keep it away from:

  • Sunlight
  • Extremes of temperature
  • High humidity (keep the lid on tight)

You can also keep the butter in the fridge if you live in a country where it is hard to store things in moderate conditions. It’ll just need a little more warming up when it eventually comes out of the fridge and it is ready to use!


That is everything you need to know about the use and application of beard butter! Remember to look for good quality products and use sparingly initially. Apply with clean hands and work well into the beard to ensure even distribution so that every hair can benefit from this great product!

Happy beard growing my friends!

The Author

Andy Stapleton

Andy is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. He has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He is an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialling different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!