Every bearded person wants to have a beard that they are proud of. This beard should be well trimmed, have good density, hold its shape throughout the day, and be so well conditioned that it looks a little bit shiny. A shiny beard is something that every one wants to achieve. It can be really difficult because your beard is out in the elements all day every day and it can be hard to keep up with the amount of moisturising or care that is required. In this article we are going to go over the best beard shine products that you can use to make your beard look shiny and not dull or weathered.
The best beard shining products include beard conditioners, beard oils, vitamin D, and avoiding damaging ingredients commonly found in beard shampoos.
Before we get into the products it’s important for us to understand what makes a beard shiny and importantly I have looked over the scientific studies to find out how we can avoid dull and damaged hair.
What makes a beard shiny?
A shiny beard comes down to a number of mechanical and physical properties of the beard hair. When something is shiny it means that it does not scatter the light but much rather reflects it and causes it to appear shiny. This is primarily done by the outside of your hair the cuticles.
Smooth outside cuticles
Hair cuticles are the hard, roof tile like, scales that form on the outer layer of your hair strands. The hair cuticles on your beard normally lie pretty flat but they can sometimes stick up causing your hair to look rough and causing the light to become scattered which makes your hair looked dull.
There are a few ways that you can smooth the outer layer of your cuticles for example:
- Cold water – there are many blocks and articles which recommend rinsing beard hair with cold water to improve its shininess and reduce frizz. This is because cold water helps flatten and seal the hair cuticles.
- Blow drying – when blow drying your beard use the nozzle to point the hairdryer in the direction that the hair lies. This technique, when combined with a natural hair brush, can flatten cuticles. Use the cool air setting on your blow dryer to encourage the ceiling.
- Proper pH ingredients – hair has an average pH of five. If you’re using shampoos regularly it can cause the pH of the hair to become unbalanced contributing to cuticles that stick up. You can use apple cider vinegar to rinse your beard to balance the pH of the hair.
- Oils – some oils have the benefit of being able to seal hair cuticles. Brushing your beard and adding a little bit of jojoba oil will be a great way to increase the health of your cuticles.
Doing this regularly will definitely help smooth the outside cuticles of your hair whilst also making your hair shiny.
Well hydrated hair
Making sure that your hair is well hydrated is an important part of growing a beard. Your beard is dry because of the overuse of oil stripping products – like shampoo – as well as excessive use of heat. If you want to find out more about using heat on your beard check out my other article should you straighten your beard? Everything you need to know… – Click here.
If you want to maintain well hydrated hair you should consider using a professional hydrating treatment that provides a deep hydration. We will talk about that, below, in the products section.
Let’s take a look at what the science says about dull dry hair and what the experts are recommending you avoid.
What the science says
We can often be led to believe by the media that a new product release contains a certain ingredient that has the magical ability to transform a dull beard into a shiny and smooth beard. Most of the time this is just not true as the major ingredients of each shampoo product release does not change. In fact, a review article in 2015 highlighted that it is actually the interaction of the conditioners ingredients and system that makes the product better. That is because a beard conditioner contains a load of positive and negatively charged soaps that interact in a very complex way to produce a neutral product.
Beards can also lose their shine if you try to look after it “too well”. In 1996 a paper was released which have a look at the structure and response of hair to a variety of cosmetic preparations. They found that there are a load of different structural changes that occur in hair that has been heated, died, bleached, or undergone some other cosmetic procedure. They found that each of the different hair treatments can affect the hair shaft and cause it to become damaged. It is the damage of this outside cuticle which will leave the beard open for dehydration as well as leave the beard open to attack from environmental pollutants and conditions. This is supported in an earlier study from 1987 where they looked at the structural abnormalities of the hair shaft. They found that severe weathering of the hair can cause the patient to complain that their hair is dry, dull, or brittle. They took these patients hairs and examine them under a microscope and found a lot of white nodules as well as fractures throughout the hair.
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that when hair gets bleached by the sun and its natural amount of melon in decreases the structure of the hair degenerates quicker. Sunlight leads to signs such as hair dryness and decreased strength as well as a rough texture, loss of colour, stiffness, and brittleness. This is because the cuticle (outside of the hair) breakdown allows for inside degeneration over time. The UV light is absorbed by the proteins that are found in the hair and it can cause free radicals to further catalyse the damage.
These studies show us that you need to look after your hair with quality products and be careful not to damage it by over exposing the hair to sunlight or harsh cosmetic treatments.
It all comes down to making sure that the outside (cuticle) of the hair remains intact!
Best products for making your beard shiny
Here are the best products that you should use to keep your beard healthy, shiny, and keep it awesome.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble nutrient which you can either eat or apply topically to the surface of your beard hair.
According to some, using a vitamin E oil regularly can help replenish the shine that can be lost due to beard damage and aging of the hair. Vitamin E oil can also stop beard oils becoming rancid through oxidation and dramatically increases the shelf-life of the beard oil. So if you are making your own oil you should consider using a little bit of vitamin E oil. This is particularly important if you are making a big batch and it will sit around for a few months before you open a new bottle.
Most of the claims that follow vitamin E around is dues to its anti-oxidant properties (why it preserves beard oils). Here are a few things that vitamin E can do to help your beard:
- Increase shine – There is limited scientific evidence that vitamin E restores shine but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from manufacturers of hair products and their customers. It probably won’t hurt to give it a go for your beard!
- Prevent hair fall from beard – there is a very small study that looked at the ability of vitamin E to prevent hair loss. More research is needed but the results from the study showed a small improvement of hair growth over the placebo control.
- Heathier skin – Vitamin E could help you maintain healthy skin underneath the beard due to its antioxidant effects. This property could help reduce the amount of oxidative stress that could cause the hair follicles to break down.
Vitamin E can be found in beard care products but you can also obtain vitamin E from your diet. Foods with a high level of vitamin E are leafy greens, nuts and seeds, vegetable oil and fortified cereals.
Using beard oil is one of the best ways that you can look after your beard and keep it looking healthy and conditioned. Beard oils do a number of wonderful things to your beard – you can check out the full range of awesome things on my other post.
You need to look for some awesome beard oil ingredients that are readily absorbed by the hair and the skin. Commonly, a beard oil will contain a carrier oil which is an oil or oil mix that makes up most of the beard oil. Some common ones include:
- Olive oil
- Argan oil
- Almond oil
- Jojoba oil
- Castor oil
- Coconut oil
When I make my own I like to make a mixture of Jojoba oil and Aragon oil. The Jojoba oil is perfect for your skin as it is the closest to the natural oils produced by your face. The only issue is that it is not readily absorbed by the hair – that is where the Aragon oil comes in!
Check out how I apply beard oil in these simple 7 steps:
Step 1: Drop the appropriate amount of beard oil into the palm of your hand. Normally, this would be about 3 – 4 drops of beard oil.
Step 2: Rub your hands together and make sure that you evenly distribute the beard oil all over your hands and fingers.
Step 3: Using your fingers, work the beard oil deep into the beard. Make sure that you touch the skin under your beard.
Step 4: Rub your hands together once again and then, with the grain of your beard, use flat hands to work the beard oil into your beard.
Step 5: Use your palms to brush the hair down on the sides of your face and cheeks
Step 6: Work the underside of your beard with the palms and fingers of your hands. It is at this point that if you want to add more beard oil to your hands you can do so. Err on the side of caution if you are not sure and don’t add any more.
Step 7: The last thing to pay attention to is your mustache. use your fingertips to coat the hairs on your mustache and smooth the hair into position.
Don’t use too much, a little goes a long way. In the early days, I almost certainly used too much and this caused people to ask if my beard was “wet”. I quickly scaled back the amount I was using.
Conditioners are used to decrease friction in the hair as well as to detangling the hair and minimise the frizz. They work by neutralising the electrical negative charge of the hair fibres by adding a positive charge and lubricating the cuticle of the hair – the outermost scales of the hair structure.
A good conditioner contained in antistatic and lubricating ingredients which are divided into five main groups: plastics, oils, waxes, amino acids, and positively charged molecules. The most active and used conditioner agent is a silicone based material.
Beard and stache conditioner
Elixirium’s BEARD & STACHE CONDITIONER is formulated from the ground up especially for facial hair use.
Like the entire elixirium’s BEARD & STACHE line, it is the result of months thorough research and numerous trials and errors, in order to become of super premium quality and top of the line, signature beard and mustache care products.
A carefully designed blend of vegan wax, organic butter like Shea and Coconut butter, organic Argan, Avocado, Jojoba and Castor oils along with organic Liquid Silk proteins and vitamin F are forming a rich conditioning cream which is really the key to a silky soft, vivid, properly moisturized and well-nourished and wonderfully scented glorious beard and mustache.
INGREDIENTS: Organic Liquid Silk Proteins, Shea butter, Vegan Wax, Argan oil, Coconut butter, Avocado oil, Jojoba oil, Castor oil, Vitamin F.
Let’s face it beards take a fair bit of controlling and we love turning to our hot friends to make that easier for us – hairdryers and beard straighteners. Have you ever considered how mush these tools are drying out your hair and causing it to look dull? If used too often these tools could result in dullness, limpness, dryness and split ends for our beard hair.
To stop the damaging effects of these hot tools on our beards we can turn to heat protecting creams sprays and serums. It makes sense to place a protective layer over the cuticle of the hair – these products act like a heat shield that decreases the amount of moisture that evaporates from the hair. It can also improve the efficacy of your heat tools too by allowing more heat to penetrate the hair.
Beard heat protector
- GOOD EARTHLY SMELL – It’s woody and slightly sweet, Contains 100% pure Argan Oil, Great for sensitive skin. This Argan Oil scent is very straightforward. It all comes together to create a scent that is masculine, but not overpowering.
- MOISTURIZING AND SOFTENING – This exclusive oil blend is not greasy and gets absorbed quickly by your beard and hair making it softer and easier to style and protects the hair from heat damage.
- HEAT PROTECTANT SPRAY – It protects the hair Protect up to 450º F from heat damage when operating at a high temperature and makes the hair soft, moisturized, and frizz-free. Argan oil can withstand higher temperatures (smoke point = 420°F) than the operating temperature so you can safely use it as a heat protectant.
- FOR HAIR AND BEARD – Spray onto your hair or beard prior to applying heat. If your beard is longer, for best results, follow by combing with a wood beard comb to smooth hair and help disperse the oil evenly. Re-apply as desired.
- GOOD FOR MEN AND WOMEN – Aberlite Heat Shield is ideal for Men and Women, it is formulated to protect hairs and beard from heat damage with it’s exclusive oil blend contains 100% Argan oil.
Deep hydration treatments
Deep Hydration facial and beard treatments take time but the good news is that you can do all of them at home. This is what a home treatment deep hydration treatment looks like:
- Get a hot towel ( as hot as you can stand) and wrap it around your face and beard – leave it for two to five minutes.
- Buy a good leave-in conditioner and use a thumb tip amount and liberally apply to every area on your beard – work it deep with your finger tips
- Use a wide toothed comb to word the conditioner deep into your beard and to the surface of your skin.
- Place a shower cap over your beard and leave it for 20 minutes – this will ensure maximum absorption
- Rinse your beard with water and towel dry your beard
- Add 5 drops of beard oil to your palm and work it through your beard
- Follow up with a beard balm or butter if you want to
These seven steps should leave your beard feeling hydrated like never before. Feel free to repeat these steps as often as you feel that your beard is getting dull.
There are all of the products that you can use to keep your beard looking shiny and awesome. Remember to focus on making sure your beard doesn’t dry out and that it is completely protected from environmental conditions before you invest in a load of different products. Prevention in this case is much better than cure!
I am an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialing different beard styles, I want to share the tips and tricks that I have learned along the way!