As you are growing a beard you will become increasingly aware of how curly and bushy natural beards grow. No matter how much Beard oil, beard balm, or beard wax you use it never seems to be enough to completely control your hair. That is where beard straighteners can be an excellent tool for you. Beard straighteners are a fantastic addition to nearly every bearded person’s toolkit as they allow you to easily and reproducibility create a straight and awesome beard. The issue is, when do you use Beard oil. Do I use Beard oil before or after straightening? And what other benefits of using it before and after straightening? In this article we are going to go over using Beard oil before and after straightening and what the benefits of each are.
You should use Beard oil after straightening. The proper sequence of events are: shampoo and condition, a light blow drying, straightener, Beard oil, and then any other products that you use. Before straightening you can also use a heat protector on your beard.
Some people like the sizzle that occurs when you use Beard oil before straightening. This is the moisture trapped under the oil evaporating and struggling to get out of the way of the hot irons or comb. Before we launch into exactly the benefits for using Beard oil before or after straightening let’s take a quick look at why you are using Beard oil and where each benefit would be enhanced by using it before or after.
What does Beard oil do?
Beard oil is a fantastic product that every bearded owner should have. It helps with a massive variety of beard issues such as styling, conditioning, and moisturising your beard. It also contains essential oils and carrier oils that carry some other medicinal benefits. Not only will it make your beard look awesome but it will make sure your beard smells great too. Used as part of your daily routine there is no doubt that will make your beard better in nearly every way. Let’s take a look in more detail at what exactly a Beard oil brings to your beard.
For a full run down on what Beard oil does check out my other article – what does Beard oil do? [A comprehensive guide to Beard oil] – click here.
Moisturizes and conditions hair
One of the most important aspects of using Beard oil is that it can moisturise and condition your hair. Beard hair is naturally moisturised by sebum which is a naturally occurring oil produced by your face. As your beard gets longer your beard is not able to get conditioned as well by the natural oils produced on the surface of your skin. It essentially just gets trapped at the bottom and has nowhere to go. Regular brushing from the route to the tips can help with this issue but once your beard gets to a certain length you must support the natural sebum on your face with a Beard oil.
Oils like argan oil and coconut oil are readily absorbed by the hair on your face. Jojoba oil is also included because it is one of the most similar to the natural sebum produced by your face.
Because your beard oil needs to sit for a long time against the skin this would be an argument for using it after straightening. It can help replace the moisture removed by heat treatment.
Helps get rid of beard itch
In the early stages of growing a beard your beard may become itchy and cause you some discomfort. There is nothing quite like the relentlessness of beard itch in the early stages of growth. It is at this stage were a lot of people growing a beard give up because they feel like it will never get better. But push through because an awesome beard is waiting on the other side of the itch.
Using Beard oil early in the Beard grant process will help soften the hair and stop it from becoming itchy and will also give the Beard a nice shine. If you are a regular shaver the hairs on your face are sharp and ragged from cutting. The Beard oil help soften the ends of your short Beard hairs and stops them from becoming irritating when curling around.
Of course, beard oil isn’t just awesome for short beards, it can help itchiness in long beards too.
Helps with styling
Beard oil doesn’t only moisturise the act of moisturising and conditioning the hair makes it much easier to style. A well condition beard is much easier to manage. I find that using a little bit Beard oil every day helps combat the friendliness and fuzziness caused by dry hair.
Make sure that you are not completely over using Beard oil in the expectation that it will provide a lasting hold. Once it gets absorbed into the hair it provides no lasting hold like a beard balm or Beard wax. They provide a much longer hold and you can find an in-depth article that I’ve written with everything you now need to know about beard balm – click here.
This would be an argument for using Beard oil after this straightening to condition and moisturise the Beard after you have tried it out through heat treatment.
Stops beard dandruff
Beard oil stops beard dandruff in its tracks. Beard dandruff or beardruff is one of the most annoying aspects that can pop up while growing a beard. The issue is when it hits it happens fast and is embarrassingly visible when you are out and about. Beard dandruff is caused by dry skin under the Beard and is responsible for flaky skin to fall from the beard and onto your top. For those that have suffered from it no amount of brushing, scratching or shaking seems to be able to remove all of the flakes… It seems like an infinite supply of dead skin.
Using a Beard oil will help moisturise the skin as long as you are able to penetrate the full thickness of the beard and get it on the surface of the skin. When using Beard oil make sure to use your fingertips to get it right to the base of the hair.
It smells nice
Lastly, but by no means least, beard oil is awesome to use because it smells nice. Or at least it can smell nice if you choose one with essential oils that you like. This central oils are added to the Beard oil in a very small amount because they just smell so much. Some essential oils also provide a therapeutic benefit as well as the scent. The one thing I like about beard oil is that you can make your own and combine a number of sense to make a signature smell.
One thing I recommend to beard growers is to buy an unscented Beard oil – check out my recommended tools page – and adding scented by dropping in your favourite essential oil. You only need about 3 to 5 drops.
You should probably use Beard oil after straightening because essential oils are very volatile which means that the smallest amount of heat will evaporate the smell.
Be careful what scent you decide to use because it is likely you will be smelling it for a good portion of the day. I’ve tried a variety of them and found that citrus, vanilla and peppermint were my favourite. Play about with yours until you are happy with the scent.
Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of using Beard oil before straightening.
What happens when you use Beard oil before straightening?
When you are using Beard oil before straightening you accept that some of the effects that you get from leaving it in for a long period of time are not being applied to your beard. Some people consider Beard oil a “leave in conditioner” which means that it needs to sit in your hair for a very long time – about one hour – before it has its therapeutic effects. Here are the effects of using Beard oil before straightening.
More heat applied to the hair
Oil is better at conducting heat than water. This means that if you are using your beard oil before straightening it is likely that your hair will experience higher heat for a longer time than if you are to not use Beard oil and straighten your beard after a shower.
This could be a good tool if you find that your beard is particularly curly and you struggle with straightening your beard using water alone. However, if you suffer from dry frizzy hair on a regular basis this approach will probably cause too much damage for your hair.
Using an oil before straightening increases the risk that you will over heat your hair and cause the keratin to perish. This is one reason why using Beard oil before straightening has to be approached with caution.
You’ll have to use more afterwards
If you are using Beard oil before straightening it is likely that some of it will end up on the straightener and you will not get the effects that require a long exposure on the hair. Besides the increased heat that your hair will experience you will also be removing some of the oil.
This means that to get all of the benefits that were listed above, you will have to apply more Beard oil. If you apply Beard oil to hot hair it would likely attract the heat on the surface of the hair potentially causing damage. Beard oil isn’t necessarily expensive but if you are using twice the amount that you need to every day you will find that you will be spending twice as much on Beard oil. Considering that there are not many benefits to using Beard oil before straightening I would save my oil and money for after.
Beard oil will end up on the straightener
Beard straighteners can be quite expensive and oil can end up on everything you touch. Because you are applying Beard oil with the palms of your hands and fingertips it can end up all over the electronic straightener and cause issues.
Some oils that are left on plastic and metallic objects can cause corrosion and damage to the finish of the material. If you are using Beard oil before straightening you have to be diligent when it comes to removing the oil from your hands before touching your beard straightener. The ceramic surfaces that are required for efficient heat transfer to hair may also become damaged by the Beard oil.
So in summary make sure that you are cleaning your beard straightener regularly with something that can remove oil efficiently. Like a soap or isopropyl alcohol.
Slight risk of fire
The components of Beard oil are oils and essential oils. If you do not clean up the oil and it continues to get hot there is a slight risk that you will start an oil fire. Most beard straighteners will have a failsafe which means that they do not overheat and therefore are unable to create a fire, but it is something that could happen. For example, jojoba oil has a flashpoint of a temperature greater than 500°C and argan oil has a flashpoint of 200°C. This is a temperature that is able to be achieved by beard straighteners and so there is a slight risk if there is a significant amount of oil buildup on your straighteners and you are to leave it unattended.
The material data safety sheets for oils also ask that you should avoid breathing the admitted vapours from high temperatures. This is a health risk for those people with asthma or other respiratory problems. Breathing the vaporised oil is probably not something that you should do often for the sake of your health.
What happens when you use Beard oil after straightening?
My preferred method of using Beard oil is to use it after straightening. That is because you avoid all of the negative issues that were discussed above and retain all of the therapeutic benefits that you get from leaving Beard oil in for a prolonged period of time at room temperature. Here are some of the benefits that you get from using Beard oil after straightening.
It cools down the hair
Beard oil can help cool down the hair if it is applied a little bit after the maximum heat your hair experiences. Beard oil is able to conduct heat and therefore can help release some of the heat into the environment. However, Beard oil does not have a huge heat capacity, unlike water, so it has limited thermal properties.
It is best to let your hair cool down completely or give it a quick blast with cool air from a hairdryer before applying the Beard oil.
Help the hair recover from potential heat damage
If you are using a beard straightener there is no doubt that you will end up removing some of the moisture from the hair. There is even a little bit of a debate on whether or not you should straighten your beard at all. There are pros and cons for straightening your beard but check out my YouTube video where I talk through all of the pros and cons of using heat treatment on your beard.
Using a beard straightener or higher heat treatment is a common practice and using a Beard oil after stressing out your hair will result in good things. For your hair to receive the maximum benefit of Beard oil you should let it sit against your hair for more than one hour. This can only happen if you apply it after using a beard straightener.
No Beard oil on straightener
One of the best reasons you should not use Beard oil before straightening is that it keeps your beard straightener completely free of your oily mess. There is nothing more frustrating than having to clean a beard straightener every couple of weeks because it becomes completely encased in Beard oil. That is one of the primary reasons why I do not use Beard oil before straightening.
In this article I hope that I have given you the evidence you need to use Beard oil after you have straightened your beard hair. It is an important part and increasingly common tool but beard straighteners must still be used understanding that they can damage your hair.
To get the full effects of Beard oil you must make sure that it is set against your beard hair for more than one hour. Straightening your hair with oil on it can increase the amount of heat that is transferred to your hair and you can end up undoing some of the benefits that are imparted by beard oil by simply stressing out your hair too much.
Using a Beard oil sensibly alongside a beard straightener can result in an awesome looking Beard. Just use it with caution.
Happy beard growing my beautiful friends!