Beard balm, beard oil, beard wax…there’s so much stuff that you can lather into your face friend that it can get confusing. Each product requires a different amount to be applied while also requiring certain tricks for optimum use. Embracing products early, however, is a great way to get the most out of your growing beard! Here we will cover exactly how much beard balm to use and why you should use it.
Like most beard products LESS IS MORE! For beard balm, use your thumb or index finger to scoop out a hazelnut-sized amount of product. Sometimes the balm can be a little hard (especially in cold climates) so rub or fingers over the top to soften the balm. Melt the balm in the palms of your hands and apply with flat hands to the surface of your beard. Comb lightly with your favorite implement and you are done making your beard look the best it can!
While these are the basic steps to using beard balm there’s so much more you need to know before you can make the most of using beard balm effectively. Beard balm is a product that you can use every day since it doesn’t strip your face of natural oils. The balm will help moisturize your face and beard hair to keep it soft and manageable throughout the day.
If you have issues maintaining the style and keeping the flyaway hairs in check you should consider adding beard balm to your daily routine! Let’s take a deeper look at the reasosn that you should use a beard balm.
Here is my YouTube video that contains exra information on using beard balm:
Should I use beard balm?
There comes a time in pretty much every person’s beard growing journey where you start considering the different beard products and whether or not you should use them. Beard balm is no different! Beard balm has a heap of benefits for your beard and we will cover the ingredients and the differences between butter, oil in the next section. For now, let’s look at the reasons that you would choose to use beard balm.
Reasons for using beard balm
If your beard is longer than about one inch and you are starting to see some dryness and hairs escaping from the edges that you have defined through trimming or brushing you may want to consider using a beard balm. A beard balm will give you a much stronger hold than oil and will condition and nourish your beard throughout the day. The balm contains butters and essential oils that will help your beard hairs be in the best condition possible! Here are the reasons that you would want to use beard balm as part of your daily routine:
- For more control than beard oil
- To add a level of shine to your beard
- For the smell – get a beard balm that you love the smell of and use it on an unscented beard oil!
- Easy to carry when traveling – unlike oil beard balm comes in a nice small circular container that won’t leak everywhere! Perfect for taming that beard when you are traveling!
- As a leave-in conditioner – if you are finding that your beard is lacking some shine or it breaks easily – add a bit of balm to your morning routine. The butters will condition and nourish your beard as you go about your daily business!
These are some of the best reasosns that you should consider using beard balm as part of your morning routine. However, there are a few reasons why you would not consider using beard balm.
Reasons for not using beard balm
Although there are not many, here are a good few reasons why using beard balm may not be the thing for you:
- You have sensitive skin – you may not want to risk putting beard balm on and aggravating your skin. If you find that there is a certain ingredient in beard balms that causes sensitivity, look to use an oil or wax instead.
- Your hair is under one inch in length – for really short beard lengths you should, first of all, consider using a beard oil instead of a balm. The balm may simply be too much for your short hair (unless you use it sparingly).
These are the two main reasons why I would consider not using a beard balm but rather use a beard butter or oil. But what exactly is the difference betwen these different products? Let’s take a look at that now.
Whats the difference between beard butter, beard balm and beard oil?
Entering the world of beard growing comes with its own challenges. Firstly you have to get used to the different products and when it is most appropriate to use them. Don’t be lured into thinking that oils, waxes and balms all serve the same purpose. The great thing is that you also combine the use of each time of beard product to match the condition of your beard. Never, think that you should be limited to only one type of product. The combination of products that you use will also change over time, so never be afraid of mixing up your routine with some good quality products! Let’s take a look at each one and when you’d be most likely to use them.
Beard oil is the most talked about product in the beard-growing world! The oil does so many awesome things but the one thing it does not do is provide your beard with any styling hold. Beard oils replace the oils that may have been lost during shampooing and conditioning your beard. Something that is really pronounced if you wash your beard every day. The oil that you want on your beard oil if you are experiencing particularly dry hair is Jojoba oil – Jojoba oil is the oil most like natural face oils and is a way to replace the natural sebum that you lose during washing.
Beard oils differ from balm as they only contain oils (like Jojoba, aragan, coconut, caster), they do not contain any solid or soft solid ingrediants like butter or waxes. t is used in a dropper bottle where 3 – 5 drops are normally enough for most users. The longer your beard hair the more beard oil you should use but too much on any length of beard can make it look wet and greasy. I made that mistake in the early stages of growing my beard with one of my colleagues saying “Why is your beard wet?”. How embarrassing!
Bear oil is fantastic If you find that your beard is super itchy particuarly in the early stages of beard growth. If you are finding that your face is super ichy you should definitely use beard oil to soften the hair and make it less irritating for your face.
Beard balm is like oil in the way that it can nourish your face and hair but it provides more hold for styling. It sits somewhere between oil and wax in terms of hold strength. Also, most balms have beeswax and a softening agent – I love using shea butter in my DIY recipe. Check it out in this blog post, click here or you can watch my YouTube video about how I make my Beard balm. I give a complete rundown on the ingredients too!
The presence of beeswax will hold the beard hair into shape and the shea butter, combined with oils, will keep the hair from getting dry. You probably don’t need to use beard balm on really short beards but after about six weeks you’d likely benefit from daily use of beard balm.
Beard wax provides the most hold of all of the beard products. If you have areas of your beard that require extra hold – you need beard wax! Quite often I use beard wax on the sides of my beard and in the moustache area so that hairs do not fly away and look unkempt.
I normally use a beard max in combination with an oil or a balm so that I get the benefits of both types of product: the deep conditioning from the oil and the hold from the max! Other men use beard wax like a moustache wax to keep their fancy and long moustache out of their mouth. I thought I wanted a fancy long moustache until I realized the practicalities of having hair in your mouth the whole time!
So, although each of the beard products are similar in that they allow you to rock a healthier beard they all have subtle differences that will take a bit of experimenting to get right for your beard.
Is beard balm better than oil?
As we have seen above there are some benefits to using a beard balm over oil but it is your particular beard condition and styling desires that will dictate what is “better for your beard”. I would consider beard balm better for your beard if you need a little extra hold which comes from the wax component. I would consider a beard balm better for your beard if you need slightly deeper conditioning than that of oil – since it has the added ingredients of butter, either shea or cocoa.
To answer this question for yourself I would make a mental list of the outcomes that you want from using a particular product and compare that to the differences that I have outlined above. If you are in doubt I think you should spend a bit of time playing about incorporating both beard oil and beard balm into your routine – then experiment until you find the perfect combination.
How to use beard balm
Now that you know what beard balm is and how it differs from oils and wax we need to break down the use process and provide more detail than in the second paragraph of this blog – proper use goes well beyond how much to use!
The steps for using beard balm:
- Shower and dry your beard – Use a combination of mild beard shampoo and conditioner while you shower. Dry your beard with a towel and the cool setting on your hairdryer. Brush it into the shape that you wish it to take for the day.
- Scoop out a small amount of balm – You can use beard balm after beard oil or on its own. You only need a small amount of beard balm. The shorter your beard the less you will need. A good amount for a medium to long beard is about a hazelnut-sized ball.
- Melt it in your palms – to make sure that it is able to be distributed evenly throughout your beard, it needs to be warmed up. Use the hottest part of your hands, the palms, and rub them together. Avoid using your fingertips as they are cooler and will make the balm hard again. Applying with your fingers also can result in clumps of beard balm in your beard.
- Apply to the surface of your hair – Use long strokes on the surface of your beard to spread the balm out. always apply on the direction that you wish for your beard to sit. Keep stroking until there is the right amount applied to your beard.
- Apply deep in your hair – Use your fingertips to work the balm into the beard to reach the skin. Be careful, your fingernails can harm the hairs if you are too rough!
- Lightly brush your hair – before the balm has the opportunity to completely cool down brush with a flat bristle brush or flat comb into your desired shape. You can give your beard a quick blast with a cool hairdryer if you need it to set quickly.
Follow these steps and you’ll be well ahead of the game when it comes to using beard balm. Like I’ve mentioned before, play about with the amount you use and the order and combination when using other beard products. You’ll be able to find exactly what works well for you – I am sure of it!
How often should I use beard balm?
If your hair is quite dry I recommend using beard balm after you apply the beard oil as part of your normal daily routine. You will need to experiment with the amount that you use as too much will leave your beard looking too greasy! It may be that you have a short beard style and your natural face oil (sebum) is more than enough to keep your beard in shape. So in that instance, you may only want to apply beard balm after you have washed and conditioned your hair in the shower. In my experience, this is when my beard appears to have the majority of the oils stripped away.
In the early stages of beard growth, there’s probably not much reason to use beard balm over an oil. I’d recommend using beard balm only after about four weeks of growth or one inch of growth. It is a product that you can add to your cupboard after you have invested in oil and a good brush!
Now, let’s take a look at all of the ingredients of a good beard balm and what each one of them brings to the beard balm party.
The ingredients of beard balm and their benefits
Each ingredient in the beard balm is there for a very specific reason. When combined they provide a powerful tool that will keep your beard looking as good as it can. The ingredients combine to create a soft to hard paste that normally has to be heated a little, by rubbing it between your hands, before application. The cooler the climate that you live in the harder the beard balm will become.
This is the ultimate ingredient for a beard balm. It has so many awesome benefits that the butters could be considered the balms superpower! Here are all of the features that butter brings to the beard balm:
- Protects dry skin and stops bearddruff – don’t be afraid of getting this product right deep into the hair to the skin. People use shea butter on chapped lips, cracked heels, and dry skin.
- Anti-inflammatory – it protects and smooths the skin if you have any issues with inflammation from grooming the beard hair.
- Helps against split ends and broken hair – The shea butter is an incredible way to deeply nourish your hair and protect the cuticles and outside sheath of the hair from damage.
- Hair conditioner – it works incredibly well as a hair conditioner and the great thing is that it won’t leave your beard feeling greasy. It’ll help protect your beard hair from drying out in hot conditions and also reduce frizziness.
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 carrier oil. This provides a nice smell but also each oil has its own benefit. Here are my favorite oils and how they can help your beard! 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 balm. This provides a nice smell but also each oil has its own benefit. 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
- Exudes a distinct spicy and musky aroma that is commonly found in “manly” products
- Fights bad odors
- Helps pores look smaller
- Antibacterial cleanser
- 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
- 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
- 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
My favorite essential oils are cedar, peppermint, and vanilla. Check out my full rundown on beard oils for beginners at this blog – click here.
Carrier oil (I like jojoba oil and coconut oil)
The carrier oil component is the main bulk of beard oil and only a small amount of beard balm and can consist of a mixture of oils. The oils each have a different therapeutic property. The carrier oil component is the main bulk of beard oil and a minor part of a beard balm. The oils in the beard balm each have a different therapeutic property and here we shall look at each one and why you would choose each.
|Aragan||It 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.|
|Jojoba||It is known to closely resembles the sebum of the skin and is rich in vitamin E.|
|Sunflower||Use this oil to treat dry & damaged skin, eczema, and psoriasis.|
|Avocado||It is typically added to other carrier oils in order to boost protein and vitamin content.|
|Coconut||Coconut oil can be used as a skin moisturizer, helping with dry skin. It also reduces protein loss when used in hair.|
|Castor||It is used to treat split hairs and add volume to the beard.|
|Rice Bran||It adds sheen while moisturizing and conditioning the hair without weighing it down.|
|Sweet Almond||It is rich in proteins, Olein Glyceride Linoleic Acid, and Vitamin D, and should be used by those with dry skin.|
|Grapeseed||The high contents of omega 6 fatty acids are known to nourish and improve the texture of the skin.|
One of the last components of a great beard balm is beeswax:
Beeswax does more than provide hold for beard hair. It is also beneficial for skin too!
Beeswax helps the skin retain moisture, contains vitamin A and is anti-inflammatory too! Using beeswax on your beard and mustache helps to style the beard by keeping the hairs together. Because it acts as a safe sealant it will also repel dirt and grime and moisture from rain and other environmental factors.
The ratio of bees wax to the other ingredients will determine how soft or hard the beard balm is. I like to use a 50 50 mix of beeswax and shea butter because I live in a warm climate and need a little bit of extra hold on my beard. However, try a few rations (if you are making it yourself) or try a few different brands of beard balm to find the perfect recipe for your beard and what you want to do with it!
Now let’s have a look at a few of the common questions when it comes to beard balms:
Frequently asked questions about beard balm
There is so much misinformation around online and on the internet that we need to put straight some of these questions:
Do you use beard oil and beard balm together?
The simple answer to this is, yes. You can use beard oil and beard balm together. I have often used beard oil during my morning routine and then realized I need a little bit of extra hold or a little more conditioning. I simply warm a small amount of beard balm in between my hands and apply it on top of the beard oil.
A word of warning for this one! You have to be particuarly careful that yu are not adding too much product to your beard. That will be determined by the length of your beard and how much oil you have used before putting on the beard balm. This is a nice segue for the next commonly asked question: can you use too much beard balm?
Can you use too much beard balm?
From a health perspective, you cannot use too much beard balm unless you are sensitive or allergic to the components of the beard balm. As long as you use non-pore clogging ingredients which, every good manufacturer should, you’ll also not increase the number of pimples or spots that you have! So, from that perspective, you can’t use too much BUT from a styling perspective, you can indeed have too much beard balm on your beard.
When using beard balm you want to use as little as possible to get the desired hold and conditioning effects. This isn’t like a gel that you’d put in your hair in the 90’s – a little goes a long way!
I recommend using half the amount your think you need and them adding more if you need to. No one want’s an overly slick beard that looks wet! Over about 30 minutes the beard balm should be absorbed into your beard hair and it should start to look a little more natural than styled.
Should you use beard balm night?
Most people use beard balm in the morning – after lightly wetting or shampooing their beard. I have a very similar post about beard oil – Beard oil before bed: is it a waste of time and money? – click here to read it! The conclusions of this post are similar to what I’d recommend for beard balm.
Using beard balm just before bed could mean that more ends up on your pillow rather than in your beard hair! If you want to use beard balm before bed you should apply it about one hour before heading to bed. This will make sure that it is sufficiently absorbed by the beard hair before you risk rubbing it all off on your pillow.
Some men use a shower cap over their beard when they sleep to create a deep hydrating effect – you could consider doing something like that if you want to use beard balm just before you are going to go to bed.
How long does Beard Balm last?
Typically when I make a batch of DIY beard balm, I can make a batch that’ll last me for 6 months. that is a number of different tins that I leave in a cool and dry cupboard in my house. So, a good beard balm will last you months as you only need to use the smallest amount each time.
A poll online found that most men were buying a new tin of beard balm every 3 – 4 months, depending on the size of the tin of course. But does that mean that the beard balm can go off if you don’t use it?
Does beard balm go bad?
A beard balm can go bad – but it depends on the ingredients that the beard balm is made from. I notice that over the course of a few weeks my beard balm becomes softer and easier to scoop out of the tub. The more I open it the faster that happens.
As a rule of thumb if you are opening a certain tub of beard balm often – I would renew it in about 6 months. To be honest you have probably used up all of, if not most, of the product at that stage! Particularly if you are using the beard balm as part of your daily routine.
Can beard balm grow facial hair?
Unfortunately, no. Beard balm cannot grow your facial hair. Your facial hair growth is down to genetics and the rate that your body produces testosterone and the sensitivity of your hair follicles to DHT. If you want to know if you can grow a beard – check out my other article – How to know if you can grow a beard? Four important questions to ask yourself…click here.
The final word
Beard balm is a very important tool for the beard grower! Consider buying some after four weeks of growth and use a small amount. Like most beard products LESS IS MORE! For beard balm, use your thumb or index finger to scoop out a hazelnut-sized amount of product. Sometimes the balm can be a little hard (especially in cold climates) so rub or fingers over the top to soften the balm. Melt the balm in the palms of your hands and apply with flat hands to the surface of your beard. Comb lightly with your favorite implement and you are done making your beard look the best it can!
Remember less is more!