Never put anything in your beard to make it better? No problem.
Tried ’em all and love to find the best of the best? We’ve got you covered.
Beard balm and beard oil are amazing tools that every bearded man should have in his arsenal. They condition the beard and leave it stronger and smoother. And if you choose the right scent, you’ll get a subtle note of smelling better, too. Pretty hard to go wrong with that.
Balm has wax and potentially other more creamy ingredients, which gives it a bit of a hold along with conditioning properties, whereas oil is all about, well, the oils (no wax included).
What Is Beard Balm?
Beard balm is a concoction that helps moisturize, give shine to, and aid in the overall health of your beard.
It helps stop the beard from being dry and brittle by feeding its nutritional oils. It should also help you style your beard, or at the very least keep wiry stray hairs at bay and ensure most of your facial hair falls naturally in the direction you choose, rather than all over the place. They usually contain something like beeswax to lock in the moisture and aid in the styling, which makes sure the oils in the balm don’t go to waste.
Pretty much anyone with a beard can get some use out of a beard balm. If you go for the stubble look, you’re probably not reading this, but either way, a beard oil or face moisturizer might be the one for you. For all others with even a bit more hair than stubble, you should get some beard balm.
Why Do I Need It?
Well, you get the sweet benefits of it, first of all.
- A bit of shine,
- A bit of hold for styling, and
- Great health for both your beard and the skin beneath.
If that’s not enough, I don’t know what is.
A lot of guys have been the cool types who thought they’d never use ‘product’ in their beard, only to test it out and be converted on the spot. We hope you’re not like that because with great beard comes great responsibility, but if you are, get over yourself and get some beard balm. You owe it to yourself and your beard to be well groomed.
Your beard is different than the hair on your head, but it is still hair. If you don’t treat it right, you’ll get an inferior product. Imagine if you didn’t shampoo or condition your hair ever. That’s what a lot of men are doing to their beards. A quick rinse in the shower and that’s it.
“Oh, beard hair is just coarse and rough,” they’ll say.
Yeah, it is, but you have NO IDEA how it can look and feel when it’s as well groomed as the rest of you. It’s simply too easy to ignore and assume that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Coarse and rough compared to the hair on your head, yes indeed, but it isn’t supposed to be like a wire brush scratching everything in its path and sticking out every which way.
With beard balm, you basically restore order to your beard and both the facial hair and the skin underneath will thank you. In fact, women around you might start thanking you, too. Maybe you’ll try one with an alluring manly scent and add that benefit to the ones mentioned above.
How To Use And Apply The Product
First, have a beard.
Then, take a little bit on your finger.
Next, rub it around in your hands to warm it up a bit.
Finally, put hands through the beard.
That’s a bit simplistic, but it’s the gist of it.
What you’ll want to do is either take your finger and make a small circle in the balm to warm it up a bit and get some on your finger or simply use the back of your fingernail to scoop a wee bit out.
Rubbing it between your hands is necessary because it softens the ingredients, allowing them to more easily pass through your hair, which means they’ll do their job better than if they just lumped up and became chunks in the beard. That’d be nasty, so give ‘er a good rub between the palms.
Start at the bottom of your beard around your neck and work it up in such a way that you get it on the hair and close to the skin. It’s great for the neglected skin under the beard, so make sure to really work it in. Again, start from the bottom, work your way up, then run your fingers and hands through it in a downward motion to get it all back into place and fully applied. Take a minute or two to really make sure you get everything covered.
The rest is up to you depending on style. If you just want to keep the majority of hairs from getting out of whack, a quick once over with your hands should suffice. However, if you’re looking for the works, why not use a boar bristle brush to really work it in and make sure you’ve got every strand of hair?
Brushing it with a very stiff bristled brush is exceptional for overall beard care and can help both distribute the balm and style.
Can You Find Organic Beard Balms?
Pretty much all balms these days are organic.
Made with natural and non-synthetic ingredients, you are likely going to find an organic beard balm when you make your decision.
The thing is, that’s not ALWAYS the case, so just be on the lookout. If you see things like petroleum jelly being used for the styling/hold element, look elsewhere.
It’s rare these days to find anything non-organic, but be sure to look at the ingredients before making any purchases. It just so happens that the things that are best for your face and hair are totally natural and organic, so many makers of this fine product today are well versed in only these premium ingredients.
Is This The Same Thing As Conditioner For Beards?
Why yes, it is!
Often you will see both beard balm and beard conditioner labeling, and it can be confusing. Are they the same, what’s the difference, why are they not all called the same thing?
We even went out and confirmed this by asking an expert beard balm manufacturer. He told us they’re the same thing. The beard balm actually helps condition the beard with the oils and natural ingredients within, and so while the product is beard balm, it conditions the beard, meaning you could call it one or the other without being wrong.
Review of the Best Beard Balm
Like the rest of our site, we focus on the absolute best of the best. There are hundreds of beard trimmers out there, but we only focus on a couple of dozen, maximum, because the rest just don’t cut it.
Same with combs (we generally only recommend Kent, for example), and all of the other products we review. If it’s not good, we don’t have time for it.
That’s why we’ve chosen just one beard balm to recommend. It’s called Virtu and it’s a beard balm by Liberty Premium Grooming Co.
We love it because:
- It’s handcrafted here in the US
- It uses ultra premium ingredients (babassu oil and argan oil, for example)
- It actually works (softens, styles, shines)
If you’re looking for a healthier, stronger, and generally better beard, we strongly recommend picking up some balm, and this particular unit is pretty spectacular.
It’s scented with eucalyptus, which gives it a natural outdoorsy scent that has almost minty undertones. Like all things, the scent won’t please everyone, but if you’re looking for something fresh and a bit of the great outdoors, this is a nice subtle smell.
With just the right blend of beeswax, shea butter, and the brilliant essential oils, this gives a moderate hold but a high level of conditioning which will keep you well taken care of in terms of cleanliness, light hold, a bit of shine, and general upkeep.
What Is Beard Oil?
Beard oil conditions, moisturizes, shines and helps your beard and the skin underneath stay healthy. Much of the same qualities of beard balm, actually. The only real difference is that unlike beard balm, it does not have wax and/or shea butter or anything of the sort, so you don’t get the hold you will with a balm.
So, if you’re looking to help shape or style your beard, you’ll want to get a balm, as we recommend above. However, if you’re just looking to give your beard a bit of delightful health elixir and maybe a bit of shine, oil is the way to go.
Basically, you’ve got your carrier oils and your essential oils, and perhaps some additional notes in there too, such as vitamins and scent.
The carrier oils help keep the mixture stable and give it body, and the essential oils are those that help your hair and face from being brittle and unhealthy. Vitamins are good for some extra infusion of, well, vitamins, and the scent will depend on your preference, though most men prefer something natural, outdoorsy, or woodsy (we’ve done surveys! Not scientific, of course, but that’s what we’ve done!).
Like a balm, pretty much any bearded man will find that using oil will be of benefit to him. It basically comes down to whether you prefer balm or oil, but from the new growth to the yeard, pick one and you’ll be glad you did.
Why Do I Need It?
There are some really great benefits of beard oil that you’ll hear about from the guys who use it. Look forward to:
- A stronger beard
- A softer beard
- A shinier beard
- A healthier beard
- Healthier skin under your facial hair
Basically, a lot of guys have neglected to properly care for their beards, and oil, like a balm, can help bring it back to its natural glory.
The thing is, a lot of men don’t take proper care of many things when it comes to grooming, especially their facial hair. It’s ‘natural’, right? So it should just grow and be free.
Think about the hair on your head, though. Do you put stuff in it to style it? Heck, do you wash it?
If you do, you’re taking care of it because you know if you don’t, it’ll be disgusting.
Well, guess what? The same thing applies to your beard.
If you don’t use anything in it, you’re leaving it to fend on its own. It becomes coarse, rough, scratchy, wiry, and unhealthy. That isn’t cool, and as a man with a beard, you owe it to yourself to treat that beard as well as it’s treated you.
If your beard gets a quick rinse in the shower (or if you shampoo it regularly, heaven forbid), it’s going to be a dry, brittle, mess.
Beard oil, as with the balm we talked about above, can fix most of these issues with regular use.
That, my friends, is why you need beard oil.
How To Use And Apply The Product
It’s nice to start with some facial hair.
Then, take 2-6 drops in the palm of your hand. (This might depend on the type of bottle your oil comes in. Some have a dropper, some don’t, so imagine what 2-6 dropper drops look like, and go with that amount if you don’t get the actual dropper)
Rub your hands together with the oil in your palms, making sure to cover your fingers as well as each palm.
Take your hands and rub upwards through your beard, and then back down, coating each hair with the oil.
Work it in until you’re satisfied that it is applied sufficiently.
You can brush it with a boar bristle brush to help style it and help spread the oil, but this isn’t necessary.
Review of the Best Beard Oil
So, you’ve made sure you prefer oil over beard balm (you don’t need the wax and other thicker ingredients, just the healthful properties of the oils).
Excellent choice, good sir.
Our pals over at Liberty Premium Grooming Co. have done it again. Just like their balm, which is the one and only we recommend because it’s THAT good, we are going to go ahead and recommend their Virtu Beard Oil, too.
We’re all about only presenting you with the best of the best, so a lot of the time we’ll only showcase a single product when other sites might give you 5 or 10 choices.
We figure, you’re here to find the best of the best…after all, aren’t we supposed to be the ones doing the testing to figure this out? If we don’t give you our opinion of the best, what’s the point?
Anyway, this fine concoction has all natural ingredients, which are all super high quality. It’s made right here in the USA by expert (and bearded) craftsmen. It’s got the same scent that people love about beard balm.
Basically, it’s as good as the balm we recommend above, but in oil format. We expect nothing less!
With Almond Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Eucalyptus, and Vitamin E expertly blended in just the right ratio, Liberty has come up with something that keeps your beard conditioned and smelling great all day.
It gives a light shine without being greasy and is easily worked through your beard hairs, no matter how short, or long, your beard is. After a few days use, you’ll definitely notice a difference – just make sure you only use a couple of drops, as it goes a long way! In fact, for a short beard, use 1-2 drops, and for a long beard (more than a couple of inches), you can scale up accordingly. Try 3 drops, then 4, etc., until you find the perfect match.
If you prefer the lighter quality of oil to a balm, and only accept the highest quality, this is our recommendation, full stop.