Beard Balm: What is it and do I really need it?
If you’re growing a beard, you’ve probably heard about beard balm. But what is beard balm? Do you really need it for your facial hair? This guide will explain everything you need to know about beard balm – what it is, how to use it, the ingredients, and whether it’s a necessary step in your beard grooming routine.
- Beard Balm in Men’s Beard Care
- The Difference Between Beard Oil and Beard Balm
- What Is the Anatomy of Your Beard?
- What Are the Main Beard Oil and Balm Ingredients?
- How Do You Use Beard Balm?
- How does Beard Balm work?
- How to use and apply Beard Balm?
- Do I need Beard Balm?
- What Does Beard Balm Do?
- How to Apply Beard Balm
- Beard Balm Ingredients
- Will beard balm grow my beard?
- Is it good to use beard balm every day?
- Is Balm better than oil?
- Do I apply beard oil or Balm first?
- Is Beard Balm or oil better for a short beard?
- When should I use beard balm?
- Does beard balm keep the beard in place?
Beard Balm in Men’s Beard Care
Beard balm has become a popular product in men’s grooming and beard care. It serves a few important purposes:
- Moisturizing and conditioning the beard hair and skin underneath
- Styling, shaping, and taming the beard
- Providing a light hold to keep stray hairs in place
- Giving beard hair a healthy shine
Beard balm is often used in conjunction with beard oil, which is used to moisturize and soften the beard. Balm provides styling, holds the shape of the beard, and gives it a polished look.
Many men find both beard oil and balm necessary to keep their facial hair looking its best. Using just one or the other could leave your beard feeling greasy, dry, frizzy, or unmanageable.
The Difference Between Beard Oil and Beard Balm
So what’s the difference between beard balm and beard oil? Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Beard oil is hydrating and used for conditioning and softening the facial hair and skin underneath. The main ingredients are carrier oils like jojoba, argan, and grapeseed. A few drops massaged into the beard is all you need.
- Beard balm contains carrier and essential oils like beard oil, but also includes waxes and butter. These give the balm a thicker consistency for holding shape and styling. Common ingredients are shea butter, beeswax, and cocoa butter. Use a fingertip amount rubbed thoroughly into the beard.
While beard oil focuses on moisturizing and conditioning, balm adds hold, shape, and manageability to your style. Most experts recommend using both oil and balm as part of a complete beard grooming routine.
What Is the Anatomy of Your Beard?
To understand how beard balm benefits your facial hair, it helps to know the basic structure and makeup of your beard:
- The beard hair itself is composed of a protein called keratin. This protein can become dry and damaged over time.
- Underneath the hair follicles is the skin, which can also become irritated, dry, and flaky with regular grooming and styling.
- The sebaceous glands at hair follicles produce oil (sebum) to lubricate the hair and skin. But sometimes your beard needs additional moisturizing.
This is where beard balm (and beard oil) come in – to supplement the natural oils and provide conditioning, strengthening ingredients straight to the beard hair and skin underneath.
What Are the Main Beard Oil and Balm Ingredients?
Now let’s look at the beneficial ingredients commonly found in beard care products:
Carrier oils – Argan, jojoba, grapeseed, sweet almond and other plant-based oils. Nourish and soften beard hair. Protect skin underneath.
Essential oils – Add fragrance. Types like cedarwood, sandalwood, and peppermint also have benefits for skin and hair.
Butters – Shea, cocoa, mango butter. High in fatty acids and vitamins to condition. Reduce dryness and itching. Provide thickness to balm.
Waxes – Beeswax most common. Adds hold, shape, and styling ability to balms.
Vitamin E – Powerful antioxidant. Helps repair damage to hair follicles. Improves moisture retention.
These ingredients work together to make the beard look healthy, feel soft and nourished. Reduce itchiness and irritation that beards often experience.
How Do You Use Beard Balm?
Using beard balm is pretty simple:
- Scoop out a fingertip-sized amount of balm from the container.
- Rub it thoroughly between your fingers to warm and soften the balm.
- Apply it throughout your facial hair – under the neck, moustache, chin, and sideburns. Massage down to the skin.
- Use a comb or brush to evenly distribute and style as desired – shape moustache, tame flyaways.
- Let the balm soak in for a minute before touching or styling again.
Apply once daily, or more often if your beard needs extra moisture and hold. The nourishing ingredients will absorb best after a shower when the pores are open. Using a hair dryer helps too.
How does Beard Balm work?
Now that you know how to use beard balm, how does it actually work? Here are the mechanisms:
- Penetrates hair – Ingredients like carrier oils and butters are small molecules that penetrate the hair shaft to condition and strengthen from within.
- Seals moisture – Beeswax and butters coat the outside of the hair to seal in moisture and prevent environmental damage.
- Conditions skin – Vitamin E, essential oils, butters hydrate and nourish the skin to relieve itching and dryness. More comfort under your beard.
- Provides light hold – Waxes and butters give balm a slight tackiness to keep hairs neatly in place. Lets you style without being stiff or sticky.
- Protects – Barrier helps insulate hair against heat styling, sun damage, pollutants, and harsh weather.
Using both oil and balm enhances these benefits for complete care inside and out.
How to use and apply Beard Balm?
Here are some pro tips for getting the most out of your beard balm:
- Use after showering when pores are open to absorb ingredients. Can also be used on dry beards.
- Dry beard first with a towel. Balm works best on damp, not soaked hair.
- Rub between fingers to warm and soften. Makes application easier.
- Start with a small amount, like a pea-sized drop. Add more if needed.
- Apply thoroughly to the beard length and down to the skin.
- Use a comb or boar bristle brush to distribute evenly.
- Let soak in for a few minutes before styling and shaping.
- Store in a cool, dry place. Don’t leave in extreme heat or cold.
- Avoid putting balm on the handle so it stays clean when scooping out.
Following these tips will make your beard balm absorb better and keep the product lasting longer.
Do I need Beard Balm?
Whether you need beard balm depends on a few factors:
- Beard length – Longer beards tend to become more unruly, dry, and damaged. Balm helps tame flyaways and split ends. Short beards may not need as much moisturizing.
- Hair type – Coarse or curly hair tends to be drier and needs more balm for conditioning and frizz control. Fine, straight beards may not require as much.
- Climate – In cold dry climates, balm locks in moisture. Hot humid weather can lead to bushy, puffy beards needing balm to shape and tame.
- Skin type – Balm soothes itchy, irritated skin underneath that’s common with new beard growth. Helps prevent dandruff and acne.
- Maintenance – Frequent trimming and heat styling damage hair over time. Using balm repairs and protects.
While not 100% necessary, most beards can benefit from the styling, moisturizing, and nourishing ingredients in a quality balm. It helps take your beard to the next level.
What Does Beard Balm Do?
To quickly recap, here’s what you can expect beard balm to do for your facial hair:
- Make hair softer, and more manageable
- Shape and lightly hold style
- Tame frizz, flyaways, stray hairs
- Smooth and straighten curls
- Hydrate and condition hair
- Soothe dry, itchy skin
- Protect from pollutants and sun
- Prevent split ends and breakage
- Give beard a healthy shine
Balm helps you style your beard just how you like it while keeping the hair and skin underneath in optimal condition.
How to Apply Beard Balm
Applying beard balm properly ensures it can do its job for your facial hair. Follow these steps:
- Scoop out a pea-sized amount of balm with your fingertip.
- Warm and soften balm between fingers.
- Massage thoroughly into the entire beard – skin underneath and hair tips.
- Use a comb or brush to distribute evenly and style.
- Allow the balm to soak in for a few minutes before touching up.
- Apply once daily, or more as needed for styling or dry skin.
Rubbing the balm between your hands first helps it melt onto the beard hair better when massaging in. Distributing with a comb coats each hair evenly.
Beard Balm Ingredients
What’s actually in beard balm that makes it work? Here are the key ingredients and benefits:
- Carrier oils – Grapeseed, jojoba, argan oils hydrate and nourish hair.
- Essential oils – Sandalwood, cedarwood, peppermint oils scent and condition beard.
- Butters – Shea and cocoa butter moisturize and soften hair.
- Beeswax – Shapes and lightly holds style in place.
- Vitamin E – Antioxidant that repairs damage and dryness.
High-quality balms use natural butter, waxes, and oils to care for and style all beard types and lengths. Avoid products with fillers or artificial chemicals.
Will beard balm grow my beard?
While beard balm is great for conditioning and styling, it doesn’t actually increase beard growth. Growing a thicker, fuller beard depends more on genetics, testosterone levels, and overall health.
However, the balm can create an environment more favourable for growth by:
- Moisturizing the skin and hair follicles
- Reducing inflammation from irritation and dryness
- Increasing blood circulation when massaged into the skin
- Minimizing hair breakage so fuller looking
So while balm won’t directly accelerate new beard growth, it can help your beard look and feel fuller by keeping the existing hair and skin healthy. Proper nutrition, rest, exercise, and genetics play a bigger role in growth.
Is it good to use beard balm every day?
Using beard balm every day is fine for most men. Since balm contains natural conditioning oils, butters and waxes, it won’t damage hair when applied daily.
Benefits of daily use:
- Keeps beard hair moisturized and manageable
- Nourishes skin to prevent dryness and flaking
- Styles and lightly holds shape better
- Makes your beard feel and look its best every day
However, some men don’t need the intense conditioning of daily balm:
- Men with shorter, finer beards
- Those living in humid climates
- If the beard feels greasy or oily
- Experiencing breakouts or clogged pores
Gauge your beard’s needs. Using balm less often may work better for some. Listen to what your skin and hair respond best to.
Is Balm better than oil?
Beard balm and beard oil complement each other and work best when used together. Here’s how they compare:
- Thin, liquid consistency
- Absorbs quickly into hair and skin
- Primary use is conditioning and moisturizing
- Contains carrier and essential oils
- No hold, shaping, or styling ability
- Thicker, butter-like consistency
- Coats hair and skin surface to seal moisture
- Conditions, holds shape, and styles
- Contains carrier oils plus butters and waxes
- Provides light styling hold
Oil hydrates and balances moisture levels from within. Balm nourishes while taming and lightly holding the style. Using both gives the fullest beard care.
Do I apply beard oil or Balm first?
When using both products, it’s best to apply beard oil first, then use balm afterwards:
- Oil quickly absorbs into hair and skin to deeply condition.
- Balm then works as a styling finisher on top to shape and lightly hold.
- The thicker balm can prevent the thinner oil from penetrating if applied first.
Oil before balm allows each product to serve its specific purpose. Remember to let the oil soak in first before applying balm over it.
Is Beard Balm or oil better for a short beard?
For short stubble and beards under 1 inch long, beard oil is generally the better choice over balm:
- Shorter beards don’t require as much styling or hold.
- Balm may feel greasy and weigh thin hair down.
- Oil provides light hydration without residue buildup.
- Easy to apply oil across all areas of a shorter beard.
However, some men with scratchy stubble still see benefits from balm’s moisturizing. You can experiment to see which gives your short beard the best look and feel.
When should I use beard balm?
The ideal times to use beard balm are:
- Morning – After showering, balm shapes and styles your beard for the day ahead. Reactivate with a quick touch-up as needed.
- Night – Before bed, balm nourishes and conditions the beard as you sleep.
- Post-grooming – Following washing, combing or trimming, use balm to tame frizz and flyaways.
- Pre-styling – Before blow drying or heat styling, the balm protects from heat damage.
- Seasonal dryness – Extra balm during winter or dry months prevents seasonal beard itchiness and breakage.
Figure out when your beard needs the most help looking its best, then make balm part of your routine.
Does beard balm keep the beard in place?
Yes, a quality beard balm can help keep your style in place in a few ways:
- Light hold – The waxes provide a gentle hold to keep hairs neatly combed and shaped how you styled them.
- Defines shape – Balm lets you mould and set your preferred beard shape that persists as the balm stays in place.
- Tames stray hairs – The thickness weighs down flyaways and frizzy strands to keep them contained.
- Stops adjustments – Your beard retains its style longer before needing touch-ups.
However, the balm isn’t as stiff of a hold as moustache wax or hair spray. Your beard will still have natural movement. But balm makes the style last longer between touch-ups.
FAQs About Beard Balm
Q: What is beard balm?
A: Beard balm is a grooming product specifically designed for men with beards. It is a moisturizing product that helps to soften and tame the beard, while also providing nourishment to the skin beneath.
Q: What is the difference between beard oil and beard balm?
A: Beard oil is a liquid oil that is primarily used to moisturize the beard and the skin underneath. Beard balm, on the other hand, is a thicker, more creamy product that provides both moisture and hold for styling purposes.
Q: How do I use beard balm?
A: To use beard balm, simply take a small amount of product (about the size of a dime) and rub it between your palms to warm it up. Then, apply it to your beard, starting from the roots and working your way to the ends. Use a beard brush or comb to evenly distribute the balm throughout your beard.
Q: What are the benefits of using beard balm?
A: Beard balm provides several benefits for your beard. It helps to moisturize and soften the hair, making it more manageable and reducing beard itch. It also nourishes the skin beneath the beard, preventing dryness and flakiness. Additionally, beard balm can provide hold and shape to your beard, helping you to achieve your desired style.
Q: Does beard balm contain shea butter?
A: Yes, many beard balms contain shea butter as one of the main ingredients. Shea butter is known for its moisturizing and nourishing properties, making it a popular choice for beard grooming products.
Q: Can I use beard balm on a patchy beard?
A: Yes, beard balm can be used on a patchy beard. It can help to soften the existing hair and promote healthy growth in sparse areas. However, keep in mind that beard balm is not a miracle worker and may not be able to fill in patchy areas.
Q: How often should I use beard balm?
A: The frequency of using beard balm can vary depending on individual needs. As a general rule, it is recommended to use beard balm once a day. However, if you have particularly dry or coarse facial hair, you can use it more often to provide extra moisture and nourishment.
Q: Can beard balm help with beard itch?
A: Yes, beard balm can help to alleviate beard itch. It moisturizes the skin beneath the beard, reducing dryness and preventing itchiness. The nourishing ingredients in beard balm can also help to soothe irritated skin.
Q: Can scented beard balms be used by people with sensitive skin?
A: It depends on the individual’s sensitivity. Some scented beard balms may contain fragrances or essential oils that can potentially irritate sensitive skin. It is best to do a patch test before using a scented beard balm to ensure that it does not cause any adverse reactions.
Q: How long does a jar of beard balm last?
A: The longevity of a jar of beard balm depends on the size of the jar and how often it is used. On average, a 2 oz jar of beard balm can last anywhere from 1 to 3 months when used once a day.
Beard balm can be a useful addition to your facial hair grooming toolkit. Use it to soften, condition, lightly hold and style your beard just how you like it. The natural ingredients moisturize hair and skin to help your beard look and feel its very best.
Hopefully, this guide gave you all the details on how beard balm works and the proper way to use it. Figure out which products and routines keep your facial hair looking great. Your beard will make you look sharp and feel confident.