The internet is full of beard oil reviews and recommendations, with everyone from GQ Magazine to Yahoo featuring articles about which oil is right for you and comparing various oils to one another. Beard balms on the other hand tend to be overlooked a little. The beard balm could be thought of as the beard oil’s thicker, harder working, cousin: It may not be as pretty or as popular with the ladies, but it pitches in and gets the job done and it does it with style.
What is beard balm and why should you be using it?
Beard balms serve a couple of purposes, primarily:
1. They’re a leave in conditioner for your facial hair // Because beard balms contain many of the same “magic” ingredients as beard oils, including things like coconut oil, argan, jojoba, shea, etc, they have all of the same moisturising, nourishing and caring properties as the beard oils we all love. Using a quality balm regularly ensures that both the hair and the skin on your face get the care they need and deserve;
2. Balms provide style and hold // Like a pomade for your face, beard balm offers more hold than a beard oil and allows you to tame and lightly style your chin warmer. We’re not saying you should try to form an 80s punk rock mohawk on your face (but if you do, PLEASE send us a photo!), but the use of a beard balm will help to prevent wild flyaway hairs and hold the beard in your desired shape.
What are the “typical” beard balm ingredients, and what do they do?
Beard balms are pretty simple beasts, typically made up of a combination of base or carrier oils and essential oils to provide scent and nourishment, along with a wax or butter product to give it the consistency and hold that we want from them. Generally, the carrier and essential oils are going to look much the same as what you find in any beard oil product, with things like jojoba, argan, coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc all getting a frequent nod. The essential oils, again, are much the same (there is a HUGE range of common essential oils though, so I won’t go into those here). What makes balms unique though is the combination of these oils with waxes and/or butters to take them from being just another beard oil to the awesomeness that is your favourite beard balm.
Generally, when you look at the ingredients list on your favourite beard balm you will find some combination of the following:
Beeswax // Beeswax is the ultimate beard holding material. If you want to tame a wild beard, this should be the main ingredient you’re looking for. Balms using beeswax will hold your beard better much better than those without.
Shea, almond, mango, cocoa or other butters // Butters don’t give as much hold as beeswax but they do a great job of thickening up the balm and providing a “medium” hold while being some of the most nourishing ingredients available. These are perfect for when you have a “medium” length beard as they provide enough hold to tame flyaway hairs while really getting in and moisturising the skin and hair.