Keeping my beard in great condition is important to me but when I first grew out my beard I wasn’t really sure how to care for it. I soon discovered beard oil and beard balm but wonder when I should use these two essential tools in the beardsman’s arsenal.
Beard oil is fantastic at keeping your beard healthy and should be used in your daily routine, especially after showering and/or before bed. Beard balm on the other hand provides good structure and control of your beard and so should be used in social settings such as work or special occasions.
This is the short answer but there is so much more that you should know.
In this article, I share my personal experiences and insights on when and how to use these beard grooming products to keep your facial forest looking and feeling its best.
What is Beard Oil?
Let’s start with what is in my view the unsung hero of beard care: beard oil.
Beard oil is a vital elixir for beard health and vitality.
It’s typically a blend of carrier oils, such as jojoba, argan, and sweet almond oil, infused with essential oils for fragrance.
But what exactly does it do for your beard, and when should you use it?
Beard oil is like a nourishing potion for your facial hair.
Its primary purpose is to moisturize and condition both your beard hair and the underlying skin.
This keeps your beard soft, supple, and free from the dreaded itchiness and beardruff (beard dandruff).
Moreover, it helps to prevent split ends and promotes healthier beard growth.
When to Use Beard Oil
For most people with beards, incorporating beard oil into your daily grooming routine is now a must.
After showering or washing your face, while your beard is still slightly damp, apply a few drops (the amount depends on your beard’s length and thickness) of beard oil to your palms.
Rub your hands together to distribute the oil evenly and then gently massage it into your beard and the skin beneath it.
This hydrates your beard and keeps it manageable throughout the day.
Using beard oil after showering is particularly effective because your pores are open, and your beard and skin are clean.
The oil can penetrate deeply, locking in moisture and nutrients for maximum benefit.
Applying beard oil before bedtime allows it to work its magic overnight.
This extended period of nourishment helps repair and rejuvenate your beard while you sleep, leaving you with a softer and healthier beard to wake up to.
In Dry or Harsh Weather
If you live in a dry climate or are battling cold, windy weather, using beard oil can act as a protective shield against the elements.
It prevents your beard from becoming brittle and dry.
To Tame Wild Whiskers
When your beard seems to have a mind of its own, with hairs pointing in every direction, beard oil can help bring order to the chaos.
It smooths unruly hair and gives your beard a more groomed appearance.
Now that we’ve covered the magic of beard oil, let’s dive into another essential tool in your beard grooming kit: beard balm.
What is Beard Balm?
Beard balm is like the architect of beard grooming products—it’s here to shape and sculpt your beard, providing structure and control.
But what sets it apart from beard oil, and when should you reach for the balm?
Beard balm contains a mix of natural ingredients, including beeswax, shea butter, and various carrier oils.
The key differentiator is the presence of beeswax, which gives the balm its hold and shaping properties.
It’s a thicker, more textured product compared to beard oil.
When to Use Beard Balm
If you want to shape your beard into a specific style, beard balm is your go-to product.
Whether it’s a neat, well-defined look or a more natural appearance, the balm provides the necessary hold and control.
As your beard grows longer, it may become unruly and difficult to manage.
Beard balm tames those wild whiskers, making your beard more manageable and less prone to flyaways.
Sparse or Patchy Areas
If you have areas in your beard that are less dense, beard balm can help create the illusion of fullness.
It can be used to shape the surrounding hair in a way that covers these patchy spots.
Beard balm, like beard oil, provides moisture and nourishment to your beard and skin.
However, it’s especially effective for those with dry, coarse beards that need extra hydration and conditioning.
Unlike beard oil, which is typically used daily, beard balm can be used as needed.
If you want to keep things simple, you can reserve it for days when you want a bit more control over your beard’s shape and style.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of beard oil and beard balm, let’s explore when and why you might use each of these beard grooming products in different situations.
When to Use Beard Oil vs Balm
In my experience, there are various situations where it is better to use either beard oil, beard balm or both.
I’ve summarised these situations in the following table and also elaborated below.
|Situation||Beard Oil||Beard Balm|
|Everyday Beard Care||Y|
|Beard Length Matters||Y||Y|
|Dry and Coarse Beard||Y||Y|
1. Everyday Beard Care Routine
As part of your daily routine, start with beard oil.
It provides the essential moisture and nourishment your beard and skin need.
Once the oil has been absorbed, you can follow up with a small amount of beard balm for styling and control, if desired.
2. Special Occasions
When you have an important event or occasion and want to impress with a well-groomed beard, opt for both beard oil and balm.
Begin with beard oil to ensure your beard is in peak condition, and then use beard balm to sculpt and style it to perfection.
3. Winter Warfare
Cold, dry winters can wreak havoc on your beard.
In such harsh conditions, start with beard oil to lock in moisture and protect against the elements.
Additionally, you can use beard balm for added insulation and control against wind and cold.
4. Outdoor Adventures
If you’re the adventurous type who loves outdoor activities like hiking, camping, or biking, consider using beard balm for its stronger hold and wind-resistance.
It’ll help keep your beard in check while you conquer the great outdoors.
5. Beard Length Matters
As your beard grows longer, it becomes more prone to tangles and unruliness.
Use beard oil daily for hydration and nourishment and employ beard balm when you need that extra control and structure, especially for lengthy facial locks.
If you’re on the go and want to minimize the number of products in your grooming kit, beard oil is the versatile choice.
It serves as an all-in-one solution for daily care and occasional styling.
7. Dry and Coarse Beard
If your beard tends to be on the drier and coarser side, a combination of beard oil and beard balm is your best bet.
The oil addresses the moisture needs, while the balm adds the necessary hold and manageability.
The choice between beard oil and beard balm depends on your beard’s length, the level of control you desire, and the specific situation you find yourself in.
Both products play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy, handsome beard.
Remember that proper beard care isn’t just about appearance; it’s also about keeping your skin beneath the beard healthy and comfortable.
As a beardsman who has traversed the ups and downs of beard grooming, I can attest to the transformative power of these two products.
Whether it’s the daily ritual of applying beard oil or the artful styling with beard balm, your beard will thank you for the care and attention you provide.
So, embrace the beard, nourish it, shape it, and wear it with pride!