So you’re committed to growing a beard, huh? That’s great! And now that you’ve made the leap, you want to keep it feeling and looking fantastic, right? So let’s talk about beard oils and beard balms.
What are they? Well, think of them as leave-in conditioners. No matter what stage you’re at in beard growth, you need to be applying beard oil about twice a day, so let’s take a look at that first.
It’s never too soon to start using beard oil. In fact, it’s essential if you want to keep your stubble soft — not unbearably itchy — during those crucial early weeks when too many would-be beardsmen turn back a grab a razor.
These products substitute the naturally-occurring oil our skin produces. We lose this vital nutrient every time we wash our faces. Remember that healthy skin is essential to a healthy beard, so we need to replace the oil that’s lost from both the beard and skin.
Beard oils start with a combination of what’s called carrier oils. Some of the most common ones used include sweet almond, jojoba, argan, and grapeseed. Our beard oil contains all these natural oils and more. These carrier oils mimic the natural oil, or sebum, produced by sebaceous glands in your face, replenishing valuable nourishment and moisture. In short, they make great proxies for the oil that’s stripped away by soaps and shampoos.
The carriers usually have little or no scent, which is why they also serve to carry essential oils for that delicious, outdoorsy aroma you love.
When should you use beard oil? Right when you get out of the shower is the best time. This is because your beard still retains moisture from bathing, and the oil will displace that water with healthy stuff. A dry beard will not absorb as much oil.
After gently towel-drying your beard, drop about a dime-sized amount into your palm, work it between both hands, then evenly distribute it through the beard. Don’t forget the skin, too.
Depending on the environments your beard is subjected to throughout the day — like being in the crossfire of sawdust as you take down a tree — your beard may start to feel a little dry. That’s when it’s time to reapply. But remember that a dry beard absorbs less, so if you try to use too much oil, your beard simply won’t soak it up, and you’ll just wind up greasy.
A dry beard can become brittle quite easily, so keeping it properly nourished and moisturized is a habit you’ll want to start early in your journey.
So, what about beard balms?
While they also provide a great-smelling meal for your face, you’ll notice that they’re considerably thicker in consistency. Though they tend to employ many of the same carrier and essential oils we already talked about, the viscosity usually comes from the addition of butters and beeswax. The butters keep the beeswax from making the mixture too thick, but the beeswax is what delivers the firmness, meaning styling and hold capabilities for longer beards.
Essentially, while your new mane is short, beard oil will serve you just fine. But if you plan to grow it out like the lumberjack we always knew you could be, beard balm is going to become an absolute must-have for keeping that thing under control and looking just right.
Though beard oil is recommended for crumb catchers of all lengths, beard balms are a great supplement when that chin curtain starts getting some real length to it. For instance, you’re probably going to find that your longer facial hair becomes quite curly and prone to tangling if left untreated.
But balm is the cure. When you get out of the shower and apply your beard oil, follow that up with about half-a-thumbnail of balm. Work it between your palms until it reaches a liquid consistency, then work it through those manly strands, just like you would with the oil. We have an all natural beard balm which also promotes beard growth.
Now the stage is set for straightening out the curls and getting your beard looking — and staying — the way you like it. The key here is to add a little heat and the gentle resistance a proper beard comb can provide to relax that disorderly curling.
Remember, though, that extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, will damage your beard, so go easy with the blowdryer. Keep it on a low setting, and don’t leave it pointed at any one part of your beard for any length of time. Keep that flow of warm air moving around while you comb through your glorious strands.
The heat will keep the balm liquified until you get your beard and ‘stache styled just right. Then, turn the blowdryer to cool, and let that sucker re-solidify the balm for the hold that will ensure your beard looks spectacular all day long. Unlike beard oil, you should only need to apply balm once a day.
There you have it, young beardsman. You’re armed with the knowledge about beard oils and beard balms, which tool is required for the job, and when you should deploy it. Stick with us, kid. You’re now part of a very exclusive fraternity, and we’ll be sure you’re groomed for success.
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