What Is Beard Balm & Is It Worth It?
And throughout the day, you’re finding that your beard doesn’t hold the style and shape that you envisioned. Not to mention your partner is starting to give you the evil eye every time you draw near in anticipation of your bristle-y touch.
“Curse this untameable beard of mine!” you shout at the heavens. “Is there no product worthy of sculpting my unwieldy whiskers? Am I doomed to…to shave?”
Relax, dude. And step away from the clippers. You just need some beard balm.
Beard Balm 101
What is beard balm? Put simply, it’s the most solid of the three different beard moisturizers that hirsute men rely on.
We don’t mean solid in the sense of “that beard balm is a solid guy.” We mean literally solid, with the texture of wax or heavy-duty pomade.
More thick and solid than other beard products like cream or oil, beard balm will need some work before applying it to your beard. Fortunately, its density lends itself to fully grown-out beards in need of styling or wrangling.
So, what is beard balm used for? A beard balm can provide hold, and hydrate and soften your beard:
What Makes a Good Beard Balm?
As with any product that you’re going to put on your face, the most important quality to look for in a beard balm is the ingredients that aren’t there. Artificial additives and harmful chemicals should always set off alarms.
If you aren’t using a beard balm that’s 100% natural, you run the risk of compromising your facial health. Even something fairly innocuous like clogged pores can lead to a patchy or itchy beard.
With that said, here are a few essential oils and other ingredients that we think you should look for in your next beard balm:
- Coconut oil – If you’ve ever used beard oil, then you’re probably already familiar with the benefits of coconut oil, as it tends to be one of its prime ingredients. Coconut oil has been shown to condition and strengthen hair.1 Coconut oil has also been found to reduce the number of split ends you encounter during your daily trim.
- Shea butter – Shea butter seems to be everywhere in self-care products these days, and for good reason. Finding a beard balm that incorporates shea butter assures that the product will hydrate both your beard and the skin underneath. Shea butter is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which means fewer rashes and less itching.
- Sweet almond oil – Sounds delicious, right? Other than making us crave some baklava, sweet almond oil is known for its invigorating effects like promoting beard growth.
- Orange peel oil – We swear that we’re not just trying to make you hungry now. Another popular essential oil, orange peel is more than just an aromatic. It also cuts down on grease, which can lead to a healthier and fuller beard.
- Abies sibirica oil – Hey, this one sounds less food-related and more science-y. For those without a degree in horticulture, this is oil that comes from Siberian Fir trees, and it’s known to soften hair.
How Do I Use Beard Balm?
If you’ve never used a beeswax-based product before, spinning open your first tin of beard balm can result in a blank stare. Sure, the stuff smells good (like sandalwood or cedar), but it’s also pretty hard to the touch.
Of course, you’ve got to learn how to use beard balm. We have a few tricks up our sleeve:
- Use your thumbnail – Start by scraping the back of your thumbnail through the beard balm until you’ve dislodged a small amount. We realize that “a thumbnail’s worth” isn’t the most scientific measure, but it’s a good place to start. As you get used to working with the product, you’ll learn how much balm to use to get your desired style results.
- Rub the balm between your fingertips and palm – The heat from your hands will soften the beard balm and make it easier to work with.
- Massage the balm through your beard – Pretty quickly, your beard should feel smoother and easier to shape. Finish off styling with a beard brush or beard comb to evenly distribute the beard product and get rid of any clumps that might’ve taken place.
Are There Any Drawbacks To Beard Balm?
Beard balm is a pretty forgiving product, but we do have one note of caution: It is possible to use too much beard balm.
Don’t worry—you aren’t going to do any permanent damage to your beard. But, if your facial hair gets a crispy or crusty feeling, like the slicked-back hair of a 1980s stock broker, you’ve overdone it with the beard balm.
Rinse your beard with a gentle cleanser and try again tomorrow.
Because of the varying density of our beards on different areas of our face, learning to use beard balm can be a process of trial-and-error.2 That’s not so different from learning to trim your beard, so we’ve all been here before.
If you weren’t down for some experimentation, you wouldn’t have grown a beard in the first place, right?
How Long Does Beard Balm Last?
Usually, a quality beard balm will maintain its hold for the entire day. Of course, on particularly hot days or days when you’re active and working up a sweat, you might find that your beard balm starts to lose some of its grip.
Overall, though, applying beard balm should be done as part of your daily beard care routine, usually right after you shower or when you’re getting ready.
The Right Beards For Beard Balm
If you’re going for a power beard with a walrus mustache or any other look that requires some extra shaping in the mustache department, you’ll find that a beard balm can really cement your style.
In general, big beards can sometimes lose their shape, but beard balm will help you keep even the thickest beards looking tight and freshly brushed.
While that may sound like beard balm is only intended for the biggest beards that need a team of topiary sculptors to maintain, beards of any length can actually benefit from beard balm. Like caffeine for your face, beard balm will help your whiskers recover from being slept on and also maintain your chosen shape and style throughout the day.
How Does Beard Balm Compare?
Beard balm is a sturdy essential to wrangle your beard into an aesthetically pleasing facial accouterment. But it’s not the only beard care product out there that can help to nourish, hydrate, and strengthen your beard.
There are also beard oils and creams.
Although lighter than beard balms, oils and creams are a healthy addition to any beard care routine and can help to promote beard growth.
Here’s a quick rundown:
- Beard oil – A liquid that’s great for encouraging beard growth, moisturizing your chin and cheeks, and keeping your beard shiny and soft.
Beard cream – A consistency in between oil and balm, like a gel or a paste. Beard cream nourishes your beard in the same ways as an oil, but it’s especially kind to the skin underneath. Beard cream can be essential when you’re in the itchy middle phases of growing a beard. It’s also good to have on hand during the bitter parts of winter or during the dog days of summer as it can provide extra protection from the elements.
The Beard Club is the Balm
So, what is beard balm for? It’s a beard necessity that helps to sculpt, moisturize, and soften your beard and the skin underneath.
Whether you’re looking to craft a dramatically chiseled beard that will take home the grand prize at your county beard fair (it’s a thing) or you’re looking for a little extra styling support to recover from “bed beard,” The Beard Club’s balms are exactly what you need.
In addition to our wide variety of men’s grooming products like beard oils and beard grooming kits, we offer Cedar Beard Balm and Sandalwood Beard Balm, which are each formulated with coconut oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, and orange peel oil. They’re hydrating and versatile enough to wrangle all styles of beards, from soft scruff to broad bandholz. And they smell great.
Looking for natural ingredients that do your face a favor? Join the club.
- Healthline. Is Coconut Oil Good For My Beard? https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/coconut-oil-for-beard
- International Journal of Cosmetic Science. The Male Beard Hair and Facial Skin - Challenges for Shaving. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ics.12328