Are you on a crusade for an amazing-looking beard?
You’ve shown patience to grow it, so don’t waste your dedication by treating your pride and joy with the wrong product.
There are many options. Should you use beard oil, beard balm, or beard wax? And, where does beard cream fit in!?
In this article, you'll learn which is best for you. So let's level up your beard game, whatever the length.
Table of Contents
What Is Beard Oil And What Does It Do?
Beard Oils come in all shapes and sizes. These range from cheap chemical cocktails you should stay away from to high-end tinctures of all-natural ingredients.
The purpose of Beard Oil is two-fold: it hydrates, nourishes and conditions both the skin under your beard and the actual hair. This prevents your skin from itching and helps your beard flourish.
It’s important to know that healthy skin is a requirement to grow an awesome beard of any size. Every human’s skin produces natural oils, most notably sebum oil.
But depending on your skin type, hair type, and length of beard, there’s a good chance your skin can’t keep up with sebum production once your facial hair starts properly sprouting.
Beard Oil mimics naturally occurring oils and is meant to complement your body’s production to keep everything smooth and oily.
Beard Oil Ingredients
Beard Oil usually consists of two types of ingredients: carrier oils and essential oils.
Carrier oils make up around 95% of the ingredient list. These are fixed oils, meaning they don’t evaporate. They are most commonly made from the fatty part of a plant (usually, nuts, seeds, or kernel).
Carrier oils are usually mild and bland. This means they can be applied to the skin undiluted. Their purpose is to moisturize and protect.
Our very own Black Comb Beard Oil is made from no fewer than nine carrier oils which include Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Hemp Seed Oil.
Essential oils make up the remaining 5% of the ingredient list. You’ve likely heard of essential oils before. They are highly concentrated oils from a variety of plant and tree parts that are often used in aromatherapy.
Essentials oils are volatile which means they evaporate quickly, and they are usually too strong to apply undiluted.
They are also highly aromatic. For example, you will no doubt be familiar with the fragrances of essential oils such as Cedarwood, Tea Tree, Lavender, and Lemongrass.
Beard Oil For Conditioning
A regular and proper application will provide your skin and beard with much-needed nourishment, and should be a default ritual after every shower.
No matter the length of your beard, you can’t go wrong with a Beard Oil. It is specifically made for conditioning.
Beard Oil For Styling
Beard oils are not made for styling. They are oily and runny, and won’t provide any kind of hold to style your beard.
Beard Oil For Growth
Whilst Beard Oil will definitely help your beard to stay healthy by providing the necessary nourishment to both the beard itself and the skin underneath, it will not stimulate new hair follicles.
But what about “Beard Growth Oils” you might say? Well, the sad news is that they are simply a product of sneaky marketing.
Look at the ingredients and compare them with the ingredients of regular Beard Oils. The chances are they are near identical.
If you’re struggling to grow a beard then there are reports that Minoxidil has been helpful to some men to help with beard growth. However, this is not scientifically proven and should be approached with caution since the treatment is not FDA approved.
Beyond supporting natural growth, there is nothing any oil (or other beard product) can do to kickstart your beard.
A good Beard Oil goes a long way to laying the right foundations. Onwards from that, it’s all about patience. Our advice is to just give your beard a chance and let it grow for a couple of months before pulling out the trimmers.
What Is Beard Balm And What Does It Do?
When you have a bit more beard than face and need to sort out the shape it’s probably a good time to try a Beard Balm.
The texture and consistency of Beard Balm means it doesn’t quite have the same absorption potency that you get with Beard Oil. But you will get a good amount of hold.
In short: it’s an excellent middle-ground between skin nourishment and beard control.
Beard Balm Ingredients
Beard Balm usually has very similar ingredients to Beard Oil.
Black Comb Beard Balm still contains the same nine awesome carrier oils we put into our Beard Oil, but we also add Shea Butter and Beeswax for additional control.
If a Beard Balm is fragranced it will also include an essential oil.
Beard Balm For Conditioning
As mentioned earlier, Beard Balm might not absorb as quickly or reach the skin as easily as Beard Oil, but it will still provide many of the benefits.
Beard Balm For Styling
Beard Balm has a medium hold and can absolutely be used for styling.
On a styling scale of 1-10, Beard Balm will get you a 6 or 7, depending on the amount applied.
What Is Beard Wax And What Does It Do?
Got all the beard you want, and need that bad boy to stay in place? Beard Wax is your new best friend.
You still get some of the benefits of traditional maintenance products due to similar base ingredients, but this is when the gloves come off: Beard Wax is made for styling.
Whether you’re a hipster trying to make an impression or a Viking wanting to tame the beast on your chin, Beard Wax will do the trick.
Beard Wax Ingredients
Beard Wax usually shares the base ingredients of Beard Balm.
Black Comb Styling Wax still packs the beautiful oils and Shea Butter, but more Beeswax. Like, a lot more. Our Beard Wax is all-natural, and hand-selected from the best sources, to help your beard pack the punch it deserves.
Love a good fragrance? Beard Wax also comes scented, simply through the same process of adding an essential oil to the mix.
Beard Wax For Conditioning
Focused on the tough task, Beard Wax is not the primary choice when it comes to conditioning. Having said that, Beeswax does seal the hair shaft and therefore helps to moisturize your beard from within.
Beard Wax For Styling
Beard Wax is the Hummer H1 of beard products. No matter what you throw at it, if it needs shaping, styling, or forming, Beard Wax will do the job.
The hold you get with Beard Wax is incredibly strong, and more so than anything you’ve ever put on the hair on your head either. On a styling scale of 1-10 it gets at a 9 or 10.
Bonus: Beard Cream
What Is Beard Cream And What Does It Do?
Beard Cream is not too dissimilar from Beard Balm but the beeswax is removed to make it a little less heavy. What’s left is a buttery texture that absorbs more readily but still allows some for some basic styling.
If having 3 parents were a thing, Beard Cream would be the perfect offspring of Beard Oil, Beard Balm, and Beard Wax. Moisture, nourishment and enough styling to get through any day - Beard Cream achieves the perfect trifecta.
Beard Cream Ingredients
In Beard Cream you get a larger volume of Shea Butter in place of the Beeswax you’d find in a Beard Balm. This is in addition to carrier and essential oils.
At Black Comb Beards, we don’t skimp on our Beard Cream ingredients. You still get our famous armory of carrier oils that you get in our other products, in addition to an essential oil for fragrance.
The only exception to this is our unscented Baseline Beard Cream which doesn’t contain an essential oil, making it ideal for sensitive skin types.
Beard Cream For Conditioning
The viscosity of Beard Cream makes it a very good product for conditioning. It will absorb into your beard and skin quicker than Beard Balm but slower than Beard Oil.
Beard Cream For Styling
Beard Cream has a light hold and can be used for styling. You won’t be able to rest your head on your beard, but you’ll take care of those annoying outliers and will be able to give your beard some basic form.
On a styling scale of 1-10, Beard Cream will get you a 4 or 5, depending on the amount applied.
The Difference Between Beard Oil, Beard Balm, Beard Wax and Beard Cream
You have probably noticed that Beard Oils, Balms, Wax, and Creams all share very similar ingredients. Where they differ is in the ratio of these ingredients in each formulation. These deviations produce different product consistencies for different use cases.
But, you’re probably thinking about which one is right for you?
That depends on what you’ve got and what you’re looking for.
A lot will depend on your beard length. One reason Beard Oils are one of the most popular on the market is that they’re suitable for all lengths of beard. From stubble to the full-on viking, oils are versatile across the board.
Every man typically begins their journey with Beard Oil. It works great even on a short beard and is essential when you’re getting started to make sure your newly covered skin gets enough nourishment.
Longer beards may need some controlling. That’s when we look at creams, balms, and in more extreme cases wax. Your thickness will also play a part; a fine beard won’t need too much definition whereas thicker beards will need sturdier control.
Beard Cream is a little less oily than Beard Balm and will give you more of a matte finish. But if you need more hold then Beard Balm brings the added benefit of beeswax, which can take your styling game to the next level.
You might enjoy the rugged wild approach to a beard. You’ll still need nourishment, but less of the styling agents. However, if you want a slick groomed beard you need to look at the products that’ll define and shape.
Typically, we find that men with straight hair find their beards easier to manage and less demanding of products with a stronger hold. If your beard hair is curly or wiry then you may be better suited to Beard Balm than Beard Cream for casual styling.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer. Making a decision on the best product for your beard is going to come down to trying different products and feeling out which ones seem right for your beard.
When in doubt or just starting out, go for Beard Oil, and work your way into other products from there.
To separate the poor from the premium you should always look for all-natural beard care ingredients. Cheap chemical ingredients can be bad for both your beard and the skin underneath.
How to Use Different Beard Care Products Together
Beard products aren't exclusive to one another. They can work in cohesion to achieve great results.
You’re not going to damage your beard if you use a combination of products. What we see quite commonly is men using Beard Oil as a base, and a more rigid product such as Beard Balm when they feel the need to have a bit more control.
If you’re going for that combo, use the Beard Oil first to allow the oil to quickly spread and do its thing before sealing it in with the Beard Balm and then styling.
Another popular method is spreading products out over a day.
For example, use Beard Balm or Beard Cream in the morning to get your beard in shape for the day, and then apply Beard Oil at night to allow for some healthy recovery overnight.
Your beard is often the first thing people notice when they see you. Finding the right products to care for it is important.
Which product you use depends on your beard, your skin, and the look you’re going for.
We recommend a good all-natural beard oil right at the start of any new beard journey. Onwards from there, it’s much about trial and error, and feeling out what works for you.