When you break it all down and strip away all the unknown confusion around this mystical balm, it’s an incredibly simple product to understand and use.
Essentially, the balm is a type of pomade for your facial hair.
One of the most popular beard care products for good reason, a balm is typically comprised of a variety of waxes and oils that are designed to support different types of facial hair.
Using the soft putty on your mane works twofold, both allowing you to gently guide your hair into the places you desire for optimal aesthetic appeal while also locking in loads of moisture and functioning as a leave-in conditioner of sorts.
A high-quality balm is incredibly useful and typically is included as part of the best beard grooming kits on the market, alongside sharp and durable trimming scissors.
So, before you jump on the next kit you see, check to make sure a high-quality balm is part of the deal.
Common Ingredients in the Best Beard Balms
When it comes to products you regularly use on your body – especially your facial skin and hair – it is always better to opt for all-natural. The balm is no exception.
The majority of high-quality balms that are actually worth your hard-earned cash are made with organic materials and natural ingredients, so it’s easy to weed out low-grade products from the start by skimming through the listed breakdown of what’s in a product.
Great, so you know to opt for “natural” products. Now what?
There are many different types of balms with a diverse array of benefits for different hair types and styles.
But a few common ingredients are used widely, as they are great building blocks to make a killer balm.
Carrier oils such as argan, jojoba, and grapeseed are relatively light oils that not only nourish your hair but also hydrate and protect the skin below it.
Many products contain shea or cocoa butter, giving balms a creamy texture that’s appealing to the touch and also easy to apply.
Great for deep moisturizing and conditioning.
This is where brands can really design products with specific care needs in mind.
In addition to their amazingly fresh scents, many essential oils – such as bergamot – have antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
Others, like peppermint oil, are incredibly stimulating and cooling for the skin.
A wax, usually beeswax, gives hold to hair and locks in all the moisture.
When used in balms, the ratio of wax to other ingredients is much less than if you seek out wax alone for shaping, but it does give added structure that allows you to groom and style to your liking.
Benefits of Using Beard Balms
The benefits of these products are many. Depending on what added essential oils are included in a specific tin, the results may be different for everyone.
But a few benefits are universal when it comes to facial hair balms.
They make great beard softeners. As facial hair grows, it can easily become brittle and unruly if not well-maintained.
The line between a gorgeous, full mane and a scratchy bird’s nest is thin, and if you’re not adamant about beard care, things can go south quickly.
Balms can help keep your hair feeling soft and looking full. They genuinely improve the health of your skin and hair, not just how it all looks.
Because these products all packed with powerhouse essential oils and often handcrafted with specific types of skin and hair in mind, they provide excellent nutrients and moisture to the skin hiding under your hair.
Regardless of your skin type – oily, dry, or combination – there is a balm that’s right for you.
They can help prevent split ends. Even if you’re using the best beard shaver, split ends can appear as your hair grows.
The rich oils in balms can help keep nutrients and moisture locked into the hair and prolong the life of your beard.
They can cure and help prevent beardruff. Yup, you heard that right. Beardruff is dandruff that forms under a beard, and it’s an issue many people face.
The nourishing and deeply hydrating properties of these products can help stop beardruff in its tracks and protect you from future flakiness.
They give you the ability to style your whiskers and look your best, with little to no effort.
What to Look for in the Best Beard Balms
There are many folks out there who want to use these products but don’t have all the know-how to seek out high-quality ingredients that will work best for their specific skin and hair.
When trying to decide where to buy a balm for your beard, it’s helpful to know what signs to look for that show a product is worth the investment.
The number one thing to keep in mind when shopping for a great balm is that synthetic ingredients are a no-go.
Just like you need to be wary of the artificial ingredients you consume through food and drinks, you should remain conscious of fillers in ingredient lists for hair and skin products as well.
Look for a product that boasts a long-lasting effect and has the reviews to back up that claim.
No one wants their mane to become unruly part way through a busy day.
Additionally, don’t let yourself be fooled by scent alone. Just because a product smells delicious doesn’t mean it is high-quality, and some of the best beard balms are only scented mildly or not at all.
Beard Balm vs Beard Oil: What’s the Difference
Now that you have a better understanding of what beard balm is, it’s important to know what it isn’t.
And it most definitely is not the same thing as beard oil.
Commonly confused, balm and oil are two different products that serve different purposes.
And while there are hundreds of products out there and the best beard oils reviewed by experts, they are a relatively simple product.
In essence, beard oil is specifically crafted to match the natural oils that your body already produces.
Typically, a combination of different nutrient-dense oils such as jojoba or argan oil, these products provide the hair follicles with maximum moisture and are considered an essential tool when growing out facial hair.
Do You Need Balm and Oil?
Unlike balm, oils do not play a major role in styling, but they do set beards up for success and keep them looking full and healthy.
Because of this symbiotic relationship, many people opt to use both oils and balms as a way to keep their beard healthy while also expertly styled.
You don’t need both, but depending on your beard goals, the combination can take things to the next level.
How Long Does a Tin of Balm Last
On average, a 1oz tin of balm will last upwards of a month if used regularly.
It depends on your beard length, if you have a short beard, your tin will last longer and vice versa for long beards.
So, when you think about how much bang you’re getting for your buck, beard balms truly are a great investment as you become your best-bearded self.
DIY Beard Balm vs Store Bought: Which Is Better
When it comes to health and beauty supplies, there will always be a battle between the DIYers and those who buy products ready to use.
Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with either of the options, as long as the end result is improving the health of your skin and hair.
Nowadays, there are so many amazing products available in stores that are handmade and have high-quality ingredients.
While these may cost slightly more than it would to make your own products, the convenience may be worth the extra few bucks.
On the other hand, if you have specific needs that a certain combination of essential oils could meet, then making your own products could be extremely fulfilling and worthwhile.
Regardless of what you choose, as long as the ingredients are natural and the product is working for you, there is no wrong answer.
If you’re feeling crafty, check out this guide on how to make a beard balm DIY and see for yourself which you prefer.
How and When to Apply It: Basic Beard Grooming Steps
Just like your head hair, you shouldn’t wash your beard every day.
But when you do, make sure to wash your beard with the best beard shampoo or the best beard bar soap available.
This sets you up for a great grooming experience once you’re ready to apply your balm.
It’s best to apply balm when your skin and hair are warm and damp, such as after a shower, for optimal absorption.
Here are the basic steps:
Take approximately a dime-sized amount of balm and rub it between your palms until it melts.
Massage the melted product into your hair using a downward motion, beginning at the cheeks.
Start the process at the root of the hairs and work out to the tips for the best results and an even coating.
Then, using a top-rated beard comb or brush, sculpt the mane into the desired style and tame any flyaways.
If you have a long beard, a comb will work best.
For shorter hair, try a brush for beard and mustache.
Check out some awesome beard shaping tips to take your look to the next level.