I know what you’re thinking.
Oh no! Not another must have beard product! I’m going broke!
I know that the market is flooded with millions of different beard products that seem like you’re missing out if you don’t use them all.
That isn’t the case with beard wax. It is very useful but not everybody needs to use it.
If you have a long beard and have trouble shaping and styling your beard a specific way, then that is when you have to use one.
The best beard wax will not only put your beard where you want it and keep it that way, but it will also nourish and hydrate your beard leaving it healthier than ever.
In this article I will go over some things you need to have in a beard wax, plus my list of the best ones in my opinion.
Beard oil vs Wax vs Balm
Before I get into the ins and outs of what you need to have in a beard wax, let me settle something that gets asked quite frequently.
Why use a beard wax instead of a beard oil or balm?
There are some things that all of the beard products do for your facial hair.
Namely, they nourish the follicles with tons of vitamins and nutrients. They also hydrate the hair and strengthen the shaft. Some even will stimulate the growth giving you a fuller beard more quickly.
Here is the big difference though – Beard oils are liquid so they can’t be used to give any kind of shape or style to your beard. A beard balm is thicker than a beard oil and can help gives some shape to your beard and keep the hairs in place thanks to the addition of beeswax. So, it can be used to style like a wax, but there is usually an additional element to soften it up to make it easy to spread, like shea butter. Its primary purpose is to condition.
A beard wax is mainly wax and its primary job is to style and keep your beard held in a particular shape. As a bonus they can also condition the beard with the addition of some essential oils and butters. The wax is very thick and hard so it is different even than a beard balm.
What to Look for in a Beard Wax
There are a few different kinds of beard wax to choose from and each has different ingredients that have specific properties.
Understanding what it is you need your beard wax to do will help you zero in on the right one after you understand the different options.
With hold strengths of medium to firm, you’ll need to understand just how strong your beard style will require your wax to be. Particularly long beards with a distinct style will obviously need a strong or firm hold wax to stay in place.
If you’re just looking for your bead to stay smooth and all going in one direction then a medium will probably do the trick. For those that only need a soft hold, then your best bet is probably going to be a bead balm as you don’t need much hold.
This may sound the same as the hold or strength of the wax, but it is different. This refers to how long the hold will last. Some taxes may be strong when you apply them but then need to be recharged at some point during the day as your beard style may start to droop.
What Ingredients Should the Best Beard Wax Have?
Every beard wax is going to have three principal ingredients and then add others to make it unique to the brand.
Wax, usually beeswax or candelilla, butter (like shea butter, not actual butter) and natural oils.
In essence, this is all they really need. Some cheaper ones will add harsh chemicals either for use as a preservative or to give it a softer, more spreadable texture.
These additives are not necessary so I highly recommend to go as natural as possible to not do damage to your beard that you have tried so hard to protect.
What you want to see for ingredients:
This is all natural and sustainable since it is an ingredient that has been used in beards for millennia. Literally, ancient people used to put beeswax into their beards.
The one issue with beeswax is that it is not good for vegans. In which case, there is a good alternative.
This is a plant based wax that is derived from a type of shrub native to northern Mexico and the southern US.
It is a great alternative to beeswax for vegans and is found more and more often in beard and mustache wax. It isn’t just a suitable alternative for a vegan, it also works very well anyway.
To help with spreadability a beard wax needs to have a cream or butter. If it doesn’t have any it would be far too thick to apply and would just be in clumps in the beard.
A butter like shea, cocoa and mango are all effective ways to make the wax more spreadable, but not only that. These butters are excellent ways to strengthen, hydrate and nourish the follicles of your beard.
In addition to helping the wax become easier to apply, you’ll see a more healthy shine, less split ends and a soft feel.
To give your beard an even bigger boost it should contain a variety of essential oils. There are so many oils that each have different properties so it would be impossible to list them all here.
Some popular ones that can be found in bead products are:
- Tea tree oil – Helps disinfect your skin and hair to prevent acne and other skin conditions as well as stimulate the blood circulation to your hair roots.
- Peppermint oil – This has been shown in recent studies to work as well as Minoxidil in helping to grow hair. If you want to get your beard to grow faster then this is ideal.
- Vitamin E Oil – Many beard or hair products will contain Vitamin E oil, while others may have essential oils added that are high in Vitamin E. Either way, this vitamin is vital for repairing hair follicles and aiding steady growth.
- Argan Oil – This is sort of a miracle oil as it does so many things to improve the health of your hair including hydrating and locking the moisture into your follicle, strengthening the cuticle and repairing the cell walls of the hair.
Can You Put Hair Wax on Your Beard?
There is nothing wrong with putting hair wax on your beard as long as you realize it won’t help your beard at all.
What I mean to say is that hair wax is not much like wax at all. It is more like a high hold hair cream. It will give your beard plenty of nourishment and some shape, but it will not give your beard the hold and durability it really needs.
I know it is tempting to save money and use what you already have but all you are doing, really, is wasting your hair cream.
Use the right tool for the right job and you end up saving money in the long run.
Best Beard Wax for Light Hold
Bossman MUDstache – Mustache Training Wax
Though this is not technically a beard wax, it can be used just as easily on your beard as your mustache. The only thing is that you will need to use more of it to shape your beard as opposed to the smaller amount needed for just a mustache.
This shouldn’t be much of a problem as you only need a tiny bit, even for your entire beard. With just about the size of a couple of grains of rice, you have enough for your beard unless it is extremely long.
At 0.75 ounces, the jar is quite small, but even when using this every day, you should be able to get a couple of months use out of it.
It is ideally suited for guys that don’t need or want a ton of hold. It has some clay in it to keep it soft while at the same time providing just enough hold to shape your beard and have it stay that way.
Applying it is also much easier than a typical wax since it is easier to spread into the fingers. Use a comb or brush for your beard and you will have a clump free experience that evenly coats your beard and give it some style. Scooping it from the jar is much easier than most other waxes and never needs to be heated with a hair dryer to get it out.
You won’t be able to do any kind of extreme style, but that is not what it is for. In fact, it’s called a mustache trainer so you can use it to keep your mustache from growing into your mouth and keep it that way. It will also work to tame any beard cowlicks by training the hair to grow the direction you want.
If your beard grows up under your chin against the hair growing down, then this is a good way to control that hair and get it growing the same direction.
Yes, the size is small. Yes, it is marketed towards guys with mustaches and not beards. It doesn’t matter. If you want a softer way to tame your beard that also washes out easier than a traditional wax, then this is the way to go. For those guys that need more hold, read on.
Best Beard Waxes for Medium Control
Seven Potions Beard Wax
Most beards really only need medium hold to style and shape for the most part. Having a strong hold wax is a bit overkill.
This wax by Seven Potions I would say is the ideal for most beard out there. It is stiff enough to train your beard or mustache and even to keep it in shape.
With an added bonus of being all natural and vegetarian. It does contain beeswax so it can’t be considered 100% vegan, however.
It is not only easy to apply, but it absorbs very quickly into the beard. This is effective at keeping your beard from looking greasy. Instead, your beard will look . And much healthier since it contains so many great ingredients to nourish and protect your beard.
Cocoa butter, avocado butter and jojoba wax all act to keep your beard hair moisturized, soft and conditioned. Even though your beard will feel moderately stiff because of the wax, it will also feel softer from the addition of these ingredients.
There is palm oil in it which is a concern for some people as in many parts of the world the cultivation and production of palm trees is unsustainable and exploitative. Seven Potions are adamant that the palm oil is sourced from producers that are ethically and sustainably motivated.
The scent is based with sandalwood and cedarwood, but there is a non disclosed mix of other essential oils that contribute to the fragrance. I would describe it as being a classic barbershop style scent but with some sweet notes mixed in there. It is not overpowering, but something you’ll notice running in the background.
If you want your beard trained or shaped but don’t need it to be stiff as a board, then an al natural medium hold wax that nourishes your beard is a great way to go. I love Seven Potions across their entire lineup of beard products and this wax is no exception.
Billy Jealousy Tin Man No 1
I really love recommending and using Billy Jealousy products in the barbershop. They work really well and do exactly what you expect from them consistently.
This medium hold beard wax does not disappoint.
It actually has quite a few different kinds of wax in it. This is because they use a different wax for different benefits that go beyond just giving your beard hold.
Lanolin wax is very close in composition to your body’s natural oil called sebum. Why not use lanolin to replicate the sebum since wax gives hodl when your natural oil doesn’t, right?
It is also a heavier wax that is ideal for guys with coarse beards since they are harder to control.
In addition to the waxes, it contains vegetable derived glycerin to really moisturize the follicles and trap the moisture inside. This gives your beard a softness that is hard to come by from oils alone.
The overall beard health and appearance is thought out, not just how to give it shape and hold. It has a host of benefits aside from the styling aspect.
Even if you aren’t planning to style your beard, if you have a beard that is prone to flyaway hairs and split ends, this will smooth out your beard and make it much easier to manage.
The scent is also really nice. It has a sort of musky, masculine aroma with some hints of vanilla and warm spices.
For the price, you can’t go wrong. It is a 2 ounce tin which is about twice as much as you usually get from a beard wax making it a great value. Add in exceptional performance and it’s a can’t miss product.
Best Beard Wax for Strong Hold
Death Grip Moustache Wax
With a name like Death Grip, it’s a pretty safe bet that you are looking at a very high hold beard wax. In fact, they call it competition grade. If you have a long mustache that needs to be shaped and a beard that needs to defy gravity then this is the wax you need.
It is very stiff and needs to be warmed up with a hair dryer just to scoop it out, nevermind apply it evenly on your beard.
The tin is only an ounce, but a little goes a very long way. A couple of grains of rice worth of wax rubbed in the palms of your hands and then rubbed into your beard will give you extreme hold. And it will last over 24 hours before you notice any wilting.
You wouldn’t use this strictly to train your hairs. This is really for guys that have a long beard that they want to show off by molding it into some outlandish shapes.
If you do use too much, it does tend to lend a shiny or even wet look to the beard, so make sure you don’t overdo it unless you are going for that effect.
I love the fact that this wax is all natural and doesn’t have any harsh ingredients. It would have been easy for them to take some shortcuts in making such a high hold wax by adding some other chemicals and ingredients.
As far as scent goes, it has a slight resin aroma a bit like pine. It is very subtle and hardly emits much fragrance at all. I don’t think they add any scent at all so it’s just the smell of the ingredients.
This is ideal for guys that are looking for something different. Most guys will not need this high hold for their beard, but when you do it’s nice to know you can naturally sculpt your beard. Take note that washing it out can be tricky since it is so stiff.
Honest Amish All Natural Beard Wax
The oldest beard wax on the market and the ultimate in beard products is Honest Amish. I love Honest Amish beard products as a rule. They started out with a vision of providing men with an all natural way to take care of their beard while being extremely effective.
If you need a high hold beard wax, but don’t need it to stay in place in the middle of a tornado like with Death Grip, then you will be more than satisfied with Honest Amish.
What you will get is a softer beard as a result of the all natural ingredients. It absorbs quickly and leaves no waxy residue. In fact it hardly seems like wax and more like a very stiff beard balm but gives you a firm hold on your beard.
Unfortunately, the exact ingredients are a mystery. It does contain beeswax and then a proprietary blend of organic essential oils for fragrance as well as nourishment to your beard. Plus nut and fruit butters to condition and soften the beard and carrier oils to hydrate.
The scent is rather masculine and sort of musky with some spice thrown in there. Almost woodsy, as well.
Even though it is a firm hold beard wax, it does wash out easily. As I said before, it absorbs into your beard rather than just coat the follicles. Because of this, you can just wash it as you normally would and the wax comes right out. If you overdid it and put in too much then you may have to repeat the process, but it’s hardly any extra effort.
This is a name brand you can trust so if you are on the fence about which beard wax is best for you then give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed.
How to Use Beard Wax
Applying beard wax can be a bit tricky. It is not as easy as putting beard balm in your beard as it is stiffer.
That said, it also is not difficult so this guide is easy to follow and will have you rocking a styled and shaped beard the very first day you apply the beard wax.
Step One – Keep it Clean
The best time to apply beard wax is right after you’ve washed it. A clean beard will want to absorb the wax and make it easier to spread.
You don’t need to, and actually shouldn’t wash your beard every day. So on the days that you need to apply it that happens to be a day you don’t wash it, just give it a good rinse under warm water while in the shower.
Step Two – Dry It
Applying beard wax to a wet beard is a no-no. It won’t apply evenly and it can even seize up a little and leave clumps of wax in your beard. It shouldn’t be bone dr either, though.
Just give it a good rub down with your towel so it isn’t dripping wet, but can still be slightly damp.
Step Three – Brush it
Once your beard is dry, you want to have your hair all going the right way and also be sort of separated. Brushing your beard will prepare the hair to accept and distribute the wax evenly.
Step Four – Scoop Out the Wax
Depending on the wax, this part is kind of tricky. Some of the softer ones you can just scoop out using the back of your thumbnail. Some you need to warm up.
If your wax is particularly stiff, then blow it with a hair dryer for a couple of minutes until it is soft enough to scrape out.
How much beard wax should you use?
It depends on how much of a style or shape you need from your beard. I would say about a dime sized portion for a really long beard works, where about a pea size ball would be more than enough for the medium to long beard.
To prepare it to be applied, rub it in your fingertips to get it spreadable.
Step Five – Apply It to the Beard
Working your way from the skin to the tips of the beard, use your fingers to rub the wax into the facial hair.
You don’t need to do this vigorously, but you also don’t need to be gentle. Don’t rub it like you’re washing your face or it won’t be applied consistently. Just work your fingers around and keep going until you cover the entire beard.
If it feels like it could use more it probably doesn’t. Just brush it with your beard brush to get it distributed and only then if you feel like it is dry or it isn’t shaping well, then you can scoop out a little more and apply it again.
If you see any clumped up bits of wax, take them out with your fingers, rub it around in your fingertips to melt and then reapply.
I hope this list of the best beard waxes sets you on the right path to shaping your beard. Not everybody needs a beard wax, but if you do find that your beard could use a bit of style or panache, then go out and get one of these from the list.
Put a spotlight on your beard and give it some shape that people will notice. And if you can also nourish your beard and leave it looking and feeling healthier, then that is an added bonus that the best beard wax can do for you.
If you have any questions about these or other beard products then leave a note below in the comment box and I will get back to you ASAP!