Either somebody guilted you into it, or under your own initiative, you’ve decided to learn how to use beard balm.
But, you don’t know where to start. Or, you may even be wondering if it is even worth it.
Well, let me tell you that if you have a long beard it is essential that you use a beard balm.
It is not rocket science to apply it but there is a technique you need to be aware of before you get started to make sure you are getting all the benefits.
I’ll answer all your questions in this article like what is beard balm, what are the benefits and how to apply beard balm.
If you don’t already have a beard balm yet, let me recommend Smooth Viking Beard Balm on Amazon.com. It is made with a ton of all natural essential oils like argan which is the ideal oil for your beard.
What is beard balm?
Put simply, a beard balm is a hair conditioner for your beard. It is like beard oil in that it does a lot of the same stuff, but it usually contains wax or some other substance to get it to stick to your beard.
Every beard balm has essentially the same makeup, just using different ingredients. Namely:
- A carrier oil that helps supply nutrients but also is used to dilute essential oils
- Essential oils that can also bring some nutrients to the party as well as some that are there for fragrance
- Some kind of butter like shea or cocoa to help the paste stay spreadable, as well as provide nutrients
- Wax from either bees or candelilla to help the paste stick to your beard t provide conditioning throughout the day as well as provide hold for styling
This is the vehicle that brings all the different oils together and at the same time provide some nutrients to your beard.
The main purpose is to dilute essential oils, however. Many essential oils are very harsh and you can’t just throw the pure form right on your beard. You can damage the beard and your skin and cause some real problems depending on the oil.
A carrier oil dilutes it to the point that it can be safely applied to your skin and beard.
Some carrier oils are so good for your beard that in some cases you don’t even need any essential oil. An oil like argan or coconut has so many benefits on its own that you could just use that.
A good carrier oil should hydrate the beard, more than anything else. It should add moisture that is lacking in your beard and lock it in to create a soft and smooth beard.
But, adding essential oils can really take care of every single angle that it takes to grow a wonderfully full and healthy beard.
Common Carrier Oils
- Argan oil
- Coconut Oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Pumpkin Seed OIl
- Olive Oil
- Jojoba Oil
If you’ve used a good carrier oil that will hydrate and nourish the beard, you should also have some essential oils in there.
Many essential oils are used for their fragrance, but they also have a lot of other benefits that help the beard and skin.
Here are some popular essential oils and what they do:
- Peppermint Oil – This not only smells great, but it also stimulates the skin and brings blood to the root of the follicle to keep the hair nourished and healthy.
- Rosemary Oil – This is great for irritated skin like if you have acne or psoriasis as it is an anti inflammatory.
- Clary Sage Oil – If you suffer from the dreaded bearduff, or beard dandruff then this will clear up your skin and leave it disinfected to prevent bacteria or fungus from forming.
- Lavender Oil – This oil leaves a sweet, floral scent but also helps control dandruff and softens your hair
- Cedarwood Oil – This provides a lovely woodsy scent but it also serves to stimulate the scalp and promote growth.
- Sandalwood Oil – If you love the smell of shaving cream then that usually comes from sandalwood but it does more than smell nice. It also can help fix a patchy beard by stimulating hair growth.
- Tea Tree Oil – This also acts as a stimulant to help bring nutrients to the hair by increasing circulation. It also disinfects the skin and hair and prevents bacteria or fungus from forming. This is great if you have any kind of skin condition caused by bacteria, like acne.
No, I’m not talking about Land O Lakes here. I mean butter like shea which is really more like a paste.
This is what makes a balm a balm and not a beard oil.
It works both ways. It firms up the oils so it is more spreadable, while at the same time keeps it from getting too firm when you add wax. It helps keep the balm spreadable.
But, it isn’t just for texture. You want every ingredient pulling its weight so these butters also provide tons of moisture.
To help the balm stick to the hair, you need it to contain wax. This helps it act like time release agent so it provides conditioning all throughout the day as the beard slowly absorbs the oils.
When you are looking for an all natural beard balm, 9 times out of 10 it contains beeswax. It is the most consistent of the waxes that can be used so it is not only natural but very effective as well.
If you are vegan, look out for candelilla wax as this is plant derived and vegan friendly as opposed to the beeswax.
What everybody should avoid is anything derived from petroleum. Usually labeled as petrolatum or even paraffin wax.
These are really bad for your skin and hair and are really unnecessary in this day and age for cosmetics.
What is beard balm vs oil?
As I mentioned in the section What is Beard Balm above, beard oil and beard balm essentially do the same thing but they shouldn’t be used interchangeably.
They both condition the beard, but if you have a long beard, even just slightly long, then beard oil is not going to fit the bill.
You will need to use a lot of beard oil to get the same coverage over your beard as you would with beard balm.
This not only wastes your beard oil, which can get expensive, but your beard can end up looking and feeling greasy.
If you beard is long, then a little balm goes a long way as it will evenly coat your beard and the wax will keep it in place so it can be absorbed throughout the day. It goes on a lot less greasy than beard oil as it is more of a paste then an oil.
If you want your beard to stay in place, then a beard balm is essential. The wax will keep it from moving around too much.
This is just the basics. To learn more about the difference between beard balm and oil take a look at the full article by clicking the link.
Benefits of beard balm
If you have ever looked at another lng beard in envy, then you were witnessing the benefits of beard balm in action.
When you grow a beard and it starts getting a bit long, then beard oil is not going to cut it anymore.
Here are the things that a beard balm can do for your beard:
Soften and Straighten
As your beard grows, the hair starts to get too exposed to the elements. Like damaging sunlight, air pollution, the drying effects of soap and on and on.
And it starts to show by your beard getting brittle and wiry as it gets longer.
To get it back to being soft and luscious, you need to add some beard balm. The best ones have a lot of oils that will hydrate your beard, and lock in the moisture to keep it soft.
It also helps your beard stay smooth as the exterior of the follicles get ragged. Smoothing out the cuticle makes the hair straighter and smoother so it all stays more or less in line.
As your beard gets dried out and loses the natural oils it needs to stay hydrated, it also gets weak, brittle and prone to breakage.
By using a beard balm, you are injecting the follicles with the vitamins and nutrients that it needs. Hair is built with a protein called keratin that needs things like Vitamin E to stay hydrated.
As I mentioned, some of the oils will stimulate the circulation in the skin which increases the blood flow to the roots of your hair. This influx of fresh blood brings a boost of all the stuff your beard needs to stay healthy and strong.
Your skin is just as important to your beard health as anything. Taking care of what lies beneath your beard is fundamental.
Ingredients like tea tree oil, rosemary oil and clary sage can all help to disinfect the skin and clear it from bacteria which could lead to flakes.
In a less dramatic scenario, you are also moisturizing the skin underneath to prevent it from getting dried out and leaving flakes in your beard.
Tames Flyaway Hair
When your beard is moisturized, strong and soft, you will notice a big difference in how it actually does what you want it to do.
When your beard is brittle and dry the ends tend to stick straight out making your beard feel rough and looking like a fuzzball.
With the help of a beard brush or comb, you can straighten the beard and those flyaway hairs that used to tickle your partner are now under control.
Helps to Style
Now, when I say style, I don’t mean those crazy beard styles that can hold a beer glass.
I just mean that if you want your beard shaped a certain way, you can get it to do that thanks to the wax in the balm. It does take some practice to style your beard and you do need to learn how to use beard balm with a little trial and error, but you will get it to have some shape with patience.
How to apply beard balm
As I said, how to apply beard balm is not rocket science and there is not a steep learning curve.
Before we get started on the steps on how to apply beard balm, there are a few things you need to have on hand.
A three way mirror is very helpful so you can see your beard from the sides as well as the front.
You’ll also need a good beard brush or beard comb. If you haven’t followed the link to the full article I posted before, the gist of it is that your brush should be made with boar bristle to not damage your beard and if you opt for a comb it should be made out of wood. Also to not damage your beard. Never use a brush or comb made out of plastic as that will destroy your beard.
Ok let’s crack on with how to use beard balm in just a few easy steps!
Step 1 – Get Wet
The best time to put in beard balm is in the morning right after shower. Your beard should be damp, but not wet so make sure you gently towel dry it.
This isn’t to say that it should be freshly shampooed. In fact, I recommend you only shampoo your beard at most twice per week. It strips the oils from your beard and makes your balm have to work overtime to get the oils back in.
Step 2 – How to Apply Beard Balm
Now take your balm and scrape out about a quarter size amount, less if your beard is not that long.
Rub it in between your palms to get it sort of melted and malleable. Once you have it coated evenly between your hands start rubbing it into your beard. Get all the way down to the skin and then rub it in with your fingertips while working your way out towards the ends of the hair.
Step 3 – Brush it In
Now is the time to break out your beard brush or comb. If your beard is long I definitely recommend a brush over a comb, but it does boil down to personal preference. You can read a detailed article about the difference between a beard brush and comb by clicking that link if you want to know more.
Work your way from the bottom of the beard and go up against it. This will help distribute the oil evenly and coat the beard well. Do this all over the beard.
Then shape it back to how you like it first by starting at the top and going down, smoothing it along the way. You can shape it to a point at the chin, or have it lie flat and even all the way across the beard if you like.
If you need inspiration on how to style a beard, then click that link for some pictures and ideas.
Step 4 – Blow Dry It (Optional)
If you have a certain style you like that may not stay where you want it, then you can always use your hair dryer to set the balm to keep the shape and style you want.
This may take some practice, but if your beard is very loose and doesn’t always cooperate even when you use balm, then using a blow dryer on your beard should help.
Step 5 – Repeat
If you applied the beard balm in the morning, then make sure you rinse it out before bed. You can keep it in if you want, but you’ll at least need to rinse it out before you add some the next time. And you may find the balm is still pretty active and will end up getting your pillow and sheets quite greasy.
It’s up to you, but one thing you don’t want to do is keep adding balm to your beard while there is still some in there. You’ll end up clogging your pores and will end up having the opposite effect of what you want the balm to do.
As you can see how to use beard oil is not difficult but following these steps will lead to a happy and healthy beard.
A couple of other things to consider to get the most out of your beard balm is to not overdo it. Only apply the recommended amount described on your favorite balm. If you add too much it will weight your beard down and will end up clogging your pores.
You don’t need to use balm everyday unless you really want to. I would say two to three times per week will be enough. Though, if you are looking to style it then, yes, you probably will need it everyday to maintain the style.
If you don’t have a favorite balm yet, you can try your hand at making your own. Here is an article on the best beard balm recipes to help you out.
Wrapping it Up
I hope after reading this article on how to use beard balm you now understand how important it is to help you maintain your beard. If you think that you want to keep your beard natural and skip the products, well, the most natural beard needs beard balm to stay that way.
Treat your beard well and it will treat you well.
If after reading this you still are unsure about how to apply beard oil, then go to your barber and ask him to show you how to apply it.
Otherwise, ask me by dropping a line in the box below. I love getting questions and am here to help!