Beard products are popping up everywhere. We know.
However, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions among men. Some guys are using too much beard products. There are also people who are using too little.
Thankfully, the beard community is one of the friendliest in terms of giving advice and support. In today’s post, we’re going to cover what beard products are and how to use them properly.
What are Beard Products, Really?
Beard care products usually consist of beard balms, beard oils, shampoos, as well as tools like combs, clippers or razors.
It’s self-explanatory: beard products are used to maintain your beard in great shape. We’ll run you through some of the more common products in the beard industry.
Beard oils are the first thing that comes to mind when people think of beard care products.
It’s essential and you definitely need it in your grooming kit. Beard oils are usually blends of carrier oils such as jojoba and argan and essential oils.
These oils nourish the beard hair and moisturize your skin. Contrary to popular belief, beard oils are not styling products; they are rather a product to keep your beard and skin healthy.
Like beard oils, beard balms are also conditioning products. They are usually made with beeswax. Some brands may use lanolin (wool wax) or coconut butter as their main ingredient.
Beard balms should not be used as styling products although wax-based balms can add firmness and hold to your beard.
Balms are really useful to tame beard “flyaways”: a term used to describe strands of hair from your beard stray wildly.
In general, wax-based balms are firmer in consistency, while the lanolin and butter-based ones are softer and creamier.
Beard or Mustache Waxes
Beard and mustache waxes are made to style your beard. Most modern waxes are scented but they do not condition the beard as much as beard oils and balms do.
Beard waxes are important if you want a beard that looks great all the time (we all do, right?). They are also great for guys who have beards or mustaches that are just too damn hard to behave themselves.
A Pro Tip: use beard waxes along with beard oils and balms; you’ll greatly enhance the properties of all the products.
Brushes and Combs
Yes! Any brush and comb will work for beards. You can even use that old comb that you’ve got back there in your bathroom.
However, tools designed specifically for beards are going to outperform the generic ones significantly. To get the best bang for your buck, get a boar bristle brush - it is the brush for grooming your beard.
Boar brushes have a firmer “feel” when going through the beard. It holds and brushes the hair better than a common hair brush. For best results, you want a brush with a wide tooth comb.
Finer combs feel nicer but they pull and get stuck in your hair easily. It’s also better to buy a higher quality comb; the polished teeth combs will minimize hair loss from the brushing motion.
Beard Washes and Shampoos
Be careful when searching for beard washes. You don’t want to to be using beard products that contain the same ingredients as a regular hair shampoo.
It sounds gimmicky but it’s best to stay away from these beard washes. The follicles and skin on your face are not the same as the ones on your head.
Using the same hair products on your face is going to cause a reaction, especially if you have sensitive skin.
When picking a beard shampoo avoid products with sulfates, parabens and phthalates. These chemicals are usually added to improve the texture and cleansing properties of the shampoo, however, they also tend to dry out your hair and skin.
Just like washing your hair, you do not need to wash your beard daily. The only exception to this is if you are working in dirty environments. Otherwise, wash sparingly as daily washes can dry out your beard.
Beard Products are Important and Good for You
You’re not alone - we HATE beard itch too.
Beard itch happens because the skin, pores and facial hair are not taken care of properly. That’s right, your beard itches because you don’t care enough about it.
Beard oil helps to keep your beard (and skin) healthy. Let’s rephrase that - you NEED to keep your skin and beard healthy regardless of whether you have a beard or not.
Your face produces natural oil but it’s not enough to keep your face healthy as your beard grows. Lack of oil on the skin under your beard will make it dry out which causes your beard to get itchy, or worse – the maligned “beardruff.”
However, when you oil your beard correctly, it gives you a nice, shiny look and a pleasant scent. It gets much softer to the touch and cooperates when you groom it. The beard hair then becomes more flexible and easier to shape properly.
The same advice applies to most of the beard products in your kit; every one of them has a specific purpose but they are good for your beard hair.
How to Use Beard Products Correctly
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is spend your money on beard oil and not learning how to apply it properly.
Fortunately, we’ll give you some tips and things that you need to know to get the most out of your beard oil. Besides, you’ll have better results and save more money along the way.
1. Apply Beard Oil after Your Shower
After a hot shower, the pores on your skin open up. This means that the moisturizer and organic ingredients from your beard oil will be absorbed by your skin easily.
more absorption = more nourishment for your beard = a badass beard.
Remember to apply beard oil after you’ve dried your skin. You don’t want to apply it when your face is wet because water and oil don’t mix well together.
2. Use the Correct Amount of Beard Products
A stubble and a long beard will need different amounts of beard products. For instance, a drop of beard oil is enough for a stubble but you’ll need more than that for longer beards.
The word “oil” should give you a general sense of what to expect when you apply too much beard oil: it will drip all over the place as oil does not evaporate like water.
A good rule of thumb to remember when applying beard oil for the first time is to use a dime-sized amount for the first application. Then, slowly work your way up until you feel that your beard is well-oiled.
The same advice goes for other beard products - start small and work your way up slowly. You don’t want to waste your resources especially if it’s your first time using it.
For beard balms, the right amount to use is usually a quarter of the amount of beard oil you use.
3. Apply Beard Products Correctly
There’s a really easy and efficient way of applying beard oil and balms:
- Whether you are using beard balms, oils, or creams, the first step is universal. Place a few drops of beard product on your palms and gently rub your hands together to distribute the oil across your hands.
- Then, rub and massage your beard from the neck first, moving your way up and through the rest of your beard. Make sure to massage the beard product thoroughly into your skin.
- Use a beard brush or comb to spread the oil out across the beard. Using a brush adds more volume to your beard but a comb will work just fine.
You’re done - it’s really as simple as that.
For beard shampoos and conditioners, the steps are the same as applying beard oil.
The only thing that you’ll have to keep in mind when using shampoos is to leave it on your beard for a few minutes. This gives your skin time to allow nutrients from the shampoo to be absorbed.
Rinse your beard and face thoroughly after that; you don’t want to block your follicles from not washing your beard properly!
4. Know When to Use Beard Products
In general, beard oil and balms are the only products that can be used every day.
Products like shampoo or waxes should be used sparingly (2-3 times a week) to keep your beard healthy. As we’ve mentioned earlier, washing your beard too much is going to strip off its natural oils which make it dry and flaky.
The amount of beard products to use will also depend on your surroundings and living conditions. Living in a cold area is going to dry your beard out so you’ll need more beard oil and vice versa.
5. Know What Products is Right for Your Beard
Different beards have different styling needs. If you have a short stubble, all you need is a little bit of beard oil. If your growth rivals that of ZZ Top’s, you need some serious wax to keep things in place.
In general, beard oils work with any beard. The longer and courser your facial hair is, however, the more you need some kind of a wax.
A Great Beard Comes from Proper Care
That’s it - our guide to understanding and using beard products properly. If you love this article, we’d appreciate it if you could spread the word to your friends who need help with beards.
Great beard care starts with beard products and proper maintenance. Follow this advice and you’ll have an enviable beard in no time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julian Foo is an editor for Balding Beards, a male grooming website. He enjoys the art of male grooming as well as enjoying e-sports in his free time.