When it comes to taming your beard you have three weapons:
- beard oil,
- beard balm and
- beard wax.
Which one of these products you use and in what combination depends on your beard style. Beard oils work great for shorter scruff. Balms and waxes are usually the preferred weapons for longer manes.
Here we’ll focus on answering two key questions: what is beard wax and why and how we use it. We’ll also touch on beard and balms and explain how they are different than waxes. Read on to find out which one is right for you.
What is Beard Wax Anyway?
Beard wax is a one of the essential grooming products for any man rocking a beard longer than four inches. It is a waxy substance, which usually includes the following ingredients:
- Coconut oil or shea butter,
- Other hair nourishing oils (e.g. olive oil, apricot oil, hemp seed oil),
- Petroleum jelly,
- Some resin, and
- Essential oils.
Some of the premium beard waxes come without petroleum jelly. They include organic beard waxes instead. Their rationale is that petroleum jelly doesn’t penetrate the hair. It coats it and prevents from moisture from getting to it. Organic waxes, on the other hand, penetrate the hair and nourish it.
For comparison, bard balms contain more or less the same ingredients but in different proportions. The wax content there is lower, which makes them easier to spread and more pliable.
Why Use Beard Wax
The main purpose of beard wax is to keep your beard in place. Longer beards (four inches or more) can look messy and unruly and the best way to tame them is with beard wax.
Applying a beard wax will also help you to put your beard into a nice shape, especially if you want to be more creative with it. If you consider participating in beard competitions, using a beard wax could get you the gold. Well-groomed beards make all the difference between the hobo and the gentleman look.
An intended side effect of most beard waxes is that they moisturize and nourish your beard and skin. Many waxes on the market today come fortified with various essential oils that support and nourish your hair. Olive oil, for example, contains linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acids. They hydrate your skin by trapping water in it. Healthy skin results in healthy beard, so using a beard wax with olive oil in it is a double win.
Another common ingredient that brings tons of goodness to your skin and hair is shea butter. It is loaded with vitamin E, which moisturizes your skin and your beard. Shea butter has been used for centuries as a moisturizing agent and brings its special powers to your facial hair without making it look greasy.
Overall, if you have long beard, using a wax is essential. It will make your face warmer look well-groomed and healthy.
Beard Wax vs. Balm
Beard waxes and beard balms are similar but not the same. The main difference is in the proportion of the ingredients and the texture.
Beard waxes tend to have a lot more beeswax in them, which makes them solid. Beard balms, on the other hand, have less beeswax and more of the other moisturizing agents. As a result, they have softer texture and are easier to apply.
Whether you use a wax or a balm depends on the length of your beard. As a rule of thumb, if your beard is longer than four inches, goes with the wax; if it is shorter, just a balm will do.
If you have a hard time keeping your beard’s hairs neatly in place, a beard wax is the heavy duty tool you can use. Beard balms can help in this department too but their primary purpose is to moisturize and nourish your beard’s hairs.
When it comes to using beard wax or balm, it’s not a question of either-or. Many guys with amazing beard coifs use both. They start off by putting on some beard balm and then follow up with a wax to give it more shape. Using both products gives your facial hair and skin extra nourishment and hydration.
How to Apply Beard Wax
Oxhorn has a great video on how to apply beard wax. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the method he and many other pros use to apply beard wax.
- Start by combing your beard, so that all hairs go in the desired direction.
- Scoop up a dime size of wax. Even if you have big beard, start small. It’s much easier to add more wax than to take some away.
- Rub the wax between your palms until it softens. The good thing about the main ingredients in a beard wax is that they all have a solid state but soften up quickly when exposed to heat. The wax should spread easily on your palms once it is warmed up.
- With your palms facing your beard, apply the wax making motions in the direction in which you want the beard to go. If there is a spot where your beard’s hair is particularly rebellious, spend more time there.
- Keep applying the wax on your beard until it starts getting the shape you want. Feel free to add more if necessary.
- Once you’ve spread the wax evenly in your beard, it’s time to brush it. Take a beard brush and rub it through your beard in the direction you want it to go.
Brushing your beard will help with the even distribution of the wax and will take care of any unruly hairs. It may seem like an excess but brushing your beard is what will give you the polished, well-groomed look.
3 of the Best Beard Wax Brands to Get You Started
Now that you know what is beard wax and how to use it, here are three great brands to try.
Stash Wax by Leven Rose
The name might suggest this is a mustache wax but it actually works for your whole beard. After all, your mustache and beard hairs are all the same. Leven Rose’s Stash Wax includes high performing ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, castor and argan oil. Made with 100% non-GMO natural ingredients, the Stash Wax comes clean of any parabens and sulfates.
Coming a 2oz. can, you can buy Stash Wax on Amazon for approximately $13.00.
Cedarwood Beard Balm by Rocky Mountain Beard Company
They call it beard balm but it really looks and feels like a wax. Fortified with tea tree oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil and bees wax, this bad boy will keep your beard well-nourished and all those random hairs in place.
“No perfume, flower or feminine scented fragrances here. Our beard balm will have you smelling like you were just building fine wood furniture in the mountains.”
This is how the guys at the Rocky Mountain Beard Company describe their beard wax. As far as scents go, you can’t go any manlier than cedarwood. I don’t know if I can pull off building fine wooden furniture in the mountains but I can surely rock this potion.
It comes in a 2oz tin container and you can get it on Amazon for approximately $13.
Extra Grit Beard Wax by Honest Amish
If you have the beard growth of someone who gets his 5 o’clock shadow at noon, this will be the wax for you. It is formulated to add extra grit and hold to the unruliest of beards and in the wildest fights with grizzly bears.
The Extra Grit Beard Wax comes clean of any petrochemicals and other additives. Honest Amish claims it is made the old-fashioned way. They rely on the old Amish traditions for beard care to formulate their waxes.
The first thing you’ll notice about this beard wax is that its colour is black. The second thing is that it doesn’t smell very nice. Not to worry. The wax may not smell great out of the can but once you put it on, the smell disappears.
You can get the Extra Grit Beard Wax on Amazon for approximately $13.
There you have it: now you know what is beard wax and how to use it. If you have another questions, fill out the form below and ask us. We'll respond quickly and post the answer here.