Bravo! Thanks to your knowledge of beard balms and beard oils, you are on your way to a fine full beard from that grubby stubble. You see, most of the men you walk past on the streets don’t really put much thought into their facial hair, even though, deep in their hearts, they dream about that Viking-kind of beard.
The truth is that having a beautiful beard that other men envy and women drool over takes a lot more heart, time, effort, and money.
You have to work on it. So, while beards and facial scruffs have the reputation of being the go-to look for the lazy guys, pogonotrophy says otherwise.
Yes, there is a fancy term that describes the process of cultivating, caring for and growing a beard or any other type of facial hair. And according to this art, the perfect beard calls for a decent amount of care and effort.
No, you cannot leave your facial hairs to their own devices.
Though tempting, the unkempt and uncared for beard grows out into a hurly-burly, and wiry, and wild forest of hair; not to mention the embarrassing and dreaded itchy phase that comes to town when you ignore your hair!
So, what do you need to perfect the art of pogonotrophy?
Well, first, you need the best beard wash, and we hope that you got that covered and stopped using your hair shampoo on your beard (it’s just not safe for the growth and health of your facial hair or skin).
Besides the wash, you also need to invest in the best maintenance products – a beard balm or beard oil.
The big question now becomes, which of the two is the best fit for you? Are you comparing apples and apples or apples and oranges?
While both beard oils and beard waxes enhance the health and appearance of your beard, they are two different beauty/ grooming products, and they have subtle differences in how they work. This article outlines everything you need to know to differentiate and choose between beard oil and a beard balm. So, let’s dive in!
The Differences between Beard Balm and Beard Oil
Understanding the difference between beard balm and beard oil will help you choose the best product for your beard.
What is beard oil?
As a man who cares about their beard, you’ve certainly come across beard oils, no?
The truth is that beard oils are quite popular when it comes to grooming of beards, especially since they are known to be the best products for facial hairs nourishment.
Oftentimes, the beard oil is made of oils like jojoba and almond oils, which are infused with more hair and skin-friendly oils like grapeseed oil, argan, and cherry tree oils.
Jojoba or almond oil are the carrier oils in the beard oil, and they are responsible for softening your beard. So, if you get home and you find that your new beard oil is unscented, you should know that you bought one with the highest percentage of carrier oil.
In addition to these nourishing natural oils, some of the beard oils also contain essential oils. Essentials oils not only smell great, but they also have many minerals and vitamins which promote healthy beard growth.
Therefore, it would not be a bad idea if you got a beard oil infused with the best essential oils.On top of enhanced beard health and softness, beard oil will make your beard more manageable.
Note, however, that the extent of the effects of the oil will depend on the constituent oils (essential, carriers, or otherwise).
What is a beard balm?
As seen from the content above, beard oil will nourish and soften your beard. But there’s one thing beard oil won’t do – the oil will not hold or allow you to style your beard. Beard balm is a solid butter-like product; think beard oil mixed with beeswax.
Generally, beard balm is made of shea butter, carrier oils, and beeswax, among other ingredients; it’s more like thick butter, but just as good as beard oil (without the hold). Beeswax is the reason for the balm’s solid-state, but it melts easily when you rub some of the balms against your fingers.
Thanks to the presence of beeswax in beard balm, you get to use the balm as a beard styling/ shaping product, effortlessly. There’s one catch, though: beard balm could leave your beard with an unnatural feel.
With this in mind, you need to be careful about the beard balm you buy and the ingredients used. The best balm for your beard is made of natural/ organic ingredients that not only ease styling but also strengthen and encourage healthy growth.
Properties of beard oils/ balms
The primary difference between the two lies in their consistency. Beard balm is in solid form at room temperature, and it contains beeswax.
Therefore, before you use the balm, you’ll need to scoop out a bit of the balm, warm it between your fingers or palms, then apply on the beard. Beard oil, on the other hand, is in liquid form since it lacks beeswax.
Therefore, you could say that the consistency differences between the two products stem from the balm having beeswax and the oil not having any beeswax in its formulation.
Essential oils and Carrier Oils Blends
The other big difference between beard balms and oils is the blending of the essential oils and the oil carriers.
Often, the beard balm contains more of the topical fats, such as shea butter and coconut oil. The oil and butter offer deep nourishment to the beard and skin by penetrating deep into the layers of the skin.
Unfortunately, these benefits come at a price – the balm fats are quite heavy and thick that they could block your skin pores; causing the annoying bumps and beard acne you’ve fought most of your life.
Then you have the beard oil, which has light, non-comedogenic oils in their formulation. Most of the beard oils are formulated with oils like almond oil, jojoba oil, and meadowfoam seed oil.
These oils are light, and they don’t cause any clogging of pores. The oils are also absorbed nicely into the skin. The only catch is that these oils are not as hydrating as you’d want.
If you are looking for a beard care product that conditions, smoothens, and enhances the overall health of your facial hair and its underlying skin, your preferred option would be the beard balm.
Just be careful not to buy a beard balm with too much beeswax since excels beeswax makes hair crunchy and dry!
Beard balm vs. Beard Oil
Which of the two is best for your beard? While the two products play a single foundational role of nourishing, strengthening, and enhancing the health of your beard, your choices, at the end of the day, boils down to your preferences.
Things like the length of your beard will, however, affect your decision, to an extent.
If you have a short beard, whether you prefer to keep it nice and short or to grow it out, beard oil will be the preferable option for you since the beard oil is best for nourishing and softening the hair.
The oils also make the facial hair manageable, without weighing you down.
Since a beard balm nourishes while allowing your beard to maintain a certain shape/ style, it’s not an ideal option for you if you have a short beard. There’s nothing to hold.
Therefore, we recommend this beard oil for guys with a short beard, and in search of a solution that boosts hair health while toning down on the dreaded itchiness/ flakiness.
If, on the other hand, you have a long (and growing) beard, it means that you must invest in a product that allows easy taming of the facial hair. Nothing is worse than a stubble with hairs out of place all the time.
A beard balm is ideal when it comes to taking control over long and thick beards, and basically any facial hair longer than 4 inches from the chin.
Besides easing styling, the balm also enhances the malleability and the fullness of your beard.
Besides the length of your facial hairs, the other thing you need to take into consideration when buying beard care products, oil or balm, is your preferred feel of the hair.
Some of us prefer a light and shiny-looking beard in all its smooth and fluffy glory, while others prefer their beard under control while remaining shiny and glossy
Whichever side of the divide you stand, the end result depends on the product used.
For that lightness and shine, beard oil is your best option since the beard balm will add unnecessary weight on the hair even though it gets to hold down your hair, all day long.
Beard oil also offers that fluffy and smooth feel of the hair.
However, for control and zero misbehaving hairs, a beard balm will work perfectly for you. Note, however, that you also need to invest in the best beard brush, especially one with those cool natural boar bristles.
The brush allows ease of shaping the unruly hairs in the beard. It’s also ideal for shaping the beard and taming unruly hairs. Unfortunately, using a beard balm means sacrificing that glossy and shiny look for control.
If you work outdoors, a beard balm will suffice. A good beard balm doesn’t dry out or become irritable, meaning you can enjoy a full day of outdoor fun without seeing any stray hairs. But if you work indoors, then a beard oil will suit you.
When to use Beard Oil or Beard Balm
We all love the versatility. There are days when we wake up needing more control of the beard and other days; we don’t mind if we have unruly facial hairs, as long as these hairs are clean and well-moisturized.
As a result, we often find ourselves buying both beard oils and balms. If you are like the rest of us, it would be nice to have an idea about the best time to use either product, since you can’t use both at once.
For guys who don’t mind the soft and smooth fluffiness of their beard, there are many ways (and times) you could use the beard oil.
Perfect morning routine
For starters, one of the best times to use your beard oil is right after taking a shower.
Even with the best beard wash, a shower, especially a hot one, dries out the skin and hair; meaning that you must condition your beard as soon as possible. For conditioning, out in some beard oil after the shower.
The oil will also soften your facial hair, making it more manageable.
I know! No one’s got time for such nighttime routines. But just think about it for a moment – wouldn’t you want your hair to relax after the day you had.
If you want a beautiful beard, you must apply some oil before bed, just to keep the beard soft and well-moisturized through the night. The best bit about the nightly application is that you could skip the morning balm.
Night out/ Date Night
Gentlemen, we all know too well that your partner/ date will want to touch that beard. Also, you need to smell great, and your beard must be soft to the touch.
So, if you are getting ready for that date, apply some beard oil. Beard oil with essential oils is an excellent pick since it smells great (not overpowering), and it gives your beard a more natural feel.
The best time to apply beard balm is in the morning! Yes, you already know that you don’t want thick butter on your beard at night, but just to remind you, never apply a beard balm at night, unless you need the beard to look shapely for a formal event; but not to bed.
The balm is perfect for mornings since you don’t want the world to see your bed beard, and because you need to keep the unruly hairs in control. As mentioned above, a balm will keep your beard in shape and give you the well-groomed and perfectly-styled look, all day long.
Beard oils and beard balms are excellent beard care products, and you cannot go wrong with either. Both classes of products have nourishing hair oils, and they encourage the growth of a healthy beard.
And even though the oils work well in moisturizing the hair while the balms are perfect for shaping the beard, you might want to invest in both products, especially if you have a long beard.
As seen about, the oils come in handy for that relaxed feel while the balms complete your groomed look, especially if you work outdoors or you just need a beard without unruly hairs in place.At the end of the day, however, the choice between beard oils and balms is yours.