Article updated: January 2, 2023
Quick 5 Minute Read
Can we talk about beard care products for a second?
Beard oil, beard balm, beard butter, beard wash, beard conditioner – what’s up with all of this shit? I bet you thought beards were supposed to be low maintenance and easy to care for. Now you’re getting barraged with an endless list of beard care products and you’re totally vague on what they do, how to use them, and even when to use them.
If that sounds like you, don’t worry you’re not alone. I get questions regarding beard care products on a daily basis and I’ll be the first to admit that beard care can get pretty damn confusing when you consider how many different products that are available nowadays.
That’s why I’m going to help clear a few things up for you.
In this short article I’m going to focus on 3 products in particular – beard oil, beard balm, and beard butter.
I’m going to briefly discuss what each product is intended to do (differences and similarities), who they are meant for, and when’s the best time to use each of these products. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Beard Oil vs Beard Balm vs Beard Butter
As I already said, I’m only going to focus on these 3 products in this article primarily because they are the 3 most popular and often used beard products.
The Kingpin. The Top Dog. The Head Honcho. Whatever you want to call it, beard oil is the original and most commonly used beard care product available. Designed to be applied directly to the beard and skin to help moisturize, soften, and detangle. It’s also great for relieving beard itch, beard dandruff, and it also helps prevent beard breakage and split ends. Beard oil is available in a wide range of scents and is commonly available in scent free options as well. Do you enjoy a great smelling beard? Check out my list of best smelling beard oils.
The second most popular beard product of the 3 is beard balm. Like beard oil, beard balm helps moisturize and soften the beard but contains a wax (usually beeswax) that offers a bit of hold making it ideal for shaping and styling the beard. Since beard balm is more of a styling product, it’s typically only applied to the beard hairs themselves, but can in fact be worked into the skin as well to help combat dry skin and beard dandruff. Like beard oil, beard balm is available in a ton of great smelling options. Here’s my personal favorite scented beard balms.
The new kid in school that’s getting serious attention. Beard butter is the newest of these 3 beard products and is gaining in popularity. In my opinion, beard butter is basically a solid version of beard oil in regards to application and purpose. Just like beard oil, beard butter is applied directly to the beard and skin to help moisturize, soften, and detangle. Beard butter gets its name from the fact that it contains one or more butters – commonly shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter. It also contains 1 or more carrier oils and in some cases, wax. I personally prefer my beard butter wax free. That’s what beard balm is for!
Which One Should You Use?
Now that you have a pretty clear picture of what these 3 products are and what they are intended for, let’s briefly discuss which one might be best for you.
One of the reasons why beard oil is so popular is because it’s great for all beard types and lengths. If you’re looking to moisturize and soften your beard, or maybe you’re trying to eliminate dry skin and beard dandruff – beard oil is perfect for you.
Unlike beard oil which is great for all beard lengths, beard balm – which contains wax – is generally intended for men with medium to long length beards to help style, shape, and control. It doesn’t really offer any benefit over beard oil when it comes to short beards or stubble.
As you might have guessed, beard butter is great for all beard lengths and styles. When it comes to choosing between beard butter and beard oil you really can’t go wrong with either. At the end of the day the choice just comes down to personal preference.
When to Use Beard Oil, Beard Balm, and Beard Butter
If you made it this far you should have a pretty good understanding of what these 3 products are intended for and which one is best for you. The only thing left now to discuss is when is the best time to apply each one.
One of the things that makes beard oil so great is its versatility. Not only is great for all beard lengths and styles but it’s also super easy to apply. If you’re wondering when the best time to apply beard oil to your beard, the answer is directly after taking a hot shower and when your beard is still slightly damp. This is when your beard hair cuticles are open and will allow maximum absorption of the oil into the hair shaft.
It’s also a good idea to apply beard oil throughout the day whenever your beard feels dry or brittle. I also recommend applying beard oil right before bed so that it stays nourished and moisturized throughout the night.
Since beard balm is generally considered a styling product, it can be applied to either a dry or slightly damp beard before you head out for the day. Since beard balm contains wax, it generally doesn’t penetrate very deeply into the hair shaft so applying directly after showering (like beard oil) isn’t really necessary.
My personal preference is to actually use beard oil and beard balm in conjunction with one another. If you decide to go this route, I recommend applying beard oil first (after showering) and then applying the beard balm to shape and style.
Like beard oil, the best time to use beard butter is directly after a hot shower when your beard is still slightly damp. This will allow your beard to absorb all of those beneficial vitamins and nutrients that it needs to stay soft, healthy, and happy.
Other great times to apply beard butter is whenever your beard feels dry and directly before bed.
Thanks for reading. If you found this article helpful or if you have any questions feel free to drop me a line in the comment section below.