Everyone with a great beard will attest to the work required to grow and keep a beard healthy. And while beards have existed ever since the dawn of time, beard care products and tools have continued to evolve from just using a beard brush.
With this evolution came the beard oil vs beard balm conversation, with the contention being on which works best.
This article provides a comprehensive guide on beard oil and beard balm and will highlight the significant differences between both beard-care products.
Let’s get into it.
Beard Oil vs. Balm: Definition
Beard oil and beard balm are often confused with one another, though they’re quite different.
Beard oil is a composition of carrier oil, which is responsible for moisturizing and conditioning the beard, and essential oil, which provides antibacterial support for your beard.
Beard balm, on the other hand, is thicker and denser than beard oil and contains a blend of other ingredients like shea butter. It also provides nourishment and makes beard styling an easier feat.
Beard oil vs. Beard balm: Key Differences
Beard oils and beard balm are both grooming products developed to keep your facial hair healthy, with almost similar features and usage. They do have some differences, though.
The formulation of a product is simply what the product is composed of.
Beard oils are combinations of two groups of oils (essential and carrier oils) that are precisely formulated for facial hair use.
The essential oils are formulated to penetrate skin follicles to facilitate healthy hair growth and reduce inflammation. They also provide a pleasant scent.
The carrier oils are mostly plant-based, containing natural ingredients, such as argan, jojoba, sweet almond, grape seed, and sunflower oil, which are well-known for their moisturizing and nourishing properties.
On the other hand, beard balm contains slightly different ingredients, namely natural butter (like shea butter), waxes, and carrier oils like jojoba oil.
The carrier oil and the natural butter produce the same nourishing effect as the beard oil. The waxes are there for viscosity and ease of styling purposes.
Beard oil is essentially used to provide nourishment for your beard. It also produces moisture while soothing the hair and improving growth.
Beard oils also serve as lubricants to reduce friction and irritation. In addition, beard dandruff, which causes itching of facial hair, is prevented by using beard oil.
Depending on the essential oils used in the mixture, beard oil may have some medicinal effects and might help keep your beard smelling fresh.
On the other hand, beard balm is designed to tame unruly beard hair. Unruly in the sense that it requires styling to be maintained.
The waxes and butter in beard balms keep unruly beard hairs in place, reduce frizz and prevent spiking. Beard balm acts as a leave-in conditioner due to its thick consistency.
Beard oil can be applied to any beard, regardless of thickness or beard length. It’s a fantastic alternative for people that require a basic moisturizing and conditioning cream or that have shorter or thinner beards.
To soften the beard and prepare the skin for shaving, you can use beard oil as a pre-shave before applying your shaving cream. Moreover, beard oil can also treat damaged or dry skin and hair on the head and other body areas.
Beard balm is often used on beards that require more hold and style, such as those that are longer or thicker. It may be less effective for shorter or thinner beards, and some people with sensitive skin might find it too heavy.
Nonetheless, beard balm can be applied to other hairy parts of the face that could use a moisturizing and conditioning lotion, such as the mustache or side buns, to shape and style it.
Beard balm is mostly used by men with medium to long beards. With time, it gets harder for the sebum and beard oil on your skin to penetrate to the ends of your beard as it grows farther away from your face.
A beard balm can be applied to the tips of your beard to provide a slow release of moisture throughout the day, which helps soothe dry skin. This is one of the main advantages of beard balm over beard oil.
To apply beard balm during your beard grooming routine, scoop a tiny bit, warm it between your palms, and massage it into your beard. The balm will keep the hair in place and tame any frizzy hair allowing you to shape and style your beard as desired.
Typically, you can use beard oil as a daily conditioner and moisturizer for facial hair. Apply a few drops of beard oil to your palms and massage it into your beard and the skin beneath.
This encourages healthy beard growth, hydrates the skin, and lessens itchiness and irritation. It’s best to apply beard oil after a shower or when your beard is damp, as it helps to lock in moisture.
Beard oil provides several benefits, which include but aren’t limited to the following:
- It strengthens the hair follicles and promotes beard growth. It also softens hard/rough facial hair.
- It’s enriched with essential vitamins and nutrients required to improve the health of your facial hair.
- The beard oils don’t just provide moisture for your hair; they also care for the skin underneath. They do this by restoring damaged epidermis due to previous irritation or itching. They also heal flaky skin.
- Itchy beard, irritation, and redness are common problems associated with beard growth. Use beard oil to get rid of these and get a soothing experience.
Likewise, beard balm provides similar benefits as beard oil, with some distinct advantages.
- In the presence of moisture, cold, winds, or even too much sun, the fibers of beard hair follicles might be harmed owing to protein loss. Beard balm serves as a beard lotion creating a thin barrier of defense. This is due to the blend of essential oils and other vital ingredients that nourish the skin and prevent your beard from falling.
- The natural waxes and shea butter in beard balms give the beard the hold it needs to keep its shape and look neat for several hours. Beard balm helps to tame stray hairs. Your beard will also glide effortlessly over the comb or brush as you style it, regardless of hair texture.
- Some men are not genetically predisposed to fast and thick beard growth. Beard balms have been known to provide a blend of weight and volume. It even improves your facial hair by giving the impression of thick, fuller hair.
- Beard balms improve your beard’s ability to hold moisture, lessen irritation, and hydrate the skin underneath, fostering healthy, continuous growth. A healthy environment for growth equals healthy facial hair, and that’s precisely what beard balm provides.
It can be challenging to groom and maintain a beard. With the best grooming tools, dedication, and care, you’re on your way to having the fullest beard in the room.
Both beard oil and balm have many advantages for maintaining the healthy growth of your beard, and the ideal option for you will depend on your requirements and preferences.