You’ve made the commitment to get softer hair, moisturise the skin underneath and provide some great smelling fragrance to your face, but now comes the next step, deciding between an oil and a balm.
Well we’ve broken down the factors you should consider into different segments, allowing you to have an overview, before concluding our favourite at the end.
Both an oil and a balm will contain conditioning ingredients, such as essential oils and carrier oils, all of which are carefully selected due to their beneficial factors. Whether its jojoba or grapeseed, these are carrier oils which help to moisturise the skin and are essential to prevent beard flakes. They are also one of the main reasons you don’t feel itchy afterwards. With the added benefit of preventing nicks when you have a shape up at your barbers due to the fact the skin underneath is nourished and looked after.
Shaping & Styling
At the core of the products, you should be thinking of an oil for conditioning, however if your main focus is styling your beard and getting it to mould into a certain shape then a balm is your winner. You will find a number of beard waxes on the market that are perfectly suited for shaping your ‘tache or beard.
The wax that is most commonly used is beeswax, therefore it should be remembered that these aren’t suitable for vegans. Most gels and waxes use beeswax as it holds everything together. You will understand that a beard balm has the same properties as a beard oil, but with the addition of the wax makes it more pliable and easier to mould your beard into the style and shape you want.
What’s better oil or balm?
The actual product itself will determine if it suits you and your needs. For example, having a longer, full beard will mean an oil will be beneficial for you to nourish and add moisture to your hair follicles and skin underneath. Remember to not add too much product as you may end up with a greasy looking beard. If you have a shorter beard, or perhaps a thinner beard with patches, opting for a beard balm containing shea butter is extremely good at making facial hair to appear thicker and fuller. Ensuring your balm also contains a natural moisturiser such as Argan oil will add an extra boost of hydration too.
Is there a difference between the hair of my beard and the hair on top of my head?
You may think that it this may be silly question as hair is hair right? Well believe it or not the two types of hair are very different. The hair you grow for your beard is a lot thicker, dark and coarse, it usually grows curly or flat. The hair in the top of your head grows softer and with more shape to it. The main difference between the hair would be the growth cycle, beard hair, or androgenic hair, can grows in spurts, sometimes up to 3mm on a daily basis and other times has no growth for 3-6 months. The hair on your head has a constant growing cycle.
Can I use beard oil and balm on my head?
In a word, yes, you can use a beard oil in your head. What you will need to remember that seeing as the skin on your head is thicker than the skin on your face. It also has sebaceous glands which produce a lot of natural oil and moisture. Using beard oil on your hair is perfectly safe to do, but remember due to the hair being different you use the product differently, meaning you can use a lot less beard oil in your hair as too much will overload the hair and make it greasy. Considering this is it ok to use hair products on your beard? Well as mentioned before, the skin on your head is thicker than your face and can withstand harsh and slightly chemical products without much worry. Apply this type of product to your face will cause irritation and perhaps even a reaction. The natural oils and moisture will also be stripped away from your beard.
Does beard oil and balm help my beard grow?
The growth cycle of your hair is different to head hair, although it can grow very quickly at times, during other times it may not grow at all for months. With the ingredients found in beard oils and balms, such as natural oils you will notice that your beard hair will be soft and hydrated. This will mean hair breakage won’t occur as much and so therefore will allow the hair to grow longer.
How can I aid beard growth?
There are three simple ways to help aid beard growth.
- Exfoliating will remove dirt that can block the hair follicles and stop the growth of your beard.
- Using highly nourishing products such as beard oil and beard balms that maintain the health of your hair very well and allow it to grow.
- Massage your face and beard, stimulating the hair follicles will help it grow.
Trying these three steps regularly will really benefit the health, growth and appearance of your beard.
Can beard oil and balms expire?
Like any product there is an expiration date to them, depending on the brand it can be six months to two years. It is best to check if you are concerned about your products being out of date check for discolouration, unusual odour and different consistency. You will find the date on the product or online. To ensure you keep the products at their best store them in cool, dry areas away from direct sunlight and heat.
How often do I use beard oil and balms?
Using an oil and balm everyday will mean you really see the best results, with the added vitamins and natural oils that occur in products helping treat the hair, making it stronger and smoother. You will also find that any itching you may suffer from will also subside. For use during the day apply an oil over the beard and brush it through with a thick bristle brush, once the beard is all nourished with the oil you can then shape and style the hair with a balm. As for evening, again you can apply a good amount of oil to the hair and massage the follicles for hydration whilst you sleep. You can also always run a towel in warm water, wring out the excess water and pop the towel on your face for an at home spa like treatment. The heat the open your pores and absorb the ingredients into the skin. Perfect if your skin is feeling tight and uncomfortable during these colder months.
Should I wash my beard after using oils and balms?
Keeping your beard clean and cleansed does mean you will avoid any blemishes or build up of product, it will also keep your beard hair soft and silky. On average it is best to wash your beard twice a week using a mild soap, this will keep it clean but won’t strip it of any natural oils. As for cleansing the skin, washing your face twice daily will ensure you really see the benefits of maintaining a good skincare routine. Utilising a face and beard cleanser will be a great for you to invest in as the product will do all the hard work for you.
So there you have a number of questions you may have when it comes to beard oils and beard balms. Both products are great to use and deliver amazing results, it is just a case for you to experiment and find the best routine and method for you and your beard.