For those who don't pay much daily attention to their beard and facial hair, you might not know much about the products you can use specifically for this type of body hair. Not only that, but you also might not know the difference between beard wax and balm. This is worth understanding because it's important to look after your facial hair, whether it be a short beard or a long one.
What is Beard Balm?
Beard balm is a product used to help keep one's beard moisturized and full of the essential oils that's required to keep it lush and healthy as it grows. It's a form of pomade and contains a few ingredients that help nourish the beard hair and the underlying skin, ensuring it's provided with essential nutrients and hydration to prevent any dandruff, dryness, and stimulate healthy hair growth.
Related: How to apply beard balm
What Is In Beard Balm?
Beard balm has four core ingredients, and these are the carrier oil, which is usually something like jojoba or argan. These are two oils that are effective in softening the hair, which is useful if you find that your beard hair is often quite coarse and abrasive to the touch. You then have the essential oil, which usually contributes to the balm's scent so that your beard smells fresh. The other two elements are butter and beeswax. The butter is often shea or cocoa butter, which can help spread the balm evenly. The beeswax helps to style the beard with the balm.
These, collectively, provide all the necessary benefits that beard balms can deliver. We’ll dive into how each of these ingredients help below:
Beeswax can be labeled as the strengthener in beard balm. It’s the ingredient that helps one to style and shape their beard, and provide the long-lasting hold necessary. The beeswax also helps in retaining moisture and ensuring one’s beard doesn’t dry out.
Butter found in beard balm serves a different purpose. It’s used to help add deep moisture to the beard and help keep beard hair healthy. The butter coating also helps to protect the beer against harsher climate weather such winter. But beyond functional benefits it delivers to one’s beard, the butter also helps ensure that the beard balm melts slightly and spreads evenly when applied through the beard.
The butter is also made from either cocoa or shea and provides a great fragrance!
Carrier oils help give the beard softness and a bit of shimmer. These oils also contain nutrients that help keep both the skin and hair healthy. These oils are sourced various plants and popular products contain sweet almond, jojoba, and argan oil. These oils all mimic what’s secreted naturally by one’s skin and ensures the skin isn’t irritated.
Essential oils are paired with carrier oils to help give the oil weight and volume. These essential oils also provide aromatics that ensure the beard smells great. These essential oils also sometimes help with providing antiseptic properties to help reduce acne on the beard’s skin.
Benefits of Beard Balm
The benefits of using a beard balm are that it can help your beard stay softer for longer due to its thicker consistency. The balm can also provide you with a stronger hold that you wouldn't get in other products like beard oil. As well as being versatile to use, you're also helping to keep any stray hairs in check. This will give your beard a more defined appearance!Prevents dandruff
The biggest benefits of regular beard balm use is it helps prevent dandruff, more commonly called beardruff. Dandruff in one’s beard is primarily caused by dryness and dead skin cells flaking off and getting stuck in the beard. Beard balm with its moisturizing properties and use of carrier and essential oils help prevent this.Long-lasting
Compared to other beard care products, beard balm is also long-lasting and ensures that the moisturizing qualities stick around for far longer and protect the beard. The same applies for softness, which will last longer when beard balm is used compared to other products.Less itchiness
Beard balm helps moisturize the beard and underlying skin while also softening the hair. This means early beard growth is less irritating and itchy, and as one’s beard grows out the softer hair paired with well hydrated skin ensures nothing is itchy as often.Helps withstand weather
Beard balm can help protect the beard against extreme weather. Whether it’s lots of humidity or extremely cold. Beard balm can help ensure hair fibers are strong and can withstand these elements. Moreover, beeswax in beard balm creates a protective layer that further protects both the hair and underlying skin.Adds volume
Beard balm also helps to add volume to one’s hard. This is especially useful when trying to grow a thicker beard. The butter and beeswax both help to add volume to one’s hair and help shape it in a way that it gives off a more thicker appearance. Moreover, the nutrients in beard balm also helps to stimulate natural healthy hair growth.Helps in styling
Of course, it goes without saying that beard balm is an easier styling choice for those who find the strong hold of beard wax as too much for their needs. Beard balm still allows one to shape their beard easily and give it enough hold during the day while allowing it to be malleable.Improves health
Beyond all the direct benefits of using beard balm for one’s beard. The micronutrients in beard balm also promote general health. These can help nourish the skin, add vibrancy to one’s beard and allow for healthier natural hair growth.
When Should You Use It?
For beard balms, it's best to use this when you want to soften up the facial hair, and it's best applied when the hair is slightly damp. It's a useful product for those with shorter beards, especially those who might not have very much hair at all.
What is Beard Wax?
Beard Wax consists of the same core ingredients as beard balm, but the ratio of ingredients changes to make it more or less solid in its consistency. It has a higher amount of beeswax, which is responsible for making the hair hold it's shape better. You should also expect to see many beard waxes leave out the butter element in the ingredients. They may go for something like lanolin, which is another waxy substance derived from sheep's wool.
Benefits of Beard Wax
With beard wax, the most obvious benefit is that it's going to be able to style your beard in a much more effective way than balms. It's like a hairspray for your beard, and it can be great for styling it in the way that you want, and that might not be the typical shape that the beard naturally holds. It's perfect for those who have long beards and especially with hair that is more coarse.
When Should You Use It?
Again, it's best to use it when you have a long beard, and it's essential to dry your hair first before applying the beard wax. You should rub it between your hands first so that it melts completely before applying it, working your way from the roots to the hair's tips.
Together or Separately?
As both products have the same ingredients, it makes sense that you can use them together if necessary. If you want the best of both worlds where you want healthy-looking hair that's soft but also styled well, it's worth using them both. Remember that beard balm still has an element of wax in it, so that's something worth considering when it comes to the type of hold you want.
Which Is Better?
As mentioned above, the products are something that you can use together, but it's all about what you need for your beard or facial hair in general. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on the type of hair you have and your preferences. If you're looking for soft hair, the beard balm is the one, whereas if you're more about having strong hold, then the beard wax is better.
How to (and How Not to) Apply Beard Balm and Wax
Making sure you use the products in the right way is essential to getting the best experience. When applying either the beard balm or beard wax, it's fundamental to properly clean your beard using the right beard shampoo and conditioner. Beard Gains has some great products that can help wash your facial hair properly instead of using regular shampoos and conditioners.
When applying beard balm, you need damp hair, and when applying beard wax, you need dry hair. This is where the process differs, and so it's important to know this when using the preferred product.
With both the balm and wax, you want to rub it into your hands to melt it before applying it to the hair. With the balm, work it into the skin, making sure to get part. With the wax, you're applying it from root to tip, rather than rubbing it into the skin. You can then use the relevant grooming tools to shape and style your beard.
Choosing between a beard balm and wax is worth knowing the differences between them, even though they have the same ingredients. Take a look at your beard length now and what you want as the end result, and then pick accordingly. For softer hair and a little bit of styling, the beard balm is best, but if you prefer a stronger hold to the soft element, then the wax is what you want. If you're not sure, it can always be beneficial to buy both and see if using both would be effective. As they both have the same ingredients, they compliment each other very well.