Beard Balm

Beard balm is a product with a mixture of several ingredients, most of which include things such as shea butter, essential oils, carrier oils, and fragrances. Its purpose is to help keep beard hair soft and healthy, provide very slight control over the beard, and it will generally add a little shine.

As beard balm is predominantly made up of shea butter, the product's color usually ranges from a pale white to a deep yellow, with lighter yellows in between. This will depend both upon on type of shea butter used, as well as the additional ingredients that are added into the balm mixture.

Balms normally come in round silver tins with screw- or slide-off lids, in 2 ounces (60ml) per tin. Smaller and larger sizes are available as well.

Despite claims from beard companies, many beard balms do not fight dandruff. Rather, they can help with a dry face (which would be “dry scalp” when talking about the head). While dandruff and dry scalp both lead to flaking skin, they are each caused by different factors. For the face, it is going to be dry skin unless you have a skin condition. The flakes on a dry, bearded face may have the term beardruff associated with them.

Beard wax will come in similar packaging, but is meant to give a stronger hold for unruly beards. A balm might be able to provide slight control over one's whiskers, but it's ultimately not going to give enough hold for those that need it.

There is no set standard when it comes to beard oils, balms and waxes, so many times generalizations are made about their ingredients and packaging. Also, beard waxes are less common on the market than balms and should not be confused with mustache wax.

Each product will have its own ingredients and label, and the variety of beard balms on the market is large. Some of the common ingredients that you might find in a balm are:

  • Shea Butter
  • Carrier oils, such as jojoba, argan, and castor
  • Essential oils, such as peppermint, sandalwood, and frankincense
  • Fragrance (chemicals to make unique smells)

Beard companies will sometimes make different variations not only for the scents, but also for the balm's intended usage. Heavier products help maintain coarser, more unruly beards, while lighter products are used more for hydration and smell.

While techniques vary, many find themselves wanting to know exactly how another person applies their balm. There are some common practices when using beard balms and oils, with one of the most important to remember being: less is more.

  1. Wash your face and beard
  2. Pat dry, the hair will be slightly damp afterward
  3. Using your thumb nail, scrape out a pea-sized amount of balm and wipe that onto your palm
  4. Rub the balm in your hands, melting it
  5. Apply to your beard hair evenly, and then shape your beard to your desired look.

When using a mustache wax to further shape the mustache or beard, it's best to use balm first (if using balm at all), as you will be able to lock in more moisture and nutrients from the balm after the wax is applied; styling a beard, you should use the heavier products last and the conditioning products first.