Listen up, lads: if you’re rocking a full beard this winter, you should definitely be utilizing a beard balm to keep your hair soft and smooth, in addition to moisturizing the skin underneath. Not only is beard balm an excellent tool for conditioning your beard hair, but it also aids in styling. What more could one ask for in a hair product?
Essentially, beard balm is a mix of hydrating oils and/or wax and natural butters that penetrate hair follicles, delivering rich moisture and enhancing the quality of existing hair, resulting in a full, happy beard. Think of it as a leave-in conditioner and styling pomade, of sorts. In addition to providing long-lasting hydration, beard balm can also help with things like split ends, itchiness and brittle texture. Experts recommend applying beard balm after washing your beard when skin and hair is warm and slightly damp.
Sometimes––understandably––there is a little confusion around what the difference is between beard balm vs beard oil. Basically, beard balm just combines beeswax and essential oils with the carrier oil to penetrate deep within hair follicles in order to fully hydrate skin and hair. More importantly, perhaps, the addition of wax helps big time in the styling department, because it has the thickness necessary to give beard hair structure and make it stay put all day.
As always, it’s best to go with all-natural, non-chemical ingredients that won’t cause irritation, build-up, etc. The kinds of ingredients you’ll often see listed on beard balms are usually plant-based, like argan oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, and essential oils like tea tree or lavender, and they will also likely include beeswax or some kind of natural sealant that provides styling structure. Opting for organic, natural, and/or sustainably-produced ingredients ensures that you’re hydrating and styling responsibly, but also that your skin and hair are getting some essential nutrients while you’re at it.
And while there are plenty of options for buying beard oil, for those of you who prefer the DIY route, there are a handful of great beard balm recipes on the web. Check out this recipe from Beardoholic, which utilizes wax, oils, and essential oils; or this recipe from The Manliness Kit.
If you’re opting to purchase a balm, are plenty of options to choose from, so we’ve highlighted four of the absolute best natural beard balms on the market (all with great reviews on Amazon) to keep you feeling styled and smooth.
Honest Amish Beard Balm Conditioner
Made in the U.S. using natural ingredients like argan, avocado, and almond oils and a handful of thick plant-based butters like shea and coconut, this nutrient-rich balm softens hair, relieves beard itch, and yields malleable structure and style.
To buy: amazon.com, $11
Smooth Viking Beard Balm
Also made in the U.S. with deeply hydrating natural ingredients like carnauba wax, olive and safflower seed oils, and beeswax, Smooth Viking ensures easy styling and a balm that thickens and strengthens hair (while hydrating too, of course).
To buy: amazon.com, $14
Beardoholic Beard Balm
These guys really know what they’re talking about. This balm guarantees strong, all-day hold, hydration thanks to ingredients like coconut and jojoba seed oils, and a refreshing yet masculine orange fragrance.
To buy: amazon.com, $20
Wild Willie’s Beard Butter
Made in Georgia, Wild Willie’s Beard Butter utilizes exactly 13 natural ingredients (like castor oil, grapeseed oil, peppermint and tea tree essential oils, and vitamin E) to tame, hydrate, and promote healthy beard growth.
To buy: amazon.com, $15