What is Beard Balm? Beard balm explained

Beard balms are probably the most common type of beard care product recommended. You’ve probably seen it on the Ultimate Beard Care Guide, but might not be sure of it’s purpose.

Okay, so, what is beard balm, then?

what is beard balm

Beard balm can help

I’m glad you asked. Put simply: beard balm conditions the hair of your beard to make it healthier, softer, and more manageable. In fact, some companies even prefer to use the word conditioner over beard balm (although I personally don’t like it when they do this. I think ‘conditioner’ should be used only to describe the type of product usually paired with a shampoo, and indeed there are beard conditioners of this nature. Most notably, Billy Jealousy). It has oils in it, similar to beard oil, but it also has a thickening agent, most commonly beeswax, which allows it to bond to the hair follicles rather than wicking it’s way to the skin.

Massaging some beard balm into the skin under your beard will have some benefits to your skin too, but the primary purpose is conditioning the hair of your beard.

Let me break it down even more simply: Beard balm is for the hair of your beard. Beard oil is for the skin under your beard.

Not all beard balms are made alike, either. If you have any known sensitivity to essential oils such as tea tree oil, it is critical that you thoroughly read the ingredients list of any beard balm products you are considering as well. You also have to pay attention to the thickness of the balm. The hair in my beard tends to be thin, and I’ve found that thicker beard balms don’t have as much of an effect as thinner balms do.

The nice thing is that if you’ve invested a heavy chunk of change in an expensive premium beard balm only to find that it’s thickness isn’t working out for you, then you can pick up a bottle of any carrier oil, add a couple drops to the dab of balm in your hand, and it will help make it a thinner consistency for you.

The scent in beard balms will typically dissipate very quickly. Companies like to advertise their scents, and I enjoy them as I apply them to my beard myself, but you shouldn’t think of the scent like you would a cologne because the scent will fade much faster.

If your beard could use some help in order to be more manageable so you can grow it out longer, then it could be worth shopping around for a good beard balm. Check out my beard balm comparison chart with my top five beard balm picks to help you make your decision.


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