It’s no secret that the beard is the new black. There’s more evidence than ever before that men are interested in growing and maintain a healthy and well groomed beard. And there’s also evidence that women are becoming more and more attracted to men with beards.

That’s also why you probably notice more companies getting into this beard care game, producing products dedicated to beardsmen.

This vast product selection makes things even more complicated to a man who’s looking for reliable and premium beard care products.

There are already so many choices to select from that makes it so overwhelming when it comes to find the best beard care products on(and off)-line.

Beard oils, balms, waxes, trimmers and so on, with natural and special ingredients, promising a silky beard that smells like a manly flower.

How come maintaining a beard became such a complicated task with such vast product selection?

The rise of beards

There’s a good reason why beard care is getting this well deserved attention.

For the past three to four years, we notice a very steep upward trend towards beard care products. Needless to say that this interest was driven by the even stronger desire of men to let their beards grow, heavily influenced by Movember and Decembeard campaigns.

Facial hair can be seen as a sign of masculinity and attractiveness.

Besides the kind of obvious pros in terms of a man’s appearance, beards also started becoming more acceptable in workplaces, while this was more like a red flag during previous decades.

After all, we all have some idea how corporate jobs required (and many still do) slick and clean shaved look.

All the above combined, led men to start searching for ways to make their facial hair appear better shaped and well maintained. In turn, companies started materializing the demand in such products and they started offering solutions that promise to upgrade a bearded man’s grooming routine.

Less than a half a decade later, you’re able to find all kinds of products that deliver different results.

  • Beard oils and balms to make your beard softer and more manageable.
  • Beard trimmers to keep it short and well groomed.
  • Wax for shaping.
  • Shampoo and conditioners specifically designed for beards.
  • Same for beard combs and brushes.

Most of these products aren’t any ground breaking news. It’s the first time however, that they get so much recognition and attention compared to previous periods. And these are actually the products that bearded men are more than happy to use once, twice or even three times a day.

No wonder why interest in beard care is only growing stronger.

To get a better understanding how the need for beard care products evolved, you’ll only have to look at the below graph.

How interest in beard care affected the search for the best beard care products over time

In simple words, you can see that beard care started gaining so much traction at the end of 2013 – beginning of 2014, and how this trend only increases since then.

In this post, we’ll focus more on the things that you need to be aware of before you buy all types of beard care products.

There are certain things that most companies don’t disclose in their product descriptions that makes selection a daunting task for the bearded man.

The list of the best beard care products that we’re going to be analyzing today is as follows:

  • Beard oils
  • Beard balms
  • Combs
  • Brushes
  • Beard and moustache waxes
  • Beard trimmers
  • Scissors
  • Beard grooming kits

Let’s take them one by one and find out what’s each product and how to select the top one on your next search.

After trying out quite a few beard care products, I believe that I included certain things that you need to pay attention to before you buy something, that could otherwise slip your attention. From ingredients to container materials, here’s what you need to consider before buying each product.

What are the best beard care products to look for

Before we begin analyzing all products, it’s good to note that one type of beard care product isn’t necessarily better or more important than the other.

Each one of them, is great at serving a specific purpose and allow you to maintain a beard healthy and well groomed.

Let’s see what we have here.

Beard Oil

What is it

As we’ve seen here at The Manliness Kit, beard oil is a beard softener. Most beard oils are made of natural ingredients. When this is the case, these are two types of ingredients: carrier and essential oils.

How to select

The ones in a beard oil recipe that actually do most -if not all, of the work is carrier oils. No matter the place you want to buy a beard oil from, you’ll find some common carrier oils in all products.

These are most likely to be jojoba, argan, hemp seed, grapeseed, sweet almond oil.

This is no coincidence since these have proven to help with hair softening and this is also why you find random combination of these oils. The essential oils are giving this beard softener its personality and more specifically, its scent.

What you need to pay attention here, is the ingredients list and make sure that these are all natural.

Even though many beard oils contain natural ingredients, I don’t see the reason why you would get something with artificial chemicals. So make sure you check the ingredients before you press the BUY NOW button.

One other thing to pay attention to is the type of container the oil has and the cap. Why does this matter?

In most cases, amber glass bottles are better than others since they maintain the oil fresh and block UV light that might cause oxidation. It also preserves the shelf life. For this reason, avoid beard oils that have plastic and clear transparent bottles. They might look good but it’s not the optimal container for best quality and performance.

The last thing to keep in mind is the cap.

Personally, I prefer dropper caps since I can measure exactly how much oil I should use without making a mess and without wasting any oil in the process. All other caps that I’ve used either make it very difficult to assess the appropriate quantity, leading to waste, or are very messy.

Best beard oils

Based on these criteria, I believe that the oils that I consider among the best are the following three:

Seven Potions Beard Oil Woodland Harmony | Grave Before Shave Bay Rum OilHonest Amish Classic Beard Oil

Beard Balm

What is it

Beard balm is more like a beard oil in solid form. It contains similar ingredients to beard oils such as carrier and essential oils for the exact same reason. Carrier oils to make your beard softer and essential oils to make it smell amazing.

Beside these two types of oils, you’ll also find few extra ingredients in a beard balm such as natural wax (in most cases) and natural butters.

Natural wax such as beeswax, is the ingredient that gives the balm its solid form. Depending the amount of beeswax a balm contains, it might also give you a bit of hold to your facial hair.

However, keep in mind that the primary use of beard balm is similar to beard oil rather than shaping your beard.

The natural butters such as shea, avocado and cocoa, help with the spread of beard balm and these are the ones that make the balm melt in your hands when you rub it in between your palms.

How to select

The idea is similar to the beard oil.

There are great products out there that contain all natural ingredients and these are the ones that I consider the best beard balms you can get.

Have a quick look at the ingredients and make sure there are no artificial chemicals or alcohol derivatives. The price difference between all natural and a balm that contains synthetic chemicals isn’t that big. This is why I would recommend you to stick to the natural one.

The container plays a very important role in your selection criteria once again.

You’ll find three types of containers available on the market.

  1. Plastic
  2. Aluminium
  3. Glass

Glass and aluminium are the ones that I highly recommend since they keep the balm in great condition. In my opinion, the aluminium is a bit better since it’s more durable than glass and it doesn’t break. -Thank you Captain Obvious.

As for plastic, simply avoid them.

The most important thing to remember is that the balm needs to be in liquid form when it’s placed into the container. In order to be in this form, the balm needs to be melted and usually, the temperature is quite high.

Pouring a hot, melted liquid in a plastic container, isn’t the best thing someone can do in terms of health and safety.

To put it simply, in my eyes, producers that use plastic containers, they don’t really know what they’re doing.

Besides the material, it’s good if you buy a balm that has a wide container since you’ll need a bit of space to scrape it with the back of your thumbnail.

Best beard balms

Now that we know what to look for, I highly recommend the following three beard balms.

Initiative Beard Dry Oil with Fresh Citrus ScentHonest Amish Beard Balm

Beard Comb

The best beard comb from Kent with a 3 piece combo

What is it

Beard comb is basically any comb that can be used to shape your beard.

The most popular ones are wooden, bone, plastic and metallic.

How to select

There are few things that you want from a comb. One is combing your beard -duh…, and the other one is to do it without damaging the hair.

That being said, you ideally want a quality sawcut comb and not cheap plastic that can cause split ends, hence, beard itch. This is why I particularly like all combs made by Kent

Wooden combs are also quite good but I’m not a big fan due to their wide teeth. If the teeth are cut equally and smoothly, they can be pretty good at combing your beard.

One thing that I don’t like about wooden combs is the fact that you can’t really rinse them with water since most of them will even break in half after a few weeks or months.

If your beard isn’t longer than 1 to 5 months growth, I don’t find beard comb very useful apart from using it when you want to shorten your beard with a scissors or beard trimmer.

Best beard combs

Kent The Handmade Comb SawcutHuntsman Beard Co, Beard Comb

Beard Brush

The best beard brush I ever used from canyouhandlebar

What is it

As the name suggests, these are brushes that are meant to be used for beard brushing.

These are mainly made of natural hair bristles. Most common are boar and horse bristles. There are also some with synthetic hair or entirely made of plastic.

How to select

The beard brushes that I consider among the best beard care products are only the natural hair brushes.

More particularly, I’m a big fan of those that have boar hair.

There’s a very simple explanation to this.

Boar hair, being natural, is able to “carry” the natural oils that your skin produce and with every brush stroke, you distribute it across the entire length of your facial hair. By doing so, you make the beard softer and cleaner. This is also one of the reasons why I prefer beard brushes versus combs.

Speaking of hygiene…

By brushing your beard with a natural hair beard brush, you clean it from dirt that has added up on your hair and you also clean it from any product that you’ve put throughout the day. Here’s where the good backbone of the boar hair helps a lot. Again, by cleaning it, the beard becomes softer and you stop beard itch before it even becomes a problem.

Beard brushes aren’t only good for softening the beard and cleaning it but they’re also great when you apply certain beard softeners on your beard. When you apply beard oil or balm on your beard and then you brush it, you make sure that the oils are evenly distributed across your entire face and beard.

Best beard brushes

After all this, I think it’s needless to say that the beard brush you should go for, is one with natural boar hair.

Here’s what we have:

Beard Oil Brush with Travel Case | Zeus 100% Boar Bristle Pocket Beard Brush

Beard Shampoo and Conditioner

What is it

The title is self explanatory. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a shampoo for beards only but it can also be any shampoo.

Let’s see what things you should pay attention to.

How to select

Ever since beards became a trend, many products became available on market that help beard become softer, cleaner, healthier, neater.

Even though there were already quite a few products that were doing a great job for hair as well, many small producers started introducing beard related products that are even better than hair products.

This is the case with beard shampoo.

When you’re on the lookout for a shampoo, make sure that you check the ingredients first. There are quite a few products available that consist of mostly natural ingredients.

Although it’s fairly challenging to find an all natural beard shampoo, the least you can do, is check whether it contains any harsh artificial chemicals.

Pay special attention to the bottle.

Prefer the shampoos that have either solid plastic or dark transparent color and avoid the ones with clear transparent color.

Similarly to beard oils, UV light can affect the shampoo’s shelf life and deteriorate its natural ingredients.

Lastly, the ease of application is fairly important so select something that doesn’t seem like dismantling a weapon when you want to use it.

Best beard shampoo

Zeus Beard ShampooGrave Before Shave Beard Wash

Beard and Moustache Wax

What is it

Beard wax is a beard grooming product that is meant to be used to style your beard and moustache.

It’s more like a beard balm but with higher percentage of beeswax.

Speaking of which, beeswax is one of the major ingredients in a beard wax so that it allows you to shape your facial hair.

Besides wax, it also contains natural ingredients that are found in balm as well, such as natural butters, carrier and essential oils.

There are also beard waxes that contain artificial chemicals and synthetic wax but we will mostly focus on the ones containing natural ingredients.

How to select

First of all, keep in mind what we just said. Check the ingredients and select accordingly, while paying attention to natural vs. artificial.

There’s really no point selecting a beard wax that contains synthetic chemicals and fragrances.

The next thing you want to take into consideration is the hold.

Most beard waxes can be categorised in soft, medium and strong hold, similar to hair styling products like pomade, clay etc. Pick the one that you deem appropriate based on your beard style.

Lastly, it’s fairly important to get the wax with the right container. From my experience, you’ll find beard waxes in plastic jars and sticks, glass and aluminium tins and jars.

My personal preference is aluminium screwtop tins so that the wax is maintained fresh without being affected by water or heat and the mouth is wide enough to make application easier.

Best beard wax

Here are the waxes that I consider among the best beard care products to upgrade your beard game:

Fisticuffs Strong Hold Mustache WaxCanYouHandleBar Secondary Moustache Wax

Beard Trimmer

Wahl 9854-600 Lithium Ion All In One Trimmer

What is it

Beard trimmers are the only beard care devices that can shorten, shape and even shave your beard off.

No matter the beard growth stage you’re at, you’ll always find a use for it.

You can use it to shorten your beard at certain areas or keep your beard at specific length. You can also use it to define the cheekline and neckline for a well shaped beard and depending on the trimmer you choose, you can even shave certain parts of your facial hair.

How to select

First and foremost, the power, trimmer precision and available trimming guides are essential. In the end, you need to trim and you need to trim good.

The next thing you want to know, is the operating and charging time.

Most beard trimmers I found, range between 40 and 120 minutes of operating time. What surprised me the most, was the huge difference in charging time. Some may take an hour while others can take even 20 hours until they reach full charge.

The features of a beard trimmer can be quite important for some. For me, it’s kind of secondary importance.

You can find trimmers with features such as hair vacuum, waterproof, shaving option, ear and nose trimming guides and even laser for accuracy.

It all comes down to what you consider important on your trimming and what the best beard trimmer is for your facial hair length and thickness.

Best beard trimmer

Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer 7300Wahl Beard Trimmer #9854-600

Scissors

sanguine professional the best beard scissors. Also great for moustaches

What is it

Another self explanatory beard grooming product.

For me, scissors is one of the best beard care products in terms of beard shaping, especially when your beard gets long enough. In most cases, I prefer scissors over beard trimmers after the 4th month of beard growth.

Even though you can shorten and shape your beard with almost any type of scissors, there are a few factors due to which specific products can make your life easier.

How to select

If you want to get a scissors designed for beard and moustaches, here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  1. The ends of the scissors need to be rounded so that you avoid any accidental cuts because of the pointy ends of regular products. This way, shaping your beard and moustache becomes a safer process.
  2. One other thing to keep in mind is to get a scissors that is sharp and from a material that doesn’t rust. Prefer stainless steel products for durability and quality.
  3. Another criteria is the balance of the scissors and how comfortable the grip is. This is something that you will find out only if you hold it in your hands.

Best scissors

Professional Beard Trimming Scissors

Beard Grooming Kit

What is it

Beard grooming kits contain certain products of beard care that we already discussed about. The only difference is that price wise, it makes more sense getting a kit than buying one by one each product.

How to select

This heavily depends on the products that you’re missing.

To me, products like beard oil, beard shampoo and maybe beard wax are essential for daily beard grooming routine.

If a beard grooming set contains products like beard brush, beard balm and more, these are always more than welcome.

Best beard grooming kit

Few beard grooming kits that I’m fond of are the below. Remember that you can easily create your own kit by simply selecting all the products we discussed on this article.

Zeus Deluxe Beard Grooming Kit for Men | Beardsley in the Box Beard Care Set

Final thoughts

Do you really need all these products?

The answer can be more complicated than a yes or no.

Depending on the condition of your beard, your beard growth stage and your available budget, you might want to use from nothing to everything. It’s up to you to decide what the best beard care products are for your needs and situation.

The least that all these products and tools can do is maintaining your beard healthy and well groomed.

 

Main image courtesy: NejroN Photo/BigStock.com