As beards continue to grow in popularity among men, the need for new and exciting products for beard maintenance. New beard oil blends and balms are, seeming to, come out daily. In fact, between beard shampoos, conditioners, oils and balms, the beard “liquids” market makes up between 3-4 billion dollars per year.
The beard product upward trend shows no reason to believe that it will slow down anytime soon as it is believed that nearly 40% of all men have some form of facial hair, which is a 15% increase from 5 years ago.
As more men are taking care of their beards, new hybrid, specialized products are coming out as well. One of the more popular examples is the, increasingly available Beard Butter.
So I can probably read some your minds as you mull over the question, what in the world is Beard Butter and should I look into using it for my beard?
Let’s start with the first question asked, “What is Beard Butter?”
The most simplistic explanation for Beard Butter is to say that it is the offspring of beard oil and beard balm. It takes the things you love from both and puts them into one easy to use mixture.
Oil, Balm, and Butter Defined
In order to understand the benefits of Beard Butter, we must first understand the benefits of the products from which it gets its roots.
Beard oil has been a long used and loved product that is applied to beards. There are a segment of men that don’t believe that the beard needs any products. We are more than willing to let any of you who believe this continue but we promise that your beard will not look near as healthy or soft as those who do.
We believe that men should take care of their facial hair to the same level that they take care of the hair that rests on their scalp. For a time tested product for your beard, most men use beard oil.
It is proven to hydrate the skin beneath the beard while softening and taming beard hair. If you have seen a man with a long beard that has a nice sheen and looks well groomed and maintained we can almost guarantee that they are using a product like beard oil. Men who struggle with shaggy, brittle, dandruff riden beards are usually not using beard oil.
What’s in beard oil?
The rule of thumb for beard oil is that it typically consists of two oils that fall under distinct categories, carrier oil and essential oil. Some beard oils add vitamins like Vitamin E to make the hair healthier but not all include these. While there are two oils that mostly make up all beard oil, these two are not equally split in the oil. Carrier oils make up around 90% of the beard oil.
A carrier oil is something that comes from natural origins like seeds or nuts. Examples include jojoba, argan, grapeseed and a few others. These products are used because they are some of the best at hydrating and moisturizing the skin and hair. Hydrating and moisturizing the beard hair is the most important factor to a healthy beard.
Have you ever noticed that your beard gets increasingly itchy as it gets longer? The reason for that is that every beard hair strand is connected to a set of glands called the sebaceous glands. These are the natural moisturizers of the hair as they produce sebum oil.
As the beard lengthens, more oil is needed to keep the hair and skin moisturized. The problem is that these glands can only produce a certain amount of oil and are not affected by the length of the hair. At this point it probably goes without saying that the longer the beard the dryer and itchier it will become. Soon after the sebum oil is not produced at a rate that can keep the skin and hair moisturized, the dreaded beard dandruff will follow.
Applying a good quality beard oil will remedy this problem in most men. The addition of essential oil is used to leave the beard with a nice, refreshing aroma. The scent varieties are, seemingly, endless and can be as strong and faint as you please.
How to apply
Applying beard oil is pretty hard to mess up.
Simply, take about a dime sized amount in your hands and rub it deeply into your beard. To ensure that the oil gets all the way to the skin, we recommend using a brush or comb.
The only thing to remember with beard oil is, like with skin moisturizer, it works best when the pores are open and ready to receive. For this reason, we recommend wetting the beard and face or applying oil after a shower.
We stated earlier that Beard Butter is a hybrid of beard oil and beard balm but you may be wondering the difference between the two.
Beard balm works in a very similar manner to leave-in conditioner for the beard. It serves the beard by applying moisture, conditioning, and softening the beard. While beard balm, typically, has carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, and essential oils. It contains several other ingredients that give it a more solid state.
Some balms recipes contain shea butter (not near as much as Beard Butter that will be discussed later on) which sits on beard hair and skin and continues to moisturize and a protectant (usually beeswax) that locks and seals in the moisture for a longer lasting hold, sculpted feeling of the beard.
How to apply
Just as with beard oil, there really is not learning curve for using beard balm. It is as simple as taking a generous portion in your hands and rubbing it into your beard.
We typically start at the base of the neck and work upward then work in the opposite direction. This will lift up the hair so that it gets deep into the hair and on the skin then rubs the balm into the beard, finally, in a manner consistent with the beards natural downward growth. Again, it is best to apply after a shower or washing the face.
Lastly, we get to the product that is the main focus of this article. To start, it must be stated that Beard Butter and Balm are pretty similar but have a few distinguishable difference.
While some Beard Balms have shea butter included in the formula, it is often secondary to other ingredients. The opposite is true with Beard Butter; it is all about the shea butter.
Beard Butter, usually, only has three key ingredients: butters like shea and cocoa (or even avocado), carrier oils, and essential oils. Beard Butter, usually, never includes beeswax or, if it does, it does not include more than a minute trace of it. The best way to make Beard Butter into Beard Balm is to add additional beeswax. The butter will always been the defining ingredient of Beard Butter and gives it its consistency and texture. Beard butter is great at infusing, long lasting, moisture into the beard that last long throughout the day.
How to apply beard butter
Applying Beard Butter should be do in the same manner as Beard Balm. It should follow a shower or face wash so that the pores are open and susceptible to moisturizing. Take a generous scoop of the butter and apply it to the beard and face. We like to work from the base of the beard and work up to the top then work from the top back down. This will ensure that the mixture gets to the base of the beard hair.
Let’s get down to the benefits of Beard Butter over Beard Balms more specifically.
Beard balm Vs beard butter Vs beard wax
Both Beard Butter and Beard Balms are great at infusing the beard with added moisture and taming the beard hair, but Beard Balm is much more tacky to the touch and puts a firmer hold on the beard. For this reason, Beard Balms is, typically, better with shorter beards as it holds down wayward hair into place.
When using Beard Balm on longer beards, the beeswax makes the beard firmer and stiffer and can be harder to comb through when it gets more than an inch or so long. It probably goes without saying that Beard Butter is a better choice for men that like more of the lumberjack, natural bearded look. While some people love to style their beards with Beard Balm and will always swear by it, we will always recommend buying a Beard Butter and Beard Wax so that a beard can be styled when desired and left alone when not when the beard has decent length below the chin.
Beard Wax is much denser than Beard Balm and styles and sculpts better. Often with long beard hair and Beard Balm, it gets stuck in between not being able to hold a more distinct style but making the beard feel undesirable in terms of stiffness.
Lastly, as Beard Butter does not normally include the expensive addition of beeswax, Beard Butter typically comes in larger containers at a cheaper price than many of its Beard Balm comparatives.
Our favorite Beard Butter Options
Wild Willies Beard Butter
Many other sites review this as their top choice for Beard Butter and for good reason. The product is made from all natural ingredients in the USA. The company was founded a few years ago and always strives to produce the best beard products money can buy.
The butter comes in an lightly scented tea tree-ish natural fragrance. It is proven to lock in deep moisture, tame stray hairs, and keep the beard healthy and happy. The formula consists among others of shea butter, beeswax and carnauba wax, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, castor oil. With the first application, you will notice a softer more manageable beard instantly. It will have a light to medium hold to it so that it will look controlled yet still move.
Lastly, this Beard Butter has staying power. All you need to do is apply a single coat to the beard and it will easily last the remainder of the day with no disappointment. Some men do think that it leaves the beard feeling a little greasy for their liking. While we don’t mind the feel, we do see where they are coming from. Lastly, compared to other balms and butters out there, this has the mildest smell which, in our opinion, it’s a huge plus rather than having an overpowering medicinal smell. But again, that’s a matter of preference.
Detroit Grooming Co. Beard Butter
While many other men prefer the above mentioned Beard Butter, this one is our personal favorite. The reason we like this Beard Butter so much is that it is so simplistic that it is impossible to not like. It only has two main ingredients, coconut oil and shea butter. If you are a man with sensitive skin, this is the product for you. Nothing in it can irritate the skin or cause you to breakout.
It is made in Detroit, Michigan (hence the name) and is the least greasy of all Beard Butters we have tried. Due to its straightforward formula, it does not smell chemically has a nice mild, natural fragrance to it. It is given added essential oils scents of vanilla, tobacco, and cedarwood but these are so light that we promise you won’t mind.
This is a product we intend to use regularly. I know some men will be put off because the formula is so basic seeming. We have tried many Beard Butters and, regardless of simplicity, we do not think you will find a Beard Butter that leaves the skin and hair feeling more moisturized and controlled.
Bearded Soldier Beard Butter Private Blend
A company that is starting to become more readily accessible in the retail market (Walmart is even starting to carry them). They are a company that is military themed and even donate some of their profits to the Wounded Warrior Product. They have a General Blend and a Private Blend and we prefer the latter because it is has a less intrusive scent. They claim it is fragrance free but it does still have a light scent to it. All their products are made in the USA and is made to stay on the beard all day.
The company is a little secretive with providing the ingredients in its formula but the product does make your beard feel unbelievably soft. This product will, probably, give you the softest beard that you have ever had. It goes on easy and quickly dissipates so that the beard is left with the slightest sheen. It moisturizes so well that they can all but guarantee no beard dandruff after a few uses.
We like this product and like that it gives the option of buying a smaller container to test out first. The General scent the offer is a little too strong for our liking so be warned. You will like the results you get from this product and will be more than happy if you purchase it.
Just as beard styles and popularity increase, so will the products that are made to take care of them.
Beard Butters are a nice addition to the marketplace that serves as a great product for all men with facial hair (especially longer hair). It will give the moisture needed without matting down facial hair. If you are looking for something that stays on the beard all day but doesn’t feel heavy or make the beard stiff. Look no further than Beard Butter.
We gave you a few suggestions of products we like to consider and wish you many days of happy beards ahead.