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Even though beard balm isn’t as popular as beard oil, it’s slowly becoming an indispensable beard softening product in a beardsman’s beard care kit.
An increasing number of beard wearers find great added value in using a beard balm as an extra help for the little magic potion -a.k.a. beard oil.
And there’s good reason behind this.
There are a lot of things that you might not know about beard balm and its great properties. You might be also missing the fact that sometimes using a beard balm is more advisable for certain beard types and lengths than beard oil.
Beard balm is a great beard care product that is boasted with natural ingredients. Among others:
- Makes your beard softer
- Reduces split ends
- Prevents beard dandruff
- Nourishes the skin
- Keeps the hair well moisturized
- Your beard smells amazing
- Shapes noticeably the unruly beard even if it’s not the main reason to use a beard balm
- Easier to travel with due to its solid form
For all the above reasons, I believe it’s important to own a beard balm or at least, give it a try at least once and see for yourself.
Now, before we dig into the details of the beard balms reviews as well as the criteria to choose one, I’d like to make a quick note. This way, it can save you some time in case you don’t want to go through the entire guide.
After reviewing the beard balms that I’ve used so far, I concluded to 5 that make top of the list and I consider them to be perfect for any beardsman.
These are the following:
- Honest Amish Beard Balm
- Wild Willie’s Beard Butter
- All American Gentlemen Beard Salve
- Grave Before Shave Beard Balm
- Canyouhandlebar Wisdom Beard Dry Oil
The 5 Best Beard Balms
Out of the reviewed beard balms, I find the Honest Amish to be the best beard balm for short beards (and for long ones also but I’ve got a short beard, so I speak from my own experience).
The reason for finding it great is due to the unique texture (different than all others), nice, subtle scent, great performance and overall great value for money.
I guess it’s not very different from the others in this list, but these small differences make the Honest Amish beard balm a bit better than its peers.
That’s it for now and let’s move ahead and see what you should expect from today’s beard balm buying guide.
Before we go deeper into our analysis, I’d like to brief you with the sections of today’s post.
- What’s beard balm and what’s used for.
- What is the best balm for beards? An analysis of top brands.
- Criteria to help you with your selection.
- How to use it.
What is beard balm and what is it used for
Beard balm is a beard care product that in most -if not all cases come in solid form and you normally find it in tins and jars.
Just like it’s little cousin beard oil, beard balm is used for softening and nourishing your facial hair, keep it moisturised while protecting it from drying.
As for the ingredients list, you’ll find similar to the ones that you normally see in beard oils.
Carrier oils such as jojoba or argan oil, blended with essential oils is quite common. Besides the oils, beard balms contain natural wax such as beeswax and natural butters like cocoa and shea.
Generally, beard balms contains the following ingredients for very specific reasons:
Beeswax is the most common used wax in most beard balms, many times combined with other natural waxes.
The wax is the only ingredient that allows the beard balm to be in a solid form. Besides that, beeswax is able to give a beard shape, depending on the amount that is mixed in the beard balm.
Most common used butters in beard balms are cocoa, shea and avocado. Coconut oil is also an ingredient that even though it’s not butter, it behaves like one. For this reason, many balms contain it as a beard butter substitute or addon in a beard balm recipe.
The use of butter in beard balms has to do with their melting properties and their spreading capability.
Think about the following.
When you scoop a bit of beard balm from the tin and you place it on our hand, the butter is the one that liquifies the balm.
On top of that, when you apply it on your beard, it helps with the spreading, so that it reaches every single spot on the entire face covered with your precious beard.
Carrier oils are probably the most important ingredients in the beard balm.
Remember that the carrier oils are the only ones that will make your beard softer.
Common oils that are perfect for use as carriers in beard balms, are jojoba, argan, olive, sweet almond and hemp seed oil.
This is really the cherry of the pie.
Essential oils will give your beard balm its personality. Different blends and percentages of essential oils provide you beard balm with extra vitamins and amazing scent.
Besides all natural beard balms, there are however, others that have some additional ingredients like artificial fragrances. They’re not bad for you but if you’re looking for all natural beard softening products, these are a no-go.
What is the best beard balm
Honest Amish Beard Balm Leave-in Conditioner
Honest amish was the first company that introduced me to beard care products and I believe they were among the first companies that were producing beard oil and balms before all the beard hype.
Just like their awesome beard oil, the honest amish beard balm is an all natural solution that leaves no beardsman unhappy.
When you first scoop a little bit of the balm, you immediately feel the unique, kinda’ like wet salt texture. If you’ve used a beard balm before, you’ll understand that this texture is different than the majority of beard balms.
Once you start rubbing your hands, it takes just a few seconds until it gets liquid and ready to apply on your beard. Compared to other beard balms, the consistency is on the softer side.
By the time you start applying it on your beard, you feel the woodsy yet a bit sweet, scent. It will take a few minutes for most of the scent to go away but it’s definitely strong, yet, pleasant.
What I’ve noticed with this honest amish beard balm is that you need to be careful with the used amount.
It appears that you need less product compared to what you would need with other beard balms. If you exceed that amount, your beard will appear kind of greasy and it might be hard for your facial hair to absorb the excessive beard balm.
In terms of softening, it will take a few minutes after you applied the beard balm to settle on your hair. Once that happens, you’ll notice that you beard is undeniably softer and it’s also more manageable -in case you want to use a beard comb or brush.
Overall, the honest amish is a great beard balm with nice scent, soft feel and great beard conditioning.
- argan oil
- avocado oil
- grapeseed oil
- virgin pumpkin seed oil
- apricot kernal oils
- shea butter
- cocoa butter
- kokum nut
- essential oils
Wild Willie’s Beard Butter
This is one of the latest beard balms that I’ve tried.
Even though it caught my attention over a year ago, I wasn’t very convinced with what I was reading. Not to mention, that I didn’t have a beard back then but that’s completely irrelevant.
But to this beard balm’s defence, there was literally no reason for my hesitation.
Compared to honest amish, this beard balm has a different texture. When you first touch it and scrape a bit of balm, it feels like chopstick. Quite hard surface.
Just like a chopstick, this beard balm spreads and liquefies fairly easily and it’s ready for application in just a few seconds after you start rubbing your hands together.
When you apply it on your beard, the first thing that strikes you is the intense woodsy scent.
If you like strong scented balms, you won’t have any issues. A few minutes after you applied the balm, most of the strong scent goes away.
In terms of performance, it feels a bit greasy and you need to be careful with the amount that you apply. You might need to massage your beard for a while so that the extra shine fades away.
15-30 minutes after you finished applying the beard balm is when you understand that wild willie’s beard balm is actually one of the top beard balms to choose from. The strong scent is gone, it doesn’t feel greasy and the beard feels softer than a bunny’s fur.
One last thing that you may consider before buying this oil is the fact that it contains emu oil. Now, that’s an interesting and unexpected ingredient.
As you may appreciate, emu is the oil that you get from harvesting emus. From my understanding, this can’t be a very animal friendly process.
- shea butter
- sweet almond oil
- apricot oil
- jojoba oil
- castor oil
- argan oil
- emu oil
- vitamin E
- essentials oils such as tea tree, cedarwood and rosemary
All American Gentlemen Beard Salve
Maybe not as popular as the other beard balms but it surely is a great competitor.
When you first scrape a pea size amount to apply on your beard, you’ll immediately understand the hard butter like texture of this balm, similar to most beard balms.
The balm melts quickly in your hands and compared to other balms, it feels that you need a little more amount. Personally, I felt as if the carrier oils were a bit diluted and hence, my impression that a bit more balm was necessary.
But remember that this is just my impression. Try not to get greedy with the amount and overdo it. Start low and judge accordingly once you finish applying the balm.
This is probably the best smelling beard balm among the reviewed ones. If you like your beard scented, the scent will last for a good 4-8 hours.
Besides the nice scent, this is one of the few beard balms that actually gives you a little bit of hold to your beard. I assume that there’s more beeswax than other beard balms.
Don’t imagine that you can do some crazy beard shapes but more like keeping your beard nicely groomed. I guess this is the best beard balm for hold, in case it’s something that you’re interested in getting from your balm.
This beard balm will definitely make your beard softer. Before that though, you need to be patient with the application.
On the one hand, it feels that you need to apply more on your beard once you finish applying and on the other, even if you put a little bit, feels a bit greasy on your beard.
After experimenting for a few times, I found out that the secret is to apply little by little and massage like there’s no tomorrow.
The first minutes after you apply the beard balm, it will feel a bit greasy and your beard will shine. But this is when you need to continue massaging. Application takes a bit longer than other balms and it is probably due to the higher percentage of beeswax that we talked about already.
Massage your beard and skin for a couple of minutes and the grease will wear off and only a healthy shine will stay in place. Then you’ll also feel how soft your beard becomes with this great beard balm.
- shea butter
- argan oil
- almond oil
- avocado oil
- jojoba oil
- apricot kernel oil
- bay rum essential oil
Grave Before Shave Beard Balm
I’ve used three beard oils from the Grave Before Shave and I can really tell that they put a lot of love in what they’re producing.
As with their all natural beard oils, this beard balm has a very distinctive and refreshing scent. It’s not particularly strong but the tea tree can be intense for someone that isn’t used to this kind of natural scents.
In terms of performance, the grave before shave beard balm does a great job leaving your beard soft and conditioned. It really does what it says and you notice it right from the first application that you beard is noticeably softer.
The texture is again a chopstick like which quickly melts in your hands.
What I really like is that it doesn’t feel greasy at all and the kind of disturbing beard shine, goes away very fast leaving your beard looking naturally clean and not oily.
Hold of this balm isn’t ideal. Yet, a beard balm isn’t supposed to be used based on beard styling capabilities. But if you compare it with other beard balms reviewed here, this doesn’t give too much of a hold.
Even though it’s relatively more expensive than others for only 2oz, a little goes a long way.
Depending on how often you apply it and your beard length, it can last from 1.5 to 4 or even 5 months. With other balms you might need larger volume each time you’re applying the balm on your beard but with the GBS beard balm, it seems like a little is more than enough to apply across the entire beard.
- coconut oil
- shea butter
- tea tree oil
- pure apricot oil
- jojoba oil
- sweet almond oil
- vitamin E
- aloe vera
- essential oils
Wisdom Beard Dry Oil | Natural Balm
Canyouhandlebar is another company that is making a great job with beard care products.
I’m a big fan of their beard brush in particular. And their beard oils, are one of a kind.
What about the beard balm?
Just like most beard balms reviewed here, the canyouhandlebar comes with a manly, woodsy scent, derived from a magnificent blend of essential oils.
When I apply it on the beard, it gives me a pine scent that is strong in the beginning and fades slowly throughout the day.
During first application on the beard, it feels a bit heavy. A couple of uses later, I found that it’s best to use it with a beard brush. This way you spread the beard balm better across your beard without wasting it.
This beard balm seems that it doesn’t get absorbed easily and this is why a beard brush helps a lot with this process. This might be considered welcome for some beardsmen but I like to feel my beard soft and dry rather than having a moist feeling.
A great thing about this beard balm, is the variety of scents that you can choose from. If you’re not a big fan of woodsy scents, you can surely find something that suits you.
The price is a bit steep compared to other beard balms. However, I think this extra $5 compared to competitive products isn’t such a big deal if it takes you more than 2 months to finish this balm.
- USP lanolin
- shea butter
- castor oil
- coconut oil
- vitamin E
- blend of essential oils
Criteria to selecting a beard balm
Even though selecting a beard balm isn’t rocket science, you still want to take a few things into consideration before buying one.
Besides, you’ll be putting this on your face and you want to make sure that it fulfills certain criteria.
Let’s see the things that you need to consider so that you can find the best beard balm for your precious beard.
First and most important criteria to consider before buying a beard balm are the ingredients.
Ideally, natural ingredients are preferred and it makes more sense.
Think about it.
You’ll be applying beard balm on daily basis and it comes in direct contact with your hair and skin. Unless you’re allergic to certain ingredients, an all natural beard softener gives you a peace of mind.
Next thing you want to see, are the type of natural ingredients. There are certain oils that are good for the health of your hair and skin. These are usually the different types of carrier oils.
Besides the oils that are meant to do most of the work for softening and keeping your beard healthy, you want to see the essential oils that this balm contains.
Some may not disclose them due to trade secret, but if they do, they give you a good idea on how the beard balm smells. Still, you won’t be 100% sure about the scent but at least you get a good idea.
Even though this doesn’t seem such a big deal, for me is one of the most important factors that affect me before choosing a beard balm.
Due to the fact that the balm is in solid form, it needs to be heated and poured in a container until it cools down and gets solid again within the container.
When the balm is warm/hot, aluminium or glass containers are the best solutions.
The reason is that this type of containers can withstand the warm balm. I would advise against a beard balm that is in a plastic container. Due to the warm balm transfer, there’s a high possibility that the plastic melts, with plastic residues mixed with the balm.
Besides the container type, keep in mind that beard balms come in different shapes.
This isn’t something that you need to worry about and you’ll find beard balms in circular, rectangular and tube containers.
Most beard balms come in 1oz/30ml and 2oz/60ml containers. There are some cases of heavy duty beard balms that come in even larger containers such as 4oz/120ml.
Be extra careful when you compare different beard balms. Note the price and the volume of each and judge which one is better value for money.
My personal opinion is that large containers aren’t ideal. They can last way too long and usually, I get bored of them and I want to try something new. I like experimenting and trying new products and I normally get small containers so that I don’t waste money.
As previously mentioned on the container size, you need to find the best value for money.
Most beard balms are priced between $11-17. You’ll also find many priced $1-3 more or less than that and normally, you won’t find many exceeding this price range.
How to use a beard balm and why
Normally, beard balm is used for the same reason you would use beard oil. For keeping your beard healthy and soft.
And that’s a good reason to use it.
The only difference is that you need to liquify it once you scoop some out of the container and then, the application is similar to beard oil. Massage the roots of your beard, start from the neck and work your way up towards your cheeks and chin.
Why would you use beard balm and not beard oil though?
Here comes a minor difference depending on the beard balm brand.
Due to the fact that it contains natural wax -and depending on the amount of it, it might give the balm some different properties.
Some beard balms are able to give a beard some shape due to the wax. This is something that a beard oil isn’t able to offer to you.
If you own a long beard, you will appreciate beard balm a lot. It’s light on your beard, smells nice and protect your beard in a similar way beard oil does.
And I think that this is the main difference between beard oil and balm really.
Beard balm is mostly suited for longer beard whereas beard oil for any beard length. Beard balm will give a longer beard a bit of shaping while keeping it soft and moisturised.
Then why beard balm and not beard wax?
While beard balm gives you some shape, beard wax is meant to be used for beard shaping. It does contain ingredients that make your beard soft. However, this is not what’s intended for.
Beard wax is another cousin of beard balm which contains a lot of -you guessed it, natural wax.
Beard balm does contain a little bit of wax and it’s enough to give a little bit of shape to your beard but the main purpose is beard softening.
On the contrary, with beard wax, depending on the product, the more you apply the more crazy beard and moustache shapes you get, since it contains higher percentage of natural wax (e.g. beeswax) than beard balm.
That was it my dear beardsmen. I hope this guide points you to the right direction and helps you find the best beard balm for your needs.
I think the most important thing to remember is that you need to experiment with different ones until you finally find the one that suits you and get a nicely groomed beard.
With this in mind, try to purchase a beard balm that is low priced, comes in a small tin and is made of natural ingredients. If this is going to be the first beard balm you ever used, it might be a good idea to prefer a scentless version, just to make sure you like how it feels on your beard and skin.
What is the top beard balm you’ve ever used? Any preferences? Did I miss something great? Let me know your thoughts!
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