I know! When you hear about bio/ eco/ handmade/ homemade/ natural beard softener, you immediately associate them with this hipster, back to basics trend.
But think about it…
When it comes to beards, there is no “what was first – the chicken or the egg?” question. We already know, first was the beard!
Those manly men hunter/gatherers couldn’t even imagine their faces, or better yet, even their lives without beards!
Thousand of years later, men even started wearing beards as a sign of honor and only as a punishment they were shaving it off. And when I say punishment, I mean court ordered punishment!
So, you see, my friends, growing a beard isn’t something new. And it is only safe to assume that maintaining and softening is not a privilege and an obligation of the modern man only.
Most probably, taming the beard has been a worry of all men since the beginning of time. Because beard itch and roughness hasn’t appeared just now. It’s been there!
You might wonder: what did they do back then? There was no such thing as beard oil or beard balm, right?
Or maybe there was but what missed was the marketeer to sell it that way.
Here we get to that natural hipster way.
Men were using all natural means for making their beards softer. And by that, I mean they were using mother nature as solution to their problem. Because they knew that there is nothing that mother nature cannot fix. Except for, maybe bacterial infection (at that time). But that’s a different story.
Among the first that wanted to make their beards softer were the Native Americans. They used a mix of almond, castor and grapeseed oil. Funny enough, this is a very common mix of ingredients for today’s popular beard oils.
Coming back to 2015, I get the feeling that when you want to make your beard softer, there’s a lot of science involved. It seems -and it really is, much easier to buy a product with a long list of names that you don’t quite understand than getting something that grows in nature. You can’t just go out, gather some grapeseed and apply it on your beard.
But where are all these products then? What are all these all natural products and ingredients that you can use as natural beard softeners? And lastly, what kind of products do I consider all natural?
Because of all these questions, I thought that it’s a great idea to identify and present you these products that I can qualify as natural beard softeners.
Ever since I started this blog. for the sake of reviewing and experimenting, I’ve tested the following products that deal mainly with beard softening:
- 28 beard oils,
- 13 beard balms,
- 9 beard/m(o)ustache waxes,
- 7 beard shampoos,
- 6 beard combs and brushes.
- 00s’ of beard oil and balm recipes -most of them with horrible scent…
Every single one of the products that I tested, was selected specifically because of the claim of natural ingredients.
Besides my DIY recipes, that I knew for sure were all natural, I took a look at the ingredients of all the products that I’ve used.
I was glad to see that the majority does indeed consist of 100% natural ingredients. However, what caught me by surprise was that a big portion of these products contain natural ingredients plus “fragrances”.
What does this mean?
If you’re a bit familiar with grooming products, fragrances in most -if not all cases, aren’t considered natural ingredients. Most of the times, they consist of chemically formulated ingredients that are used for scent, consistency and increased shelf life.
Is this bad? Probably not at all…
But hear me out.
The fact that the label says fragrances on a product that claims it consists of natural ingredients, completely changes the term “all natural product”.
There are natural fragrances as well, but if this was the case, it would be clearly stated on the label.
If I wanted to get a product that consists of artificial ingredients, I would definitely choose something from a well respected brand and not one that hardly operates for the past one or two years from the kitchen of his/her home.
Note to self: next time pay attention to the ingredients
Wrapping up my jibber jabber, I wanted to share with you my findings on natural beard softeners and reasons for why you should use any of them to make your beard softer naturally.
Without keeping you waiting any longer, let’s get to it.
Why would you want to use a natural beard softener?
Before we dig into the details of each product, let’s find out what makes a natural beard softener so special.
Why would someone call it a beard softener if it doesn’t make your beard softer, right?
Depending on the ingredients that a product contains, beard softeners consists of natural oils derived from plants and seeds that have been proven to nourish and moisturise your facial hair.
Two products that come to my mind immediately that contain such ingredients are beard oils and beard balms.
Besides these two beard softening solutions, there are quite a few other products that can be used as natural beard softeners. Take for example coconut, jojoba and even olive oil. And you know what’s great about these? They can be used right out of the box without combining them with any other ingredient.
There are numerous studies suggesting that such oils soften the hair, moisturise the skin and assist in hair growth and regeneration. Your beard isn’t any different.
We mentioned all natural for a good reason.
No chemicals means that you know exactly what the product contains. No fishy long names with numbers in between letters on the label. Nothing artificial.
You should know by now that the vast majority of personal care products contain chemicals either for extra properties, or as a bulking agent, as an emulsifier and any other reason you can imagine.
Now, with a natural product, you’re sure that what you’re putting on your face. You don’t expect any (unpleasant) surprises and you have a peace of mind that all there is in the bottle, is something that you can find it freely in nature.
Not necessarily true since all natural products tend to be more expensive than something made at a lab.
However, if you do your research right, you can get the natural products that you need at very good prices.
Let’s see the below examples for a minute.
- Take coconut oil
- An all natural beard oil like Grave before shave
- A DIY beard oil recipe with 2 carrier and a blend of essential oils.
Depending on the effort that you want to put in relation to the amount of money you want to spend, you should expect paying something between $1.00 to $20.00 per ounce. And this 1 oz usually lasts up to 2 months with daily use.
That’s not bad at all.
Remember that the cost heavily depends on whether you’re buying the product or making it yourself and the type of ingredients that you’re putting in.
That’s for the beard oil. But there’s not much difference with beard balm either.
Making your own beard balm versus buying a 2 oz can, is going to cost you from $3 to $14 per ounce and can last up to 3 months.
And don’t forget, these are all natural products that last so long even with frequent use.
Now that you see the fact you would agree with me that an all natural beard softener isn’t that expensive after all.
What product can you use as natural beard softener?
Even though the following list can’t be considered as complete, I included the ones that are vastly used in most common beard care products and one can easily consider them as natural beard softener.
The great thing about it is that unless you’re allergic to any of the below, you can use them directly on your face and beard in their purest form. No need for mixing with other products just like you would normally do with essential oils.
1. Coconut oil
I’m sure you’re well aware of the hype on coconut oil for beard and hair.
And you know what’s even better? This hype is well justified.
Among few things that coconut oil does for your beard health can be summarised as follows:
- By going deep in the hair follicles due to lauric acid, coconut oil stimulates hair growth.
- It moisturises the facial hair and gives it shine while making it softer.
- It’s excellent for dry hair and hence, it works great against beard dandruff.
- Coconut oil makes the hair stronger by reducing breakage and split ends and on top of this, it slows down hair loss.
Besides being an all natural product, coconut oil can be used out of the box to soften your beard successfully. No wonder why so many hair care products, beard oils and top beard balms contain a lot of coconut oil.
Setting aside the properties, coconut oil smells amazing and it doesn’t feel greasy when you put it on your beard. Just be careful with the amount that you put on your beard though. Apply with moderation and you won’t feel your beard greasy.
Few coconut oils that you can find online are the following:
- Nature’s Way Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, 32-Ounce
- Viva Labs The Finest Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce
2. Argan oil
Also known as “liquid gold”, is mainly found in Morocco and it’s extracted from the kernels of Argan tree.
It’s a very common oil that is used in a lot of cosmetics formulation. It’s rich in vitamin E and fatty acids which make it ideal for skin and hair care products.
Similarly to the previous coconut oil, argan oil can be used as pure and there’s no need to mix it with other type of oils.
It’s particularly effective for softening and moisturizing your dry skin under beard.
Argan oil is able to soften your dry beard and hair and moisturises both skin and hair.
A couple of argan oil suggestions for you:
- 100% Pure Certified Organic Argan Oil, Cold Pressed, Unrefined, Virgin, Eco Cert & USDA Certified Organic – 2 oz
- Moroccan Argan Oil, 100% Natural, Organic, Cold Pressed & Triple Extra Virgin Grade 1 – 4 Oz
3. Jojoba oil
This is another all natural oil that can make great difference in your beard.
Jojoba oil is mainly found in California, Arizona and Mexico and it’s rich in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E and has high concentration of fatty acids.
Few things to keep in mind for jojoba oil:
- It’s got similar molecular structure to scalp’s natural oil and therefore it doesn’t interfere with the natural balance of your hair.
- Just like coconut oil, it’s highly effective against dry skin and facial hair, penetrates the hair follicles easily and it makes your beard softer.
- It restores the hair hydration and gives your beard and hair a natural shine.
- It’s one of the few oils that are perfect when they are used as carrier oils for DIY beard balm and beard oil recipes.
Want some jojoba oils suggestions? Check out the below:
- Organic Jojoba Oil, Certified Organic by USDA,100% Pure & Natural, Cold Pressed Virgin, Unrefined – 4 oz
- Majestic Pure Jojoba Oil for Hair and Skin, 4 fl. oz.
4. Olive oil
No, it’s not time for a meal now.
Olive oil is one of the few oils that can be used easily in all kinds of industries. Besides for culinary purposes, it is broadly used in personal care industry.
Properties such as antibacterial and antifungal make it ideal for dry skin and hair with dandruff.
The fact that there are so many creams and moisturisers containing or even based on olive oil is no surprise.
But doesn’t olive oil for beard feel kind of greasy?
Just remember, we’re not preparing a greek salad here.
Only a few drops are enough to spread across your entire face and massage your beard with it. Your facial hair will become much softer immediately and it won’t feel greasy depending on how careful you were with the amounts.
Prefer extra virgin olive oil since it’s the purest form you can get without the addition of any chemicals.
Lastly, you can consider making a mix of all the above discussed oils so you can benefit from their excellent properties.
5. Sweet almond oil
An all natural solution rich in vitamins A, B, E and fatty acids.
In terms of properties, sweet almond oil is no different than the previous discussed all natural oils. It’s beneficial for your beard and hair and more particularly, with the following:
- Prevents split ends and breakage.
- Reduces and eliminating dandruff and dry hair.
- Gives you beard a natural shine.
- Moisturises and strengthens the hair.
- Can help with hair loss by stimulating hair growth.
Sweet almond oils that you can’t go wrong with:
- Beauty Aura 100 % Pure Sweet Almond Oil. Cold Pressed From Best Quality Almond Kernels – 16 Fl Oz
- NOW solutions Sweet Almond Oil, Moisturizing Oil – 16 ounce
6. Beard oil
If you’re following my blog you might know by now that I’m a big fan of beard oils.
All natural beard softening oils usually contain two types of oil: carrier and essential oils.
The selection of oils is very important.
First of all, when you see the ingredients, make sure that it contains natural ones. You don’t want to be fooled the same way I was -my fault by the way.
Next, pay close attention to the oils listed first in the list. Usually, the carrier oils are all listed on the label. On the contrary, most beard oil companies don’t reveal the rest of essential oils since it’s the “secret formula”.
Nevertheless, if the label shows oils such as jojoba, sweet almond, argan, olive oil etc. and essential oils, you’re most probably selecting an all natural beard oil.
Want some suggestions? Few beard oils that I consider the best and contain only natural ingredients are the following:
- Seven Potions Citrus Tonic beard oil 1 oz.
- Grave Before Shave Bay Rum Oil dropper bottle, 1 oz
- Honest Amish – Classic Beard Oil – 2oz
Now, if you’re in a creative mood, you can also try a DIY beard oil recipe with simply mixing the two type of oils we discussed earlier.
A general rule of thumb is to use approximately 90-95% carrier oils and the rest 5-10% a blend of different essential oils for extra properties and unique scent.
Be careful not to include a high percentage of essential oils in the mix since this can cause you skin irritation. This is also why the percentage of carrier oils is so high in a beard oil blend.
7. Beard balm
Just like beard oil, you can easily find beard balms on the market that consist of natural ingredients.
Most, if not all beard balms consist of similar carrier and essentials oils to beard oils plus some extra ingredients such as beeswax and shea butter.
Beeswax for the hold and shea butter for the spread.
If you like to create your own products, you can also have a look at my DIY post and learn how to make beard balm recipe fast at the comfort of your home.
For everyone else, I’ve got a handpicked selection of beard balms for you with natural ingredients.
- Seven Potions Beard Balm, 100% Natural and Organic
- Honest Amish Beard Balm – All Natural – Vegan Friendly Organic Oils and Butters
- Grave Before Shave Beard Balm
Wondering how to use each one of them?
Every natural beard softener that I listed can be applied on your beard directly in a very similar way.
For all the oils that are in liquid form, all you have to do is pour 3 to 6 drops of beard oil in your palm, rub your two hands together for 2 seconds and apply directly on your beard.
- Start from the tips of your hair and work your way towards your face.
- Once you’re there, massage the roots of your facial hair.
Alternatively, you can also apply the oils by using a boar hair beard brush. Fairly simple to use it.
- Pour the same number of oil on the beard brush hair and start combing your beard.
- For the facial hair close to your neck, brush from there towards your chin area, so that most of the oil is spread nicely on your face and hair.
- As for the rest of your face, brush your beard with strokes starting from the upper part of your cheeks downwards and towards your chin.
If you want to use coconut oil or beard balm, you can’t just apply it directly on your face. Compared to the previous oils, a minor preparation is required since it’s thick at its natural state at room temperature.
- Scrape a dime size amount with your fingernail and put it in your palm.
- Start rubbing your hands against each other until the coconut oil or beard balm warms up and gets liquid.
- Now it’s ready to be applied to your beard and you can follow the same instruction as with the liquid oils.
How often should you use it?
Since we’re talking about an all natural beard softening solution there is literally no problem using it whenever you want throughout the day.
Besides, the products and ingredients we just talked about are meant to be used without any problems on your hair and beard. Unless you suffer from any relevant allergies -be extra cautious with that.
Every morning when you wake up and wash your face with a face wash it’s a good idea to apply some right after you dry your beard.
Usually, soap and face washes besides cleansing your face, strip away the natural oils that are present in your skin and facial hair. By applying the natural beard softener, you give the moisturisation and softness your beard needs at that time.
Another time to apply some beard softener is right before your night sleep, so you give some time to the product to work its magic for the coming eight hours.
If needed you can feel free to apply these natural oils more often than twice per day.
What natural beard softener is right for you?
Now that you’ve got an idea of possible natural beard softeners you can use, it’s time for you to decide what’s best for your beard.
If this is the first time that you’re buying a beard care product for taming your beard, I would highly recommend buying coconut oil. If you don’t like it, you can eat it!
For the rest of you that have tried already a few beard softening solutions, feel free to explore the different options in the natural oils as well as the beard oils and balms we discussed. This way you will be able to groom your beard like never before .
Whatever you decide to use, feel free to let me know how it goes by adding a comment below. I’ll be happy to hear your thoughts.
What’s your next natural beard softener? Do you have any other suggestion that I can include in this article?
Image courtesy: flickr.com/yvonneraftery