For the bearded gentleman who takes his grooming seriously there is no bigger conundrum than deciding which product is better for his mane. Simply picking between beard oil and beard balm can prove to be a task that would have you scratching your beard endlessly.

But again, is it necessary to choose between the two?

There are just so many different beard products to choose from. There is beard oil, beard balm and even beard wax.

To make things even more complicated, there are a ton of brands to choose from in barbershops, online, in the supermarkets. Endless options.

If you are just starting out on your quest to achieve that uber manly beard, all these options may overwhelm you and prove very confusing.

In order to tackle the question about the differences between beard oil and beard balm, let’s take it step by step and find out what we’re going to learn today.

  • A brief introduction to beard oil and beard balm for the prospective bearded men.
  • The difference between beard oil and beard balm
  • Why choose each one of them
  • Properties of beard oil and beard balm
  • What happens if you don’t want to make a choice between the two

What is beard oil

Make your beard straighter with beard oilIf you take more than just a casual interest in grooming your beard properly then there is a good chance you’ve come across beard oil before. If you haven’t, the best way to describe beard oil is that it is designed to nourish the hairs on your face.

This stuff is made from different kind of oils like jojoba and then it’s infused with even more oils like argan, cherry tree oil or grapeseed oil. Carrier oils are the core ingredients of an oil and these are the ones that will make your beard soft. This is also why the percentage of carrier oils can reach up to 100% in a beard oil -when the beard oil is unscented.

Apart from these oils, beard oil is completed when there are essential oils in the formula that gives the end product a great scent with additional vitamins and minerals, necessary for the health of your beard.

Each ingredient is meant to make your beard smoother and softer to touch as well as smell great. The main objective of beard oil is the health of your beard not the look of it even though your beard becomes more manageable. Although the hair will start to look much better once it is healthier it won’t be shaped enough with a few drops of oil.

Don’t even think about applying too much beard oil. Your beard is going to look greasy as hell. Moderation gentlemen, is key!

An advantage with beard oil is that the nourishing agent of the oil sinks deep down the shaft of the hair follicle to the very root. This means that the oil not only makes your hair better it nourishes the skin too.

Every beard oil depending on the oils that is made of, can give you different minerals, vitamins and scents. This is also what makes it exciting. You want to try different ones all the time. And you know that women cannot get enough of your beard. As much as you love them, don’t let them stroke your beard. This is your job!

If you’d like to know more about beard oil, make sure you check the below link from a previous post.


What is beard balm

What about beard balm then?

What are the differences between beard oil beard balmConsider beard oil for a moment. It is healthy for your hair and it nourishes the skin as well as the beard very well. But as discussed earlier, it doesn’t hold the beard and help to style it.

If you want something to style the beard and to shape it up so that it looks more attractive you may have considered beard wax. But how healthy is it to apply wax on your hair regularly? And even if it’s healthy, beard wax makes the beard feel unnatural to the touch. Needless to say that this happens especially when the beard wax isn’t soft and you’re very generous with the amount that you apply.

Well, beard balm is kind of like you put beard oil and beard wax in a mixer. Good beard balms are made of natural (many times organic) ingredients that help your facial hair grow better and stronger and it can hold the beard like nothing else to give you that groomed, manly look.

Although a beard balm recipe comes in a number of different fragrances and types, it is essentially made of carrier oils, beeswax, shea butter and a host of other, healthy, ingredients. The stuff is like thick butter and it is just as healthy for you as beard oil. So, you get the best of both worlds.

In a sense, it’s a beard oil with the addition of wax and butters.

The wax, which is usually beeswax, is used to keep the balm in a solid state and also, to give your beard a bit of hold. The more beeswax the balm has, the stronger the hold. However, beard hold isn’t the main reason to use beard balm.

As for the butters, these are used to make the balm easy to spread on your beard. Besides that, the butters help the balm to melt easier on your hands before you apply it on your beard.

If you want to know more about what beard balm is, the following article might give you all the information you need.


The difference between beard oil and beard balm.

Now that you’re getting more and more confused, let’s try to make things even more confusing.

Which one should you use and which one is better?

Although this is a common question it’s hard to tell if one is essentially better than the other or if you should use one over the other for better results. Instead, it all boils down to personal preference. Here what’s the difference between the two so that you can decide what is better for your own beard.

Short Beard

For shorter beards it may be better to go for beard oil.

Beard oil isn’t designed to shape your facial hair. It is used solely to nourish your hair.

If your facial hair is shorter it’s much more manageable. Therefore, you might be best better off with beard oil since the whole thing is not weighed down as much. If your beard is only a few weeks old the balm may not give you your money’s worth. Hair that short doesn’t need to be held in place at all. Beard oil is going to give your beard this health boost while reducing the itchiness.

Long Beard

If you have longer facial hair it becomes necessary to tame the beast a bit. Bringing your beard under control is essential if it is so long and thick it reaches more than four inches away from your chin. Beard balm might be best in this case. The fullness and malleability of the beard is greatly improved with beard balm.

Bearded Gentleman Vintage

Image Courtesy: flickr/foxtongue

If you prefer your beard to feel light and look shiny, beard oil is the ideal option for you. Beard balm will add a fair bit of weight to your hair but it will make it feel like its held in place throughout the day. If you are okay with the way this feel and believe that your beard genuinely needs to be controlled then beard balm is the better option for you.

If you like to have a smooth and fluffy feeling on your face throughout the day and don’t care much for the beard falling all over the place as you merrily go about your day then beard oil it is.

Beard balm works best if you pair it with a great beard brush with natural boar bristles. This will help you shape the beard up even better and help you tame unruly hairs in your beard. It is for men with extra long beard who need to check misbehaving hairs. However, the shiny and glossy look that beard oil gives you, is sacrificed for this level of control.

A lot of men with beards who work outdoors prefer beard balm. They say the balm doesn’t get dry and irritable and tends to stay in place after a long, adventurous day when they use beard balm. If you are out all day in the sun oil may not make you feel as comfortable.

What if I want to use both of them?

I certainly didn’t tell you to choose between beard oil and beard balm. The fact that these two products have their differences and similarities, this doesn’t stop you from using both of them. You can easily include both in your beard care routine.

What if you use both of them then?

Solution 1

Since beard balm is preferred to shape your beard, when do you think it’s the best time to beard balm?

Of course in the morning. How many times have you woken up with a bed beard? No matter what you do right after you get off of your bed, your beard is still facing towards the back of your head. Instead of applying beard oil, it’s a great idea to apply beard balm. This way, your beard is going to look well groomed and styled throughout your day.

There you have it!

You apply beard balm every morning that your beard looks like it can’t be tamed in any way. If your beard looks at a decent state in terms of shape and style, apply beard oil instead.

Solution 2

So, we figured out when is the best time to apply beard balm instead of beard oil. What about beard oil?

I think the best time to do so, is right after you take a shower and hair dried your beard well enough. As might already know, hot shower dry your skin out and as with all your hair, your beard needs conditioning. Your beard, after you take a shower, is softer and clean and this is a good time to put on some beard oil to condition it and make it softer.

Solution 3

It’s already night time and you are about to hit the bed. You put on your tasmanian devil PJ’s after stroking your beard thoroughly during the entire day -shame on you, and just like you, your beard needs some relaxation.

This is time for beard oil.

Just before you close your eyes, apply some beard oil to keep your beard soft and moisturized throughout the night. If you do that, you might be able to avoid applying beard balm in the morning since the beard is going to be much softer in the morning if you put some beard oil on, the previous night.

Solution 4

Apply beard oil when you’re going on a date. Prefer one with a great scent. Why beard oil and not beard balm?

Every woman wants to touch a (long) beard. Imagine that during your (first) date, she’ll get to ask the question if she can touch your beard. Since you’re going to let her do that (that’s wrong by the way), she’ll feel the softness and great smell of your beard. This way, your beard will feel more natural.

The next morning, you will have to apply beard balm because your beard isn’t going to be at its best shape.


I guess, you had been playing monopoly the entire night and things got out of hand when you didn’t let her win.

Yup, that’s probably what happened…

The verdict

You absolutely must use something at least! Make a choice if you don’t want to get both.

Whether it is beard oil for the nourishment or beard balm for the flexibility to style your beard, you have to use something. Any gentleman worth his salt will tell you that growing a beard is not enough, it must be maintained as well.

Now picking between beard oil and beard balm comes down to preference. As already explained, you can also opt to use both.

Choose wisely. May the force be with your beard!

When do you use beard balm and when beard oil?