There is absolutely no doubt, beards are popular now. I mean, they’re everywhere! The New York Times declared beards utterly fashionable.
Everywhere you turn your head, you see guys with glorious beards. This makes me feel a bit nostalgic about my own beard, but anyway…
You see beards at barbershops, cafes, restaurants, clubs. You’ve seen George Clooney and John Hamm, not to mention a ton of male models (well it would be weird to see beards on female models), on both billboards and tv ads. They all have well trimmed beards now and it has suddenly become more than acceptable, maybe even expected, for men to sport at least some facial hair.
Beards are relatively easy to grow and can look awesome on almost all men. Most men know this. But in order for a beard to look and feel amazing, there’s some work to be done. Your girlfriend/partner/wife would totally agree with this. Are you maintaining your beard well enough to look groomed and feel soft?
It’s a myth that growing and keeping a beard is for the lazy. Maintaining a beard takes time and effort and without it you might as well shave the whole thing off. Think of it this way – you spend all this time and money on using products for the hair on your head, then why not do the same for the more prominent hair on your face?
Although it’s common to believe that you just let the beard grow without using any products, there are a number of products that can help you get rid of the not-very-sexy feeling of a scruffy beard. According to John Benos (MSc in Beardology and Phd in “Research and Methodology of Bearded Psychology”), one of the most important products for beards, is beard oil.
What am I talking about? Well, you’ve read the article title. We’re talking about beard oil today. What’s this beard oil and why is everybody talking about it?
What the heck is beard oil?
Beard Oil is like the name suggests – an oil for your beard.
Thank you once again captain obvious
Common beard oils are usually made from 2 different kinds of oil, the carrier and the essential oils.
The carrier oils are the base oil and it’s usually more than 80% of the mix in a beard oil. Carrier oils are the ones that “carry” the essential oils. Without the carrier oils, the essential oils can potentially irritate your skin and this is why it’s essential to make a combination of both oils.
In a beard oil, the ingredients that will actually make your beard soft and healthier are the carrier oils. Before used in beard oils, these ingredients have been proven to make hair healthier, promote hair growth and nourish the skin.
This is why these type of oils are the perfect ingredients to include in a beard oil.
Now, common ingredients used as carrier oils in beard oil include coconut oil, argan oil, grapeseed oil and jojoba oil.
- Made from the kernels of the argan tree in Morocco, argan oil is quickly gaining a reputation for extremely professional hair care ingredient.
- Jojoba oil has been used in high-end cosmetic products since the ban on whale oil.
- Coconut oil, besides being a tasty ingredient for food recipes, it’s an amazing haircare -and beard, ingredient that moisturises and softens the hair without feeling greasy at all.
- Lastly, grapeseed oil is used as a moisturizer and lubricant for the skin in a ton of shaving creams produced around the world.
The essential oils are the ones that give most -if not all, of the scent of the beard oil as well as additional vitamins and minerals to make your beard smell and feel good.
When all these ingredients are combined in beard oil, the finished product is an oil that can work on the facial hair and skin around your cheeks to help you grow a soft, neat and healthy beard.
Why should you use a beard oil?
There are essentially three main reasons to use beard oil.
1. It moisturizes
I would say that this by itself, is a great reason to use beard oil. Not only do the ingredients in this type of oil moisturize and soften the hair on your face, but it also works on the skin to make it look and feel healthier. The facial hair and skin are well taken care of by applying beard oil regularly. This means that your beard will look the way it is meant to – shiny and well-groomed and not like it used to – shaggy, scruffy and flaky. And speaking about flakes…
2. It removes flakes
Beard flakes or beard dandruff are fairly common with long beards. Using beard oil regularly, will minimise the flakes your hair produces by nourishing the skin underneath. This is especially useful if you live in either a cold or hot climate.
Hard water use, also breaks down the moisture from facial hair and make them brittle. When hair snap, they become split ends and this is what causes the scruffy feeling of beards in the first place. Avoid these beard split ends and make your beard smooth by applying beard oil on a regular basis.
3. It smells great
It’a all about that scent. This may be the fact that sells you on beard oil.
The ingredients in beard oil are usually laced with a combination of essential oils or fragrances. What makes this even more appealing is the fact that the hair follicles and skin underneath your nostrils absorb the essential oils and the scent stays on your beard throughout the day. The scent is what makes beard oil one of the secret weapons in the arsenal of the well-groomed gentleman.
How to get started
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different beard oil brands, mixes and scents in the market that you can choose from. Few examples of beard oil brands are Seven Potions, Beardology Cedarwood Sage, Burroughs, Bearded Chap and Tree Ranger, which are some of the most popular brands of beard oil available. If you want any help deciding make sure you check my ultimate guide to beard oils.
Pay attention to the ingredients in the oil before you pick one.
You will find that many beard oils contain ingredients that have great properties (e.g. anti-acne or eczema), and keep your beard healthy and well groomed. That said, you will find ingredients such as rosemary, that reduces beard itchiness, hempseed, gets rid of acne below the beard, and safflower oil, which is highly effective with sensitive skin. There are also certain beard oil combinations which help to reduce the greasy feeling when you have a long beard.
As for the frequency,
Once you’ve found the brand that suits you best, use the beard oil on a regular basis.
That said, once or even twice a day is a great frequency.
The best time to use the oil, according to most beard experts, is in the morning right after the facial cleansing (or shower) is complete.
If you want to apply beard oil more than once per day, you can consider adding a night session, just before you go to sleep. Once your hair follicles and skin pores are open, from washing your beard, they will absorb the oil more readily. A few drops of beard oil are more than enough for you to get the best results.
One thing to remember, is to apply oil on clean beard and after you it’s dry enough after you wash it.
Note: The use of beard oil is essential if you live in a place with cold or hot climate or hard water.
I hope that you got the idea about what beard oil is
This may have been the first time you’ve come across the term “beard oil”. If you don’t own a beard, it’s highly unlikely that you ever bothered to know what beard oil is. In case you’re a beard wearer or not, I hope this post gave you a good idea what is beard oil and why you should use one.
Even if you’re not planning on growing a long beard, beard oil can be useful to you when you have a short beard stubble since this will reduce the itchiness.
Beard oil is not something new. There are many men who even make a living out of their bearded looks and they’re using beard oil on their cash cow.
Want some proof?
The founder and captain of the Beard Team USA, Phil Olsen, has claimed to use it for his beard that won him the World Beard and Moustache Competition many times. He says the oil helps keeping the beard soft, smooth and shiny while improving the attractiveness of the beard tremendously. The oil also helps maintaining the beard’s overall health according to him.
Are you going to argue with the beard champion himself? Go ahead and give the beard oil a try and see the glorious results for yourself.
# Bonus video
I found this video on youtube from The Dapper Duke explaining what beard oil is. Apart from being a great video explaining what beard oil is, what I really like, is the voice. Watch it and you’ll understand what I mean. Enjoy!
Image Courtesy: Flickr/eliebersole