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  • Beard Oil V.S. Beard Balm: What's the Difference?

    by Nathan Gareau Last updated: May 29, 2023

    There are so many beard products to choose from, it can be confusing if you’re not familiar with each type of product. Luckily, we’re here to help you make smart choices about your face fur care. With a little education, you can figure out which products are perfect for your size, shape and type of beard. Are you ready? Let’s get started on your beard-care journey.

    Beard Oil

    There's false information all over the internet about beard oil magically making your beard grow. In reality it is designed to keep your hair and skin healthy. Sadly, no magical hair growth serum exists outside of the world of fantasy marketing. The true value is the vital nutrients they provide to your whiskers, keeping them healthy and strong. For many, the attraction is simply the wonderful fragrance and the healthy, regal shine that it gives your beard. Different beard have different needs, so you’ll need to choose your type accordingly: 

    Oils with lighter bases such as Bartigan & Stark and Peregrine will absorb quickly. This nourishes the skin, preventing dandruff and strengthening the hair. Oils such as these are excellent for everyday use because they won’t make your skin greasy. Lighter oils are also great for when you want a more natural matte look to your beard, or if you work around a lot of dust and dirt, as stray particles won’t get stuck in your beard as easily. Guys starting off with a short beard will want a lighter oil for the first few months.

    Heavier beard oils are better for fuller, longer “wizard” beards like that of Jeffrey from Tremendous Beard Co. Beards like this need heavy conditioning, and most of the oil ends up in the hair rather than on the skin. Our argan based oils are thick, so a little goes a long way. Thicker oils strengthen the hair to its core, making them perfect for beards that get exposed to dry air and harsh winds. Tremendous Beard Oil uses a heavy castor base, while Mammoth’s Argan based oils are another fine choice.

    Jeffrey of Tremendous Beard Co, with a well oiled beard.

    Beard Balm

    For some, beard balm is an all-in-one product. They provide some of the moisture that oils do while also locking said moisture inside the hair. Beeswax helps to create this moisture barrier, but it also tames unruly hairs. In addition to giving you a better look, balms will protect your beard and face from the elements like a suit of armour and are absolutely essential during harsh winter months.

    Balms are perfect for minimalist beard-havers, but they may fall short for those with beards requiring more serious care. For best results, beard balms reach their full potential in combination with a brush, oil and beard wash.

    Here are a few of our favourite balm brands and why they rock:

    Bartigan & Stark is the least greasy beard balm we’ve ever seen. For folks who want moisture and light control, this is the best choice.

    Captain Fawcett Is pure luxury. Their balms and oils use only the best ingredients, making them some of the nicest feeling and best-fragranced products on the market.

    Mammoth uses incredible scents in their balms, which all have a matching beard oil. Take your pick of regular balm for moisture and shine, or strong hold for serious styling capabilities. 

    Oils and balms really work best in unison. Start by applying several drops of oil, massaging it throughout the beard and skin. Allow it to absorb while you go through your morning routine, then follow it up with the balm of your choice. Apply the balm by spreading it between your fingers and working it evenly throughout the beard. Use a brush to disperse it well. Regular beard balm is suitable for many, but strong-hold beard balm is ideal for guys who want a more defined look or have a difficult time taming their beards.

    At the end of the day, most beards have a few problems that need to be solved. We suggest you experiment with different products and routines to see what works best. You will see the most benefits from using products that precisely target your specific needs.

    If you’d like to know more, you can check out our 5 Essential Steps to Have a Perfect Beard.

    Browse Beard Oils & Balms.

    Nathan Gareau
    Nathan Gareau

    A famed cocktologist and axe man, Nathan opened the first Kent of Inglewood store in Calgary, and now spends his days writing most of what you are reading here and teaching straight razor shaving classes. Ask him about his world-famous Three Cherry Manhattan. In his spare time Nathan can be found sharpening his axe, making fermented foods, or practicing his amateur butchering hobby. He doesn't slur his words, he speaks in cursive.

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