Out of all the beard products out there on the market, these two are probably the ones that confuse the most people simply because they are so similar. That being said, beard balm and beard butter are not the same product and the differences between them are going to determine the health and style of your beard!
Let’s discover what these differences are and where you prefer your beard products on the spectrum between health, hydration, and style!
Before we dive right in, click the button below to watch Austin’s video on beard balm vs butter and which product is best for you!
The Beard Product Spectrum
There is a pretty comprehensive spectrum of beard products out there on the market. Generally speaking these products are designed to do one of two main things:
- Hydrate/Moisturize Your Beard
- Style/Control Your Beard
Here’s where things get tricky. You’ll find that these products are somewhat mutually exclusive. Beard products that focus on styling your beard are rarely effective at moisturizing and hydrating your beard. And conversely, beard products that are designed to solely hydrate your beard rarely style it. This is for a very specific reason: the absorption rate of certain materials.
Ingredients in beard products that are best for hydrating your hair and skin (think beard oil) are normally quick to be absorbed by our hair and skin. These ingredients help us manage and control the amount of moisture in our beards, or rehydrate our beard that has been stripped of oils or simply dried out. For example, the reason you apply conditioner after shampoo is because the shampoo strips away debris and oils from your hair, which need to be replenished by the conditioner. The same thing occurs with your beard if it’s dry or irritated.
Ingredients that are meant for styling a beard (think beard/mustache wax) can not be absorbed quickly, because they need to be present on the surface to maintain a hold on the beard hair and secure the hairs’ position for styling purposes. This is why the amount of hydration and the amount of styling ability that a beard product provides exists on a sliding spectrum.
Beard Balm vs Beard Butter
So, what happens if you want the best of both worlds?! Well, luckily there are products that exist on the beard hydrating/styling spectrum that don’t only exit at the polar opposite ends. These products are simply trading off the effectiveness of dedicated hydrating or styling products in order to provide a bit of both effects. Take beard balm for example.
Beard balm can be described as both a hydrating and styling product. There are oils in beard balm (much like in beard oil) that help hydrate and immediately soak into your beard, but there are also waxes in beard balm that provide a decent hold for your beard hair that allows you to shape, style, and control the flyaways your beard may have. We can’t speak for the consistency or quality of all beard balms out there, but Volt beard balm is formulated to be as close to “middle-of-the-road” between beard oil and beard wax as you can get. Essentially, (Volt) beard balm will give you the most even balance between hydration and styling as possible.
Beard balm is going to be firm on the surface, requiring you to scrape it out with your finger, but it is also soft enough to melt down in your hands without getting sticky, allowing you to apply it to your beard evenly and provide the moisture and styling edge that you need.
In the very same way that beard balm is a hybrid product between beard oil and beard/mustache wax, beard butter is typically a hybrid product between beard oil and beard balm! What this means is that beard butter is softer and lighter in consistency, favoring the hydration side of the beard product spectrum. There is a higher ratio of butters (obviously) and oils in beard butter than there are in balm, and because of this, beard butter is better for immediate hydration and a very slight (if any) hold for styling purposes.
Beard butter is going to be softer in consistency and much more pliable than beard balm is. Chances are you won’t need to scrape it out as much as you will need to scoop it out with your fingers. The higher ratio of oils and butters means that beard butter will absorb quickly, and make your beard extremely soft, but will not provide much long-lasting hold like balms or waxes will.
Beard Balm vs Beard Butter: Which is right for you?
Just like the difference between beard oil and beard/mustache wax: Beard balm and beard butter are only different on the spectrum of moisturizing vs styling. Beard balms typically lean more towards styling purposes with slight levels of beard hydration due to the focus on waxes. Beard butters behave the opposite, leaning more towards hydrating and beard moisturizing purposes due to a higher concentration of oils and butters.
The right product for you will depend on what you value most in your beard products and what you expect them to accomplish. If you value hold, styling edge, and don’t feel the biggest need for maximum hydration, than beard balm is your go-to product! However, if you value beard softness, hydration, and a light consistency, then beard butter might be the way to go.
If you’re leaning towards the beard butter side of things, we’ve got you covered. Although Volt only offers a dedicated beard balm, we also have an awesome video here about how you can make your own custom beard butter with some Volt Balm and Volt Beard Oil!
Click the button below to watch!
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