Today we’re putting two of the most popular and common beard products on the market head-to-head: Beard Oil and Beard Balm. After this quick article, you’ll know the differences between beard oil and balm and which product is going to be best for you! But first, let’s talk about why we use beard products such as these in the first place.
TLDR: Beard oil is only meant for hydrating/softening a beard. Beard balm is meant for both hydrating and styling your beard to control pesky wild hairs. If you have a longer beard, and need the most control, use beard oil and the stronger beard/mustache wax. If you have a short-medium length beard, beard balm will help you both hydrate and control those wild hairs well enough.
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Now let’s get into the details!
Why Use Beard Products In The First Place?
Beard products may seem like a newer and more “contemporary” segment of grooming products for men. However, beard products such as beard oil have been used as early as ancient Mesopotamia, where oil made from sesame seeds were used. This makes beard oil one of, if not the, oldest beard grooming products out there, and for good reason: it works.
As the ancient Mesopotamians knew, beard products aren’t simply a fashionable or “fad” item. Instead, it was a necessary and crucial part of keeping a beard comfortable and useful for as long as possible.
Beard products usually aim to help you do one (or both) of two things: hydrate, and style. hydrating your beard is about keeping your hair full of moisture, which helps promote resilience, elasticity, and softness. It’s for the same reason you use conditioner after shampoo when you wash your hair, if your hair (or beard) is too dry, the hair can crack, split, fall out prematurely, or cause dandruff, redness, or irritation. Yikes.
Hydrating products help you control and maintain the moisture that your beard needs in order to stay feeling its best. Styling products, on the other hand, help keep your beard looking its best.
Styling products can include combs, brushes, waxes, and butters that give your hair some hold and direction. This way, you can shape your beard perfectly to suit your face or whatever intended style you chose. Put simply, beard products aren’t just for show, unless you mean showing off your epic beard, of course.
Now let’s talk about the two most popular beard products on the market and which one might be best for you.
Beard Oil vs Beard Balm: What’s The Difference?
We’ve all heard of beard oil before, which is by far the most popular beard grooming product out there. Beard balm on the other hand, while still popular, is not nearly to the same level of fame as its oily counterpart is. Why is that? What’s the difference between these two products and which one will work best for you?
What is Beard Oil?
Beard Oil is a cosmetic product that is used to hydrate and nourish both a man’s beard and the skin underneath in order to promote softness, hair strength, and reduce irritation and flaking. Quality beard oil is made using a blend of natural oils and ingredients such as Argan oil, Babassu oil, Jojoba oil, and more.
Having a blend of oils is important. This way, the different properties of each oil can work in tandem with each other to bring you all the collective benefits.
What is Beard Balm?
Beard balm is a beard hydrating and styling product designed to blend the moisturizing properties of beard oil with the styling properties of beard and mustache waxes. Normally, beard balms will use a formulation of oils, butters, and waxes to achieve this. For example, Volt beard balm contains a special blend of Babassu oil, Argan oil, Abyssinian oil (and more), with Bees wax, Carnauba wax (and more), and various butters like Shea and Mango butter.
This blend causes Volt beard balm to act like a “leave-in” conditioner that extends the moisturizing benefits throughout the day while also providing a strong hold with which to tame pesky beard hairs. None of these ingredients would be able to do so on their own, making the formulation of beard balms very important and unique from company to company.
Beard Oil vs Beard Balm
As you’ve probably noticed, beard oil is far more focused on hydrating your beard than styling it, while beard balm is designed to do both. Keep in mind that, due to the blend of lighter and less-viscous oils meant for hydration in beard balm, chances are that beard balm won’t provide as strong a styling hold as beard and mustache wax will, because it is weakened by the oils. However, the combination of styling and moisturizing makes beard balm a do-it-all product, and is often preferred for that exact reason.
Is Beard Oil or Beard Balm Right For You?
If you’ve got a longer (or crazier) beard and absolutely need the most styling hold you can get, you might have to settle with grabbing both beard oil and beard/mustache wax. The oil will help you hydrate your beard, the wax will give you the most hold. However, if you’ve got a shorter or medium-length beard, then beard balm will be plenty strong enough to provide you both the hydrating benefits of beard oil, and the styling benefits of beard wax all in one easy application.
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