Growing a beard is one of the best decisions any bald man can make. Whether it’s a Stubble like Jason Statham, John Travolta’s Corporate Beard, or a Full Goatee like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been sporting lately, the right beard can make for a badass look.
But even though little effort is required to grow one, a beard is definitely not “set it and forget it”. That strategy may work for the first few days, but as soon as you go past the old Stubble, you’ll need to maintain and care for your new facial accessory.
Regardless of the length or style, oil is a must for any serious beard-wearer. But why is that, and where to begin looking?
Let’s dive in!
Should I use a Beard Oil?
Little known fact: Beard Oil helps your skin just as much as the actual hair of your beard. Dry skin below your beard is fairly common and leads to itchiness and beardruff. Growing a beard can be quite taxing on your skin, especially if you’ve kept it clean-shaven before.
Beard Oil helps supplement your skin’s natural oil production and keeps it soft, moisturized, and healthy.
Having said that, there are clear benefits for your actual beard as well. Oftentimes, especially in the early stages of growing a beard, the hair can appear stiff and scruffy. Well-applied oil helps smoothen the hair, as well as give it a fuller and softer appearance.
You can start using Beard Oil from the day you start growing your beard if you want. As a rule of thumb, you should definitely start using it once you go past ½ inch in length – or when you start itching and seeing beardruff. Whatever comes first.
What is Beard Oil made of?
All Beard Oils contain the same two types of ingredients: Carrier oils and essential oils.
Carrier oils don’t evaporate and usually come from the fatty part of a plant (think nuts, seeds, or kernel). They are mild and bland and can be applied to the skin undiluted. Their main purpose is to protect and moisturize the skin. They make up the majority of any Beard Oil – up to 95%, in fact. Typical examples are Jojoba, Argan, and Hemp Seed Oil, and they can be mixed and matched as required.
The remaining 5% or so are essential oils – you’ve probably heard of them. Often used in aromatherapy, these oils are highly concentrated and volatile, and should not be applied to the skin undiluted. They are highly aromatic, and the usual suspects include Lemongrass, Cedarwood, and Lavender.
The main effects you’re after come from the carrier oils – moisturizer and protection. They also help dilute the essential oils, which mainly serve aromatic purposes. Yes, there are some benefits ascribed to essential oils as well, such as relaxation and stress relief, but they’re considered a side effect.
How Do I Pick a Good Beard Oil?
Not all Beard Oils are made equal. With dozens of options anywhere between $5 and $50, paralysis by analysis is a real thing. Watch out for these quality markers when making your choice:
- All-natural ingredients: Your beard and skin are delicate, and should be treated with natural ingredients only. Synthetic ingredients are often cheaper and easier to produce, but can also potentially cause some serious damage. Look at the ingredients and stay away from anything that sounds chemical or artificial.
- No outrageous promises: Beard oil is beard oil, full stop. There are no oils better for certain kinds of beards – a good oil works for every beard. Beard oils don’t magically make your beard grow faster or thicker. And they certainly have no health benefits beyond supporting your beard and the skin underneath. You get the point.
- Made locally: Both ingredients used and work conditions maintained during manufacturing become harder to keep at a high quality when outsourcing production abroad. If at all possible, stick to a product made close to you.
- Priced reasonably: Yes, all-natural ingredients and local production are pricey. But there is a limit. Unless you want liquid gold, don’t pay more than $30 for 1 fl. Oz/30 ml of Beard Oil.
Look out for these conditions and your beard shall flourish. There are plenty of good oils to choose from – if the above conditions are met, just pick one and see how you go.
Beard oil recommendations
It’s important to keep the condition of your hair and skin in mind when searching for the right products. Needing a bit of help finding the perfect beard oil for you? We have you covered. Our Best Beard Oils for 2021 guide will be all you need.
What Does Beard Oil not do?
Beard Oil is an important ingredient for a healthy beard, but it ain’t a magic tool.
It does not make your beard fuller – it only makes it appear so. (But hey – maybe that’s all you need).
It does not directly promote growth. It may do so indirectly by keeping the skin underneath healthy, but that’s a side effect and not a guarantee. No beard oil can stimulate new hair follicles to magically sprout out of thin air.
It does not help you grow hair in patchy spots. Those are mostly genetic, and cannot be treated with oil.
It does not help you style your beard. It can help tame a wild beard and keep those stray hairs in check – but if you’re after serious shaping and strong hold, go for more aggressive options (see below).
Anything Else I Should Use?
Beard Oils are a must for any guy serious about his beard – there’s simply no way around them.
If you’re after more hold and some serious shaping of your beard (say 2 inches and longer), try Beard Balm, or even Beard Wax. Balm is creamier than oil and allows for styling, while still providing some of the nourishing benefits of oil. Wax is the hardcore way: Little benefit outside of styling, but you could probably open a bottle of beer with your beard if you apply enough of it.
The only other tool every beard wearer should use is a Beard Brush: Regularly brushing your beard will not only stimulate the skin underneath and prevent beardruff, it will also get rid of excess and dead hair, of which we all shed quite a bit every day. Don’t skimp on the brush, make sure you get boar bristle. Brush heartily every day before applying oil, and watch your beard flourish.
Beard Oil is essential to keep any beard and the skin healthy: It softens the hair and makes your beard appear fuller and smoother while providing the necessary nourishment for the skin underneath. Go for all-natural, under $30 for 1 fl. Oz., and apply it daily after brushing your beard with a boar bristle brush.
Do this and your beard shall be unstoppable.