Honest Amish’s beard balm offering is a delightfully vegan option that uses a blend of various butters as an alternative to beeswax. Furthermore, all the oils and butters sourced for this particular balm are 100% natural and organic.
Unfortunately, the essential oils used are unlisted. However, with Honest Amish being an otherwise unblemished and reputable artisan, this is presumably to protect their formula. However, the notes of sandalwood, liquorice, and anise are somewhat revealing.
Whilst Honest Amish softens hairs and provides them with healthy nourishment that repairs split hairs and encourages growth, it doesn’t offer much hold. This is likely due to the absence of beeswax, which is the necessary cost of a vegan-friendly solution. Similarly, it’s softer and slightly greasier than its contemporaries.
Prophet & Tools’ 2-in-1 beard balm is certainly an impressive creation. Whilst most balms focus on conditioning nourishment, Prophet & Tools has ensured that this balm gives an equally firm hold that will last throughout the day.
The diverse ingredients may not be vegan-friendly due to emu oil, but they are organic and effective. The balm includes obscure oils such as tamanu, which treats acne as well as vitamin E, a natural anti-inflammatory. Meanwhile, castor oil moisturises and creates a natural shine. If you’re wondering what the emu oil does, it contains omega-3 and reduces inflammation.
Whilst the balm doesn’t list any essential oils, it does exude a faint fruity citrus scent, which fades after a while. In addition, the balm is white to avoid discolouration. Finally, it claims to be one of the best balms for black or Asian men who have thicker beard hair growth.
Badass Beard Care returns with another unique product. The Original beard balm is laced with sandalwood and vanilla for an unorthodox but tantalising fragrance that can only be described as “Yankee Candle”.
This is an enjoyable breakaway from the mould that rarely use gourmand ingredients but instead favour fruity citrus or woody scents. Furthermore, the ingredients are 100% organic and FDA food grade.
Although the Badass beard balm doesn’t give the firmest hold, it renders the beard silky smooth and well-nourished. It treats split ends and treats flyaway hairs for a natural and healthy shine.
You can find Badass Beard Care’s The Original beard balm for around $20 on Amazon.com, which does make it among the most expensive on the list. However, it features one of the most soothing and satisfying fragrances out there.
Much like its beard oil, Leven Rose has created the purest fragrance-free beard balm available. Made only from a combination of carrier oils, shea butter and beeswax, you can expect an unscented by nourishing experience.
Leven Rose makes its products in the USA and ensure that each creation contains no fillers, additives, parabens, GMOs or pesticides. Did we mention that it’s organic? Leven Rose fights brittle beards and dandruff with its rich oils that soothe irritation and provide deep hydration.
The absence of essential oils means that you’ll get no fragrance. Although you won’t get any of their positive effects either, the other ingredients make up for it. The presence of beeswax means that this is a vegan-friendly product but does provide a slight hold throughout the day.
Viking Revolution is growing to become something of a household name in beard care. With a variety of balms and grooming products, they offer an excellent value proposition.
We’re particularly fond of the sandalwood beard balm, which provides a strikingly fragrant finish. This beard balm also provides an excellent hold thanks to a great quantity of wax. Therefore, it’s a good option if you have a thick and full beard and you’re in need of a quality styling agent.
Although founded in 1991, Shea Moisture has a fascinating history dating back to 1912 with Sofi Tucker, a 19-year old widow who produced and sold her own shea butter, African black soap, and a variety of hair and skin products at countryside markets in Sierra Leone.
Richelieu Dennis was inspired by his grandmother’s story and sought to embody it with a new brand that he founded in Harlmen. Shea Moisture is celebrated for catering to black women and is strives for ethnic inclusion and empowerment.
Nevertheless, Shea Moisture also produces excellent products for men, including an exhilarating beard balm. Featuring maracuja oil, it’s packed with vitamin C and a variety of other natural ingredients.
Unlike other balms claiming to provide wearers with an excellent hold, Shea Moisture delivers on its promise. It has a thick consistency reminiscent of pomade, which acts as an excellent styling agent.
7. Cremo Blend Beard & Scruff Cream
Carrier Oils: Coconut oil
Essential Oils: Tea tree oil, peppermint oil,
Other Ingredients: Cocoa seed butter, aloe extract
Cremo produces an intriguing balm that bridges the gap between moisturiser and beard balm. While we would recommend something like Shea Moisture above for particularly thick and long beards, Cremo is an excellent alternative for heavy stubble or short beards.
Indeed, it’s specifically formulated for both your facial hair as well as the skin underneath. If you’re somebody who gets rough or sharp stubble that causes irritation to both yourself and your significant other, it’s an excellent solution.
Compared to other products, Cremo bears closer resemblance to a a cream than a balm. In fact, it’s suggested even in the name! Therefore, you just need a small amount to provide nourishment to your skin and beard.
A strongly-scented beard balm for men who want something with a little more kick, Duke Cannon Supply Co. has decided to just make one with bourbon! Indeed, it is produced with Buffalo Trace Kentucky straight bourbon whisky.
However, you won’t arrive at the office smelling like an alcoholic. Instead, the balm produces a richly woody fragrance with lingering caramlised notes. A little goes a long way so proceed with caution!
Finally, a portion of Duke Cannon’s proceeds are donated to U.S. Veterans.
Scotch Porter is another brand that mainly produces wares for an African-American market but it’s products can, of course, be worn for any beard!
Indeed, Scotch Porter beard balm is one of the most premium products that we have featured. Nevertheless, it offers a unique botanical blend of unique ingredients including slipper elm bark, marshmellow root, and kukui nut.
If you’re somebody who has an excessively frizzy beard that can get particularly wiry or dry, Scotch Porter would be our first recommendation. It has rich hydrating properties and offers an excellent hold.
Some argue that Spartan’s Den have mastered the perfect beard balm fragrance that smell’s like a quality designer perfume. We perhaps wouldn’t quite go that far but we can appreciate the murkiness produced by its ambroxan compounds.
Although a thick product, it softens nicely under heat and produces a thick balm that offers both nourishment and control. Thin and stringy beards may not experience much control. However, we’ve noticed that it performs very well for thick and bushy beards.
What Is Beard Balm?
Beard balm is a more recent alternative to beard oil, which has a surprisingly long history! It borrows much of its ingredients from a number of preexisting natural remedies and treatments.
Interestingly, beard balms are structurally similar to lip balms and other natural moisturisers and creams. Unlike beard oil, it comes as a hard paste that melts when rubbed in the palms of your hands. Otherwise, natural beard balms follow the same concept as beard oils in that they’re composed of a combination between essential and carrier oils.
Firstly, essential oils are volatile ingredients that offer natural scents and other therapeutic effects such as soothing irritation and healing acne. Meanwhile, carrier oils function partly as a solvent to bind the essential oils and improve their lifespan.
However, balms have an entirely different texture to oils. This is due to the presence of butters such as shea or cocoa as well as beeswax, all of which fulfill their own unique roles. The butters provide natural, long-lasting hydration and improve the balm’s spread. Simultaneously, beeswax offers an extra layer of protection by sealing the moisture into the hair and skin with a natural barrier.
Finally, the use of these extra ingredients in balms provide secondary benefits. For instance, the butters create a long-lasting glossy shine whereas oils tend to become matte once absorbed into the beard and skin. In addition, the beeswax creates a light hold on the beard, which helps with styling and taming unruly beards.
How Does Beard Balm Work?
You may have heard of sebum, a natural oil that is produced by hair roots to nourish and protect follicles and scalp. This rich and natural oil creates volume and makes your hair shine. The same applies for your beard yet the hair here is thicker and the skin tends to be more sensitive on your face.
Therefore, whilst sebum can build up on the scalp and be an irritation that causes oiliness, it is of absolute importance in your beard. Frequent washing will strip the pores and roots of sebum. After all, that’s how shampoo works. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be done too often as your hair depends on sebum to thrive.
If you wash too often or live in a particularly arid climate, you will likely suffer from dehydrated skin and wiry hair. This is because the pores aren’t able to produce enough sebum to replenish its deficiency. Consequently, the hair begins to wilt like an un-watered plant and the skin cracks like parched soil.
Beard balm is a natural remedy to overcome this and ensure that the beard and skin are properly nourished. It is packed with vitamins and moisturising oils that emulate the effects of sebum. Meanwhile, the butters provide extra hydration whilst the beeswax offers a final level of protection against the elements.
Why Is Beard Balm Expensive?
Much like beard oils, beard balms can sometimes be relatively pricey. However, this is not just due to marketing and often comes with a good reason.
As they’re often made solely from natural ingredients, the production cost is higher. If a manufacturer endeavors to be ecologically responsible, they may also feature organic and fair trade contents.
Some cheap beard balms may contain petroleum much like vaseline. Indeed, petroleum jelly is a water repellent and locks in moisture like beeswax. However, these are best avoided as petroleum can actually irritate the skin, which is counterproductive.
This soon leads to a slippery slope as they may use Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), a known carcinogen that is used to soothe petroleum-based side effects.
Why Do You Need Beard Balm?
As previously discussed, beard balm features particularly healthy properties that are vital for your beard. It’s an essential moisturiser that ensures your beard stays well-nourished and tamed.
In addition, beard balm looks after both your beard as well as the skin underneath it. A common ailment during beard growth is the development of itchiness and irritation, which can lead to dandruff as well as sores.
The above are common symptoms of dehydration and can be experienced quite early on when growing a beard. Therefore, balms moisturise, protect and nourish the skin whilst preventing flaking skin.
Beard balm not only provides extra hold but naturally softens beard hairs. It ensures that unruly beards are soft and properly tamed. It also creates a long-lasting and healthy gloss to your beard whilst building up natural volume.
Therefore, the use of regular beard balm makes your beard more manageable and you can slowly train your beard to grow in the direction you want. This can relieve those starting to grow a beard who may experience hairs above the lip turning into the mouth.
Lastly, paired with a good comb, balm loosens tangles and knots for easy grooming. When used with a blow-dryer, it can even help reduce frizz and straighten curly beards!
Beard Balm Vs Beard Oil
Of course, some personal preference will come into play when choosing between beard balm or beard oil. However, having at least one of these in your arsenal is of absolute importance.
Overall, beard balm is something of a middle ground between dry beard conditioner and beard oil. It’s applied the same moment but tends to be more effective straight after a shower whereas oil can also be applied before bed.
Both can be used for any beard type but provide certain benefits, which have different levels of effectiveness depending on thickness and length. Whilst beard oil is relatively effective on most beard types, it tends work best on shorter beards. On the other hand, beard balm caters mostly to long and thick beards.
This is because beard oil is highly spreadable and is quickly absorbed by the hair roots and skin. When the length increases, much more is needed to achieve the same effect. Meanwhile, beard balm is long-lasting and is able to penetrate deeper into thick growth.
Similarly, beard balm is better for naturally oily skin given that it’s absorbed slowly allowing for its effects to spread over a length of time. Conversely, beard oil provides instant relief on dry skin as the oil simply emulates sebum.
Finally, beard balm is particularly convenient for naturally curly or unruly beards as it offers extra hold, which tames stray hairs.
Can I Use Both Beard Oil & Balm?
Serious beard enthusiasts will often use a combination of both beard products in order to maximise the benefits offered by each. Frequent users can choose to alternate between the two for when they’re most effective.
For instance, balm works best on ever-so-slightly damp hair after a shower when the pores are open. This makes it easier to spread and be absorbed. Moreover, a comb can be used to groom the beard and properly style it. Once the balm has returned to room temperature, it will set and provide its long-lasting benefits and hold throughout the day.
As this often takes place in the morning, beard oil can be applied in the evening to replenish the beard after the day’s wear and tear while you sleep. This is worked in using a brush and is left to absorb into the follicles naturally.
Another way is to simply apply beard oil first to benefit from its deep-acting hydration in the skin’s pores and hair roots. Balm is then applied to strengthen the hairs on the surface as well as provide its layer of protection and extra hold.
How To Apply Beard Balm
Too apply beard balm, you simply need to use the following steps:
After showering, pad your beard dry with a clean towel.
Comb it and wait until the beard is only slightly damp.
Use the back of a fingernail to scoop out a small amount of balm.
Rub between the palms until melted.
Rub the balm into the skin underneath the beard.
Deeply massage the balm from the neckline towards the jaw.
Deeply massage the balm down from your cheek line towards the jaw.
Use a beard comb or brush to evenly distribute the balm into your beard and style.
As previously mentioned, beard balm is most effective on slightly damp beard hair after a shower. Not only will the beard be clean but it will be more manageable and your pores will be open to absorb the healthy ingredients.
However, as beard balm contains beeswax, it may not be necessary. Therefore, use a good quality cellulose acetate or horn beard comb to properly distribute the balm. An additional advantage of a beard comb is that it offers precise styling.