Best Beard Balms

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

19 Models Considered
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229 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Buying guide for best beard balms

Last Updated October 2019

If you have a long or unruly beard, suffer from facial itchiness, or experience brittle facial hair, you might feel as though your beard grooming routine is lacking. Many elements can cause your facial hair and the surrounding skin to dry out, compromising beard health and appearance.

Beard balm is a wax-like product that helps condition, shape, and style your beard, and it can be an important part of a facial grooming regimen. Beard balm provides more hold and thickness than beard oil while also providing shine. Beard balms deploy a blend of butters and oils to nourish facial hair and the surrounding skin from the inside out. It usually comes as a waxy paste that melts when rubbed between your palms, but its texture can range from light to thick, depending on your needs.

Finding a beard balm that works with your facial hair type and style can be tricky. Use this beard balm buying guide to sift through all the variables and find one that’s right for you.

Foods rich in protein and fat can help enhance beard shine, growth, and overall health. This includes leafy greens, milk, lean meat, eggs, and nuts.

How to use beard balm

Beard balm is best applied after a shower. First, wash your facial hair with a beard soap or shampoo. Then, take a dime-size amount of beard balm, rub it between your palms, and run your fingers through your facial hair, massaging it in and distributing it with either a comb or a boar bristle brush. You can apply beard balm up to three times daily.

Key considerations

Beard balm ingredients


Natural sealants

Ideally, a beard balm will contain natural sealants such as the following.

  • Aloe or mango butter: Aloe is known for hydrating the skin and hair while fighting inflammation. Mango butter has a smoothing quality and contains many antioxidants and nutrients.
  • Shea or cocoa butter: These butters make the balm spreadable, are naturally aromatic, and enhance carrier oils.
  • Beeswax: Beeswax is a natural option that maintains a beard’s shape with a slight hold, though not as much as a gel.


Moisturizers

Beard balms also contain moisturizers that prevent sealants from locking in dryness that can make hair brittle. Moisturizers are often carrier oils or essential oils such as argan oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil.

How beard balm works

Our skin naturally produces oil called sebum. Sebum nourishes the hair and scalp while providing shine, but an excess of sebum can create oily and irritated skin. When you have a beard, it can soak up too much sebum and dehydrate the surrounding skin, rendering it itchy and flaky. Beard balm helps control this, keeping skin soft and moisturized while providing hydration that mimics the effects of natural sebum.

Beard balm benefits

  • Moisturizes and softens the beard and underlying skin
  • Enhances thinness or patchiness with fuller appearance
  • Eases dandruff and flakiness
  • Provides styling control and smooths stray flyaways
  • Helps hair roots produce natural oil in a healthy way
  • Makes beard maintenance and care easier

Beard balm vs. beard oil

Some think the two are the same, but beard balm and beard oil function differently. While beard balm is made by blending, heating, and cooling a mixture of sealants, waxes, and moisturizers, beard oil is a leave-in conditioner made of a carrier oil and essential oil blend.

Beard balms have a different texture than oils. The presence of butters in beard balm improves spread and promotes a thicker consistency. It’s generally helpful to start with an oil and finish with a balm if your beard is very dry or if you live in especially dry conditions. Using a beard oil in conjunction with your beard balm can provide additional silkiness and promote healthy growth. It can also act as a beard cologne.

Using beard balm with other products

In addition to beard oil, there are additional products that can be added to your routine to maximize the effects of beard balm. Opt for a beard-specific shampoo or soap that won’t strip essential oils from your facial hair. You can also add wax or pomade for additional hold, a hot-oil mask to enhance hydration, or a product that integrates a hair-growth supplement.

EXPERT TIP

We know that beard oil and beard balm complement each other. But be sure to apply beard oil first to moisturize and the beard balm afterward to provide the desired hold.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Scent: Most beard balms aim for a musky scent that is strongest when applied and dissipates throughout the day. Popular scents include: sandalwood, pine, cedar, vanilla, tobacco, black pepper, eucalyptus, rosemary, patchouli, and citrus.

Consistency: The consistency of beard balm is usually thick and waxy. Depending on the desired hold level, it can range from viscous to nearly solid.

Holding strength

Different brands offer different levels of thickness and hold, from light to strong. Hold level dictates the performance of a balm for your type of hair. For instance, if your facial hair is prone to get a little wild, medium- strong-hold balms might be necessary to tame it. For finer hair and shorter beards, light to medium-hold balms should work. Medium- to strong-hold beard balms contain a higher content of wax, which generally means that they have fewer conditioning properties than balms with a more flexible hold.

DID YOU KNOW?

Soy-based foods can prevent the growth of facial hair, as they contain higher levels of estrogen than other foods.

Beard balms prices

Most beard balms come in 2- to 4-ounce metal or plastic tins, with prices ranging from $4 to $15.

Inexpensive: Drugstore options are inexpensive and provide a good value, but be aware that many budget formulas use petroleum jelly-based sealants that can dry the skin and include a greater percentage of low-quality filler ingredients. Drugstore beard balms typically cost $4 to $7.

Mid-range: Well-known commercial brands and some salon brands carry lines that put an emphasis on organic or pure ingredients, which is why they typically cost more than drugstore options. These mid-price beard balms are considered the most popular consumer choice, as they are cost effective but still provide decent results. Mid-range products are priced from $8 to $11.

Expensive: These high-end products generally contain premium ingredients. Beard balms at this price point often target specific issues, such as patchiness or hair loss. Typically offered by respected brands, high-end beard balms are available for $11 to $15.

Tips

  • Don’t use cheap shampoo or bar soap to wash your beard. For best results, invest in a beard soap. Harsher hand soaps and regular shampoos can strip your beard hair of natural oils and dry out your skin.
  • After showering, gently pat your beard dry with a towel. This allows your beard to hold on to nutrients and remain frizz-free.
  • Work beard balm into your entire beard. Massaging beard balm into your facial hair can stimulate hair follicles, prompting your beard to grow faster.
  • Trim your beard to ensure even growth. Trimming your beard regularly as it grows will ensure healthy growth and a well-groomed appearance.
EXPERT TIP

If your beard suffers from an overly shiny or oily look, look for a beard balm that creates a matte look to tone this down.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

If you’re looking for an all-natural option with maximum styling control, try Wahl Beard Balm. It doesn’t leave your beard feeling greasy or heavy as some balms can, and it uses nourishing oils like hemp, moringa, and jojoba, which all combat itchiness and carry a subtle fragrance.

Another popular choice with a milder hold is the Premium Beard Balm by Prophet And Tools, which uses an alcohol-free, beeswax-and-butter base. Its color melts on clear, making it suitable for any hair type or color. It also contains ingredients that thicken follicles to provide a fuller appearance and promote healthy growth.

The perimeter is an important but overlooked aspect of growing a beard. Use your neck and cheek lines to direct how you should be shaping your beard. Beard stenciling tools and online shaping tutorials can help provide guidance.

FAQ

Q. What’s the difference between a beard brush and a beard comb?
A.
A brush traps excess beard balm and evenly distributes it throughout the beard, while a comb is mostly used for shaping and styling.
 

Q. Can I use beard balm on other body hair as well?
A
. Yes. It might end up being expensive if you do this regularly, but beard products are suitable for hair on other parts of the body.
 

Q. Can beard balm increase your facial hair length?
A
. No, but it can promote healthier growth. Use beard balm in conjunction with a beard soap or oil for best results.

The team that worked on this review
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer
  • Naima
    Naima
    Writer

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