Posted by Educated Beards on


So now you sport a beard. Congratulations on attaining this magnificent facial enhancement. If you wear it well, in a month or two none of your family or friends will be able to withstand seeing you without it.


If you’re asking the question “what’s the difference between beard oil and beard balm?” then you’re still learning about grooming. Therefore we have written this article which lists all relevant beard grooming products, and gives you a Beard Balm/Beard Oil FAQ.


Whatever you need to know about beard care products, you'll find it here.




Beard balms are a solid, waxy substance composed usually of shea butter and beeswax, a carrier oil, and essential oils. The oil and shea butter hydrate, and the beeswax provides a little hold and structure so your beard doesn’t get out of control, or progressively shabbier during the day.


Beard oils are made up of a combination of a carrier oil and essential oils. Carrier oils are responsible for the beard oil’s texture and feel. Argan and jojoba are the most popular carrier oils, sometimes coconut, sunflower, avocado or grapeseed are also used.


Essential oils are oils pressed or otherwise extracted from plants, and are pure concentrates of certain plant essences, such as peppermint, citrus, cedar, teatree, balsam fir and others.


Both beard care products moisturize and hydrate.




Since beard oils and beard balms do similar jobs, there’s a fine line between when you should use which beard product.


Your beard and skin type, daily routine, and even your occupation play a role in how a grooming product will respond to your facial hair & skin. A line cook, for example, must toil over a deep-fryer: lots of sweat, lots of vegetable oil. His beard at the end of the day will look and feel different than if he works a desk job. A beard oil may only make things worse.


When to Use A Beard Oil 


Beard oil



1. Beard oil is very useful for beard itch, and beard itch usually starts early and lasts a long time. Your beard care regimen can start right when you have a heavy stubble. Beard oils, especially beard oils that contain soothing essential oils, can help with beard itch, and will do wonders for the skin beneath your beard.


2. Beard oil goes on easily and softens your beard without any hold. If your facial hair is very thick and curly, a beard product with as little hold as possible is sometimes best.


3. Use beard oil when your facial hair is coarse and the skin beneath your beard is feeling dry.


When To Use Beard Balm

 Beard Balm


1. A beard balm holds your beard in place. So, if you’re often feeling a bit shaggy due to a messy beard, a balm will both soften the beard and hold it a little, keeping it tidier for longer, thus ensuring that the man you saw in the mirror this morning is most probably the same one that will greet your date at lunchtime.


2. Beard balm also usually gives your beard a clean, dry look. In other words it doesn’t have any shine to it. If you want a healthy beard that doesn't have a greasy appearance, balm is your choice.


3. Finally, in the case of an occupation where there is some environmental factor such as airborne oil in a commercial kitchen, salt spray, the need for a respirator (or a mask), or other airborne things that mess with your hair and skin’s moisture, a well-formulated beard balm will add a layer of protection against many environmental incursions.


The Benefit Of Balm And Oil For Hair And Skin


Finally, when you’re deciding whether to use balm or oil, really the best thing to do is try it out. Almost no one (except perhaps your barber, if he has lots of experience evaluating beard hair and suggesting beard care products) can tell you what beard products are going to work on your beard.


Chances are both balm and oil will come in handy, so you might as well grab both and see how it goes.




Yes, we did. Let us enlighten you, bearded brothers on all the beard care products that can help you maintain a healthy beard.


Beard Wash 

 Beard wash


A beard wash is a way to clean your beard that isn’t soap or hair shampoo.


“But wait,” you say “I use shampoo all the time on my head, and I just kinda use it on my beard too; same with conditioner” Well, as we’ve stated in our article called "why does my beard itch" the oils in your beard and skin are precious and easily lost.


Your scalp is oily enough to replenish your hair’s oil, but your chin is not oily. It’s almost as though the beard was a genetic afterthought, and the face wasn't quite prepared to keep up with it. Therefore you must hydrate with a beard wash, or specially-formulated beard shampoo and conditioners.


Moustache Wax

 Moustache Wax


If you’ve made it past the complete noob, novice, and intermediate stages of beard growth, you’ll likely have a sizable moustache. There is nothing more annoying, for you, your nose, your mouth, or your spouse than an unwaxed moustache.


It goes everywhere, including in your mouth, and up your nose. Wax is your product.


Beard Shampoo


Quality beard shampoo is a specially formulated shampoo that doesn't extract too much moisture that you can use in the shower.


Boar Hair Beard Brush

 Boar hair brush


 The beard brush is an important tool for your beard to help train your facial hair downward (or upward if you're hoping for a wilder, crazier appearance).


Beard Comb

 beard comb


A quality beard comb consists of coarse, rounded teeth that don't snag easily. It's essential for detangling your facial hair before you run your beard brush over it to smooth and shape it.


Leave in Conditioner


If you use beard balm, you probably won't need this product. Still we mention it because many leave in conditioners are specifically formulated to soften coarse curly beards.


Many leave in conditioners use a whole host of chemicals: more than just shea butter and beeswax, but if you're dealing with exceptionally coarse facial hair, this might be the beard care product for you.


Beard Trimmers 


Finally, the last of the beard care products we'll mention is trimmers. You can't get to the barber every day, especially if you happen to live somewhere where there's a lockdown.


A set of beard trimmers will allow you to take care of the stray hairs that are likely to be sprouting from the sides of your face like cat whiskers.




Which Is Better; Beard Oil Or Balm?

As we discussed above, it depends on your skin and beard type. We have given some recommendations, but in the end experimenting on your own skin and beard will help you decide to use beard oil or beard balm.


Does Beard Balm Help My Beard Grow?

Beard balm or beard oil on their own don't help beards grow. Certain essential oils, such as lavender and rosemary, however, have been proven to stimulate thicker, faster hair growth. If you use a beard balm or beard oil with these or other similar essential oils, you may observe an improvement in your beard.


Can You Use Beard Oil And Balm Together?

Yes. It's not strictly necessary, but you might find your beard likes both, in which case there's no reason you can't use both.


Do You Really Need Beard Oil?

No, it is optional. But you have to ask yourself: how itchy are you willing to let the skin underneath your beard get? How coarse and crazy-looking are you willing to let your beard get? It is a luxury, but if you want comfortable facial hair and skin, it's worthwhile.


What Goes First? Beard Oil Or Beard Balm?

Generally, we recommend using an oil first, followed by a balm.


What Is The Difference Between Beard Balm And Pomade?

Mainly it's the ingredients and effect. Pomade is one of those classic products that generally has about a dozen incomprehensible ingredients. It offers a slicker shinier look than beard balm, and it's designed for head hair, less so for facial hair.


Is Pomade good For Beards?



Should I Use Beard Oil Everyday?

Yes. The moisture loss in your beard from one day to the next makes it a very good idea to use an oil or a balm every day.



At What Length Should I Use Beard Balm?

Remember, beard balm helps with hold as well as moisture, so whenever your beard feels like it's beginning to get a little out of control, it's time to consider a balm.


We always recommend using a Barber's services if you're feeling shaggy, but a balm, an oil, and a boar hair brush are usually all it takes to go from looking dire to looking dapper. In short: when you think you need to style your beard, try it out.


When Should I Use Beard Balm?

Apply beard balm after the shower after towel-drying your beard and skin.




Dear beard brethren when trying to decide between beard oil and beard balm, don't give it a second thought. There are a lot of stores selling both products in the same package under such names as "beard survival kit".

A lot of work went into this beard balm vs beard oil article. We'd love to have you join our email list so you can enjoy more of Educated Beards's fine blog posts on the topic of beard care, facial hair, and the masculine lifestyle.






1 comment

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