We all want a beard, whether that be the big, rugged lumberjack biker, or the immaculately groomed and stylish city gent. A properly groomed and maintained beard sets off any look, and immediately makes any man look that much more handsome, capable and masculine.
Don't believe me?
Picture Justin Beiber. Yeah, I know. Try not to retch.
Now picture him with a foot-long beard.
But getting a beard aint easy. You've got to grow the thing, dealing with all the pitfalls including beard itch, dry skin, styling products and more. For an apprentice beardsman who hasn't ever faced the prospect of tickling his own neck with his beard hairs, it's a daunting prospect.
That's why we've decided to create this guide on beard care. Whether you're a beard beginner or a grizzled and seasoned owner of a ten-year growth, there's information here on every aspect of beard care and the products you need that will make looking after your beard so much simpler.
What is a beard conditioner?
Put simply, a beard conditioner is a product that conditions your beard. A lot of guys, especially guys not versed in the esoteric arts of beardsmanship, think that to grow a beard all you have to do is not shave, maybe brush the crumbs out of it occasionally, and you'll eventually end up with a six inch growth that makes women weak at the knees just looking at it.
Now that aint true, but unless you've grown a beard yourself you won't know that.
See, as you're here I'm assuming you're a stylish guy who looks after himself and cares what other people think of him. So I'm also gonna assume that you regularly wash and style your hair?
You do? Great. So why is the hair on your chin any different?
Think about it. If you didn't wash the hair on your head for a few days, what would happen? Disgusting thought, right? Oily and greasy, with flakes of dandruff as a topping? Yeah. Whilst it isn't that disgusting if you've got a short beard, once you've got some length this is exactly what happens if you leave your beard to itself.
So what can I do about it?
Simple. Just like you use products on your hair to keep it washed and styled, you can use beard products. There's two main types, in-shower beard washes, and after shower beard oils, balms and butters.
Beard wash, also called beard shampoo or beard conditioner, is a specially designed and formulated wash that you use before or as you shower.
Beard washes generally keep your beard clean and your skin nourished and healthy, but some can have other effects, including promoting a thicker and longer beard, a focus on sorting dry skin and beard dandruff, or a fully natural and organic ingredients list.
Beard washes are important to use, because normal shampoos aren't great for use on beards. The chemicals used in the shampoo you use on your hair are too harsh. I'm sure the guys with long beards amongst us will be familiar the first time they saw the hint of dry skin and beard dandruff and scrubbed at their beard with regular shampoo, only for it to do nothing. Or maybe even make it worse.
If you just want the best, then we recommend you check out our article on the best beard conditioner washes. But you are impatient, the best wash we found was the Polished Gentleman Beard Shampoo and Conditioner. It's fully organic, with all natural ingredients. You get both a beard shampoo and conditioner in the same package, and it contains the best ingredients we've found, at a price that isn't going to break the bank.
Beard oils are the thing most men will think of when you say 'beard care.' They vary in style, in scent, and even in ingredients. Some oils will have as little as two carrier oils, the oils that nourish and rehydrate your beard, and nothing else in them. Some have dozens of essential oils in them as well, doing double duty to carry vitamins and minerals to your ailing hairs, whilst also smelling pretty good.
The range of beard oils is absolutely mind boggling, and no matter what you're looking for, there's a beard oil out there for you.
Beard balms are pretty much hair wax, but for your beard. Except they keep your beard healthy, controlled, and looking sleek and smooth.
They contain the same carrier oils and essential oils that a good beard oil will, except these ingredients are held in a suspension of skin softening and healing butters, and a small amount of beeswax to give it a solid, waxy texture.
Because it's got beeswax and butter in it, beard balm sits in the beard for longer than a beard oil, which is more quickly absorbed, making it better for dry skin and beardruff, as well as making it an excellent option if you need more control in your beard.
The best beard balms will leave you with a healthy and thoroughly moisturised beard. They also combat that dreaded itch and beard dandruff.
A beard butter is a beard oil, held in a butter suspension, but without beeswax or other stiffening and holding agents. Beard butters combine the best of both balms and oils, whilst also holding their own individual niche in the beard care market.
Beard butters balance absorption, sitting on your skin and in your beard for longer so they can deliver the maximum amount of moisturizing and hydration, with softness and ease of use. Because they rub in like a balm rather than being a liquid oil, it's a lot easier to make sure that you're using the right amount and getting it everywhere it needs to go.
My top pick for beard butter is Maestro's Classic. Thick, but easy to apply and exceptional at clearing up beardruff and dry skin, Maestro's beard butter is also exceptionally good value for money. Plus it smells great.
Okay. So I've got all this stuff. What do I do with it?
Well, like we just said, you're supposed to use a beard wash in the shower, and a beard balm, oil or butter after you're done and dry. But you can, and honestly probably should, use more than one of these products together.
The single best beard care regime, according to anyone who matters, is this
- First, use a great beard wash in the shower to clean your beard to the core, wash out all the dust and dirt that's built up over the previous day, and make sure it's ready for the rest of the process.
- Second, dry your beard. You want it damp to the touch. Not bone dry, but not saturated either.
- Third, add a decent beard oil. You only need to use a few drops at a time, and make sure that you work it all the way into every part of your beard.
- Once or twice a week, or when you feel like your beard needs it, substitute the beard oil with a balm or butter. The thicker consistency means it will sit for longer in your beard, really nourishing it deep to the root of each individual hair.
- Stride through the day knowing that you're rocking the best beard possible.
Wait, what? I use this every day?
Definitely. Whilst you don't have to use all of it every day, for best results you probably should.
Like we said, the best time to use a beard product is when you've just cleaned and dried your beard, after your morning shower if you have one, or after you take a few minutes to wash your beard if not.
Oils, balms and butters? What do I use together?
A good rule of thumb is a beard oil and anything else.
That means you can use a beard oil and a beard balm. A beard oil and a beard butter. Hell, even a beard oil and then another, different beard oil. All are good. Just bear in mind that a good beard oil should be the basis of every treatment and you're good to go.
As for when, I generally use a beard oil every single day, and a beard balm once or twice a week. I've known people that do the opposite. Use a balm or butter every day and an oil once or twice a week.
At the end of the day, conditioning your beard with any beard product is better than nothing. The single best thing you can do is experiment, and learn what your face responds to. Like we always say here at Major Beard, every man, and every beard is different. You've got to learn what your face fuzz likes, then give it to it.
So what do beard conditioners actually fix? Will they cure an itchy beard?
You're damn right they will. In fact one of the major advantages of using a beard conditioner, especially in the days when your beard is still young and flourishing, is to get rid of the itch every new beardsman feels as his skin adjusts to the new situation. The demands of beard hair drinking all your skin oils, leaving your face dry, of increased heat and stuffiness because of all this extra mass and closeness right up in yo' grill. The change in skin ph and bacteria levels (gross, I know) because your body isn't used to dealing with all of this.
Yeah, beard conditioners fix this. Replenishing skin oils, cleaning and nourishing beard hairs and controlling and conditioning unruly, wiry beards are all things you can expect when you start a good beard care routine.
Do beard conditioners soften beards as well?
They do indeed. Dry beards are dry because they aren't getting what they need, whether that's a lack of oil caused by your body not being able to cope with the suddenly increased demand since your beard is drinking it all in, or a lack of essential beard growing nutrients and minerals essential to healthy hair like vitamin B and E.
Not to mention the regular act of washing and brushing out your beard goes a massive way to keeping it soft and in control.
A good beard care regime will solve all of this, and if you've got a dry, brittle beard, you can find a great set of moisturising beard oils and balms in our reviews.
Can a beard conditioner cure split ends?
Yes, and no. Split ends in your beard is a sign that your beard isn't getting the nutritional support that it needs, and unfortunately, once a hair has split, that's it, it's split for good.
What you can do, though, is cure the root cause. If you start to see split ends in your beard, you know that this means your beard needs more nourishment, which is a sign that you need to step up the beard care routine. Double down on beard oil, cover your beard in beard butter or balm more often, and maybe consider a hot beard oil treatment (details on this are below.)
As for the split ends themselves, all you can really do is trim them back. Otherwise you'll be walking around with a bunch of split hairs all day. Sorry bud.
Will a beard conditioner help my beard grow?
It really really will. Firstly, you've got to consider the fact that following a good beard care routine and using a beard conditioner is giving your beard everything it needs to thrive.
Good analogy. Imagine going to the gym and not using supplements like protein shakes and creatine.
Then make the jump and start supplementing. Imagine the difference you'd see.
That's the difference between beard conditioning and not.
Second, there are specific beard conditioner products that are great for stimulating beard growth, as well as thickening up and strengthening existing beards.
You'll see a lot of beard washes that are good for beard growth, as well as beard oils. Feel free to check our reviews to find out more.
You just mentioned hot beard oil treatments. Can you explain what they are?
Hot oil treatments are pretty much the best thing you can do for a damaged beard if you want to repair split ends and dry, strawlike hairs, or if you've just got naturally thick, coarse hair that needs softening down.
It's pretty simple to do, and a relaxing process once you get into it.
- Start by applying beard oil like you normally would. Give the oil a couple of minutes to settle in
- Pour hot water into a bowl big enough to take a towel. Make sure the water is as hot as you can handle, but not hot enough to burn or scald. After all, it's going on your face
- Wet the towel in the bowl, then sit back in a comfortable chair, lean your head back and wrap the towel around your head
- When the towel starts to cool down, wring it out to empty the cool water, reload it with hot water, and wrap it around your face again
- Keep doing this for half an hour, or until the water starts to get cold
- Once you're done, finish up by cleaning up your face and hands with another towel, then rinse and clean your beard one final time with cold water, which helps to seal your pores again.
A hot oil treatment is great to do once a month, but can be safely done once every week or so if your beard is looking particularly dry or wiry.
There are actual, specific oils out there for hot oil beard treatments, so if you don't already have a beard oil, or even if you do but you feel like a specific hot beard oil would be better. (hint, it would be,) you can pick it up on Amazon here. As a bonus, you'll get four shots of oil, good for four treatments, so it'll last you months.
So there you have it. Everything you need to know about beards in one convenient package. Now you just need to decide where you want to start with your beard and its health. Do you grab an oil and a beard wash, or a balm and a brand new comb? Or maybe all of it.
If you want more information on anything we've just discussed, you can check out in-depth guides on every aspect of beard care below
- Beard oils
- Beard oil reviews
- Beard balms
- Beard balm reviews
- Beard butters
- Beard butter review
- Beard washes
- Beard wash reviews
Any Other Questions?
We've attempted to answer all the questions we've been asked over the years, however if you've got a question that you want answering, please ask it below or contact us diectly via our contact form here.
1: http://uk.askmen.com/grooming/appearance/best-beard- conditioners.html
3: https://www.percynobleman.com/blogs/news/26824513-beard- wash-vs- generic-shampoo- the-importance-of- beard-discipline
4: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/07/beard-oil- facial-hair_n_5629592.html
5: https://www.thebrightonbeardcompany.co.uk/blogs/news/12689489-what- is-the- difference-between-beard- balm-and- beard-oil
6: http://www.beardsmen.co.uk/What-Beard- Butter/
7: https://www.noblegrooming.com/blogs/dapper-daily/144494151- how-to- apply-beard- oil
8: https://www.birchbox.com/guide/article/how-to- apply-beard- oil
9: https://www.percynobleman.com/blogs/news/26813377-beard- oil-vs- beard-balm
10: https://www.baldingbeards.com/how-to- stop-beard- itch/
11: https://manlinesskit.com/how-soften- beard-now- complete-guide- softer-beards/
12: http://www.toolsofmen.com/beard-split- ends/
13: https://themodcabin.com/give-your- beard-a- hot-oil- treatment/
Last update on 2017-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API