If you’ve never grown a mighty beard, you might underestimate the work it takes to keep them looking sharp and clean.
But an awesome beard takes work. Serious work. And serious work needs a serious toolkit.
That’s why we’re here. Once you’ve finished this article, you’ll know exactly how to look after your beard, the perfect routine to keep it looking awesome, and a few specific tricks to keep yourself looking your best.
What’s in a beard grooming kit?
Beard brushes, or, how to tame a wild, straggly beard
While beard hair isn’t the same as the hair on your face, it still needs brushing. It still grows out of follicles, and learns to lie in whatever way it sits the most. So if you leave your beard to grow in whatever way nature and the environment takes it, then you’re going to end up with the greatest, most impressive looking … hobo beard the world has ever seen.
There’s a few things that make a good beard brush. In short, if it’s got natural bristles, that’s a plus. Stiff bristles are good, because your beard hair is probably pretty rough, and the brush material and design can have a huge effect on how easy it is to use.
We’ll go into more detail with each product, but if you want a more in depth guide right now, check out our beard brush article.
Beard wash, or, why can’t I just use normal shampoo?
No. You can’t use normal shampoo. Standard shampoos are designed to wash away the natural oils that your body produces. The oils that leave the hair on your head looking lank and greasy. Thing is, as you’ll find out in a minute or two, your beard actually needs your bodies’ natural oils to look and feel its best. (Spoiler.)
See, beard washes are specifically designed to work alongside your bodies’ natural oils, won’t wash out your beard and won’t leave it brittle and fragile.
Long story short. Stop with the shampoo, and get a beard wash instead. If you want more detail, we’ve got an article all about it right here.
Beard oils, or, wait, isn’t having an oily face a bad thing?
Like we just said, your beard needs to be oiled up regularly to look and feel its best. The boring science behind this is that our skin already produces oils, and the hairs that make up our beard wick this oil away from our skin, but it takes our body weeks or months to catch up in oil production. So if you’ve gone from beardless to beard champion over the last couple weeks, your face is going to feel dry and itchy, and if you’re really unlucky, you might even come down with beardruff.
Yes. That’s beard dandruff. And it’s as rank as it sounds.
A good beard oil will work alongside your body’s natural oil production, reinforce your beard’s health with added vitamins, minerals and other flouncy, new age crap, and on top of that it leaves your face feeling sleek and strokable.
If you want to get deep into it, you can read our article on beard oils. But all you really need to know is that beard oils are great, and you want to put one on your face every day after you shower.
Beard grooming kits: What, why, where and who.
Now we know what we’re looking for. But there’s a few other things that you might consider when you’re picking up a grooming kit. None of these are as major as the main components, but they might be a deciding factor for some men.
- All natural components: A lot of beard products are making the switch to all natural or predominantly natural ingredients. Not only are they better for your beard, but you can feel good about the fact that you’re not destroying the environment just for a better looking beard.
- Storage: As in, does it come in a nifty little bag or box? Some of the more expensive kits we’ve seen come in awesome little bespoke wooden boxes that look great sitting in front of your shaving kit and mirror. But obviously, this isn’t a major concern, especially if what you’re getting inside isn’t the best. I mean, sure, we’re men. We get swayed by the appearance of things. Especially if that appearance is leggy and blonde, but it’s what’s inside that counts, right. Right?
- Scents: There’s a lot of variation in scent across men’s products, but the majority of the time you want something that’s classic, like sandalwood, and that fades fast. After all, you’ve probably already got a favorite scent you apply most mornings, and having it clash with some citrus abomination just won’t do, especially if you work in a crowded office.
- Extras: More than one brush? Beard scissors? Oil and wax? Shampoo and soap? There’s a lot of options out there, and having a little bit of extra stuff is generally better. As long as it’s high quality. Don’t worry. If you get anything special in the kit, we’ll let you know.
How to use a beard grooming kit
Considering most beard kits contain three major things, a beard wash or shampoo, a beard brush, and a beard oil, there’s obviously a defined method to using them, too.
If you’ve never used a beard grooming kit before, it’s relatively simple.
- Use your beard wash in the shower. Clean your hair first, so your beard wash cleans any shampoo run off out of your beard. Beard washes are pretty damn simple to use. They’re normally used just like a standard shampoo.
- Once you’re out of the shower, pat down your beard so it’s damp but not wet, then apply a few drops of beard to your hands, and rub your hands through your beard. You want to try and apply the beard oil evenly throughout your beard, but can focus on problem areas if you need to. A couple drops is normally enough. Beard oil goes a long way, and you don’t want to overload your face. That can lead to acne problems.
- Once you’ve washed and applied beard oil, brush your beard. Use long, defined strokes. This not only gets your beard looking better than it otherwise would, it helps spread the beard oil you’ve just applied, and stimulates skin oil growth and healthy beard hair.
That’s literally it. Start to finish, it’ll take maybe 5 minutes out of your day. That’s a great price to pay for an awesome looking beard that’ll inspire awe in the boys and tingles in the girls.
The best beard grooming kits: Our top 3 picks
Our Top-3 Pick
Beard Grooming Care Kit for Men by Mountaineer Brand | Beard Oil (2oz), Conditioning Balm (2oz), Wash (4oz), Brush (Original/Timber)
The best single kit we’ve found that delivers everything you need in one package. Beard oil, beard balm and beard wash will clean and tame that beard, and there’s an excellent brush for keeping it all under control.
Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve got a years growth of manly beard, this kit’s got your back.
Beard Grooming for Men Care - Beard Brush, Beard Comb, Unscented Beard Oil Leave-in Conditioner, Mustache & Beard Balm Butter Wax, Shaping & Growth Gift Set
If you’re happy with your beard wash, and just need a quality oil and a brush or comb to tame your mane, Beard Legacy is what you need.
The oil is unscented, so you can use it with any aftershave, and both the brush and comb are top class. Plus there’s a 100% money back guarantee. Can’t go wrong.
ZEUS Deluxe Beard Grooming Kit for Men - Beard Care Gift Set to Soften Hairs and Prevent Itchiness and Dandruff (Verbena Lime)
If you want a touch of class, Zeus products deliver, every time. With this, you get everything you need out of a beard grooming kit, including oil, balm, wash and a boar bristle brush, all delivered with the style and aplomb you’d expect from a high-end brand.
Pick this up and treat yourself. You deserve it.
The best beard grooming kits
What you get: Beard oil, (2oz) Beard balm, (2oz) Beard wash, (4oz) Wooden handled brush
- Get a beard oil and a beard balm, for the best of both worlds
- Generous helpings of each product
- Smells great
- Brush isn’t boar bristle, but is still great
All natural, with nothing artificial and a cruelty-free animal product free brush, Mountaineer is a great choice for the man concerned with the environment, and his impact on it.
But it’s also a great choice for the more discerning man. Not only are the products great, you get both beard oil and beard balm in the kit, and if you’ve read our product guides (hint, you should) then you’d know that it’s completely fine, and actually recommended, that you use both, because they do different but complementary things to your beard.
In terms of scent, you get a grab bag of glory. The beard wash and beard oil are both Mountaineer’s VW Timber scent, which has a surprisingly subtle cedarwood and fir smell which fades down gently and compliments the vast majority of aftershaves.
The beard balm, on the other hand, has a slightly more distinct citrus scent of lime and grapefruit, which sounds kind of bizarre until you get it on and realize how well it goes with the other products.
In our opinion, there’s no real downsides with this kit. Every single thing you get in the burlap bag is solid and performs excellently. It smells great, it leaves your face looking and feeling fantastic, and they’re generous enough with sizes that you won’t have to consider picking up more for months.
That’s why it’s our number one pick. If you’re struggling, or just don’t know which one of our recommendations is right for you, always go with Mountaineer’s. Trust us, you can’t go wrong.
What you get: Beard Legacy unscented oil, (1oz) Boar bristle brush, Wooden beard comb
- Beard oil is high quality, and unscented
- Both a beard comb and brush for expert grooming
- Good value, especially if you already have a wash
- No beard wash included
If you’re just looking for a high quality after shower kit, the Beard Legacy is the perfect choice. The included beard oil is exceedingly high quality, and completely unscented, so you don’t have to worry about it clashing with any existing scents you wear.
You also get a top quality wide toothed anti-static wooden comb, which will tame that beard with the minimum of frizz, and a boar bristle beard brush to smooth and style once you’re done.
We’re sure you’ll love it, and so are the manufacturers, because if you don’t like it, there’s an ironclad unconditional 30-day money back guarantee where you can just send it back, no questions asked.
Plus, it’s going to look great sitting in your bathroom. It comes in a high-quality box, with spaces for everything that’s included, but you also get a little canvas wash bag (beard bag?), so you can bring it with you when you’re on the go.
What you get: Beard oil, (1oz) Beard shampoo, Beard conditioner, Boar bristle brush
- Get both shampoo and conditioner
- Beard oil smells amazing
- Brush is high quality
- Higher quality means higher price
A higher quality, more luxurious brand, Zeus beard products are exceptionally well made, with a carefully curated selection of scents.
You’ve got a choice of three. Sandalwood, Vanilla rum and Verbena lime. All three smell great, but we recommend the sandalwood. It’s a defined, refined scent that your grandfather would have liked, and adds a touch of class to any man’s day.
As for the products themselves, they do exactly what you want them to. The oil goes on well, and sinks into the skin without greasiness. You get both a beard shampoo and a beard conditioner, so not only will your beard be clean, it will be kissably soft into the bargain. The brush is solid, and does what you need it to, although it’s the worst part of the kit. Still not bad, though. And you can keep it all in the branded bag!
If you want a little more choice in your product, and all with excellent quality, then you should seriously consider this Zeus beard grooming kit.
What you get: Beard oil, (2oz) Bush Klawz comb
- Oil is high quality, and great for beards
- Twice as much oil as you get with other sets
- Comb is excellent, with two different tooth widths
- Only oil and comb, no wash or balm
A quality oil with an exceptional beard comb, if you’re looking for a basic kit to keep your beard looking sharp, then this is it.
The oil is Bush Klawz Urban Prince beard oil, a best seller product that’s absolute quality, and packed full of great ingredients that’ll leave your beard feeling soft all day. Plus, it smells fantastic, with a really masculine scent that’ll remind you of those childhood visits to the barbers with your father. Because it’s pretty oily, the scent also lasts a good long time, so if you’re looking for an oil with a long lasting scent, this might be it.
The oil might be good, but the comb is absolutely fantastic. It’s made of high-quality pear wood, fits the hand like it was made for it, and comes with two different comb thicknesses. Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a thick ass beard, so some beard combs and brushes can stick in it. Especially if I’ve just got out the shower and it’s holding water.
With this comb, you’re never going to have that issue. It carves clean through even the thickest hairs, taming even the roughest mane and bringing your whole face under control.
You don’t get anything other than the oil and comb, so it is a very basic set, but the price reflects that, and if you don’t need anything except oil and a top quality comb, this is your jam.
What you get: Sandalwood comb and boar bristle brush
- Wide toothed comb means no tangles
- Sounds strange, but the comb and brush actually smell good
- All natural construction
- No oil or wash included
If you’re a man who regularly brushes his beard, or worse, has a beard that demands a regular brushing to tame and control it, then you know the importance of a high-quality beard comb.
But sometimes, the brushes you get with other beard kits are cheaply made of inferior materials and poor quality construction. If you don’t know why this is important, ask your girlfriend whether she’d use a cheap, flimsy plastic comb before she went on a night out. Or better yet, don’t, because that’s not a conversation worth having.
That’s why you need these. The comb is sandalwood, which is hard wearing, looks great, and smells pretty damn good too. The wide teeth won’t tangle your face fuzz, and glide through even thick, long beards with zero issues.
The brush is boar bristle, and mounted in a bamboo handle that fits the hand perfectly. The bristles are firm, and just rough enough to stimulate the face without leaving you raw.
Obviously, if you’ve already got a decent brush, you won’t need these, but they’re a perfect choice for the man who already has his beard oil situation sorted, and just needs a tame.
- Full kit, full package. Everything you need
- Chemical and sulfate free
- Container box is awesome
- Comb has quite narrow teeth
A complete kit that comes with literally everything you need for the softest, silkiest, most masculine beard you can muster, Maison Lambert’s kit is a one stop shop for any man’s bearding needs.
Contained within the cigar box container, (classy) is the full set of beard care products. You get a quality beard oil, as well as a beard balm, just in case you prefer one or the other. Or both.
There’s a beard soap, which is a little archaic compared to beard washes, but it lathers remarkably well and the results are excellent. There’s also a body soap which you can use for the rest of you, and you’ll probably want to, because they smell great.
Finally, you get a comb. This is the only slightly weak link in the package. It’s a fine comb, but the teeth are narrower than I’d have liked. It’s still perfectly usable, but you might find it slower going than other, wider toothed combs. Apart from that minor niggle, though, there’s literally everything to love about this set.
- Smells fantastic. Layered, but subtle
- Easy to use, with great packaging
- Oil, balm and wax
- No brushes or other extras
If you want a clean, great smelling beard, Barbero’s beard grooming kit might be what you need.
Inside, there’s a generous helping of beard shampoo, in a smart pump topped bottle that’s easy to sit next to the shower. You also get beard oil and beard balm, with the beard balm coming in the same sort of pump topped bottle, that completely erases the issues you you can sometimes have getting beard balm out of its container.
Finally, there’s a smart beard wax that smells just as good as the rest, and delivers a subtle hold. The only real issue is the lack of brushes or combs. Luckily, you can buy a good set of those as well for pretty cheap, like the Gentleman’s Tools kit we reviewed above, which will give you the complete package.
What you get: Beard oil, (2oz) Beard balm, (2oz) Beard wash, (8oz) Travel scissors and comb, Travel bag.
- Complete travel kit, excellent for busy men
- All natural, vegan certified, even the bag!
- Sweet smell can take some getting used to
If you’re looking for a travel kit, then look no further. Dapperganger’s set gives you everything you need to groom on the go, with a full sized oil, balm and wash, as well as a set of travel scissors and a tiny little comb. Throw your razor and shaving cream into the included bag and you’re literally good to go.
The oil, balm and wash are good quality, especially the oil, which sinks in well and leaves your beard feeling soft to the touch. I was also really surprised by the scissors. Even though they’re tiny, they’re surprisingly robust, and they’ll definitely hold up to a good trim every now and then.
The comb could be bigger, but considering what you get, and the fact that it’s entirely made from certified organic ingredients, so you know exactly what you’re putting on your face, if you need a travel kit, this is an excellent choice.
- Complete kit, with literally everything
- Handmade by a legit barber
- Blending comb is relatively flimsy
- Small amount of beard oil and balm
If you’re looking for something a bit more bespoke, whether as a gift for the man in your life, or a treat for yourself, then this kit, with it’s gorgeous wooden chest and complete set of everything you ever might need to treat a beard, is a fantastic option.
It’s hand made and assembled by an actual barber in the USA, and every piece is chosen to complement the rest. Which is probably why everything in the box is good quality. Even the tiny little scissors.
The only issue is that you don’t get very much beard oil or balm. And once you’ve used it and fallen in love with it, you’re going to want more.
- Multiple scent options
- High-quality brush and comb
- We love the mustache wax
- No beard wash
Another bespoke kit that’s handmade to order, this set comes with multiple scent options, including unscented. I really love the orange citrus, but I’ve also heard that the plague doctor scent is awesome, despite the off putting name.
As beard grooming sets go, it’s pretty comprehensive. You get beard oil and beard balm, with enough of each to last a decent amount of time. You also get a stick of mustache wax, which is a really smart addition that you’ll really come to appreciate if you’ve got a heavy ‘stache.
The brush and comb are quality, especially the comb. It’s got relatively narrow teeth, as beard combs go, but it still cuts through a beard with ease, taming and controlling, plus the cherrywood construction is excellent all round.
The only issue I found with this set is the lack of beard wash. But that’s easily rectified. It’s a shame, because the scents and organic ingredients are so good that I’d love to slather my face in them in the shower too. But alas, it was not to be. You’ll just have to make do with the oil and balm.
Looking after a beard can be hard. But the right tools make it so much easier. Hopefully, by looking through our list you’ve found the perfect beard grooming kit for you, that will make getting the beard you want as simple as possible. Good luck out there, men.