Beard Balm is a wonderful and necessary tool for growing and maintaining a healthy and awesome looking beard. That being said, just what is beard balm, and how do you know you are choosing the right one?
Beard Balm is a moisturizing, light to medium hold pomade. Any Beard Balm worth its salt should do three things:
First let’s cover moisturizing. There are several moisturizing oils that nourish your beard. When shopping for Beard Balm you will want to make sure your balm contains non-comedogenic oils that will moisturize your beard without clogging your pores. The following oils are all non-comedogenic and will help keep your beard properly moisturized.
Grapeseed oil is a cheap, yet somewhat effective way to moisturize your beard. The problem with grapeseed is it’s incredibly short shelf life. Grapeseed has the shortest shelf life of any moisturizing oil. By the time you get your grapeseed oil beard balm you have a very limited time to use it before it turns rancid. We do not recommend Grapeseed oil for this reason.
Jojoba is technically not an oil, but a liquid wax ester. Unlike a lot of oils jojoba does not contain triglycerides, so it will not become rancid in a short amount of time like grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil is non-allergenic and non-comedogenic so it will not block your pores. Jojoba contains generous amounts of important nutrients such as vitamin E and B complex vitamins and minerals that stimulate beard growth and soften your facial hair, preventing breakage and split ends.
Argan oil, often referred to as “liquid gold” by hair experts, penetrates facial hair pores where it enhances elasticity and stimulates beard growth. The natural antioxidants and vitamin E in argan oil strengthen your beard by repairing the damaged cellular membranes of your facial hair while also repairing damage done by synthetic chemicals found in most store bought soaps, shampoos and conditioners.
Whatever beard balm you choose should have one or more of these moisturizers, preferably jojoba and argan as they are higher in quality, have a much longer shelf life, and do more to nourish your beard.
Beard balm is similar to lotion in the sense that it seals in moisture. If your beard balm does not contain proper moisturizers like jojoba and argan, your beard balm will seal in nothing but dryness. So once you make sure your beard balm has plenty of moisturizing power, make sure it has something to properly seal in that moisture. There are three sealants commonly used in Beard Balms:
Petroleum Jelly is a petroleum byproduct made by mixing hydrocarbons. Petroleum jelly is water-repellent, not water-soluble like shea butter and beeswax. So it seals moisture out and dries out your pores. Never use petroleum jelly on your beard!
Shea Butter is extracted from the nut of the African sheanut tree and is widely considered the best sealant for facial hair. The Mod Cabin uses fair-trade shea butter from Global Mamas, whose mission statement is to transform the lives of women in Africa by creating sustainable income opportunities which lead to financial independence. Global Mamas reduces the economic inequality of women by significantly increasing wages and generating new jobs through the production and export of fair trade products.
Unlike petroleum jelly, shea butter wont clog your pores and you will have no problem washing it out of your beard when it’s time.
Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees. Like shea butter, beeswax is natural and non-comedogenic so it wont clog your pores or prevent growth. It has a stronger hold than Shea, and provides an excellent sealant to prevent moisture from escaping.
So the bottom line is keep petroleum jelly out of your beard and look for a beard balm with natural sealants like shea and beeswax.
The third thing a good beard balm should do is provide hold for shaping. Shaping and styling can help smooth stray hairs, tame a wild beard, or even accentuate natural curl in your beard. The same things used to seal the moisture in your beard also provide the hold for shaping and styling. Shea butter also has the added benefit of making hair follicles appear thicker, thereby making your beard appear thicker, as well. We highly recommend finding an all-natural beard balm for providing hold. We have found the combination of shea and beeswax provides the perfect amount of hold, that’s why we use it in our Backwoods Beard Balm.
How to Use
Using beard balm is simple. Use the back of your thumbnail to scrape out a pea to dime sized amount of balm and rub between your palms to emulsify. Run your fingers through your beard, starting from the neck and working up, making sure to rub balm into the skin where your beard grows to nourish the hair at the roots. Reverse and run your fingers through your beard in a downward motion from top to bottom, spreading the balm down the hair follicles. Don’t forget your moustache and the hair around your mouth. Brush through with a natural boars hair bristle brush to help straighten your beard, or scrunch hair in fists to accentuate curl.
We recommend using a boars hair bristle brush to do this. You can order a high quality boars hair bristle brush from The Mod Cabin here.