Which is better, beard balm or beard oil?
April 20, 2021 The Mod Cabin Writer

Which is better, beard balm or beard oil? We get this question a lot. The short answer is, it depends on your needs. Beard balm is more of a styling pomade while beard oil is what we consider basic beard care, helping to moisturize your beard and the skin underneath. But that’s not the whole story.

Let’s break it down: What are the benefits of beard oil vs. balm?


Beard oil is a daily moisturizer and leave-in conditioner. Quality beard oils will moisturize the skin underneath your beard, soften your facial hair, reduce itching, and create the conditions for healthy beard growth. We use jojoba and argan in our beard oils, which are similar to your body’s own oils, making them easy for your hair and face to absorb. Despite the name, the best beard oils will leave your beard and face hydrated, not greasy.

In addition to being a great moisturizer, beard oil can act as a beard deodorizer and cologne. We recommend using oils that are scented with essential oil blends, not artificial fragrances with unnamed chemicals that can irritate your skin.

Man Holding The Mod Cabin All Natural Beard Oil


We recommend using beard oil in conjunction with beard balm for maximum results, but it can be used as a stand alone product. If you’re using it with beard balm, be sure to apply beard oil first.

For best results, wash your beard with an all-natural, hot-processed beard soap and apply beard oil when nearly dry. Doing this will help hold moisture in your hair follicles and pores. Splash a dime size amount of beard oil in your palm and massage into your skin and beard. Brush the oil through your beard with a boars hair beard brush to help distribute the oil evenly throughout your facial hair. Use up to three times a day as needed. Like all natural beard balm, beard oil does not need to be rinsed out.

Beard oil is especially helpful during the first six weeks of beard growth when itching can be a problem. If you have a naturally thick, long beard, you may find beard oil easier to work with than beard balm.

Beard Balm Sampler 3-pack - The Mod Cabin


The best beard balm will act as an all-in-one beard moisturizer, conditioner, and styling aid. It is especially helpful for people who want their beards to look thicker, due to the all natural shea butter that coats hair follicles. It also provides light-to-medium hold and volume for beards that need control and shaping.


Avoid beard balms that use synthetic sealants like petroleum jelly — they may irritate your skin and damage facial hair. Our best-selling beard balm contains shea butter and beeswax, which are all-natural moisture sealants, and argan and jojoba oils, which work to deeply moisturize hair follicles, promote beard growth, and prevent breakage.


For best results, wash your beard with an all-natural hot-processed beard soap and apply beard balm when dry. Scrape out a dime-sized amount of balm and rub between your palms. Run your fingers through your facial hair, making sure to rub balm into the skin beneath your beard. This will help nourish facial hair at the roots.

Brush the balm through your beard with a boars hair beard brush to distribute the balm evenly through your beard and style as desired. All-natural beard balms containing shea butter and beeswax can be left in until you wash your beard.

>> Browse beard balms

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>> Browse all our beard grooming products

For more information on growing and maintaining a healthy beard the all natural way check out our other articles in our Beard Guide.

Comments (53)

  1. John Benos 7 years ago

    Very informative post. I would say that both beard oil and beard balm are necessary especially if your beard is long. For short beards, maybe beard oil only might be more than enough. For longer beards, beard balm can style/shape your beard in a very neat way.

  2. Jeremy Lucarelli 7 years ago

    thabks for this informative post! I’ve been using tea tree essential oil on my beard for a few months. Wanting a change of scent, I think I’m going to go with the beard balm now that I know the difference! Cheers!

  3. Matt 7 years ago

    Are there any times when you would or could use both oil and balm or is that overkill?

    • The Mod Cabin 7 years ago

      Hi, Matt. There are definitely times that using both is helpful. The difference between the oil and balm is that the balm has sealants and waxes. If your beard is very dry using the oil, then finishing with the balm is a great way to make sure that you’re sealing in that moisture. If your beard is hard to manage, using the oil then the balm will give you added moisture and the benefit of some shaping and holding power from the wax in the balm. If you are in extreme weather conditions using the oil then the balm will help you seal in moisture and seal out the inclement weather, which can dry out and damage your beard and skin.

      I hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questions!

  4. joey 7 years ago

    Can you recommend a good company with quality products?

    • The Mod Cabin 7 years ago

      Hi, Joey!

      Obviously, we’re going to be a bit biased, but we know exactly what quality ingredients go into our products. You can check out our shop at Whatever company you decide to purchase from, just make sure that you have access to the ingredients list, so that you know what you’re putting on your skin and hair. You can read our ingredients under the Description tab. It’s not necessary to have a long list of ingredients to have a great, healthy, effective product, and synthetic ingredients often function just to make the product look or feel a certain way, but can actually make the product less effective.

      I hope that information is helpful! Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any other questions.

  5. Tom 7 years ago

    Is one better than the other to help with beard dandruff and stray hairs? Because I have a well, I have hard water and it dries my skin out.

    • The Mod Cabin 7 years ago

      The jojoba and argan oil in The Mod Cabin’s beard balms will help with beard dandruff and so will our beard oil. Some people find it is easier to get beard oil to penetrate dry areas so they prefer that for moisturizing/dandruff prevention. For stray hairs we recommend Backwoods beard balm as it will provide a light hold allowing you to shape your beard.

  6. Raj 7 years ago

    Hi, I keep a very short beard (a little longer than a stubble, maybe 1/8th inch or so). Would you recommend balm or oil to keep it soft and neat? If oil, would grapeseed and/or avocado oil be good? Thanks

    • The Mod Cabin 7 years ago

      Hi Raj. We would not recommend grapeseed oil as it could go rancid in your beard. Avocado oil can produce side effects so we wouldn’t recommend that either. Either a beard oil or beard balm should do what you want, providing it contains a combination of jojoba and argan oil. Those are the two oils that best moisturize and strengthen facial hair. Try our beard balm + beard oil set:

      Both the balm and oil have jojoba and argan to moisturize and condition your stubble. Once you try them you will know which suits your preference better and then you go decide which one to go with on a permanent basis.

  7. Kevin Tomlinson 7 years ago

    Do I use oil everyday for beard?

    • The Mod Cabin 7 years ago

      Yes, we recommend you use the oil at least once a day and up to three times a day as needed. We tend to use more beard oil in the winter months when its drier than the summer when their is more moisture in the air.

  8. fiifi 6 years ago

    i’m now a ‘beard starter’-now growing beard.
    Would this help in fast growth?
    If so,how many weeks would it take?

  9. Jeff 6 years ago

    Dear Mod Cabin,

    I have a grey, leaning toward white, beard that is dry and goes all over the place. It also has some wave. In the past, I have always kept my beard closely cropped. But in the last couple of months, I have let it grow out.

    I would like my beard to be soft, straight, and not discolored by anything I apply to it. What products and utensils do I need to achieve that.

    Thank you.

    • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago

      Hi, Jeff!

      We’d recommend washing with a very mild all natural soap. Our first recommendation is our Birch Tar Soap A regular store bought shampoo or soap may dry out your beard even more and make it brittle. Once your beard is nearly dry, apply beard oil. We suggest Beard Oil from The Mod Cabin. There are several scents to choose from, and all of them will provide the moisture you need to help soften your hairs so they lay smooth. Apply the beard oil after washing your beard, when it’s nearly dry. To help lock in that moisture and provide hold you can top it off with The Mod Cabin Beard Balm. Again, there are several scents to choose from and all will provide the sealants and hold you need.

      To really help these products do what they need to do make sure that you’re massaging the oils and balms fully through your beard and the skin beneath your beard so the roots get the moisture they need to become softer, and therefore, more manageable. A firm boar’s hair brush is a great tool to exfoliate the skin beneath your beard and distribute the oils through your beard fully. You can purchase one here:

      I hope that information is helpful!

      Cori // Co-Founder

  10. Mark 6 years ago

    I have a thick beard but when I use a dime sized drop of oil or balm it seems to disappear from my hands right away and not make a difference to my beard. I start with the beard but by the time I get to the other side of my beard or my mustache and sideburns it seems the oil/balm is all but gone. Should I use more?

    • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago

      Hi, Mark.

      That’s not unusual for those with thick beards. You may need to use more oil, yes, but other things you can try are applying the oil when your beard is still slightly damp. Now, this can be tricky. Applying oil when your beard is too damp can make it appear greasy, so you may have to do a little experimenting to see what works best for you. But by applying it before your beard is completely dry will help trap that moisture in your beard. Next, it’s always a good idea to top the beard oil with beard balm. The oils in the balm will also help to condition your beard, and the sealants will help your beard stay hydrated longer by sealing in the moisture.

      Also, if you’re not applying beard oil again midday or at night before bed, you may want to start. Air conditioners and heaters can zap the moisture from our skin and hair, and if you live in a dry climate that will also take it’s toll.

      I hope you find that information helpful! Let us know if you have anymore questions.

  11. Dre 6 years ago

    I’m tryna grow a nice full beard, I have a good mustache & my chin hair is okay too but I can’t get the side to grow in really smh just stringy hair… But I just received the beard balm & beard oil should I be okay with that & how fast will I see results?

    • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago

      Hi, Dre.

      You should definitely be seeing results by now. Keep in mind, what you wash your face and beard with matters, too, and you want to make sure that you’re not using anything with harsh chemicals. It’s also important to keep your face exfoliated, because clogged pores can cause ingrown hairs, and inhibit hair growth. You can check out our all natural soap, or our cleansing oil. Another tip is you can use a beard trimmer to keep all your facial hair trimmed to a shorter length closer to your face, which will help make those patches less apparent while they’re filling in.

      Cori / Co-Founder

  12. Will 6 years ago

    Hey guys. My beard is pretty thick and most of the time pretty unmanageable haha. My hair is somewhat coarse, wirey, curly and generally kinda just grows all over the place. It tangles and mats up and pulls and catches something fierce. I can hardly brush it with it catching and pulling. Even when damp or after fresh oil it still pulls. Plus I have a hard time getting oil to the skin bc of the thickness I have. Not to mention under my jawline doesn’t seem to want to grow down. It’s kinda like kudzu vine. It’s just wraps around itself and doesn’t provide and length. The hairs from above the jawline and my cheeks grow down and are fairly manageable but the underside not so much. I can brush it down 20 times and it just knots right back up. It’s got thickness and fullness but I’m not able to show my true length (which I could be proud of if I could display it) any recommendations on how to try and tame this “briar patch”?

    • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago


      Wow! You gave a vivid description of your beard! It sounds like an autonomous living creature. Have you named it yet, because you should.

      My first question here would have to be what are you using to wash this creature of yours? Soap, shampoo? My suggestion would be to try our cleansing oil. This is a non soap cleanser that you can use on your face and beard. Pump it into your palm and massage it into your skin, and through your beard like a shampoo, however this won’t produce any lather. Rinse it out with warm water. Cleansing oil could be good for you, because it won’t strip your hair of it’s natural oils, which is sounds like you really need.

      Next, I’d recommend a detangling comb. Once you’ve gently towel dried your beard, gently comb through it using the detangling comb. Notice I keep using the word “gently”. This is because being too rough will just cause ends to snap and curl, which will cause beard hairs to tangle together.

      Apply beard oil when your beard is almost dry, and comb through. To get the amount of oil you need, you’ll probably want to use our beard oil pump. It’s easier to dispense more oil with the pump.

      Finally, only brush your hair when it’s completely dry. Brushing hair when it’s wet can cause the hairs to break, and we already discussed what breakage can do.

      Using these techniques and allowing your beard a little time to recover should yield some decent results.

      Cori / Co-Founder

  13. MJ 6 years ago

    Would you guys recommend beard balm for a thiner starter beard with a few patches? I am looking into a way to fill in a few of my stubble gaps but don’t want something caked onto my face. I am prone to skin redness and occasional acne so trying my best to find something that will increase thickness, fill in patches, but not cause irritation.

    • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago

      Hi, MJ.

      We’d absolutely recommend beard oil for a starter beard. When you’re starting your beard, it’s easy to forget that the hair forming under the skin at the root needs to be cared for properly so that it can grow in strong and healthy. For that reason it’s important to keep your skin moisturized, and our beard oil has the ingredients to do that. It’s a light oil that absorbs into hair and skin easily, and won’t leave you feeling greasy.

      Also, what you wash your face and beard with matters, and you want to make sure that you’re not using anything with harsh chemicals. Keep your face exfoliated, because clogged pores can cause ingrown hairs, and inhibit hair growth. You can check out our all natural soap, or our cleansing oil.

      Tip: It may seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to grow your beard out, but you can use a beard trimmer to keep all your facial hair trimmed to a shorter length closer to your face, which will help make those sparse patches less apparent while they’re filling in.

      All the best,

      Cori / Co-Founder

  14. Niz 6 years ago

    Hi Mod Cabin,

    I am growing a beard, the bottom is ok, but the sides are a bit thin. In addition I am allergic to parfum/fragrence and since everything I use is unscented, any scent these days is way too strong for me. What kind of product would you recommend?

    • Niz 6 years ago

      Oh and I allready use unscented beard-oil which I am very happy with, but that brand doesn’t offer any unscented beard balm. So basically my question is, do you know of any good quality beard balm?

      • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago

        You could try It’s all natural, and there’s no scent added. It’s got a very simple list of ingredients, so you know what you’re putting on your face and beard. Also, keep in mind that it’s normal for your hair to grow in at slightly different rates. It’s important to exfoliate your face gently to remove dead skin cells and to help unclog your pores so that your facial hair isn’t impeded when it’s growing out. Also avoid shampoos and harsh chemicals when you wash your face and beard. I’d recommend using an all natural, unscented soap such as, or our cleansing oil (which does have some essential oils in it) The cleansing oil is very gentle and won’t strip your face and beard of their natural lipid layer, which will help keep your skin and facial hair healthy and moisturized.

        All the best,

        Cori Gray // Co-Founder

  15. Narinder 6 years ago

    Hi there, my beard is curly and I am using beard shampoo and almond oil on my beard. Please suggest best option for curly beard so that it looks nice and straight.

    Can I use beard soap on the face as well or it’s for beard only ?

    • The Mod Cabin 5 years ago

      Hi, Narinder!

      Thank you for your questions. Curly beards can look amazing without being straightened. Our recommendation for curly beards is that you stick with all natural products, so that your beard is properly nourished. I recommend our Core Beard Kit. It has a natural soap, beard oil, and beard balm to keep your face and beard clean, healthy, and strong.

      You can use beard balms made to straighten beards or blow dry your beard straight, but our recommendation is to use either of those sparingly. Both can dry your beard out, causing it to be brittle and break easily. Instead, we recommend seeing a barber who knows how to properly trim curly beards so that you can work with the curl, instead of against it. I hope that information is helpful!

      -Cori Gray // Co-Founder

  16. Joel 6 years ago

    Hello I have a great beard and want to keep it in top condition i have never used beard oils or bombs but I’m going to use them to keep my beard in good condition my question is are there or can you use applicators such as combs, brush’s something like a lathering brush rag to apply beard oils or bombs?

    • The Mod Cabin 5 years ago

      Hi, Joel!

      Thanks for your question! Generally, you want to apply the oil and balm with your hands, and then massage it into your beard and skin using your fingers. However, we highly recommend that you use a good Boar’s Hair Brush to brush the oil through your beard after you apply it. This will help thoroughly distribute the oils down the length of your hair follicles. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Cori Gray // Co-Founder

  17. RAYMOND ANAYA 5 years ago

    I have a long thin beard.. about 2 inches but uneven around my cheeks. I would want to have it thicker and fuller. I use oil and then balm to seal in the moisture.. I also wash my beard every other day with a beard shampoo company from an article I’ve read. But I’ve noticed I’ve been getting acne on my neck and the outer edges of my beard.. is it the oils I use or the balm, or both? Can you help?

    • The Mod Cabin 5 years ago

      Hi, Raymond.

      Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, since I’m unfamiliar with the products I’d have a hard time determining what might be causing your breakouts. Instead, I’ll point you in the direction of a product that I’m confident will help relieve your breakouts and help you grow a strong, healthy beard. Our Core Beard Kit comes with your choice of all natural soap, beard oil and beard balm, as well as a moustache wax. I’d highly recommend choosing our Birch Tar Soap in the kit. If you read about our Birch Tar Soap you’ll see quite a few reviews from customers talking about how it helped them with their acne. If you take a look at our Beard Oil and Beard Balm reviews you’ll notice that there really aren’t any reviews from customers who’ve had any problems with our products causing them to breakout.

      Be aware of products that use synthetic ingredients, as these can dry out your hair and cause skin irritation. Your best bet is to stick with all natural products that have been tested on all skin types.

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Cori Gray//Co-Founder

  18. Alexis 5 years ago

    hi I have a short beard. maybe about 1/8th – 1/4th in. I have areas where my beard is not growing, giving me patchy areas. would beard balm or oil help grow in those patchy areas? if so, what would you recommend?

    • The Mod Cabin 5 years ago

      Thanks for your question! With a patchy beard, it’s important to be patient. And obviously, our hair growth is affected by our health, so good nutrition and drinking lots of water is important. Beyond that, be sure to use natural products on your face, because synthetic chemicals can damage hair. I’d recommend our Core Beard Kit. It has natural, moisturizing soap, and beard oil and beard balm to provide nourishment for the hair follicles that are forming beneath your skin. Be sure and massage the beard oil into your beard and skin twice a day. If you live in a cold, dry climate you may only want to wash your face/beard every other day to avoid leaching all the moisture from your skin and hair.

      Lastly, while you’re waiting for your beard to fill in, using a beard trimmer to keep all your beard hair trimmed to the same length will work wonders to keep your beard looking well groomed and to help disguise the patchiness.

      I hope that information is helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Cori Gray // Co-Founder

  19. Jair Luiz A. S. Filho 5 years ago

    Hey Cory,
    First of all, grats for the great work: great piece on beard oil and balm!
    My question regards beard coloring. My facial hair is somewhat gray – I color it once / twice a week.
    I sport a 15/20-day heavy stubble and use a leave-in conditioner and a beard oil. Sometimes I notice that my beard gets rather dry.
    Do you have further recommendations? Thanks so much your attention. Greetings from Brazil.

  20. justin 5 years ago

    I’ve thought about grabbing some beard oil but I’m not sure if it’s something I’d use much.

  21. Nesh 5 years ago

    Hi, I have a fairly thick, short beard. I try to comb it straight but it always curls around my jaw. Also, I am starting to notice a “beardruff” problem. What do you recommend, oil or wax?

  22. Dah sidi 5 years ago

    Hi how can I have along beard, what you suggest for me?

  23. deep wells 5 years ago

    love this i was clueless on how to really take care of a beard this has closed the gap tremendously

  24. Maggie 4 years ago

    Hi! My boyfriend have a short beard and I have “beard burn” all over my face. He need to use some oil or some balm?

    • The Mod Cabin 3 years ago

      Hi! Yes, if your bf uses beard oil twice a day it will help to keep his stubble softer. Men with stubble don’t think they’ll benefit from beard oil, but it works beneath the skin to help the beard grow in softer, which their girlfriends will definitely appreciate!

  25. Jason Demers 4 years ago

    Hello Mod Cabin
    Just starting to grow my beard out more. The wife likes it and says to keep going. I have oily skin to start. So I’m nervous about using oil and balm as I don’t want to look even oilier. However I am finding I need the balm to manage and brush it. Any suggestions.

  26. Kevin 4 years ago

    How do I choose a beard balm for my dyed beard??

  27. Andrew 4 years ago

    Hello, is your beard balm and oil tested on animals? Is it vegan?
    Thank you

    • The Mod Cabin 4 years ago

      Hello! Our products are never tested on animals, and our beard oil and beard balm is vegan. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  28. Kit Hannigan 4 years ago

    It sure is interesting to know that some forms of beard balms make your facial hair look thicker and well-moisturized. My dad has been trying to grow a full-beard these past few months. However, the results are not looking like what he has hoped for as it appears to be thinner less bushy than he wants. I will be sure to advise him to go look for bead balms that can help him out in these areas. Thanks!

  29. Charlie 3 years ago

    Hey guys. I have a pretty short beard (about 1/8″ to 1/4″ or so?) and I plan on keeping it this way for a while. Is it still worth using beard oil while I have it this short? Why/why not? I know some other previous people asked but they are all trying to grow their beard out and at the moment, I’m not. I’m liking this length for now. Thanks!

  30. Mubashir Younis 3 years ago

    Hi there,
    I have a question as I am new to this beard game. I have a short beard – not a stubble. I currently use olive oil for my beard. I use a beard brush about once a day to apply the oil the first time in the day, and then after that, I just use my fingers/comb to apply the oil (I apply it a few times within the day). I understand that balm is more to style and oil is to moisturize. I find that that the olive oil does that but I also often feel that it doesn’t style/doesn’t keep my beard in the manner it was styled throughout the whole day. So my question is: is it okay to use olive oil and balm together? If not, what would you recommend that I apply which one and when? PS: My beard tends to get curly especially from the sides when it gets long and I would like to grow it out without the curly look.

  31. Robert 3 years ago

    I love to see you’ve listed products, the way you use trusted products was truly awesome. By the way awesome article for beard balms or oils, I’m looking the same guide for my bad beard.

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