April 16, 2018

Beard Oil - Everything You Need to Know (Complete Guide)

beard oil guide

The beard has witnessed a meteoric rise in popularity in the past few years.

It seems like everyone wants to grow a beard.

Beard styles like the Verdi, the Bandholz, the Dutch and the Garibaldi are now commonly seen on the street. 

It is estimated that 56% of men in NYC are sporting facial hair.

How's that for a trend that was supposed to go away?

If you already have a beard then you know how important beard oil is for your beard's and skin's health.

If you won't take care of your beard, you will most likely suffer from the not-so-pleasant aspects of growing a beard, some of these are: beard itch and beardruff.

Beard oil is a must for beard care and this guide will tell you everything you need to know about beard oil.

What Is a Beard Oil?

Beard oil is a product that is intended to nourish, hydrate, condition and help maintaining a healthy looking beard and skin.

Beard oil is just a blend of oils - carrier and essential (we'll get to that later), each with a specific purpose like moisturizing, preventing fungal infections, reducing itchiness, adding fragrance, promoting growth, etc.

The benefits of beard oil extend beyond nourishing your beard. It also nourishes the facial skin beneath.

You need to remember that a Healthier skin means a healthier beard.

So why is beard oil so important? It imitates and mimics the natural oils that our body and skin produces, these oils are responsible for a healthy skin and beard.

One might ask:

Why do I need to use a product that is an imitation of the real thing (our natural skin oil)?

That's a great question, and I'll explain exactly why and when do you need a beard oil in the next section.

When Do You Need to Start Using a Beard Oil?

Before talking about when's it's time to start using a beard oil, there a short primer about how our skin and hair is built.

Specifically we need to focus on the sebaceous glands.  These glands are found in the skin and they produce sebum oil which is responsible for lubricating the hair and skin.

Trivia detail: These glands can be found anywhere in our bodies except the palms and soles.

The problem with sebaceous glands is that they're small...very small and there's a limit to the amount of sebum they can produce.

As your beard grows the glands have an overwhelming demand for more sebum to ensure that the entire length of the new hair strand is coated. The sebaceous glands can only produce fixed quantity which means that part of the length of the beard hair will grow out dry and without any nourishment.

With the lack of sebum oil bad things will start to happen:

  • You'll really feel the famous beard itch.
  • Your skin will get dry and flaky
  • Your beard will get brittle and frizzy

This is where beard oils get into the picture, they need to fill the growing need for sebum oil.

If you're suffering from any of the symptoms above you should definitely start using beard oil.

Otherwise, I don't think there's a specific point in time to start using a beard oil, but if I would need to pick one it would be when you have a short stubble, that way you'll start nourishing you skin and beard soon enough.

Beard Oil Ingredients

Beard oil is pretty simple, it contains a blend of two types of oils:

  • ~95% Carrier oils
  • ~5% Essential oils

Depending on their price and quality, different beard oils contain different amounts and types of oils. Some essential oils can cost up to 900$ per ounce.

I don't want it to be an article about aromatherapy, but I still think it'll be beneficial to explain about beard oil ingredients in short. 

Carrier Oils

Around 95% of the composition of any beard oil is made of carrier oils. 

Carrier oils usually have a mild and nutty aroma, each carrier oil has different therapeutic properties.

On top of that, carrier oils have an important role, they act as a perfect medium for dilution (essential oils are very volatile), and when mixed with essential oils they carry them into the skin.

Some of the most widely used carrier oils are:

  • Jojoba Oil: Very similar to our skin's natural oil - sebum. Great for moisturizing and reducing beardruff.
  • Argan Oil: Loaded with vitamin E. Great for moisturizing, conditioning and repairing damaged skin. 
  • Almond Oil: Lightweight oil, rich in mono-saturated fats, vitamin E, proteins and zinc. Great for hair growth and protecting the skin from UV.

Essential Oils

On top of their amazing therapeutic properties, they are responsible for the aroma of the beard oil. They're the ones that add fragrance to it.

If used undiluted and large amount they can irritate the skin. This is the reason why they're only 5% of the mix.

Popular essential oils are: Lavender, Rose, Tea Tree, Cedarwood and many more...

Beard Oil Benefits

If you're still not convinced why you need one, it's about time to talk about the benefits beard oil.

1. Beard Itch Will Become History

Beard itch is one of those things that every bearded man has suffered from. That’s one of the reasons why a lot of men break and shave.

As explained above, as your beard grows the sebaceous glands which produce sebum can't produce the amount needed. This means that parts of your hair will not be moisturized and nourished.

This is when the beard itch starts.

Beard oil will nourish the beard strands and the skin under it ensuring that dryness is prevented and the dreaded itch is contained.

If you're trying to push through the beard-itch phase, beard oil is your best bet. There are other things you can do to stop beard itch.

2. Fight Beardruff

Beard dandruff or beardruff is simply dandruff on your beard. If you're seeing flakes on your beard that's probably it.

Most men will just start to wash their beards with anti-dandruff shampoo.

DON'T! (It's full of chemicals and won't help)

Usually, the reason for beardruff is again the lack of sebum oil which causes the skin to become dry and flaky.

Beard oil will hydrate your skin and provide it with the moisture it needs. 

3. Your Beard Will Smell Amazing

Essential oils that almost any beard oil has provide an amazing aroma to it. It's almost like applying cologne.

The variety of scents is staggering - Citrus, Cedarwood, vanilla, Cinnamon, Lavender, Rose, and much more.

Most beard oils have a subtle aroma, but you'll be able to find ones with stronger scents. There are also unscented beard oils in case it collides with your cologne or you just don't like it.

4. Soft & Manageable Beard

There is a significant difference between the hair on your head and your facial hair.

Facial hair is what is called terminal or androgenic hair in scientific terms. Terminal hair grows on the face and other parts of the body to replace the softer vellus hair or childhood hair and is thick, coarse and dark.

Bottom line, it curls a lot easier.

This makes a beard hard to style. Beard oil is designed to soften and make the beard more manageable.

More hydration, fewer tangles, thus easier to style!

5. No More Split Ends

When the tips of your facial hair are not moisturized and nourished they dry out. As time goes by and the damaged hair grows split ends are inevitable.

Depends on the type of the split end, sometimes the damage can be repaired and sometimes the only way is trimming your beard (not the whole way of course).

If you keep your beard nourished split ends won't be a problem.

Alternatives to Buying Beard Oil

Beard oils can be expensive, at least the good ones are. If you read the above sections you probably know why, and I'm sure you've started to appreciate them.

That said, not everyone can afford them.

There are few alternatives that can save you some money.

Buy a Carrier Oil

As I explained above, carrier oils are around 95% of any beard oil. You can buy a big bottle of Jojoba oil very cheap (~20$ for 8 oz). Other oils are great too - Coconut oil for example.

Is this ideal? No. But it's a great option if you can't afford a beard oil.

DIY - Make Your Own Beard Oil

You can take it one step further and Make your own beard oil.  

It's very easy and will save you a lot of money. (It will be very satisfying as well, I can promise you). 

Here's a simple recipe for a basic beard oil that will keep your beard and skin healthy.

  • ½ oz Jojoba Oil
  • ½ oz Argan Oil
  • 4-5 drops of Tea Tree Oil (feel free to use a different essential oil)

Mix them together and you're done. Yup it's that easy!

Beard Balms to the Rescue

This option will not save you money directly.

Beard balms and beard oil are not the same, but still, a beard balm is a great product that will keep your skin and beard conditioned and nourished.

Beard balms are great for styling as well, so by buying a beard balm, you kill two birds with one stone. You won't need to buy a styling product and a beard oil.

Applying Beard Oil Correctly

I's time to learn how to enjoy the amazing benefits of beard oil...

After all, the only way to enjoy them is by applying beard oil, and there is a correct way to apply it.

Always do a patch test. Try out a few drops behind the ear for example to ensure that you're not allergic to any of the ingredients in the oil, especially the essential oils.

When to Apply?

I don't believe there's one correct answer for this question. It all depends on you, I'll give you some tips, but you need to try them out and see what works best for you and gives the best results.

  • Right after a good hot shower. Your beard is clean and washed and your pores are open and ready to absorb the good stuff. Make sure your beard is not wet.
  • Before you go to bed. It gives the oils enough time to penetrate into your skin without being exposed to environmental factors or pollutants.

In my experience, as long as you're on point with your beard oil, the timing doesn’t matter much.

How Much to Apply?

When it comes to beard oil a little goes a long way.

Don't be tempted to apply too much, you'll end up with greasy beard.

All you need are just few drops.

If you have a stubble, then 1-2 drops will suffice. If your beard is longer than 1-2 inches, then you need at least 2-3 drops.

For people who have a medium sized beard, 4-6 drops of beard oil works best. And if you have officially entered Dumbledore turf, then you need at least 7+ drops to ensure that all the strands are coated evenly and the follicles at the root are penetrated.

Weather is also a factor when talking about the amount of beard oil you need to apply.

If you live in a dry area, then you may have to apply twice a day at least. Winter will also require special care.

Thumb rule: If your hands are very oily and greasy after applying then it's too much.

How to Apply?

You goal is ensuring that all your beard strands are covered with oil.

  • Take a few drops of the oil in your palm
  • Rub between your palms
  • Apply on the roots of the beard on your skin and then work your way to the end of the strands

Once you've covered all the strands, massage your beard gently in a downwards motion from the cheek to the chin.

Tip: rub you face with the leftovers (it will moisturize your skin)

Lastly, grab a beard comb or a beard brush and gently comb the beard. This will allow the oil to cover any inner strands of hair that were left untouched.


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