Beard Oil vs Beard Balm

Beard oil vs beard balm.  What are the differences and which one is right for you?  No doubt if you are serious about your beard or have recently grown one these questions have come up. Or maybe your beard is dry, itchy, flaky or scraggly and you are wondering which solution, if any, is for you. Or worse yet, maybe you have been told by others (your woman, your children, your significant other, etc.) that your beard is scratchy! If any or all of the above apply to you, then most likely you could benefit from a little beard oil or beard balm in your life, but which one should you select?  We’ll talk about the benefits of each in a moment but first let’s chat briefly about proper beard maintenance.  Why? Because just like the hair on your head, your beard requires maintenance as well.  There are three steps to proper beard maintenance:

1)  Trimming/Outlining/Detailing
2)  Hygiene
3)  Grooming


beard maintenance









The first step in beard maintenance is a trim.  A perfectly trimmed beard involves shaping your beard and cutting or trimming to your desired length.  There are many tools to get the job done.  You can use a beard trimmer, clippers, beard shears or visit your local barber.

Outlining & Detailing

Once you have obtained your desired length the next step is all about the detail.  Outlining and detailing help to define your look with clean, symmetrical neck and cheek lines.  Most men agree that a double edged safety razor is the perfect tool for this.  Keep in mind, however, that not all beards are created equal and beard length and shape are a matter of personal preference however there are a couple of general things to keep mind should you decide to do your own detailing.

  1. For a proper neck line, you do NOT want to shave where your jawline is. Proper placement is about 1 inch above your Adam’s apple. You can find this placement easily just by using the width of two fingers or an even easier method is to tilt your head downward and hold your finger in the crease where your jaw meets the top of your neck.

Note:  For some beard styles, a faded neckline, or a shorter one may work best.  Also, if your beard is on the short side, you can take your neckline higher and if your beard is on the long side you’re better off allowing the hair to grow lower down your neck.

  1. Proper cheek line: There are really no hard and fast rules regarding cheek line. It’s really a matter of personal preference. Do you want it high or low?   Natural or shaped?  Depending on how you want it, the cheek line really is up to you.  As a general guide, however the line for the cheek line starts at the middle of the ear and extends downward diagonally to the corner of the mouth.


Washing and Conditioning

 Regular washing of the beard is recommended to keep it clean, smelling good and to help keep it free from beardruff. Regular hair shampoo and conditioner is not recommended for use on beard hair as it strips the hair and could result in itching, flaking, split ends, breakage and beardruff.  Instead use an organic shampoo that contains no sulfates or a beard soap or a specially formulated beard shampoo.  A conditioner is optional.

beard hygiene


Grooming Your Beard with Beard Oil or Beard Balm (or both!)

When it comes to beard styling you will need a beard comb or brush and beard oil or beard balm depending on how you to want to style your beard.

Beard oil is a mixture of moisturizing and conditioning plant carrier oils with or without essential oils designed for beard hair.  Some are formulated for dry hair, itchy skin, conditioning or growth.

Beard balm is similar in that it consists of plant carrier oils and essential oils but it also contains beeswax or some type of plant based wax like candelilla wax which gives the balm light molding and styling properties.

So how do you figure out which one to use?  If you are interested in only moisturizing and conditioning a beard oil is your best bet.  If you want moisturizing, conditioning and light sculpting then you’ll want to use a beard balm.  The benefits of each are summarized below.

Beard Oil Benefits:

  • Helps control beardruff (dandruff of the beard)
  • Helps control itching
  • Nourishes beard and the skin underneath
  • Moisturizes and softens
  • Helps with growth by eliminating breakage

Beard Balm Benefits:

  • Helps control beardruff (dandruff of the beard)
  • Helps control itching
  • Moisturizes and softens
  • Helps with growth by eliminating breakage
  • Nourishes beard and the skin underneath
  • Makes beards look thicker
  • Allows for styling and shaping

How to apply Beard Oil  beard oil

The best time to apply beard oil is after you wash and/or condition your beard.  Start off by using a very small amount, about the size of a dime, and massage in well making sure to reach and massage into the skin underneath your beard.  Finish off by using a beard comb or boar’s hair beard brush to ensure even distribution.


beardbalmHow to apply Beard Balm


Just like beard oil, the best time to apply beard balm is when your beard is clean and dry.   Start off by rubbing a dime sized amount between your palms and then rub and massage in starting at the neck and working your way up making sure to massage into skin underneath as well.  Reverse motion, and then rub in a downwards motion.  Next use a beard comb or boar’s hair beard brush to ensure even distribution.  Finish off by styling as desired.


The Bottom Line

Both beard oil and beard balm are great options for moisturizing and conditioning your beard.  If you only want moisturizing and conditioning, a beard oil is your best bet. If on the other hand, you want styling, then a beard balm is the way to go.  Some men start off with a little beard oil and then finish off with a beard balm for styling.  Whichever route you decide to go care, maintenance and moisturization will make your beard happy.   

If you are looking to go 100% natural, try Beauty By Francesca Premium Beard Oil.  Featuring four different scents, our premium beard oil is made with argan oil, jojoba oil, hemp oil, pumpkinseed oil, organic essential oils and more.  Our formula is designed to moisturize, soften, get rid of beardruff and effectively treat the skin underneath your beard.



Leave a Reply