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Beard Balm vs Beard Oil: Which Should You Get?

Deciding between beard balm vs beard oil can get you into a circular argument. Both have very similar benefits – the differences are subtle.

What Is Beard Oil?

Beard oil is a mixture of essential oils and skin-safe oils that you can use to soften your beard and moisturize the skin beneath your beard.

Unlike beard balm, you can use beard oil for any hair length, from stubble to Santa Claus. It has just as many benefits for your skin as it does for your hair. 

Does Oil Help Grow A Beard?

Oil makes growing a beard easier because it softens the hair and keeps your skin moisturized.

One of the biggest complaints that guys have about beards are that they make your jaw feel dry, and that dryness encourages beard dandruff. If you thought dandruff looked bad on your hairline, just wait until it starts to develop on your face.

A great beard oil can help you dodge those issues. And if you’re worried about clogging your pores, choose one of the best beard oils for acne-prone skin.

How Long Does 1oz Of Beard Oil Last?

I know what you’re thinking – beard oil bottles are so small. They don’t last that long, do they?

The good news is that you only need 1-2 drops of oil to cover your whole beard. Just a thin coat of oil goes a very long way. So your small 1-3 oz container should last for at least 2 months, if not longer. 

If you overdo it on the beard oil, you’ll look greasy instead of nourished and hydrated. So use your beard oil sparingly, and it’ll last. 

Who Should Use Beard Oil?

Any guy who sports some facial hair should consider using beard oil. It’s made for all lengths and hair types, and it benefits both your skin and hair.

Benefits of Beard Oil:

• Beard oil helps you avoid dryness and beard dandruff.

• It softens your beard hair (10/10 kissable, am I right?)

• Lots of beard oils are lightly scented to double as cologne. (Try the best-smelling beard oils.)

• Beard oil makes your hair less prone to breakage.

• Beard oil smooths frizziness.

• When you use beard oil frequently, you won’t get beard itch.

Basically, if you want well-groomed, nice-smelling facial hair, you should invest in a great beard oil.

What Is Beard Balm?

Beard balm is a concoction of oils, butters and waxes that nourishes your beard. It’s thicker than beard oil, and it has some light hold to it. If you’ve used wax or putty on your hair before, you probably have a decent idea of what beard balm feels like. 

Lots of guys with combination beards and mustaches like to use it to shape and style their facial hair.

Beard balm is designed strictly for your beard, not your skin. If you use beard balm on your skin, you’ll run the risk of giving yourself clogged pores and acne.

Is Beard Balm The Same As Beard Wax?

Beard balm is healthier than wax for your beard, but it doesn’t have as strong of a hold as wax. That’s the big difference that most men experience.

I recommend beard balm if you need some light hair styling that tames fly-aways and helps your beard look smooth. If you want heavier styling, like a curly mustache or textured pattern in your beard, you’ll want the high-hold that a beard wax can offer.

How Often Should You Use Beard Balm?

As long as you use an all-natural beard balm, you can apply it as often as you like. Some guys use it morning and night to keep their beards soft.

Beard balms break the rules of normal hair products – I’d usually recommend not using hair styling products more than 5 times a week, but beard balms are an exception. As long as you keep it on your beard and avoid letting it touch your skin, it’ll make your beard smell and feel good every time you use it. 

You can use a beard shampoo or beard exfoliators and scrubs to rinse out beard balms.

Who Should Use Beard Balm?

Unlike beard oil, beard balm isn’t for everyone. It works better for thicker beards with some real length.

It’s not designed for use on your skin. Many contain shea butter, which can clog pores and cause acne when you leave it on your skin perpetually. 

So only use beard balm if you have at least 3+ inches of beard growth. It’ll eliminate your risk of getting it on your skin, and it’ll help you style your beard. 

Benefits of Beard Balm:

• It softens and nourishes your beard, making it look thicker and healthier.

• Beard balm is good for styling a full beard and mustache.

• Beard balm helps with beard dandruff and itchiness.

• Beard balm catches fly-away hairs.

Beard Balm vs Beard Oil: Which Should You Get?

The easy answer: if you have a short beard, you should stick with beard oil. If you have a long beard, you should use a combination of beard oil and beard balm.

Oil is great for all beard lengths. And once you have longer hair, you can layer a beard balm on top of the oil for more hold and stray hair control. A beard balm will seal in the moisture that a beard oil provides.

Beard oil makes your facial hair look healthy, while beard balm has the styling power to help you personalize your look. Together, they’re an unbeatable team.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.