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Beard Balm vs Beard Pomade: Which Should You Get?

When it comes to the beard balm vs beard pomade argument, they both have very similar benefits and work in very similar ways. But there are some slight differences and I’m going to break them down for you.  

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What Is Beard Balm?

Beard balm is a product you use to condition your beard. They are leave-in conditioners that a lot of fellas use when grooming and styling their beards. Beard balms are great for softening, moisturizing, and hydrating your beard because of the ingredients they contain.

But beard balms are also used to hold your beard in place once you’ve styled it.

They usually have a really good beeswax or other type of wax ingredient that does the job of taming fly away and stray hairs.

Common Beard Balm Ingredients

My favorite aspect of styling and grooming products are always the ingredients. And these are common in beard balms.

1. Carrier Oils

These are oils that are outstanding moisturizers. They hydrate the hell out of your beard and travel deep into your pores to provide the roots of your hair with the hydration it needs to stay healthy.

2. Essential Oils

I love essential oils because they are not only some of the best oils for moisturizing and hydrating, but they smell good too. There are a lot of beard balms that use essential oils to booth their scent and make it more masculine.

3. Butters

Most beard balms have butters in their ingredients, too. Shea, Cocoa, and Mango are all common butters used in beard balms to give you even more hydration and moisture.

Remember, a hydrated and moisturized beard is a healthy beard.

3. Wax

Beeswax is another common ingredient added to beard balms. It’s used for its ability to give your beard an amazing and strong hold.

Who Should Use Beard Balm?

If you already have a good grooming and beard styling regimen, beard balm is a great addition­––especially if you already use beard oil.

You should also use beard balm if you’re trying to grow your beard out and want to keep it neat and framing your face perfectly.

And if you’re one of the fellas whose beard isn’t that hard to tame and keep under control, when it comes to beard balm vs beard pomade, beard balm is a great option for you.

It’s not as thick as beard wax and it won’t weigh your beard down or feel super heavy on your face.

Beard balms are great for the look aspect when you’re grooming and styling your beard. But I also love beard balm for guys whose beards are dry and itchy. 

The ingredients in beard balm are great for soothing itchiness and hydrating dry beards.

How To Apply Beard Balm

Applying beard balm is super simple. Just follow the below steps and you’ll have an amazing, soft, and healthy beard.

Step 1. Wash Your Face

Make sure your face is clean and there is no dirt, oil, or grime built up on your beard.

Step 2. Finger It

A finger’s length is a good amount of beard balm to use. I like to use my index finger to scrape some out then rub it in the palm of my hand.

Step 3. Rub It In

Rub your hands together and then spread the beard balm throughout your beard. Make sure you’re getting it in your beard evenly and use your fingers to massage the balm into your beard, so it gets nice and deep.

Step 4. Brush

This step is optional, but one I definitely recommend. Brushing your beard will help the balm spread out evenly in your beard and hold your styling.

Can I Use Pomade as Beard Balm?

I wouldn’t recommend using a hair pomade as beard balm. Facial hair and the skin underneath are completely different from the hair on our heads and our scalp. And that means they require different kinds of products.

Some guys may think it’s easy to just slab some hair pomade onto their beards when in a rush or if they’ve run out of beard pomade, but it’s not a really good idea.

Plus, beard pomades are available. And I’d much prefer you use an actual beard pomade instead of a pomade that’s intended for the hair on your head.

The reason being, there are different types of ingredients in beard pomade and hair pomade. And those ingredients can irritate the skin underneath your beard and even dry it out if you use it as a beard balm.

I definitely recommend you use each product for what they’re intended for.  

What Is Beard Pomade?

Beard pomades are grooming products that you use to keep your beard moisturized and nourished. They are much thinner than beard balms and are oilier and are a lot creamier than beard balms, too.

Beard pomades are a lot easier to spread throughout your beard and they’re usually either water or oil based.

A good beard pomade relaxes your beard so it’s much easier to style and to get it to lay properly.

Common Beard Pomade Ingredients

My favorite aspect of styling and grooming products are always the ingredients. And these are common in beard pomades.

1. Petroleum

Beard pomades are usually oil based. That means they are made with petroleum which gives it the thinner, oilier constancy when you compare it to a beard balm.

2. Essential Oils

A lot of beard pomades (the good ones) also use essential oils. This is great because they not only hydrate and moisturize your beard, but they also smell good as hell.

3. Wax

A light wax is commonly used in beard pomades. Think of a looser version of beeswax. The wax used in pomades are not as heavy as the ones used in beard balms, but they are strong enough to give your beard a slight hold.

4. Carrier Oil

These oils are used in pomades to dilute the strength of essential oils, so they aren’t too harsh on your face. Carrier oils smell good and are the kinds of oils you’d find in aromatherapy. 

Carrier oils are made from plants and vegetables, and work great when you mix them with essential oils because they cut the strength of essential oils so they aren’t too harsh for your skin.

Who Should Use Beard Pomade?

The fellas who don’t need a strong hold should use beard pomades. If you don’t have a super-unruly beard, pomades are great for you because they won’t be too heavy on your face.

Guys with dry facial hair and sensitive skin should also use beard pomades. They’re great moisturizers and cause less irritation than beard oils and conditioners.

They’re less likely to clog your pores like an oil or conditioner will so if you’re prone to acne or breakouts, a good pomade is definitely the way to go.  

How To Apply Beard Pomade

Follow these steps to apply beard pomade.

Step 1. Keep It Clean

Wash your beard. Make sure you’re using warm to hot water, so it softens your beard and opens your pores. This will prime your beard and get it ready to absorb the pomade when you apply it.

Step 2. Finger It Out

Get a fingertip sized amount of pomade out of the can and slick it into your palm.

Step 3. Rub It In

Rub your hands together and then run them through your beard. Make sure you use your fingers to massage the pomade into your beard, so it absorbs.

Beard Balm vs Beard Pomade: Which Should You Get?

The answer to beard balm vs beard pomade and which one you should get is simple. If you have a beard that isn’t super unruly and difficult to keep tamed and neat, and if your beard doesn’t require a ton of attention, I would go with the beard pomade.

But if you’re one of the fellas like me who have thick, curly, and sometimes a pain in the ass type beard, you should opt for a beard balm.

A good beard balm will soften your beard so it’s not as coarse and stubborn and hard to lay down, and it will keep it tamed and looking neat while also healthy and hydrated.

Andrew Phillip Kennedy is a men's style & grooming specialist who has spent years testing his knowledge in the real world on himself to land jobs, get girls, and improve his life overall. Andrew's advice is regarded as the some of the most well-researched and well-grounded in the game. For the perfect combination of men's grooming theory and real world results, you'll want to follow Andrew.