Beards are no longer a trend or a fad. We can safely assume that beards have become a thing; they are here to stay. During the last decade of the previous century a clean-shaved face was the default, which was then eclipsed by stubble (should we go ahead and give the late George Michael the credit for this look?) The 21st century eliminated the default and left us with a choice: shaved or bearded.
Men are no longer suspected of hipsterism if they grow a beard. They can simply decide to grow one; nobody really puts a label on beard owners anymore. A study by Braun from 2015 found that 67% of New York City’s men have some sort of facial hair along the mustache-to-beard spectrum. Coincidently, the same study declared that 67 days is the time required to grow the perfect beard.
Fast forward to right now, and to how you care for your beard. If you’re just letting it grow without any intervention then buddy, dude, mister - you really ought to. If we cautiously assume that you care for hair, using shampoo and maybe even conditioner, why not give the same kind treatment to your beard? Hair is hair: whether it’s on your head or cheeks, it needs tender, loving care.
The very first thing you should do to care for your beard? Use beard oil. And if you’re not sure why and how, you are definitely at the right place. Here is everything you need to know about beard oil. We’ll start with the basics and take it from there.
Beard oil is cosmetic oil made specifically for… beards. It is usually a blend of two or more different oils.
Beard oil intends to imitate the natural oils produced by facial skin. So when you apply beard oil it is not only the beard that benefits from it; the skin underneath, which has been deprived of sun, air, and general sense of freedom, will be humbled by and thankful for the gesture.
Beard oil provides much-needed nutrients to the skin, nutrients that rejuvenate the beard and greatly improve its appearance. And don’t forget: if your beard looks good, you look good.
The beard oil benefits both phases of beard care: that initial period, while you grow your beard, of going from clean-shaved to sporting facial hair, and the subsequent stage of full-grown beard maintenance.
Every man who grows a beard will experience itchiness during the phase when hair follicles push their way out of the facial skin. The itch starts about four weeks in, and it’s only natural.
Applying beard oil during this phase will ease the itch. Hair follicles grow out of the sebaceous glands, whose ‘job’ is to produce sebum, the oil that coats the hair. As the hairs get longer, the glands are struggling to keep up the sebum production, and the friction creates the itch. Beard oil provides a replacement for the natural sebum oil, nourishing and moisturizing the facial skin and hair.
Once you’ve passed the growing hurdle, you are entering the long stretch of having a beard; congrats! Beard oil is the quintessential product for beard maintenance.
We don’t want to be the bearers of horrifying news, but there is a thing called beardruff. Yes, a younger cousin to the dreaded dandruff. Flakey and dry facial skin hidden under your hair growth will lead to beardruff snowing down from your beard. It’s an unfortunate sight, and it’s itchy. This is where beard oil comes to the rescue of your facial skin, and the front of your shirt for that matter.
On top of that, beard oil is crucial for a good-looking, feel-good beard. It softens your beard, helps it untangle, and generally make it more manageable. Regular use of beard oil also reduces split ends. Ask anyone with long hair: split-ends are a pain. They not only make the hair look frizzy, but also require constant trimming to keep the hair healthy and looking good all the way through.
Lastly, beard oil improves the appearance of your beard, giving it a nice shine and a healthy, full look.
Don’t expect any big surprises here. Applying oil to your beard is pretty intuitive.
First pour a few drops of your beard oil of choice into your palm. Put the bottle down. Rub both palms together, evenly spreading the oil. Next, apply the oil to your beard: gently massage it into your skin, then smoothly oil your beard, from the base of the hairs all the way to their ends. It is important to evenly apply the oil, not neglecting the mustache and under your chin.
After you did a thorough job applying the oil, you’d want to use a beard comb, preferably a wooden one, and give your beard a once-through.
The best time to apply beard oil is after a hot shower, when the pores are relatively open and susceptible to the oil.
As for the amount of oil to use, it all depends on the volume and length of your beard. For the first month or two of your beard life, use about 3-4 drops per day. As your beard matures, it will need more oil, so increase the amount up to 10 drops a day for a beard that’s passed its first anniversary.
It is advisable to look at the instructions of the oil you use, as each has a different concentration, and the its company will have its own dosage recommendations.
It’s a matter of personal choice. If you’re the kill-two-beards-with-one-stone kind of a guy, then a scented beard oil might be the right path for you. But, there are other things to consider.
Most beard products - beard shampoo, beard softener, beard wax, and beard balm - come scented. Assuming that you are using more than one product for your beard grooming, you are stepping into a multi-scent territory. While we are all up for a nice-smelling beard, the overlap of scents can create a sensory overload, for yourself and for others.
There are choices to be made. Since other beard grooming products that you need to use if you want to keep your beard looking and feeling good come scented, it does make sense to cut out the scent from your beard oil, the product that is used in the highest rotation.
Besides your beard-scent, if you’re using cologne, you’ll also want to consider how these two scents might collide. Smelling good is one thing, but oozing conflicting scents might achieve the opposite effect than the one you’re after.
As we said, it’s your call in the scented vs. unscented beard oil debate. But now you are able to make an educated decision.
If you’re a frequent visitor to the online beard universe you must have stumbled upon the phrase “beard growth oil”, or maybe even “beard growth pill”. These magical products promise a fuller growth for those with patchy beards, and faster growth for all types of beards.
So, is there any truth behind these promises?
The short answer is no. But let’s try to better understand why.
It does, and it doesn’t. It works like beard oil - moisturizing the beard, reducing dandruff and flakes and relieving the itch that comes during the first weeks of growing a beard.
Where beard growth oil falls short is in the growth department.
For those who have patchy beards, the promise of hair growth on skin areas that don’t have hair follicles is absurd; “The hair follicle regulates hair growth via a complex interaction between hormones, neuropeptides and immune cells” explains Ulrike Blume-Peytavi in his book Hair Growth and Disorders. Taking into account that these beard growth products are advertising to actually create new follicles (and the sebaceous glands that produce sebum necessary for hair growth) should make any patchy-bearded individual doubt the truth behind such claims. If that was indeed the case, how come we see so many bald dudes walking around?
The other promise behind beard growth oils and pills is to facilitate faster hair growth. This claim might hold some truth. Beard oils that contain unrefined Jojoba oil and pure Argan oil do a fine job in moisturizing your facial skin. When the skin is well-moisturized dead skin cell and other impediments are removed, which allows for a healthier hair growth. Your beard hair will look thicker and longer due to less breakage.
So there you have it. When you take a good care of your beard, providing it the best conditions by moisturizing your facial skin, it will return a favor by growing healthy and looking the best it can.
No magic solutions folks. The number and density of your hair follicles, whether on your face, scalp or the rest of your body, is genetic; all you can do is devote the time and effort to make it look good, and smell good. Hair removal has come a long way in recent years, but the other side of the coin still legs far behind. If you are truly into having a fuller beard, hair transplant is your only viable option. After you go through the procedure, use a high-quality, 100% natural and organic beard oil to maintain it and have it looking fresh and lush.
Everything you need to know about the main types of oils used for beard-care.
Coconut oil has become the butter of vegans, and with very good reason. It is rich in saturated fats, and the good fats are still very good for you, especially when applied rather than ingested.
Coconut oil softens your beard and gives it a nice, healthy shine. It helps prevents breakage and split ends. It is also said that coconut oil stimulates hair growth, so if you don’t have the patience to wait those 67 days until your beard is just perfect, go for a beard oil that contains coconut oil.
Argan trees grow mostly in Morocco. In this country, argan oil is as popular as olive oil for culinary purposes; a lot of bread dipping going on there.
As for the hair - head hair and bear hair - Argan oil is like nature’s conditioner; silky soft hair is what you’ll get. Because of this, argan oil is also a great styling agent. It contains vitamin E and fatty acids, so your facial skin will also greatly benefit from it (argan is famously used to treat acne and dry, flakey skin.)
Eucalyptus oil is produced from the leaves of the tree, not its fruit (which is called Gumnut, by the way).
The eucalyptus oil is famous for follicle stimulation. Since follicles control hair growth, stimulating them (promoting blood vessel constriction) is a sure way to have your hair grow faster. If you do a Google search for how to grow your beard, you’ll see eucalyptus oil is a big star there.
Eucalyptus oil is also known to promote general hair health as far as strength, thickness, and appearance. However, since it is a highly concentrated oil, you should be careful to not overuse it. Always mix with it with another gentler oil, and wash it off with a beard shampoo about an hour after you apply it.
The jojoba seeds, from which the jojoba oil is produced, are surprisingly large, with a thick, brown shell. They actually look more like walnuts than seeds. Anyway.
Jojoba oil is a usual suspect when it comes to beard oils. It has a similar molecular structure to sebum oil (that is naturally produced by the hair follicles, remember?), so it is embraced warmly by beard hair.
It also has an extended shelf life, which is great when it comes to beard oil. With only a few drops a day, you won’t have to worry that the oil is going rancid by the time you run through the bottle.
As for its benefits, it said to hold antibacterial properties and is effective to fight beardruff; it is composed of 98% monounsaturated fats, so it strengthens the hair fibers, and it hydrates the hair. Jojoba oil is an ideal conditioner; it improves softness and elasticity, and gives beard hair a long-lasting shine.
If you know the benefits of eating nuts, you understand why using almond beard oil is a good thing for the bearded man.
Almond oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E and A, and magnesium. All these goodies go a long way in strengthening and nourishing your beard. Almond oil is also an excellent choice for treating damaged hair and even battling hair loss.
Another great benefit of almond oil is that you don’t need to worry if you happen to swallow a bit. In South Asia it is believed that almond oil help to improve memory and cognition, especially if ingested in the morning. So after you treat your beard, feel free to take a swig.