The Ultimate Guide To Beard Oil
Introduction: What Is Beard Oil?
Whether you've been sporting a beard for a while, or are just thinking about growing one, you've probably heard of beard oil. After all, beards and beard oil seem to go hand-in-hand. So, if you’re wondering how beard oil works, whether beard oil will help you grow a beard, and the benefits of beard oil, this guide will enlighten you.
Everyone loves a well-groomed beard, so we’ve put together the ultimate guide that answers these questions - and more, about beard oil. Here we cover what beard oil is made of, how to use it, and where it came from. Some of the information contained in this beard oil guide may surprise you!
Read on to discover why beard oil is the product on every beardsman’s finger tips.
First, let’s cover the basics: the ingredients.
Beard oil is generally a blend of ingredients (oils, naturally), which have been specifically chosen based on their hair-health properties and moisturisation benefits. While there are millions of natural and synthetic oils out there, not any old oil is suitable for use in beard oil. Oils which are too heavy, too light, or too smelly won’t find their way into any of the modern incarnations of beard oil.
Instead, beard oil is often made with Jojoba oil (known for its great softening properties), and coconut oil, which has a huge range of benefits to skin and hair that goes beyond that popular beachy smell.
Also commonly found in beard oils are various essential oils such as Lemon Myrtle and Nerolina. These oils bring their own benefits to the table, whether that’s adding a natural scent or an aromatherapy bonus. Of course, for those that prefer to bathe in their own natural aroma, there are plenty of unscented beard oils out there to choose from.
Secondly, let’s look at beard oil in practice: what is it?
Essentially, beard oil is a combination of natural oils used to condition and style facial hair, in addition to moisturising the skin underneath it. Due to the unique nature of this type of hair, there’s no other solution when it comes to taming and managing it quite like the oils found in beard oil products.
Used for thousands of years by men with beards, beard oil is one of the most important grooming products any person with a beard can have.
A brief history of beard oil
While it may seem like beards and beard oil have only popped into popularity recently, in fact, beards have been a large part of male culture since time began. And where there are beards, there is beard oil.
Antiquities show us, that dating right back to Mesopotamian times, these cultures took enormous pride in their facial hair. Thick, long, luxe beards were de rigueur back in the day of the Babylonians.
But not only were beards commonplace, they were expertly styled. Curls, waves and plaits - these elaborate beard styles were all created with the help of heated irons, the use of which would have played havoc on the condition and health of the men’s beards if it weren’t for the use of the world’s first beard oil concoctions.
The solution? Thick lashings of sesame oil. It is believed that sesame seed oil was the main ingredient used in the world’s first beard oils, with benefits ranging from moisturisation to killing lice.
Beards were out and proud amongst the Greeks too. As a tribute to Apollo, The Sun God, boys were not allowed to cut the hair on their head until their beard had grown. This naturally called for some serious attention to beard care, in order to help enable the beard grow as fast as possible.
Again, beard oil was considered the ticket to manhood, but this time it was Caster oil which stepped in to nourish and promote the growth of the boys’ fledgling facial hair. Known for its high concentration of fatty acids, Caster oil is useful for hair health and development, and it can actually be found in many beard oil products to this day.
Crossing now to the other side of the world, North America. Those with beards in cool climates would be all too familiar with “winter beard” - that is the dryness and brittleness of the beard hair that comes with months of cold weather and high winds. Imagine then, the effect rough climates had on the beards of Native American Indians who lived through extreme weather for their lifetime.
The solution? You guessed it - beard oil. Native American Indians combined Castor oil, grape seed oil and sweet almond oil for use in their beards.
Fast forward to the Victorian & Edwardian periods, and beards and moustaches were once again considered the height of culture. In this era, the unisex product, Macassar Oil was all the rage. A thick concoction of coconut oil, palm oil and ylang-ylang oil, Macassar oil was used by men and women alike to groom and condition all types of hair.
In the modern era, while the use of beard oil remains fundamentally the same, the formulations have evolved to reflect the increasing availability of ingredients around the world. Modern incarnations of beard oil prefer lightweight oils such as argan, jojoba, grape seed, and almond oil which offer all the benefits of traditional oils without the heaviness.
Today, beard oils blend function with style, and the best products will offer the highest nutritional and conditioning benefits in a sustainable and cost-effective way.
What does beard oil do?
By now you would have gathered that the use of beard oil is of prime importance in the health and condition beard hair, helping it to feel softer, grow faster, and look thicker. But that’s only one thing beard oil does - and the one that’s most commonly talked about.
In fact, there are two main uses of beard oil, and we explain both key roles below:
Use #1 - Beard oil is for conditioning and taming facial hair.
Unlike other hair, such as the hair on your head or body, beard hair is incredibly difficult to tame. Even washing and combing beard hair isn’t enough to convince it to sit in the style you would like it to. Why? Quite simply, beard hair is much more coarse and wiry than other types of hair, and it doesn’t respond to normal commands like other hair does.
Beard oil on the other hand, works to our favour by soaking into the coarse hair and helping to relax it. Using beard oil regularly results in facial hair which is much smoother, more soft to the touch, more flexible, and less prone to knots and tangles.
And when you have improved the hair’s condition like this, anything is possible. The softer, detangled beard hair goes from a wiry mess into whichever shape and style is desired.
Notably, while using beard oil each day may feel like an inconvenience, doing so pays off in the long term as well. It’s been found that regular use of beard oil will work to soften and condition the hair more permanently.
So consider the use of beard oil as one of the building blocks of a soft and supple beard. The conditioning benefits aren’t just limited to the day the oil is applied; they build up over time make the beard feel better and grow better in the long term.
Use #2 - Beard oil is responsible for nourishing and conditioning the skin underneath the beard ie, on your face.
While most people know that the most obvious role of beard oil is to condition the beard hair itself, one of the lesser things beard oil does relates to the following:
When used correctly, beard oil is used to moisturise, condition and heal the skin on your face. When growing a beard, one of the most common problems experienced is the skin underneath it can become dry and itchy. The dryness is caused by your beard using the oil from your skin to grow, in addition to you not being able to moisturise and wash your skin as you usually would.
Those with beards then, should be looking at beard oil as a solution to the itching and dryness that comes with the early stages of growing a beard. It’s the particular types of oil used in modern beard oils such as argan or jojoba which replenish the skin and deter things like beardruff (beard dandruff).
So if you use beard oil every day, dry and itchy skin becomes a thing of the past. You’ll be giving yourself the best shot to letting your beard grow to its fullest potential.
Does beard oil work?
Let’s put it this way: those thick, lustrous beards you see at the gym, or walking down the street, or in the movies - they don’t just happen by accident. While it would be great to wake up with a perfectly groomed beard and nice supple skin underneath, the truth is that all beards need beard oil to look their best. It’s simply impossible to achieve a healthy and comfortable beard without the help of a targeted grooming product such as this one.
But don’t just take our word for it. The proof of the efficacy of beard oil can be seen three ways:
Historically: The mere fact that beard oil has been in use for thousands of years is testimony to its necessity and usefulness. Everyone from ancient rulers through to modern era aristocrats have relied on beard oil to maintain the ultimate symbol of their masculinity, their beard.
Visually: Just take a look around you. With a keen eye, it’s easy to see which men use beard oil, and which ones don’t. Beards that don’t receive their daily application of beard oil are easy to spot. Common symptoms include wiriness, split ends, frayed and frizzy strands, and general unruliness. By contrast, those with the best-looking beards will always have a steady supply of beard oil in their bathroom cabinets.
Scientifically: Without getting into too much mumbo-jumbo, it’s a simple fact that the solution to dryness - no matter what it is, is to add back moisture. That’s H2O in the case of our bodies, or oil in the case of our hair. Therefore, when used correctly, regular use of beard oil will counteract dryness and brittleness of beard hair. Plus, it’ll improve the condition of the skin underneath.
How to use beard oil
Beard oil is simple to use. Essentially, beard oil is applied to your fingertips before being massaged into the facial hair, and down onto the skin underneath. The number one rule is that a little goes a long way.
Read on for step-by-step instructions for how to use beard oil:
Step 1 - Put a few drops of oil into the palm of your hand and rub your hands together so they are lightly covered.
Step 2 - Comb your fingers through your beard from root to tip then use your palms to smooth the hair down. Try and cover your whole beard.
Step 3 - Make sure you rub the beard oil right into the skin underneath – this is important for the skin’s health and condition, plus it will prevent beard itch.
Step 4 - Use a comb to make sure the oil is distributed evenly and to smooth down any unruly hairs.
How to apply beard oil - other tips to know
1 - Don’t apply the beard oil directly to the beard hair. Simply drop the required amount of beard oil drops into the palm of your hand, then rub the oil between the hands to spread evenly before applying to the beard.
2 - Remember, that one of the most important uses of beard oil is to moisturise the skin underneath, not to heavily coat the beard hair. So take the time to work the beard oil down into the skin, and don’t overload your facial hair with beard oil product.
3 - Don’t forget to apply beard oil to the moustache area if you’ve got one.
4 - If you’ve poured out too much by accident? Don’t try to get it back in the bottle as it could cause the beard oil to get contaminated. Just apply the remnants onto other dry areas such as your elbows, neck or hair.
How much beard oil to use?
While a few drops is the most common usage of beard oil, how much you need to use depends on the length of the beard as well as how thick it is. The existing condition of the beard hair, and the dryness of the skin underneath will also impact how much beard oil should be applied. As stated earlier, a little goes a long way, so take care not to overdo it.
On average, about 6 drops a day is sufficient for most beards, however you can refer to the following table for more information:
- 0 - 4 weeks: 3-4 drops per day
- 1 - 3 months: 4-6 drops per day
- 3 - 12 months: 6-10 drops per day
- 1 year onwards: 10+ drops per day
How much beard oil you use depends on season, climate, your natural skin type and those factors listed above. It’s always recommended to start with an everyday application and adjust as you deem necessary.
When is the best time to apply beard oil?
We know that oil and water do not mix, so water will stop the beard oil from penetrating the pores and follicles. It’s also true that your skin and beard hair will absorb the beard oil better when they’re clean.
Therefore, the best time to apply beard oil is when it’s applied to warm, slightly damp skin. Wet skin and wet beard hair are not suitable for beard oil to work, so dry off before application. In summary, applying beard oil after a hot shower is ideal.
Is there a best time of day to use beard oil?
There’s nothing better than getting home after a long day and washing the remains of the day away. But if you’re tempted just to hit the pillow without a shower, do it with caution. Unfortunately, not washing your face and beard before bed will sow the seeds for a build-up of dead skin cells, oily skin, breakouts and ingrown hairs.
For best results, it’s always advised to take a shower before bed, then apply beard oil after your shower and you’ve dried off. If you shower in the morning as well, then it’s ideal to apply beard oil afterward. The beard oil will prep the skin and add back moisture so you’ll feel comfortable all day.
In summary: the best time to apply beard oil is when the skin is clean and dry - ideally after a shower. Apply beard oil to the beard hair itself as well as the skin underneath.
Whether you apply beard oil in the morning or the night is a matter of personal preference, but for the best feeling skin and the best-looking beard, then applying beard oil whenever you’ve washed is the answer.
Key benefits of beard oil
There are several key benefits of beard oil, and some are less understood than others. Here we break down each of the key benefits in detail.
Beard oil helps you grow a better beard:
By infusing your skin and hair with quality nutrition, beard oil helps keep it soft, supple, clean and healthy. It also prevents common complaints such as itching, flakiness, brittleness and beardruff. It’s the fact that beard oil smoothes the way for a comfortable beard-growing process that is half the battle of growing a beard in the first place! Without beard oil, many men endure a process of tingling, itchiness and other irritations which cause them to shave their beard off early.
Beard oil feels more comfortable:
As explained earlier, beard oil soothes and conditions not only the facial hair, but the skin underneath. When beard hair grows, it sucks moisture out of the skin leaving the face feeling dry, flakey and uncomfortable. Beard oil therefore, is very important in adding back the moisture that the beard hair has taken out.
Beard oil helps style the beard:
Beard hair that is in bad condition, such as frizzy, wiry, coarse, brittle and frayed is impossible to style - no matter how hard you try. The solution is to improve the condition of the hair over time, so it becomes more manageable and easy to direct. As proven over thousands of years, beard oil is the number one way to coat and condition coarse facial hair so you can tame it.
Beard oil helps promote beard growth:
By infusing the facial hair with vitamins and nutrients, beard oil can help promote hair growth leading to a thicker, fuller and longer beard appearance. Beard oil can also help cover any gaps or patches by allowing the softer hair to be easily styled as needed.
Conclusion: Summary of Beard Oil
By now you would have a thorough understanding of everything you need to know about the beardsman’s best friend, beard oil. Quite simply, where there’s a beard, there is the necessity for beard oil. Beard oil is so important to the process of growing and maintaining a beard, this whole guide is devoted to it.
Let’s recap some of the key information we’ve covered in this article.
Used for thousands of years, from the ancient Mesopotamians through to modern day urban beardsmen, beard oil is the first and most important step in beard-care. With benefits ranging from improving the comfort and style of beards, through to boosting hair health and hygiene, beard oil does it all.
Using beard oil is a daily practice that is best combined with your regular grooming routine, just after having a shower. Simply applying a few drops to your hands, then massaging through towel-dried hair, is all it takes to nourish and moisturise beard hair for the whole day.
Over time, regular use of beard oil will boost the flexibility and softness of beard hair so that it is naturally more manageable and less wiry. Beard oil is also of key importance when it comes to moisturising the skin underneath the beard, so that it too feels more soft and comfortable.
Lastly, if you’re just starting to grow a beard, then beard oil should be used from the very first day. Because it’s so useful at reducing the itching and dryness that comes with the early stages of beard growth, using beard oil can reduce the feelings that might make you want to shave. And we’re sure you’ll agree that nothing could be more worthwhile than that.