The best beard balm should not only nourish your beard hairs and stop beard itch, but also provide structure and hold so you will look your best throughout the entire day.
In this guide we look at some of the most popular beard balms on the market.
Whether you have a short, medium, long, dry, or dense beard, after reading this guide you will find the perfect beard balm to meet your needs.
Now if this is your first time buying beard balm, don’t worry – we help you with that too!
From the basics of beard balm to our simple 5 step process for application – you will have a great looking (and feeling) beard in no time.
Let’s get started:
Table of Contents
Comparing The Best Beard Balms
|Name||Best Beard Balm For…||Rating|
|Badass Beard Care Beard Balm for Men||General Use||5|
|Scotch Porter Beard Balm||Black Men||4.8|
|Beard Bolt XL Beard Balm||Beard Growth||4.5|
|Smooth Viking Beard Balm||Strong Hold||4.7|
|Beard Balm From Detroit||Short Beards||4.7|
|Woody's Beard Balm||Men On A Budget||4.5|
Before Buying A New Beard Balm – A Few Things You Should Think About
When it comes to picking the right beard balm for you, it’s important to understand all the key features and how they can differ from one balm to the next.
During our research we came across 5 key factors that men found important when buying a beard balm:
- Conditioning Properties / Ingredients
- Holding Strength
- Facial Hair Type
- Growth Vitamins
Therefore, we wanted to expand on each of the above just a bit in order for you to find a beard balm that will meet your needs:
Conditioning Properties / Ingredients
A quality beard balm relies on four key ingredients:
- Carrier Oils
- Essential Oils
Each of these play a critical role in delivering a balanced approach to proper beard conditioning and care.
Here’s a quick overview on each of the ingredient categories and what they do within your balm:
The most important ingredient within beard balm will be the carrier oil.
Carrier oils provide just enough hydration and nutrients for your skin and facial hair to not only reduce itchiness, but also make your beard soft.
Carrier oils come in several different varieties.
Some of the most popular varieties include jojoba, sweet almond, and argan. Nearly all carrier oils used in beard balms are all natural and are derived from plants, nuts, seeds, etc.
If it’s your first ever time using a beard balm, we recommend that you stick to a balm that has jojoba as one of its primary carrier oils.
Jojoba is the closest oil from nature that matches the natural sebum oil that our skin produces.
Therefore, very few people will have an allergic reaction.
In fact even if you have acne or oily skin, using product that contains jojoba oil usually won’t cause any flare ups as it tends to balance out your natural sebum oil.
Of course, when using any skin care product for the first time, make sure you perform a patch test for additional safety.
If you can’t find a beard balm with jojoba oil, another great carrier oil is argan oil. Again, this oil is pretty mild and should be fine to use for most men.
Understanding the benefits of essential oils can be pretty confusing – and the science supporting bold claims by companies still hasn’t been fully proven.
With hundreds of essential oils available, picking the right one(s) in your beard balm can be both confusing and tough.
However, we recommend that you choose an essential oil by scent rather than medicinal purposes.
Most beard balms will contain ‘manly’ scents in them. Some of the more popular scents are pine, cedar, sandalwood, etc.
When you use any beard balm that contains essential oils, the scent will remain in your beard for a few hours and dissipate as the day wears on.
If you are looking for some of the secondary medicinal benefits, I definitely would recommend checking out AromaWeb where they have a tremendous database of the more popular essential oils and what they can help cure.
For instance, if you have acne, a beard balm with tea tree oil might help to reduce flare ups.
However, if you plan on picking up a beard balm with essential oils but you have sensitive skin – then make sure you avoid oils that are citrus based as these tend to cause flareups more frequently for those with sensitive skin.
If you are looking for a bit of control in your beard balm, beeswax is the primary ingredient responsible for this.
With its ability to hold the beard just slightly, it makes your beard stay in the same general shape throughout the day.
But don’t mistake this for something similar to a gel hold that you would apply to your hair.
You see the beeswax in beard balm is just enough to give you a hold without your beard feeling crunchy or stiff.
But the benefit of beeswax doesn’t end there.
In fact, the other important benefit of beeswax in some of the best beard balms on the market is that it acts as a protectant to your skin.
Therefore, it will help lock in all the moisture that is given by both carrier oils and butter.
Butter (Shea or Cocoa)
Being that beard balm is met to condition your beard, the butters in your beard balm help to compliment the carrier oils by both moisturizing and nourishing your facial hair even further.
Butters in beard balm typically are either shea or cocoa varieties.
Of which both have warm scents that tend to smell fairly subtle.
Furthermore, butter helps with spreadability of the balm when applying it into your beard.
This is a stark difference to beard wax which is typically absent of any sort of shea or cocoa butter.
When shopping for a new beard balm, you will come across many companies that mark their beard balm as having one of the following hold strengths:
As the labels infer, the holding strength should help set performance expectations around a particular beard balm.
Generally speaking, if you find that your facial hair can get a bit unruly, you should expect a medium to strong hold beard balm to keep your beard in shape throughout the day.
This can be particularly important for men who may have problems with their beard getting in the way of their mouth when eating.
From a composition standpoint, beard balms that offer a medium or stronger hold will have a higher concentration of wax.
Therefore, you should expect lower conditioning properties for these beard balms with strong hold strengths.
Facial Hair Type
Everyone’s beard is different.
Therefore, a beard balm that can work for one guy may not necessarily work for another.
When selecting a beard balm, you will want to get one that is suited for your particular facial hair type.
If you have a short or thin beard, then a beard balm with lighter holding properties will be best suited for you.
However, if you are a man that has a longer beard or one that has curls that you are trying to control, a beard balm with a higher holding strength will likely be much better for you.
Lastly, for African American men who tend to have much denser beards, beard balms made for black men, such as those in the Shea Moisture or Scotch Porter brands, will deliver the perfect mixture of ingredients to both moisturize and control your beard.
Beard Growth & Vitamins
A relatively new feature found within beard balms in recent hears will be growth ingredients and vitamins.
Many men who want thicker and fuller beards can find some beard balms on the market (notably the Beard Guyz brand) that offers ‘Grotein’ and other vitamins that support richer and fuller beard growth.
Of course, if growth is no problem for your facial hair, then skipping on a product that has these unique ingredients may save you a few extra bucks.
Not only do beard balms come in many different varieties, but drastically different price points as well.
When putting together this guide, we came across beard balms that ranged anywhere between $8 to $30 for a single tin.
However, on the whole, you should expect to pay about $15 to $20 for a quality beard balm.
Best Beard Balms Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Best Beard Balm Overall: Badass Beard Care Beard Balm for Men
Badass beard care has been servicing men with wild beards for years, and they are incredibly good at it.
Made in the USA and is run by veterans of the armed forces, it doesn’t get more American than this.
But beyond feeling incredibly patriotic when applying this beard balm, it delivers a terrific warm scent along with the right mixture of ingredients.
The ingredients are top notch and include shea butter, cocoa butter, rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil, and many more – you can see the full list on their site.
Therefore, if you are dealing with a dry beard or one that is a bit itchy, you should be happy with the results of this beard balm after a few short uses.
Given that this is more of a hydration-focused beard balm, the concentration of beeswax is a fair bit lighter. Therefore, if you have a really long beard and want some structure for it, this beard balm won’t be for you.
However, if you are still within a few inches of total beard length, then this balm will be fine.
- Warm vanilla and sandalwood scent is intoxicating
- Provides a nice light to medium hold
- Made in the USA by Veterans
- For the size, its rather expensive.
What You Need To Know
2. Best Beard Balm For Black Men: Scotch Porter Beard Balm
Containing a wide array of natural ingredients including marshmallow root, nettle leaf, aloe vera juice, shea butter, jojoba oil, and several others, this beard balm is one of the best on our list when it comes to moisturizing your beard.
While it can be used by any man, this hydrating-focused beard balm is the perfect beard balm for black men.
The reason being is that this balm could soften really coarse and thick hairs within only a few days.
While its moisturization abilities is the strongest selling point, the scent of this balm is a close second. A light marshmallow/coconut scent is both intoxicating and manly.
Men absolutely fell in love with this scent and even one individual sought out if Scotch Porter sold this same scent as a cologne.
If there were any downsides for this product it would be around holding strength.
Should your beard be a bit unruly, you might have some difficulties wrangling those whiskers with this product.
- African American men love this beard balm due to its intense moisturizing properties.
- It smells amazing.
- Will get your beard soft and healthy looking.
- Could have a bit stronger of a hold.
- The price is at the higher end.
What You Need To Know
3. Best Beard Balm For Growth: Beard Bolt XL Beard Balm
If you are looking to add a bit of fuel to speed up the progress of your beard growth, then you will want to pay attention to Beard Bolt XL.
Formulated to spur on beard growth, this beard balm contains a tonic of natural ingredients including caffeine, apricot oil, grapeseed oil, and vitamin E oil for a fuller and thicker beard.
According to this study published on the National Institutes of Health website, caffeine was found to help with hair growth.
In addition, Vitamin E oil has been linked to increased blood flow circulation – which is critical for supporting enhanced hair growth.
While the science is still out on the efficacy of such ingredients when it comes to beard growth (as opposed to scalp hair growth as cited in the articles above), if anything was evident in our research was the overwhelming positive reviews from other men.
Men who used this product saw promising results after continued use.
Now if you are a bit skeptic on such a product, not to worry, this beard balm will still do a good job at providing a great deal of moisture to soften and fortify your beard.
Men also loved the light and airy scent of this beard balm.
- Contains a mixture of ingredients that may speed up beard growth
- Beyond growth properties, it’s an effective beard balm
- Scent doesn’t linger and is pleasant
- It’s expensive.
What You Need To Know
4. Best Beard Balm For Hold: Smooth Viking Beard Balm
Whether your beard is short, long, or somewhere in the middle, Smooth Viking beard balm will work wonders to keep your unruly whiskers in check.
Through the use of several natural ingredients including jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, and candelilla wax, this beard balm was beloved by men for keeping its structure throughout the day.
As strong as its hold was on your beard, it still provided plenty of moisture to stop any beard itch or flaking from occurring.
The ratio of moisturizers to wax in this beard balm is one of the most balanced on our list.
Beyond the stellar ingredient composition, Smooth Viking beard balm is made in the USA – providing greater quality control over production.
There’s a reason why this balm was so highly rated by other men…it’s just that good.
- Strong hold gives your beard structure throughout the day
- Mix of oils and butters will soften and hydrate your beard
- One of the highest rated balms on the market
- Made in the USA
- Scent may not be loved by all
What You Need To Know
From the general scent to the overall hold that Beard Balm from Detroit provides it has your beard needs covered. Giving off a barky/woodsy smell, it will undoubtedly make you smell like a rugged man.
But don’t worry, the scent isn’t so over powering that you will want to wash it out of your beard immediately after application. In fact, it gradually dissipates as the day progresses giving nice undertones that you and others may enjoy occasionally (this isn’t at all a bad thing!).
Made within the USA (Detroit, MI), this beard balm is absolutely top notch compared to all of the other beard balms tested.
Giving a great hold throughout the day by providing what seems to be just the right amount of beeswax – your beard will look professional and well kempt.
All ingredients are plant based with the exception of lanolin (which is derived from sheep wool), this product is nearly all natural.
We think this is a great beginners beard balm that is well suited for those men with short to medium beards.
- Provides a great balance of holding strength and moisture
- Made in the USA
- Natural woodsy scent is subtle yet nice
- Needs to be used daily as product ingredients tend to break down
What You Need To Know
This beard balm is perfect for those men in search of a beard balm that can accommodate their long and flowing beard.
While the texture may be a bit greasier than some of its buttery balmy counterparts, Cremo’s beard balm has no problem styling and moisturizing even the wildest of beards. The only set back with this styling beard balm is the smell.
Some have reported that while the aroma of peppermint is strong at first it fades away and isn’t too bad, but others say that this balm resembles the strength of Vicks vapor rub. Other than that, Cremo’s product is easy to use, fast absorbent, and leaves your beard feeling fresh and moisturized.
Designed for longer and fuller beards, you would think that this balm would have a killer hold. But, that isn’t really the case. Even though Cremo’s is great for styling and moisturizing a beard, you will want to reapply it later on the day if you are very active.
- The ultimate beard balm for those men with longer beards
- The fragrance is invigorating
- Moisturizes and softens skin as well
- Scent may be a bit too strong for some
What You Need To Know
Don’t let the struggles of a dry beard drive you to shave off all of your hard work.
Save it instead with this bead balm by Grave Before Shave. With deep conditioning and a subtle scent of bourbon that lasts throughout the day, this product helps you to achieve it all; whether you are wanting a tamed beard or one with wild style!
One of the downsides of the Gentleman’s Beard Balm is that the hold is relatively light. While the texture does a great job of keeping the hair soft and styled a little, it will not hold well all day long.
On top of all this, the ingredients list does not name every essential oil this product uses; so those with sensitive skin may want to avoid using this balm. Besides all that, Grave Before Shave balm is extremely easy to apply, due to the buttery texture, and leaves no residue behind. If you are looking for a great beginner’s balm, this one may be just what you are looking for.
- Provides a nice light hold that will be good for short beard
- Premium beard balm favored by seasoned beard vets
- Will hydrate both skin and hair
- The hold is a bit lacking
- Priced at a premium
What You Need To Know
Honest Amish beard balm is one of the most popular beard balms within the beard maintenance world and likely one that you may have already heard of before. With its low entry price, it makes it easy for most guys to pick up and use as their first ever beard balm.
Now when it comes to scent, the aroma for Honest Amish beard balm is hit and miss. Some guys will love it and some won’t.
Evoking a licorice/anise mid-tone scent, it truly is quite unique.
After application you will find that it does dissipate after about an hour of application.
One ingredient noticeably absent from this beard balm is beeswax – making this a balm that is focused squarely on just one that will soften your beard.
Now its worth noting that Honest Amish does make another offering – labeled as their heavy duty beard balm. This one does contain beeswax and will provide a much firmer hold.
- Focuses on fixing beard dandruff
- Should soften your beard within days
- Made from all natural ingredients – making it perfect for both facial hair and skin
- Scent is a bit polarizing
What You Need To Know
After using this product for a few days, there is no doubt about it, Wild Willie’s Beard Butter Balm will completely stop any dry itchy feeling that has been going on with your beard. Not only does it give your beard great form, but it will hydrate your skin as well.
With so many oils listed as ingredients in this beard balm, your beard will feel extremely soft and look healthy within about a week after using it.
Regarding the scent of this beard balm, being that it has tea tree, rosemary, cedarwood essential oils, it does give off kind of a lavender/woodsy scent.
If you prefer an unscented beard balm, then this isn’t for you.
About an hour after application the scent will likely dissipate.
Scent aside, the actual performance of the product was indeed pretty top notch. We were able to get a much softer beard compared to other beard balms reviewed.
If there is absolutely any downside to this beard balm it is going to be the use of emu oil within the product. If you aren’t sure what emu oil is, its oil that is extracted from the fat of an emu. If you are a vegan at all, then this product is not for you.
If emu oil doesn’t bother you on the other hand, then this product is definitely worth checking out. You will definitely be happy that you did.
- Will get your beard feeling incredibly soft.
- Balm contains an impressive ingredient list.
- Not made in an animal friendly way.
What You Need To Know
10. Best Cheap Beard Balm: Woody’s Beard Balm
With an affordable price and a refreshing smell of grapefruit, Woody’s Beard Balm is an invigorating beard balm that will completely get rid of beard dandruff.
When applying this liberally to your beard, you won’t need to worry about waxy residue or greasiness because this product is smooth as butter.
The only issue we found with this product is that when it comes to the ingredients, Woody’s only lists a few “key ingredients” such as beeswax and coconut oil. There isn’t a very clear picture on what is contained in this beard balm, so those with sensitive skin may want to steer clear.
However, when it comes to hold, it was rather firm and should keep your beard structure for the day.
- An invigorating scent at an affordable price
- Men were satisfied with the holding strength of this balm
- Some questions around ingredient composition
What You Need To Know
Other Beard Balms We Considered
Great for all beard lengths, this manly cedarwood smelling beard balm is a quintessential beard care product. The hold is considered a bit lighter on this one.
Infused with coffee, ‘Death Wish’ beard balm by 1740 is the perfect Sunday morning (or any morning really) beard balm. With subtle coffee scents and rich moisture, it’s a fun little beard balm.
Handmade here in the USA, this 100% naturally derived beard balm is the perfect balm for men who love clean labels. Delivers extremely well on value as well.
Relying heavily on maracuja oil and shea butter, this beard balm by Shea Moisture is a light holding beard balm that will get your dry beard feeling great. After a few days, expect a soft and healthy looking beard.
Known primarily for their trademark aftershave, Clubman Pinaud offers up a beard balm that has a strong hold and invigorating scent. Some synthetic / chemical ingredients within will turn off the naturalist men out there.
An alternative to their regular beard balm. This beard balm has a high concentration of beeswax mixed with apricot kernel oil, grape seed oil, and 12 over natural and organic ingredients.
How To Apply Beard Balm
Applying beard balm is a fairly straightforward process – but even if you have used it before, it’s always great to reinforce the proper technique in order to get the best results.
Here we put together 5 easy to follow steps on how to get the most from your new beard balm:
1. Shower / Face Wash
In order to see the full effects of your new beard balm, you will want to make sure that you give your face a thorough wash before application.
Not only will this remove any surface dirt and grime, but it will also remove the previous application of beard balm. *
In addition to cleaning your beard, a warm shower will also soften the hair and make your skin more receptive to the balm by allowing it to penetrate deeper into the skin.
*Note: You should only apply your beard balm once between showers. Layering up beard balm day after day and not showering may lead to clogged pores and a greasy looking beard.
2. Scoop Out Thumbnail Size Amount
Simply place the tin of beard balm into your palm.
Then get your thumb and scrape it out till you have about a thumbnail size amount.
This should work if you have a short or medium length beard – you will want to adjust accordingly if your beard is longer.
Once scooped out go ahead and put your tin away and then place the beard balm into the palm of your hand.
3. Rub Hands Together
Once in the palm of your hand, simply rub your hands together in a circular motion.
The goal here is to melt all the beard balm into your palm making for a more even application when you are applying it to your beard.
Before applying to your beard, visually check your hands to ensure that there are no stubborn clumps left behind.
4. Work into Beard – Starting At Base To Finger Tips
Once your hands are completely covered, rub your hands into your beard.
You want to make sure that you rub from surface of your skin to the tip of your beard follicle.
The importance of getting beard balm to your skin is critical.
Given that beard balm has a lot of rich moisturizing properties, applying balm to your skin will help to prevent any beard itch or flaking of your skin.
Once you have adequately massaged the balm into your skin, then work the balm to the tip of your beard.
A well applied beard balm should leave a light sheen on your beard and not look or feel greasy.
5. Brush or Comb As You Normally Do
After you are satisfied with the application, you can now proceed to either brush or comb your beard as you normally would.
Common Questions About Beard Balm
During our research we kept seeing the same questions posed by men when it came to beard balm. Therefore, we wanted to take just a minute to answer a few of them should any be on your mind:
Q: What is beard balm used for?
Beard balm is a substance that is used to solve 4 main issues:
- Make your beard softer
- Make your beard healthier
- Prevent and cure beard dandruff
- Provide styling control
Whether it’s the frigid winter months or the hot dry heat in the middle of summer – beard balm should be used in all seasons.
When you start growing a beard, even if it is not terribly long, you may notice that it begins to get both itchy and flaky.
This is due to the dryness of your skin and the lack of sebum oil.
Sebum oil is an oil that is naturally produced by the glands in your skin.
It gives your skin and hair the vital nutrients it needs to look healthy and feel soft.
Think of beard balm as a supplement to the natural sebum oils that your skin is already producing.
The addition of beeswax within a balm will work to both protect your skin and provide structure to your beard.
Therefore, if your facial hair is a bit unruly, this added ingredient can help to keep your beard in place throughout the day.
Q: Is it better to make beard balm yourself or buy it?
When realizing that beard balm contains only 4 ingredients, many men wonder if it is actually worth their time to make it themselves.
As is the case with nearly all DIY projects, it is always going to be cheaper to make it yourself instead of buying it off the shelf.
Here’s the deal:
It can be a fun weekend project that allows you to experiment with different scents, ratios, and more.
However, if you have never used beard balm previously, we do recommend purchasing a beard balm as it will give you a reference point on what a finished balm should both look and feel like.
Q: Are a brush or comb necessary for applying beard balm?
We get this question from guys a lot.
Is a beard brush or comb actually worth it?
The answer is a resounding YES!
You see beard brushes and combs are made differently than other types of combs and brushes on the market.
Whether you are applying a beard balm or beard oil, you should definitely use a beard brush and/or comb.
A top rated beard brush contains boars hair.
This type of brush can trap excess beard balm within the bristles and help spread the product evenly within your beard.
On the other side of the equation is a beard comb.
Beard combs are primary used for styling your beard and giving it a great shape.
With the bit of beeswax that is contained in a beard balm, a beard comb will give you the ability to make sure that you can get your mustache tamed to the sides and give your beard structure.
It is definitely important to note that beard combs do differ greatly from your typical drug store comb.
Beard combs are often saw cut and hand polished. This leaves no micro-jagged edges along the teeth of the comb which could destroy your beard.
Q: Should you use beard balm with other products?
Depending on the dryness of the climate where you live, more often than not beard balm will be more than sufficient when it comes to keeping your beard and the skin beneath your beard in excellent shape.
However, there is one facet to the grooming routine for beards that most men often trip up on – the actual cleansing of their beard.
For some reason beardsmen take such gentle care in selecting the right beard comb or boars hair bristle brush for their beard, careful selection of a beard oil or balm that has just the right ingredients that won’t harm their beard – but as soon as they jump into the shower all bets are off.
Where am I going with this?
If you are using a bar of soap or relatively cheap shampoo to wash out your beard every few days you need to stop.
You see when you use a beard balm or oil it adds a lot of great moisture to your skin. But when you use a cheap cleanser on your beard you strip out all the oils (and then some) that will completely dry out your skin.
This helps accelerate the process of beard dandruff as well too! Therefore if you are looking to keep your beard in great shape by applying beard balm regularly, don’t forget to also include a proper beard wash as well.
To help get you started on selecting the right one, be sure to check out our review of the best beard shampoos on the market.
A well rounded beard care routine will leave your beard looking healthy, feeling soft, and most importantly, free of any beard flakes.
Best Beard Balm: Selection Process
With so many beard balms just a few clicks away, it’s hard to sift through all the clutter in order to find a few balms that deliver results. While we wish we had unlimited resources to review every single beard balm on the market, the reality is that we don’t.
However, after careful research and consideration, we think we found the best beard balms of 2020. The balms listed should help to not only condition your beard, but to also provide a bit of styling hold as well.
We feel confident in our list, and we think you will love any one of them as well.
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