Unless you’re aiming for that unruly wildman, hair mad-dashing in every cardinal direction like a broken compass kinda beard then you’re likely either already using or heavily considering grabbing some products. Depending on what you’re after, there are actually quite a few types of beard grooming products to choose from ranging from beard oils and beard balms, to mustache and beard waxes, pomades, butters, lubes, conditioning gels, the list goes on. Here at The August Beard we’ve focused on three – beard oil, beard balm and beard butter.
The quintessential beard grooming product. If you buy anything, regardless of the length of your beard, this is the first product you’ll want to snatch up. If you’ve got a short stubby thing just starting to peak out from the dirt below and you notice the itch really starting to heat up, toss on some beard oil to moisturize the skin and soften those sharp hairs poking out. It works, really. When you shave it cuts the hair into sharp little points, the oils soften this up so it’s not so painful on the skin when the hair starts to turn on you like your ex-wife.
If you’ve got a big burly mane then you’re likely already using this stuff, if not, grab some. You’ll ditch any flakes popping off your face and landing on your shirt like a 101st airborne on a mission to paint your clothes white. That, and you’ll glisten bright, and smell like a million bucks. Assuming the ingredients in the oil you choose are of high quality, pure and all-natural you can rest assured the stuff is doing wonders for your hair and skin.The August Beard oils are made from three primary carrier oils – Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil & Sweet Almond Oil. These oils blend really well into a nice light texture that soak in quickly and nourish the hair and skin without weighing down the beard. The radiant shine is an added bonus. Jojoba and Argan oils are some of the most expensive and best oils around and we use copious amounts of both, as apposed to some companies that use primarily cheaper fillers with tiny amounts of the good stuff.
While oil has a ton of benefits, it lacks in other areas. For one, it falls flat when it comes to styling, shaping, hold, and thickening. For that, you need something else.
Unlike beard oils that are primarily carrier oil-based, balms are generally butter-based. At The August Beard we use a balanced blend of shea butter and cocoa butter. I won’t go into each here, but read up on these and you’ll find both are great for your beard and skin. Layered on top of the butters we include generous amounts of Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil and Sweet Almond Oil to soften the butter and rope in all the stellar qualities within each of these fine oils.
I mentioned that beard oil alone fails in the styling and shaping department. Mostly because oil all by its’ lonesome has little ability to tame those hairs so eager to board a train destined anywhere but flat against your face. The trick is a combination of butter and beeswax. The more beeswax, the more hold you get. After a certain point though, too much beeswax can leave your beard crunchy, dry, and brittle. We like to keep to the lighter side, using smaller amounts of beeswax that still leave your beard soft, while providing a decent level of styling and hold for those hairs so eager for departure. We also take things a step further and whip our beard balms, which gives them a very light and pliable consistency that we feel is easier to work with and offers a more appealing texture.
As an intermediary between beard oil and beard balm, we offer beard butter – essentially beard balm without the beeswax. This provides a lighter hold than beard balm, but more than you’d get with oil alone. You also get much better moisturizing characteristics on the hair and skin than you get with just oil without the hardening effect from the beeswax in beard balm.
Which should you choose
If it’s not apparent already, give each a go. Mixing and matching is highly recommended as well. My daily routine consists of a base application of beard oil every morning 5 minutes post-shower, recent enough the pores are still open but long enough that it’s not dripping wet. Once the oil has had some time to settle in, I follow up with either beard butter or beard balm in matching scent for some shaping. I prefer my beard to lay down real nice and flat on the sides, so I nail out some balm in my hands, warm it up in the palms, and flatten the beard down. Works wonders, smells great, and lasts all day.