Tools of the trade.
Every worthy discipline has them – carpentry with its saws and hammers, medicine with its stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs.
Men’s grooming and men’s beard care is no exception. Taking care of your beard requires many tools – from clippers to oil to shavers.
And beard balm.
Beard balm is another essential tool to anyone who is serious about proper beard care, grooming, and maintenance, and we think it’s important enough that you should have a guide – as we provide here – to the best beard balms of 2018.
Our list includes the ever-popular and worthy Honest Amish Beard Balm and six other high-quality balms. Our goal is to make it easier to choose your own best beard balm.
Let’s get started.
- Before you buy: 5 beard balm buying tips you should know
- The 7 best beard balms of 2018
- How it’s done: Applying beard balm in 6 easy steps (A simple, illustrated guide)
- Why beard balm is good for you and your beard
- Beard balm, beard oil, beard wax – what’s the Difference?
- Best beard balms: The selection process
Before You Buy: 5 Beard Balm Buying Tips You Should Know
You know how we roll.
That is, you know we’d never, ever, advise you to grab just any old beard balm off the shelf or add one to your online shopping cart without careful consideration.
We’re here to help, and here’s a very quick look at what you should look for while seeking the best beard balm:
- What type of “hold” does the balm have? Blends with heavy concentrations of beeswax rank higher on the hold spectrum.
- Choose one with all-natural ingredients. It’s better for you, your beard, and the environment.
- Check the oils – jojoba, grapeseed, and argan are among the best.
- The best beard balms have natural butters such as shea butter and cocoa butter. Butter locks the moisture in and makes your balm easier to spread across your beard.
- If the balm can’t beat beardruff, it’s not worth your hard-earned money.
The 7 Best Beard Balms of 2018
Just a note, we list them in no particular order. We think all of them are great. So, without further delay, here’s our list of the best beard balms for 2018:
Beard oil. Beard balm.
The good folks at Honest Amish know what they’re doing.
Besides making a fantastic beard oil, Honest Amish also has a beard balm that’s just as superb. But what else would you expect from a company that makes everything by hand and is obsessed with delivering the highest-quality grooming products?
Then again, beards are at the heart of Amish culture – in which all men grow beards after marriage in accordance with biblical scripture.
And, as you might expect, none of Honest Amish’s beard case products, including their balm, have man-made chemicals, preservatives, fragrances, or colorings. Instead, you get all-natural ingredients that will condition, soften, repair, and nourish new beard hair growth.
It even comes to you in a 100% recyclable tin.
A key ingredient in this balm is argan oil, which is proven to be beneficial for hair growth and protecting your hair. Another ingredient of note is Kokum, which is a natural antibiotic that helps get rid of skin bacteria.
All told, there are 15 hair-enhancing and strengthening, naturally-harvested, botanicals in Honest Amish’s superb beard balm.
The balm is easy to work with and mold in your hands prior to application (it has exceptional softness) and therefore is easier to spread in your beard hair. You’ll also love the scent: it’s mild and woodsy, manly yet sophisticated.
Hard to beat that combination.
Oh, and an added benefit – Honest Amish has been cited as the best beard balm for short beards.
It’s also hard to beat the Honest Amish guarantee, i.e., if you don’t think it’s better than other beard balms you try, then send it back to them for a full refund.
- All-natural ingredients
- Conditions and eliminates itching
- Easy to apply
(Argan, Golden Jojoba, Virgin Avocado, Grapeseed, Pumpkin Seed, Apricot Kernel Oil, Shea Butter, Aloe, Cocoa, Kokum, Essential Oils)
Why, you ask, is my beard out of control?
But have you tried Smooth Viking Beard Balm?
If you haven’t, then we suggest you do – Smooth Viking’s go-to balm is formulated to keep your beard manageable no matter how long it grows. It provides the proper hydration and strength to each hair follicle from its root to its tip.
Smooth Viking Beard Beard Balm also includes oils such as pumpkin seed, argan, and avocado that make your beard look and feel thicker. And we know how important the right oils are for beard growth.
And while your beard will look more robust, it will also feel soft and well-conditioned. Even better, Smooth Viking’s Beard Balm encourages hair growth as you strive for the kind of thicker beard that others will admire.
What else do we like?
For one, it’s easy to use and leaves little mess. Just rub a small amount of the balm between your fingers and then spread it evenly throughout your beard. All you need to do is let it dry. Trust us, styling is made easier with this beard balm.
Oh, and it’s also lightweight enough that you can use it on your mustache, too.
- Designed to thicken your beard
- All-natural ingredients
- Applies with little mess
- Is also great for mustaches
(Olive Oil, Cera Alba, Safflower, Avocado Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Jojoba, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Argania Kernel Oil, Carnauba Wax)
If control – or a lack of it – is your thing, we have another balm for you.
Rocky Mountain Beard Balm is made for you guys who battle daily with a beard that doesn’t want to do what you want it to do. It lays its major claim on the fact that it will give you ultimate styling control without feeling as if your beard is weighted down with wax.
That’s awesome, of course, but here’s another thing: the folks at Rocky Mountain Beard are outdoorsy by nature, and they empathize with men whose beards go askew while living an active lifestyle.
Control can be tricky when you’re hiking a mountain trail, or crossing a stream to find the perfect trout. And don’t forget camping with your significant other. But Rocky Mountain Beard Balm will tame even the most epic of beards, making a strong contender for best beard balm for long beard.
They also stick with what they know when it comes to their Beard Balm’s fragrance, which has a terrific cedarwood scent with just a hint of eucalyptus. It’s a masculine fragrance that reminds you of the outdoors but is still suitable for more urban surroundings.
Rocky Mountain Beard Balm is made from all-natural ingredients sourced throughout Canada (where the company is headquartered) and North America, and packed with eight essential oils. It also includes beeswax and shea butter to help you on your quest for control.
This balm is even easy to take with you as it comes in an ultra-slim design that will fit into most pockets and any compartment or bag. There’s no need to leave home without it. Moreover, the aluminum tin comes with a secure screw-top lid.
- Masculine scent
- Offers supreme control
(Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Argan Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Lavender Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary Oil, Lime Oil)
Hat’s off to the new kid in town.
The Rogue Beard Company was founded in 2015 – on the premise that the world needed premium beard products at the right price – and has made its mark with products such as the Natural Beard Balm Sandalwood Leave-In Conditioner.
It has also vowed to go after “rogue” beard hairs that defy most grooming tactics. Their Natural Beard Balm is up to the task, however, with a formula that confronts brittle beards, split ends, itching, and the dreaded beardruff.
And you’re left with a fully-conditioned, fully-groomed beard that’s softer and more manageable than the one you had before. It even helps thicken your beard.
We also like that fact that Natural Beard Balm is, as its name suggests, made of all-natural ingredients. That means no pesticides, parabens, GMOs – you name it. Even the two-ounce can it comes in is recyclable.
It’s even “cruelty-free,” meaning its ingredients aren’t tested on animals.
There’s more good news, too: Natural Beard Balm comes with a 100% money back guarantee. If you don’t like it, send it back.
- Fully conditions beard
- Tames “rogue” hairs
(Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Castor Oil, Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils)
Wait – it’s a balm, an oil, and a wax?
Indeed, it certainly sounds like the 2 in 1 Quality White Beard Balm Oil Wax has a lot going on. It kind of does, although our other favorite beard balms contain oil(s) and (bees)wax, but this product is unique in many ways, too.
For one, it’s not like typical yellow beard balms that can dye and damage your beard. It quickly absorbs into your beard without a trace, and it’s great for men of all ethnicities. And if you’re of a dignified age with a rocking white beard, this balm won’t mess with your natural color.
But there’s more to like.
Like all good beard balms, 2 in 1 Quality White Beard Balm will make your beard more manageable and easy to groom, it will get rid of itching and pesky beardruff, it will make your beard fuller, and will give it an eye-pleasing shine. And it’s all-natural.
It doesn’t take a ton of this balm to get the job done, either. Just work a pea-sized bit of it in your hands and then rub it into your beard.
As mentioned, it absorbs quickly and leaves no residue. A can of it could easily last you two years.
You can also use this balm during any point of your typical morning routine – after showering, trimming, etc.
- Safe for all beard colors
- Works easily into your beard
- Only need to use a small amount
(Jojoba Golden Oil, Argan, Sweet Almond, Apricot, Castor, Vitamin E, Emu, Tamana, Shea Butter, Beeswax)
You have to admire a product that’s made on the mean streets of Detroit with an assist from a Sri Lankan farm.
That’s the story behind Beard Balm’s Easy-to-Use Leave In Conditioner, which is produced by Beard Balm’s shop in the Motor City.
Its certified fair trade and organic coconut oil, meanwhile, comes from a farm in Sri Lanka that not only supports local workers and families but protects a tropical ecosystem.
It’s a high-quality beard balm regardless of its unique story, however.
The formula that makes Beard Balm work is its combination of grape seed and coconut oil and lanolin and beeswax that makes for a long-lasting moisturizer that enables you to shape any type of beard. The beeswax is collected from pesticide-free fields in Michigan.
Even Beard Balm’s cans are made of American steel produced in union shops.
Regardless of its interesting background, Beard Balm is still the real deal, however. It works on any hair lengths and textures, it prevents split ends and softens beard hair, and relieves dry, itchy skin that drives many beard lovers crazy (and not in a good way).
It also helps to fill in patchiness that may crop up in a man’s beard from time to time. You’ll also find it listed under the category best beard balm for hold.
The scent isn’t as rugged as you might expect from a shop in Detroit, but has a pleasant lemon fragrance that won’t detract from your manliness – we promise.
All in all, this is a top-notch balm that also comes with a really good story. What’s not to like?
- Relieves beard itch
- All-natural ingredients
- Keeps beard hair soft
- Makes it easy to style your beard
(Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil, Lanolin, Beeswax, Lemon Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Geranium Oil)
If there’s one thing you can say about Wild Willie’s, it’s that they’re passionate about men’s facial hair, men’s grooming, and their products.
They even get kind of poetic about it.
Wild Willie’s, which is part of Manskape Companies and the producers of their excellent Beard Balm Leave-In Conditioner Beard Butter, are all about freedom when it comes to facial hair. They want you to be unique; even it means looking like a Civil War general, or a lumberjack who’s just emerged from a long hibernation in the wilderness.
They speak reverently about the Magnum P.I. mustache, not because wearing one was cool, but because “it was the right thing to do.”
They’re not asking you to wear facial hair. They’re begging you.
You have to love the enthusiasm.
Thus, it comes at no surprise that they’ve put their heart and soul into their Beard Balm Leave-In Conditioner, which gets consistently high marks from reviewers.
There’s a lot to like:
- You’ll notice the difference in your beard just a few days after using Wild Willie’s Beard Balm, not only in terms of how it looks but also that the itch you struggled with is gone.
- You’ll like how soft your beard feels.
- You’ll like how it gives you great hold throughout the day.
- You’ll like its organic ingredients.
- It promotes hair growth from “the inside out.”
The Beard Butter Balm also has a nice woodsy scent but doesn’t get high marks scent-wise as some of the other top balms. Not that it’s off-putting, mind you.
All in all, it’s a good product from people who have a passion for facial hair.
- Provides excellent hold
- Great for softening your beard
- Gets rid of itching
(Shea Butter, Beeswax, Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Oil, Jojoba Oil, Castor Oil, Emu Oil, Tamanu Oil, Vitamin E, Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary Oil, Cedarwood Oil)
How it’s Done: Applying Beard Balm in 6 Easy Steps
Once you’ve picked your favorite beard balm – hopefully among those listed above – it’s time to let it work its magic.
There’s nothing overly complicated about applying beard balm, just as it’s not rocket science to apply beard oil. But you don’t want to do it haphazardly.
Let’s take a trial run:
How to apply beard balm
The first thing you’ll need to decide is when to apply your beard balm. We’re assuming that you’re like most men and that it will be part of your morning routine. And we suggest you apply your balm after your morning shower when your beard is warm and damp. This is when your hair – and skin – will most absorb your balm’s key ingredients.
Scoop out a small amount (about the size of a thumbnail) of balm from the tin. Some balms require a slightly larger amount, but you’ll ultimately be the best judge in determining how much is right for your beard.
Rub the balm vigorously into the palms of hands until it fully melted.
Some experts suggest that you rub some balm into your facial skin first, before applying it to your beard, but we’ll leave that up to you. Applying to your beard first is fine.
Massage it into your beard in a downward motion starting from your cheeks. Work it into the root of your hair follicles and then work your way to the ends of your beard. It’s important to get started at the roots, and not at the top of the hair. Dig deep.
Once you’ve fully rubbed the balm in – leaving no trace – you can use a natural bristle brush to tame stray hairs and to achieve a more groomed look.
And now, my friends, you’re ready to face the world!
Why Beard Balm is Good For You And Your Beard
Your beard deserves all the loving-kindness you can provide, but you already knew that.
Beard balm, like beard oil, is an excellent way to spoil yourself (and your beard) but it should also be an important tool in your men’s grooming arsenal. It has, after all, many benefits.
As you may have noticed during our beard balm reviews above, they share many common ingredients, not the least of which is beeswax and cocoa butter.
So what’s up with this beeswax business? It’s a common ingredient in beard balms that provides many benefits.
Beeswax is secreted from a worker bee’s abdomen and is what holds a hive together. It’s the structure from which everything else in the hive can evolve, just like the framework of a home.
Bees are brilliant, mind you. They discovered, over millions of years, that building their combs into hexagons the combs holds the most amount of honey possible.
It only stands to reason then that beeswax is ideal for savvy beardsmen because it provides the kind of hold that few products can. It also helps lock in moisture that’s given off by other ingredients in the balm.
By the way, if you want to seem brilliant at your next party, tell someone that just one gram of wax consists of about 1,100 thin sheets – also know as scales. And scales are how the hive is built.
Butters like shea and cocoa improve the spreadability of beard balm but is a great moisturizer. In fact, only carrier oils are better sources of moisture for your beard.
If you live in a cool or dry climate, butter is essential in keeping your beard healthy and moist throughout the day.
Another major benefit of beard balm is that it treats beardruff. You know, those tiny but noticeable flakes of skin that cling to and fall from your beard to ruin your best grooming efforts?
Beardruff is formed when a natural oil in your skin called sebum oil is dried up by your hair follicles. Beard balm, like beard oil, is made of ingredients that closely resemble sebum oil and adds much-needed hydration to your skin.
And hydration = no more beardruff.
Beard balm also helps your beard look thicker, and provides a subtle scent that’s not overpowering, but certainly noticeable.
Beard Balm, Beard Oil, Beard Wax – What’s the Difference?
The line between beard balm and beard oil can get hazy.
True, while it’s not hard to notice the physical differences, it can get confusing about what, when, and why to use one or the other.
Or, even if you can use them together.
So, what is this beard balm stuff, anyway?
Beard balm, as mentioned, generally includes beeswax and butter (usually shea or cocoa butter). Beard oil is essentially a blend of oils – which only stands to reason.
Beard balm, on the other hand, resembles lip balm or light hair wax. It’s thicker than oil and comes in a smooth paste than you can easily shape in your hand.
Another way to look at beard balm is this: it’s a leave-in conditioner that is great for styling your beard and keeping stray hairs in place. Like beard oil, it also moisturizes and softens your beard – and is an essential tool in beard grooming kits.
Let’s dig deeper.
At what beard length is it best to use beard balm?
Being thicker, beard balm is often effective when your beard become fairly thick (when hair follicles are 1.5 inches long or longer). The longer your facial hair – and the denser it is – the more you’ll need a product that can keep stray hairs from going wild.
But, an important note, beard balm isn’t just for men with longer beards. Far from it.
In short, beard balm offers many of the same benefits of beard oil while providing the kind of hold needed in a thicker beard. The butter provides extra moisture while making it easier to spread to spread the balm throughout your beard.
The beeswax also helps hold moisture in, which will relieve dryness, itchiness, and beardruff.
A quick note(s) on beard oil
- Beard oil is a go-to grooming accessory that is another essential item to have among your ‘beard products.’
- Beard oil can handle the moisturizing needs of a short to medium length beard, especially if you’re prone to dry skin – but even if you’re not. Not that you shouldn’t still use beard oil when your beard gets longer. On the contrary. You should continue to use oil throughout the glorious life of your beard.
- Beard oil absorbs into your skin more quickly than beard balm. Oil will give your beard a flatter, rather than shinier, finish. Beard brushes are great for spreading beard oil over your beard.
- Beard oils are designed to mimic the natural oils produced by the skin. They’re grown hugely in popularity over the past several years but date as least as far back as early Native Americans. The quest for a moist, non-itchy, non-beardruff beard is nothing new, after all.
- Beard oils typically have a stronger fragrance than beard balm (and wax).
Beard balm & Beard oil: Can I use them at the same time?
Because every beard is different, you’ll need to choose a routine that’s most suitable for you. That said, however, there’s no reason you can’t use beard balm and beard oil at the same time.
There’s a variety of ways you can use the two products together:
- After you shower, apply beard oil to your hair’s roots, rubbing it in deeply. Then apply beard balm to the outside of your beard to give it extra hold.
- You can apply one in the morning and one at night. Again, it’s a matter of personal preference and your specific routine.
- You can even apply them on alternate days.
Best Beard Balms: The Selection Process
There are hundreds of beard balms on the market – certainly more than we could possibly try ourselves. Our research for best beard balm 2018 was, rest assured, thorough, and took into account personal experience, reviews, and customer experience.
Well, that wraps it up, friends. We want you to take all of your beard grooming products seriously, and beard balm is no exception. Like any product, there are a lot of pretenders on the market. The balms we’ve reviewed, however, are the real deal and would make a great addition to your beard grooming kit.
As always, if you have any comments or questions about beard balms – or any of the products we recommend – contact us. We value your feedback.