Approximately a third of American men sport a beard, but how many of them actually know the finer points of beard care? If you want your beard looking tamed and impressive, you need to consider beard gel. Here's what you need to know about it.
In this article:
- What Is Beard Gel?
- Can I Use Hair Gel on My Beard?
- Benefits of Beard Oil
- Benefits of Beard Balm
- Beard Wax Benefits
- How to Improve Your Beard
How To Use Beard Gel | Tips And Tricks
What Is Beard Gel?
A lot of people use the phrase "beard gel," but in reality, beard gel doesn't really exist. Rather, it's an umbrella term that can refer to beard oil, beard balm, and beard wax. Each of these products is slightly different from each other and offer their own unique benefits.
- Beard Oil — An oil-based, light moisturizer, beard oil hydrates your hair and skin and works as a styling agent.
- Beard Balm -- Similar to leave-in conditioner, beard balm softens, but it also contains ingredients that lock in moisture.
- Beard Wax — Heavier than balm or oil, beard wax helps with sculpting your beard into place.
Can I Use Hair Gel on My Beard?
In the absence of beard gel, some people use hair gel on their beards. Ideally, you should avoid that. Gel can block your pores. It can also cause the hair on your beard to become even drier and flakier. Additionally, gel tends to give hair a crunchy, unnatural look. Instead, you should explore the above products and zero in on the right beard care products, depending on your specific beard type and growth goals.
Benefits of Beard Oil
Well-grown beards give you a lot of benefits. They block UV rays, reducing your risk of skin cancer. They reduce the risk of ingrown hairs, rashes, and other unwanted reactions to shaving. Most importantly to some is the aesthetic: they simply look cool and manly. On top of these benefits, you can also get a lot of benefits by using beard gel or similar products. Here are the benefits of beard oils in particular:
- Nourishes your beard
- Hydrates your skin and hair
- Stops itching
- Reduces dandruff
- Promotes healthy skin and beard growth in a way that reduces patchiness
- Doesn't clog pores, which can help to reduce acne
- Simplifies beard maintenance
- Works as a natural cologne thanks to essential oils
- Helps prevent split ends
- Creates a more polished look
- Assists with styling
- Soothes sensitive skin
- Can make you feel more confident about your beard
- Saves time and money on shaving
A lot of beard growth and style boils down to genetics. If you have a naturally smooth beard and you don't struggle with dandruff or dryness, you may not need a ton of beard grooming products. But, if you want to get the benefits listed above and also protect your beard from air pollution, dry weather, and other issues, you may want to try beard oils.
Keep in mind that there are a variety of different oils. When choosing your oil, look closely at the ingredients and make sure they offer the benefits you need. Also, keep in mind that when you use beard oils, they are close to your face. As a result, there is always a risk that you may ingest the oils.
Benefits of Beard Balm
Sometimes also referred to as beard gel, beard balm features moisturizing butter whipped into beard oil. Balm feels creamy in your hands, and while you just need a few drops of beard oil, you can use a whole dollop or more of beard balm.
The butter in the beard balm moisturizes both your skin and your beard hair, and it also helps the balm to spread evenly over your beard. You may need to experiment with a few different beard balms until you find the best option for your skin. Some people find that cocoa or shea butter clogs their pores, and they prefer kokum butter.
The oils in beard balm are designed to complement the butter, and they may include jojoba oil, argan oil, almond oil, or a variety of essential oils used for their healing properties or their fragrances. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to look for beard balms with jojoba oil, as that is very close to the oils that your skin naturally produces. However, you may want to do a patch test before applying the balm — that way, you can easily assess if you have any sensitivity or allergies to the oils or other ingredients.
Also consider looking for additional ingredients such as vitamin E and lanolin. Vitamin E helps with growth, and it's an antioxidant that can repair split ends while increasing skin moisture levels. Lanolin has a lot of great moisturizing and healing properties as well. In rare cases, you may find beard balm that contains beeswax, but generally, once that ingredient appears, the name changes to beard wax.
Beard Wax Benefits
If you really want the feel of a beard gel, beard wax may be the best option for you. An absolute must for most beard competitions, beard wax tends to feature oil, butters, and beeswax. It offers all the benefits of beard oil and beard balm, but the added wax protects your beard from wind and rain. You can also style your beard thanks to the wax. If you think about a large handlebar mustache, that's only possible with a beard or mustache wax.
How to Improve Your Beard
Whether you decide to style your facial hair with beard gel, beard oil, beard balm, or beard wax, there are a few tips you should keep in mind. For best results, you may want to do the following:
- Grow out your beard — Gravity pulls down on the beard, helping to make it more manageable.
- Get regular trims — Although length is helpful, regular trims can help to remove split ends and encourage healthy growth.
- Use beard oil, balm, or wax — The right products moisturize and soften your beard, while also keeping it more healthy.
- Consider beard shampoo — Using regular shampoo can dry out your beard, but beard shampoo is made for the special needs of facial hair.
- Only wash occasionally — Although you should use beard shampoo, you should only use it occasionally such as every second or third day. Excessive use dries out your beard and slows natural oil production.
- Try conditioner — Special beard condition can make your beard softer and easier to control.
- Rinse regularly — Even if you only wash and condition occasionally, you should rinse your beard regularly. That helps to remove debris and wash away old product.
- Invest in a comb and brush — A boar bristle brush, in particular, can help with control and styling, but regular maintenance helps keep tangles and knots at bay.
Beard oil and beard butter are great for your beard. See what Beard Times with Scott has to say about Wild Willies' products:
Your beard is front and center. It's one of the first things people see when they look at you, and to make a great first impression, you need to take care of your beard. The right beard gel or beard oils can protect and improve your beard. To learn more, look through the rest of our site or check out our beard supplies.
At Wild Willies, we create grooming products designed for the manliest, brawniest, and best-kept beards. If you have facial hair, you need our products.
Did this post encourage you to start a solid beard maintenance routine? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.