Beard oil or beard balm?
The short answer is: it depends on what you’re looking for.
If you want to style your beard, then balm is hands-down the better option. However, if you’re looking for a moisturizer, then go with oil because it keeps your hair moist and protects the skin underneath it.
But that’s not the whole story.
There’s a lot more to the debate of oil vs balm. But let’s not jump into an in-depth comparison just yet. Instead, let’s first define what beard oil and balm exactly are.
Beard oil, as its name suggests, is a cosmetic product used to tame your beard and nourish the skin underneath it. If you regularly oil your beard, it will become soft, shiny, and smooth.
Beard balm is exactly what it sounds like: a leave-in conditioner that softens, conditions, and moisturizes your hair. It’s popular for styling a beard rather than protecting it.
Differences Between Oil and Balm
Although these products are similar to some extent, they still differ greatly.
- Different Uses
Although both products hydrate and moisturize your beard, the balm is better for styling and oil is better for easing itchiness. Plus, it doesn’t make your hair wet and leaves more of a matte finish. Whereas oil makes your beard wet and gives it more of a flatter finish.
- Different Levels of Permeation
Oil being a liquid can easily permeate your hair. As compared to balm, it does a better job of moisturizing and nourishing both your beard and the skin underneath it.
- Different Substances
As you know, beard balm is a solid (slightly waxy substance) and oil is a liquid. So, balm can’t spill and is therefore a lot less messy than oil. That’s why if you plan to take a beard product to the gym, work, or school, then we recommend going with balm.
Also, most beard oils come in glass containers, which can break quite easily. Whereas balms are packed in solid tin containers that are unbreakable (unless intended).
- Different Applying Methods
To apply the balm, you have to first warm up your hands by rubbing them together (creating heat through friction) and then use your hands to apply it.
Whereas for applying oil, zero preparation is needed. Simply use the oil dropper to put it on and then rub the oil over your beard.
- Ideal for Different Length
If you have a short beard (six months or less), then an oil-based product is the way to go. That’s because even though beard oil and balm are equally great for styling, oil is naturally a superior moisturizer that will keep your hair and skin safer.
However, if you have a long beard (say over a year), then go with balm because it contains beeswax that helps to keep all the whiskers in check. Oil isn’t ideal for long hair because they need something stickier (like beeswax) for proper styling.