What is Beard Oil? - Is the number one question I hear.
It surprises me too, partly because the name pretty much explains what it is, but also because there are a ton of people out there that have no idea something like beard oil exists. There still seems to be a misconception that some guys just can’t grow a decent beard because of things like itchiness, dry skin, stray hairs, and a variety of other factors that can make a guy give up before he even starts and just blame bad genetics or bad luck. Most of these issues are completely solved by a little beard oil or balm – the real issue ends up being the fact that a lot of guys don’t even know that these things exist.
There are difficult aspects of growing a beard, don't get me wrong. The itchy periods, enough said. For generations men have suffered through this, so many men gave up growing the beard out because of this. Who knew all they had to do was massage in a little oil each morning and just live with a powerful beard.
So although Beard Oil won't shake the snow from your beard, it thickens it, brings it together and all round make it stronger and healthier. Check out the difference in beard quality here:
What is Beard Oil To You?
The most basic thing to understand about beard oil is that it is essentially meant to mimic the oils your skin naturally produces, which is called Sebum. The closer that the beard oil is to this, the less irritating the beard oil is for you. That being said, there are two main components of most beard oils: Carrier Oils and Essential Oils. Carrier oils make up the majority of the beard oil, and some beard oils are only carrier oils. These oils are the closest in composition to the oils produced by your skin, and do some great stuff for your skin and hair.
Some great carrier oils for beard oil include:
Jojoba (the only oil that truly mimics sebum)
Argan or Moroccan
There are definitely more oils that could be listed here, and I am planning to do a post in the future about the different carrier and essential oils and their qualities. Essential Oils are oils that are used in much smaller amounts for different effects or scents. There are so many different essential oils that I am not even going to get into this now, but put simply these oils are used for everything from strengthening hair follicles to acting as an astringent. These are also where you get your smells from. Beard oil has been around since all the way back in ancient Mesopotamia, and probably even earlier. Those guys were serious about beard care, and had a ton of different stuff they did to trick out their beards like curling them with hot tongs and adding ringlets, and of course using beard oil. A lot of these beard oils would have been made mostly of olive oil, perhaps with some different stuff in there for smell. There is surprisingly little historical data available about the ancient origins and formulations of beard oil.
Before Beard Oil
Here’s What Beard Oil Does
So, now that you understand what beard oil is, you are probably wondering why you need to use it. In general, beard oil can help with most of the normal problems associated with growing a beard, like:
I was really fortunate to have this explained to me by a veritable "beard wizard" and pretty much the most knowledgeable guy ever on the subject of facial hair, and he broke it down like this:
Look at it this way, the natural state of the beard and face is to have a protective coating of oil that is produced in the skin. But because we find many of the characteristics that go along with this natural oil unattractive - great home for odor producing bacteria, a magnet for dirt and dead skin cells- we wash our beards and face regularly. The natural oil production is more than enough to protect just skin even from regular washing, but the beard is a sponge, it literally wicks the oil away from the skin; unfortunately, our faces don't produce as much of this oil as our scalps do. So now we are left with both dry beard beds (the skin under the beard) and beard hairs. The best way to prevent this wicking action is to introduce an oil on to the beard hair - a wet towel doesn't absorb as much water as a dry one does. Oiling makes for healthy skin and beard hair because it replenishes that protective barrier to abrasion and evaporation that we take away through washing.
After Beard Oil
While beard oil has a boat load of benefits in terms of the health of your beard, it also does a lot for the way your beard looks as well. There is a certain sheen that beard oil adds, as well as doing a lot to shape your beard and help tame the stray hairs that can get really out of control if let go. These strays are often what can lead to the excessive trimming that is the ruin of many beards.
Why should you be using beard oil
There is only one real reason why you should be using beard oil: Because you deserve an awesome beard. I struggled with growing my beard for as long as I can remember, and when I finally started oiling my beard it was like night and day. The bottom line is that there is really no reason to let totally normal stuff keep you from having the beard that you want to have.