Disclaimer: I do not have a beard. I am a girl. One is not dependent on the other, but in my case both statements are true.
Follow-up Disclaimer: Because of my status as female, everything I say is true (unless I specifically note that it’s a lie) for a given value of “true.” But on my honor, I’ll try not to fabricate wild tales about beard oil.
BEARD OIL: WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
The hair on your face and the hair on your head need extra moisture. Without it hair becomes brittle causing split ends and ultimately breakage. Dryness also causes frizziness, which leads to death (lie #1) and, well, a frizzy beard. Hard to expound on that one.
Why would you need to add moisture to your hair? Every time you lather up in the shower you’re washing away your body’s natural oils. So you can either stop washing your beard, or make sure it’s getting enough moisture. I’m all for laughing in the face of societal norms, but I believe most of you are with me when I say: NOT WASHING YOUR BEARD IS A POOR CHOICE.
Beard oils are also great at moisturizing the skin beneath your beard, preventing itchy-face and flakes. There are other benefits to your skin as well, which I’ll come back to later.
WHAT’S IN IT?
Ingredient labels for beard oils will all pretty much read the same: One or more carrier oil to act as a base, one or more essential oil to provide fragrance, and probably Vitamin E.
The carrier oils used in beard oil are all intensely moisturizing, especially for hair. You’ll probably see hempseed oil, almond oil, jojoba, sunflower seed oil, grapeseed oil, argan, and so on. Obviously, if you have allergies be extra vigilant. Please don’t die for the sake of a shiny beard.
If you find one with jojoba oil as its main ingredient, expect it to be a little pricier. The properties of jojoba mimic and blend extremely well with your natural hair and face oils, making it an ideal carrier. But dang, it’s expensive!
In addition to the moisturizing properties of carrier oils, most of them combat clogged pores. Unclogged pores equal strong hair follicles! Some oils even “stimulate circulation” (in quotation marks because I have no idea how). And yes, good circulation means faster hair growth.
Essential oils are mainly used for scent, although they can carry physically beneficial properties as well. For instance, lavender oil can stimulate circulation and is frequently used to combat acne.
In a more abstract way, essential oils may aid you mentally. Citrus scents are said to help with mental clarity, and might make you feel happier. Lavender oil can make you feel relaxed. Peppermint and Basil help dispel headaches. You get the picture.
Vitamin E is very good for both your skin and hair. However, in beard oil, it serves a grander purpose: As a natural preservative, Vitamin E extends the shelf life of your product. The last thing you want is a shiny new bottle of beard oil that’s rancid within a few weeks. Luckily, Vitamin E is also found in many of the common carrier oils such as jojoba.
WILL IT MAKE MY BEARD GROW FASTER/FULLER?
This is a question I hear frequently, and the answer is, “Sort of, in an indirect way.” Beard oil is not a hair growth agent that will grow your beard like it’s Rogaine. That would be ridiculous.
BUT, using beard oil on a regular basis will make your skin and hair healthier. And that will most likely make your beard grow faster, stronger, and thicker.
If you’re having a hard time working the beard oil completely through your beard, consider using a brush. A boar bristle brush in particular is recommended. The stiff bristles easily work through thick facial hair, helping to distribute any added oil.
If you don’t want to use beard oil, you can use a brush by itself. It will pull the natural oils from your face and hair through your beard.
HOW TO USE IT
After you get out of the shower, dry your beard thoroughly and apply oil. Doing this after showering ensures you’re locking in as much moisture as possible.
You don’t need to use very much – you’ll figure out what works for you, but on average most of my customers put about a dime-sized amount in the palm of their hand. Rub it in!