The rules of the beard are simple. Keep it groomed. Keep it clean. Keep it soft. And most importantly, keep it handsome. But when the beard aisle at the store is overflowing with products, picking the right tools, cleansers, and wax seems daunting. Do you need beard balm? What about beard oil? And what exactly is beard shampoo? Uncover the secrets of facial-hair maintenance and give your beard the professional love and care it deserves. You don’t need shelves and shelves of overpriced products— just a few beard essentials. With the best beard products, your vibe will transform from a scary mountain hermit to an executive lumberjack.
- Best beard trimmer: Philips Norelco Multigroom Series 7000 Mens Grooming Kit
- Best beard wash: Jack Black Beard Wash
- Best beard oil: Honest Amish Classic Beard Oil
- Best beard balm: Viking Revolution 4 Beard Balm Variety Pack
- Best beard brush: Sosoon 100-Percent Boar-Bristle Beard Brush
Before rubbing expensive elixirs on your face, it’s important to understand what the best beard care products do for your whiskers. Some products will give your mustache a sinister sheen. Other beard products will make your beard fluffy and inviting. Know what type of beard or mustache you have, and what type of products will take your facial hair game from college scruff to whatever is happening with David Letterman’s chin.
How to use the best beard wash and conditioner
Soap is soap, right? Wrong. The shampoo and conditioner you use on your head is not ideal for your beard. Standard hair cleansers will be too harsh on your face and can dry out the skin and whiskers. It will also remove the natural oils of your beard. The result is irritated skin and a beard that’s more crunchy than soft.
A beard wash is designed for facial hair and the skin around your lip and chin. It will contain natural ingredients, unlike most shower soaps and shampoos that are loaded with a laundry list of chemicals that will dry you out.
After you wash, it’s time to condition. Beard conditioner replenishes the oil that can be washed away with shampoo. The best beard conditioner will soften the whiskers and make them easier to style and manage. It will also make the beard nicer to pet during times of deep concentration.
But do you even need to wash and condition your beard? Yes. Don’t assume by washing your face in the shower with body soap that your beard is getting properly clean. Dust, dirt, and cupcake icing can plunge deep into your face-forest. Consider your beard as its own body part and it needs to be washed as such. Add beard care to your routine and give it a good, proper scrub whenever you wash your hair.
The secret power of oil as a beard moisturizer
Beard oil is not the same as beard shampoo or beard conditioner. Beard oil will usually be sold in smaller bottles, and a little goes a long way. The thin oil does a few things for your beard. First, it moisturizes your beard and the skin underneath. This area of your face dries out easily and can become raw and cracked. The moisturizer prevents that and also helps eliminate itchy beards. Second, beard oil softens the hair—one of the keys to any beard-management routine. And third, the beard moisturizer smells good.
Most beard oils are made of jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, and argan oil. (Please read the ingredients carefully if you have any skin allergies.) You won’t need a lot, even for big, bushy beards. A few drops rubbed or combed into the beard after washing your face will do the trick. After washing your face, the hair follicles and pores open up and that’s the best time to apply a little oil.
Using a beard comb and beard brush should be part of your morning routine
Sure, you could simply run your fingers through your beard to shape it. You could also eat spaghetti with a spatula, but there are much better tools for the job. A beard brush is smaller and softer than a hairbrush. The bristles can be made of synthetic material or animal hair (badger or boar). With a few passes of the brush, any beard type will look better and controlled.
A beard comb is obviously harder than a brush. A wooden beard comb will have a few different types of teeth—wider teeth for tough beards, narrower teeth for thinner bears. The best beard comb can shape your whiskers, but it really shines at combing beard oils into the hair. The teeth can get deep into the beard jungle, and ensure the entire area of your face is treated to the oil.
The best beard trimmer is a versatile bathroom tool
Unless you’re going for the desert-island survivor look, you will need a good electric trimmer to chop your beard into place. This will probably be the most useful beard product you buy and the most expensive. But you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional hair trimmer.
The best beard trimmers need three things: A long-lasting battery, plenty of length options, and a handful of attachment accessories. You may only use the beard trimmer for a few minutes a week, but if the battery dies or you forgot to charge it, waiting around for it to charge in the midst of a busy morning can be extremely frustrating.
For length, beard trimmers will offer an easy-to-follow number system you can use to pinpoint the perfect level of fuzz. Most modern beard trimmers do a pretty great job at cutting the beard down to the size of a five o’clock shadow or lower. If you’re trimming a beard for the first time, and don’t know what number to use, the number 5 length will be a good place to start.
And for achieving sharp lines and stylish looks, make sure the beard trimmer comes with a shaping accessory to get into tricky angles—like directly below the nose and along the sideburns.
You can achieve more styles with beard balm and moustache wax
Beards hate to be told what to do. Even if you use a beard brush and comb, styling long beards can feel like trying to carve a pumpkin with a hammer. Beard balms act like styling hair gel, but they are much gentler on the skin. Beard balms won’t add moisture to the beard, but with a little dab of the best beard balm, you can effectively comb and tame the facial hair.
Moustache wax is thicker than beard balm and helps achieve more dramatic and dynamic looks. As the name implies, moustache wax is good for facial hair above the lip, but not good for beards. It’s too heavy and can clump up in a beard. But for the hipster crowd and dastardly villains, it’s an essential grooming product.
The best beard products
It’s time to equip your bathroom with everything you need for quality beard maintenance. Not every product will be ideal for every beard and skin type, so you may want to experiment with different combos to find the right tools for the job.
Best beard trimmer: Philips Norelco Multigroom Series 7000 Mens’ Grooming Kit
The clipper in the Philips Norelco Multigroom Series 7000 Mens’ Grooming Kit isn’t only the best beard trimmer, but it’s also pretty good at managing head hair and body hair. The 23-piece kit comes with everything you need to maintain a stylish beard. The clippers can bring your beard into stubble territory with ease. And the included shaving accessories make it easy to shape and style facial hair. (Don’t forget to trim up your neck beard and chin, you neanderthal hockey player!) For creating a 90s Gen-X goatee or simply shaving off everything but the mustache, this trimmer is a powerful tool capable of getting into small spaces. And unlike cheap, generic trimmers, this model won’t break after a few months of moderate use.
Best beard wash: Jack Black Beard Wash
Jack Black (no relation to the actor) makes some of the best skincare products and the best beard wash is no exception. A healthy mixture of aloe, panthenol, and jojoba oil keep beards soft and hydrated. You can use it with the Jack Black Beard Lube (a poorly named conditioner) but even on its own, this beard shampoo works well. If you have dry, flaky skin beneath the beard, this cleanser will help make your face happy. A price approaching $20 may seem steep for even the best beard shampoo, but a single six-ounce tube will last for months since you don’t need to use a lot to get a good clean.
Best beard oil: Honest Amish Classic Beard Oil
The Honest Amish Classic Beard Oil gives you the moisturizing power of a beard wash with the styling ability of a beard balm. The hydrating oil is made of organic virgin argan and jojoba. Add a few drops of the best beard oil into your palms and work it into the beard. Within seconds the beard will soften and your skin will feel moisturized. You can use the beard oil for some standard beard styling, but it lacks the thickness and strength of a beard balm to create any crazy, dynamic looks. For simple beards that crave moisture, this is the best beard treatment you’ll find for less than $15.
Best beard balm: Viking Revolution 4 Beard Balm Variety Pack
Viking Revolution beard products are some of the best, and the four-pack of beard balms is a great, affordable way to try different scents. The beard balm can style even thick, burly beards. With a little dab of the all-natural balm, you can massage and mold your beard into shape. Smell preferences will vary, but the Bay Rum beard balm is a favorite for men and women. Each of the four, one-ounce tins will provide enough styling product for more than a few months of daily beard treatment. For longer beards, a comb and brush are recommended to work the balm into all the necessary areas. But you can just your fingers and still come away with a great, professional-looking beard.
Best beard brush: Sosoon 100-Percent Boar-Bristle Beard Comb Brush
Even if you don’t use oil and cleanser on the beard, a good brush and comb can make a world of difference. The Sosoon beard brush and comb can untangle whiskers and eliminate the disheveled bed-beard look. The round boar-bristle brush feels good in your hand as you rub it through your beard. And the wooden comb can get your wild whiskers in order. Great for quick touch-ups throughout the day, the brush and comb are compact, and at less than $10, this is the most affordable way to tame your beard on a regular basis.
Q: What products can I use to grow a beard?
There are several products you can use to grow a beard. Topical ointments may promise beard growth. Do they actually work? It’s hard to say. Any healthy skin regimen will help a beard grow by keeping skin hydrated and scrubbing away dead skin cells. Derma rollers or beard rollers claim they can promote hair growth. The tiny needles of these rolling massagers may promote blood flow and help weary whiskers thrive. But results will vary. If your genetic code lacks the secret formula for beard growth, there is no magic wand that will help. You can, however, use a beard pencil to shade in a patchy beard. Be warned: These work well enough for photos, but can look less than realistic up close and in person.
Q: What do beard products accomplish?
The main goal of most beard products is hydration. Facial hair and the skin beneath the beard need moisturizers to stay healthy. Dry beards will be scratchy and hard to manage. And dry skin under the beard will get flakey and irritated if not properly hydrated. Beard oil, beard shampoo, and beard conditioner help keep beards healthy and hydrated. Other beard products, like beard balms and moustache wax, are designed more for styling than hydration. A combination of these types of beard products make for a good-looking beard. And as an added bonus, most beard products smell great.
Q: What are the best beard products on the market?
The best beard products on the market are high-quality beard oils and beard balms. The oils, like Honest Amish Beard Oil, help keep a beard healthy and soft. And beard balms, like the Viking Revolution Beard Balms make it easy to style a beard. Your type of skin and thickness of beard may need special care, so it’s a good idea to try a few products as you fine-tune your beard management tool kit. If you’re just starting out on a beard grooming journey, don’t overspend on luxury beard cosmetics without knowing how your skin and hair will react.
The final word on best beard products
A well-groomed beard looks stylish, masculine, and confident. And the best way to achieve that is with the best bear products. Oils and shampoos will help a beard stay soft. Beard balms and waxes can tame and style even the roughest of facial hair. And a high-quality trimmer will make managing length and shaping the beard easier. (Don’t be rude. Clean up after a trim.) Armed with the best beard products, you’ll feel good and look good. Now you just need to start a folk band or have strong opinions on coffee and you’ll be set.