So, you decided to stop shaving, grow a beard, and make your grooming ritual less of a chore in the morning. You've made a great decision.
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No more worrying about dull razor blades, shaving cream, or nicking your skin and arriving at work looking like Edward Scissorhands helped you shave. For a couple of weeks anyway.
When to Start Using Beard Oil
Depending on your rate of hair growth, at some point you'll need to trim your beard. There are many options and price points for hair trimmers, but you can't go wrong with the Philips Norelco Multigroom 5000.
If you're able to easily rein in your young beard with the trimmer and reset it to something you like, then you're all set. But if you're tempted to keep on growing it, you'll need to think about beard oils.
Should You Use Beard Oil?
Beard oil is the number one beard additive for keeping your beard smooth and shiny, untangled and smelling good, and growing with vigor.
And before you ask, no, beard oil is not magical. It won't accelerate the speed at which your hair grows. But it will stave off the conditions that make your beard grow slower than it could, namely: damaged shafts, split ends, breakage, not to mention the dry, irritated skin of an under-moisturized face.
How to Apply Beard Oil
A boar-bristle brush is preferred for beards, as the natural, stiff hair of the bristles absorb and redistribute the oil all throughout your beard.
To get the oil down to your skin, depending on your beard length, you need a porous comb, often made of wood, which also absorbs the oil and redistributes it to you hair follicles and the surface of your skin.
Here are five of my personal favorite beard oils, but read on for more recommendations from other bearded guys.
My Favorite Beard Oils
Most Luxurious Beard Oil
The Martial Vivot Beard & Face oil is the one to apply before a night of fine dining, an opera, or gala. The scent is pure luxury, with lavender, lemon and lime resting gracefully atop a base of sunflower, jojoba, shea, olive and hempseed oils. After being rubbed into a freshly cleaned face, this beard and face oil provides the essential finishing touch for the bearded well-to-do.
Most Manly Beard Oil
While the bottle of NOTO Rooted Oil - Hair + Scent says "a smokey uni-sexy blend", I find the aroma to be the most distinct and forward of the beard oils I tried, and the most manly. It's based on the shamanistic scent Palo Santo, but unfortunately when I first apply it, my daughter thinks it smells like a bicycle tire. Luckily, the layers of aroma only begin there and unfold throughout the day. In the very handy glass roller bottle, this is the oil I use most often and grab on the way out the door.
Best Beard Oil for Coarse Hair
Captain Fawcett/Ricki Hall Booze and Baccy Beard Oil. I've been a long-time fan of the Captain's Private Stock beard oil, but this new edition is my go-to for special occasions. It's incredibly effective at smoothing and softening even the coarsest hair and the scent is a wonderfully intense combination that brings to mind pipe tobacco and expensive rum.
Most Moisturizing Beard Oil
Shea Moisture Beard Conditioning Oil has "moisture" in the company's name, and for good reason. Based in marajuca and shea oils this conditioning oil attacks dryness. Also forward, the creamy, fresh scent smells great. The combination of oils softens extra-scruffy beards for greater manageability and style-ability.
Best Undecided Bearded Oil
The 2-in-1 Shave Prep & Beard Oil from Barrel and Oak is the perfect oil for men who occasionally shave off all their hard work. For the bearded - use like the other oils: put a few drops on your fingertips to warm up, then massage it through your beard for a silky feel accompanied by the masculine scents of cedar and bergamot. For babyfaces, massage a few drops into your 5 o'clock shadow to lift the whiskers, then lather your shaving cream over the oil to shave.
Best Scent-Free Oil
Not everyone wants their beard to have a fragrance of its own. This may be because of competing scents with cologne or any other faromas riding along with grooming products. The unscented Revitalizing Beard Oil, by the Cremo Company, is based on argan and jojoba oils. It gives you the shine, moisture, and manageability of other oils, but with absolutely no scent at all. Does a great job without changing your smell.
Best Recommended Pre-Made Beard Oils
My favorite is Jack Black's Beard Oil. It uses 100% essential oils which leaves my beard soft and moisturizes the skin underneath. The scent is light but fresh and clean, making it easy on the nose too.
- Carmine Mastropierro / President / Pierro Shoes
My favorite beard oil is Port Products Conditioning Beard Absolute. I like it because it moisturizes well, but doesn't leave me with the dreaded shiny beard. It has a light smell and helps my beard not get poofy like a poodle.
- Eric Anthony / Managing Editor / Houston On The Cheap
I use Fuel Around by BedHead TIGI to nourish and reduce dryness on my skin. It's a product I recommend to any of my male Supercuts guests with beards because it conditions the facial hair while keeping it moisturized and feeling soft! I apply a small amount in my hands and massage it throughout my beard and then comb it to my desired look.
- Chris Morales / Stylist / Supercuts
Best Recommended DIY Beard Oils
- Will Benedetto / Cocktail Curator / In Good Company Hospitality
The only beard oil I've ever used is this tea tree oil. It made a considerable difference in terms of softness and it was truly the only scented facial hair product I've enjoyed.
- Bryn Gelbart / Fueled
I've used a bunch of different beard oils, but my favorite is actually coconut oil. It smells great, keeps my beard conditioned, and is inexpensive. A couple of quick tips for using coconut oil as your beard oil: Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so sometimes it's solid and other times it's liquid (depending on your climate). When it's solid, just rub the coconut oil in your hands before putting it into your beard. When it's liquid, be careful with spills. I've had some doozies.
It's not always easy to get the coconut oil out of its container since it's often sold for cooking purposes. I would suggest melting your beard oil in your microwave and transferring it to Tupperware.
- Sam Schultz / Co-Founder / Honeyfi
So whether you want a luxury beard oil or prefer something homemade, there's no excuse not to take care of your nourishing your beard.