So, you’re looking to delve into the world of beard oil, but you’re not sure where to start. At a glance, a beard oil can work wonders for any hirsute man — from your local, well-groomed barista to a friend rocking a Castaway vibe — regardless of the length, style or texture of his facial topiary.
It’s fair to say the the hygiene, health and conditioning properties of a good beard oil are both incredibly underrated and, once you start using it, totally indispensable. Once you start using your beard oil, your coarse facial hair will become more supple, more fragrant and considerably easier to style. Crucially, any rogue ‘beardruff’ — that’s beard dandruff, FYI — will be long gone, helping you feel more confident with your facial fuzz. There’s more on that later.
Similarly, the nourishing ingredients of beard oils will mean that your skin will notice the benefits of using facial hair serum, with natural oils and ingredients — including Argan oils, baobab and jojoba — to keep your skin feeling soft and refreshed.
For now, though, it’s important to recognise why beard oil is on the up amongst stylish and smart guys around the world, alongside the hygiene benefits, beard oil alternatives — such as coconut oil — and other FAQs that have come straight from the Men’s Health readership. So, if you’re yet to start using beard oil, read on for your 101 in keeping your topiary tip-top, because beard oil is the grooming product you never knew you needed.
What is Beard Oil?
Beard oil is just that- a specially formulated oil, designed to be applied to your beard, stubble or other forms of facial hair to keep it soft, hydrated and healthy. Think of it as a conditioner for your facial hair. However, using beard oil serves a different purpose compared to shampoo or shower gel, as your facial hair is coarser than the hair on your head, meaning it requires a little more upkeep and added hydration.
When it comes to purchasing your own, there can be a lot of variables to consider. Below, we’ve detailed numerous beard oils that get the Men’s Health seal of approval, for every budget, taste and style. Beard oil, crucially, is lighter and more easily absorbed than, say, sunflower oil, so we wouldn’t recommend trying to kill two birds with one stone.
Additionally, beard oil also tends to be scented, leaving your goatee/mutton chops/lumberjack/moustache/soul patch smelling good all day. For example, this ‘Booze & Baccy Beard Oil’ from Captain Fawcett and Ricki Hall combines “base notes of honeyed fresh tobacco leaves, dusty aromatic frankincense, maple-like benzoin, woody oak moss and warm exotic vanilla bean, layered with mid notes of fresh hops and sweet bog myrtle”.
Why Should I Be Using Beard Oil?
Rub your hand across your face. That rough, spiky feeling is the result of coarse facial hair. Thicker than the hair on your head, beard hair needs to be tamed if you want people to cosy up to it and stop it getting so irritating that you just shave the whole thing off.
A beard oil will soften coarse hair and help make it supple and easier to style. And, behind the scenes it will help condition the skin underneath, reducing the chances of it becoming itchy or flaky. Lastly, as we’ve already mentioned, beard oils tend to be fragranced, so you can make your beard smell fantastic all day, without having to resort to spraying it with aftershave. All of which is particularly handy for any guy looking to stay stylish as the day progresses.
How Long Does My Beard Hair Need to Be?
In theory you can apply beard oil to any length of stubble, or even use it as a serum on your freshly shaved face (although if you were going to do that we’d recommend using a proper skin serum).
For maximum effect and minimum greasiness though, we’d suggest applying it once your beard has started to get thick enough to cover the skin underneath- somewhere around the centimetre mark. At this length your beard will be getting thick enough that if left untamed you could look a little…unkempt. It’ll work in your favour, too — scientists at the University of Queensland spoke to 919 women and found that a direct correlation between fertility and with facial hair.
How and When Should You Apply It?
Like any grooming product, how often you should apply beard oil is entirely down to you. Some oils will absorb and wash out easily, making them ideal of daily use. Some will have a little more staying power, making them better suited for anyone who doesn’t have time to wash their beard every day.
When you do use it, we’d suggest washing your beard with a beard shampoo — like this 2-in-1 beard shampoo and conditioner from Bulldog — that’s better suited for coarse hair than regular shampoo. Towel or blow-dry it, depending on how thick it is and apply the beard oil as per the instructions on the bottle. Comb it through or work it in with your fingers and smooth the beard down to finish it off.
Can You Use Coconut Oil Instead?
Useful for whitening your teeth, shouting at and throwing into a frying pan a-la Joe Wicks and now, as a grooming product, coconut oil is a real multi-tasker. Use it sparingly and work a small amount in your hands until it’s melted before working it through your beard. Less greasy than most oils thanks to its lauric acid content, it will nourish and condition the beard. You may smell like a Bounty chocolate bar, though.
The Best Beard Oils
Captain Fawcett x Ricki Hall Beard Oil
Developed in collaboration with model and famous beard owner, Ricki Hall, this Booze and Baccy beard oil doesn’t, despite what the name might suggest, smell like an old pub carpet. Instead, it’s full of rich, warm ingredients like tobacco leaves, rum and vanilla. We’ll drink to that.
Kiehl’s Nourishing Beard Oil
Made with a fresh blend of woodsy essential oils, this beard oil absorbs quickly and easily to soften your hair while soothing the skin underneath the beard. Exfoliating Salicylic Acid gently removes dry skin cells to prevent dandruff, with a lasting scenf of Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Eucalyptus.
Hawkins & Brimble Beard Oil
Using shea butter and Argan oil, this fast-acting beard oil helps you fight frizz and dryness in your beard. The added bonus is that it nourishes the skin underneath your beard hair for added comfort. “This beard oil has a nice and subtle smell, which keeps your beard feeling hydrated and soft. Using it in the mornings and can definitely tell that my beard stays softer for longer, as well as looking healthier,” said one customer of the beard oil, which is never tested on animals and is suitable for vegetarians.
Murdock London Beard Oil
This beard oil is ideal for guys worried about excess greasiness in their product. It’s fast-absorbing and won’t leave your beard slick after use. Your hair will feel soft after application and your skin will be softer. Using natural oils, Murdock London’s bear doil uses an ‘ultra-nourishing’ blend to hydrate dry hairs and to enhance shine without excess grease. The pump bottle is a nice touch, too — meaning a mess-free application is guaranteed. “A little goes a long way and it smells Devine! A must have for all beard wearers,” said one customer on Look Fantastic.
The Ritual of Samurai Beard Oil
Ritual’s lightweight beard oil gives a non-greasy finish for a well-groomed appearance for any guy. It’ll help stop your skin from going dry and — thanks to Sencha antioxidants — will hydrate your skin and your beard hair. Using Japanese Mint Oil, you’re left feeling refreshed with softer facial hair and a natural, noticeable shine.
Seven Potions Premium Beard Oil for Men
With hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon, Seven Potions’ beard oil is a favourite among guys looking for a cheaper beard oil, especially when compared against other high fashion brands like Tom Ford or Penhaligon’s. Made in England and with 100% natural ingredients, you’ll get a choice of three signature fragrances. “…great as a beard oil, sinks right in without a greasy feel, leaves the beard feeling soft and smells great as well,” said one customer on Look Fantastic.
Brisk Intensive Beard Oil
A more affordable Beard Oil, Brisk’s intensive serum is a wallet-friendly way of cleaning your beard regularly. Using 100% natural essential oils, this beard oil contains vitamin E, hemp and lemon to give your beard added volume, while making it softer, stronger and smelling great. Argan oils, baobab and jojoba keep thins comfortable and help stop your skin from feeling itchy.
Teds Grooming Room Beard Oil
A lightweight beard oil using Meadowood foam and Jojoba oil, it also will sooth your skin while leaving your facial hair soft, healthy and easy to style. Coming in a 50ml bottle, you’re getting a good deal for a similar price to 30ml bottles.
Toni & Guy Premium Stubble and Beard Oil
Suitable for guys with shorter facial hair, Toni & Guys’ Stubble and Beard Oil is enriched with naturally derived oils to moisturise short stubble hairs, while also softening your skin underneath — a crucial part of any guy’s grooming routine. According to Toni & Guy, you can also use it for a more comfortable shave.
Acqua di Parma Collezione Barbiere Beard Oil
Perfect as a gift or as a bit of grooming indulgence, this premium beard oil from Acqua di Parma uses locally-sourced ingredients, including sweet almond and grape seed oils, to provide gently cleansed and tangle-free beard. Use daily for best results.
Full of nourishing ingredients like almond oil and vitamin E, Tom Ford’s beard oil comes in three of his most popular fragrances. We especially like the Neroli Portofino but the Oud Wood and Tobacco Vanille both have that moreish quality that all good fragrances do.
Baxter of California Beard Oil
As it ‘says on the tin’, Baxter’s beard oil is fast absorbing and contains avocado oil and vitamin E. What does this mean exactly? That you won’t be left with a greasy beard after applying it and that throughout the day it will soften the coarse hairs and keep it from becoming dry.
With two royal warrants and nearly 150 years of experience behind them, Penhaligon’s are well-versed in what men’s beards need. This treatment contains sunflower and grapeseed oil that is quickly absorbed and nourishing for both the beard and the skin underneath.
Products that multi task are becoming increasingly popular as brands realise that we don’t want a cupboard full of potions that can essentially do the same thing. This oil from Lab Series can be used to condition your beard or as a shaving cream substitute if you decide to shave it off.
Bulldog Beard Oil
This is a bargain beard oil full of soothing ingredients from Bulldog. Aloe? Soothing. Green tea? Delicious. And soothing. Camelina oil? No, us neither, but we looked it up and it’s a nourishing plant oil that contains fatty acids, making it ideal for your beard and skin.
David Beckham’s grooming brand understandably comes with some serious chops. This beard oil contains shea butter and ticks the three most important boxes for a product like this: non-greasy, fast absorbing, and nourishing for your beard.
L’Oréal Men Expert
Beard oil’s not just for beards. It’s for moustaches, too. Especially if you’ve never grown one before and are about to dive in for a good cause. Buying this limited ‘Movember’ edition beard oil means L’Oréal will donate 50p to the Movember foundation. Save your beard and give to charity.
If you want your beard to smell so good that people are stopping you in the street to sniff it, Le Labo is the beard oil for you. In addition, it’s full of nourishing ingredients for both beard and skin which means, if you apply it regularly, your face will be as healthy as your fuzz.
Melon oil and vitamin E in an easily absorbed, non-greasy and most importantly vegan suitable package? We’ll take it. Jack Black’s products don’t contain alcohol or synthetic fragrances, making them gentler on your skin and environmentally friendly.
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