Beard oil is the grooming product you never knew you needed. And of course, unless you grow out your facial hair, beard oil would be entirely superfluous to your needs. To the hairsuite though, the conditioning properties of a good beard oil are indispensable. Not using it yet? Read on to discover why applying an oil to your beard will not only help you grow a better one, but make it more comfortable, healthy and sweet-smelling in the process.
What is beard oil?
Beard oil is just that- a specially formulated oil, designed to be applied to your beard. It’s lighter and more easily absorbed than, say sunflower oil so we wouldn’t recommend trying to kill two birds with one stone. Beard oil also tends to be scented, leaving your goatee/mutton chops/lumberjack smelling good all day.
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.
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How long does my beard 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.
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 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 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 will smell like a Bounty though.
The best beard oils of 2018
Captain Fawcett x Ricki Hall
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.
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.
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.
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.