If you’ve grown a beard for any length of time, you’ve probably wondered if there were conditioners out there specifically for beards. Beards can get dry, itchy, and flaky, so finding a quality beard conditioner should be on every bearded man’s to-do list. There are indeed conditioners designed specifically for beards, and they differ greatly from regular conditioners.
Aren’t conditioners all the same? What’s the difference?
Regular hair conditioners from the supermarket are packed with waxes. Waxes are a low cost way to make a conditioner thicker, and give hair shine. But many waxes used in conditioners can clog your pores, leading to ingrown hairs and other facial irritation.
Beard conditioners differ in that they are made from substances that your pores can easily absorb. This makes for healthier pores and hair strands, and keeps your face from breaking out, getting raw, and flaking. Any waxes that are used are made from beeswax, which is a natural substance that your face can absorb.
What are the different types of beard conditioners?
There are two primary types of beard conditioners: Conditioners you use in the shower with beard shampoo that you wash out, and leave-in conditioners that condition your beard all day long.
Wash-out conditioners are nice because they are convenient. You’re already in the shower, you’re already shampooing and conditioning your hair, so you can easily get your beard done and be on your way. They work well, and while they don’t last all day, they prep your beard for snag-free combing and make your beard look glossy and fine in time for work or school.
There are a number of quality wash-out beard conditioners. These are the ones I have tried and recommend:
$21.20 – 8 oz
Bluebeards’ Original beard conditioner is one of the oldest brands around (I remember using it years before I ever made this website–back before bearding was a “thing”). It has over 100 quality reviews on Amazon and can be considered a grizzled veteran. This is a 2-in-1 product, with both beard conditioner and beard shampoo in one bottle.
Leave-In Beard Conditioners
Of all beard conditioner types, the leave-in conditioners are recommended by beard championship winners. There are three main types—beard oils, beard balms (or beard glosses), and pump-action beard lotions.
Beard oil is the most popular form of beard conditioner around. There are hundreds of brands of beard oils, all made with excellent carrier and essential oils, which do wonders for your skin and hair.
Beard oil is easy to apply, and easy to use. Just dab a few drops in the palm of your hands, rub your hands together, and then apply to the surface of the beard.
Beard oils make your beard glossy, soft, and healthy. However, they do make your beard feel oily, depending on the brand you use. I have a complete index of all known beard oils on my beard oil page. Listed below are a few oils I have personally used and recommend. As I like my oil to feel silkier and less oily, the ones listed below all have a silky feel which lasts all day.
Grave Before Shave
Beard Oil Pack
$36.99 – 3 oz
The Grave Before Shave set is a great starter set of beard oil. It comes in three scents, and is of the highest quality. It comes with a handy eyedropper applicator so that you don’t use too much. It comes in 3 ounces, which is a great bang for your buck, and makes it cheaper per ounce than other oils. This is my favorite beard oil.
Also, check out my guide on how to craft your own beard oil.
Beard balms and glosses are my personal favorite type of beard conditioner. They come in varying different consistencies, from buttery to almost waxy.
To use beard balm, scrape a bit of the balm off with your thumbnail and rub it between your hands vigorously, to melt it. The balm will take on a buttery consistency, which you then apply to your beard.
I like my beard balms to feel like butter. Some are a tad waxier, and these are fine if you want to give your beard shape (I, however, simply add a layer of beard wax on top of my beard balm, to get both a conditioned beard and a well styled beard).
See my beard balm page for a list of the top beard balm brands. The ones below are my favorites:
X-Large Beard Balm
$25.50 – 4 oz
Honest Amish is by far and away the most popular beard balm beard conditioner around. This is my personal favorite too. The balm looks like milk curds, and feels like butter once you melt it. It leaves a fine gloss on your beard, and conditions better than any beard oil, in my opinion. It comes in an extra-large 4 oz tin, making it cheaper per ounce than any other beard balm.
I have only found a few beard lotions. Beard lotions differ from balms and oils in that they come out white, and need to be rubbed into your beard well. Otherwise, you’ll walk into work with some white goop in your beard. Beard lotions tend to be more fragrant, but there are plenty of bearded men who swear by them.
As you can see, there are many options before you. I suggest trying them all to find a beard conditioner you like best. A well-conditioned beard is a healthy beard. It will give you years of happy bearding, without any of the notorious itch. They help impart a masculine, well-groomed scent to your beard and help give the bearded man that extra “oomph” he needs to make a good impression.
I hope you found this guide useful. Happy bearding!