The definitive guide to beard oils and how to DIY them
Beards... they grow on you
Are you the proud owner of a bushy, full, beard? Or perhaps you’re in the market for one but you’re having a little trouble... making ends meet? Well, today onwards we're taking your beard game to astronomical heights. Gone are the days of skincare apathy—from now on you have a one-stop solution to any and all of your bearded woes. That's right—no more frizzy, unkempt fuzz. No more flaky, dry beard-druff (that’s dandruff, in your beard). No more weird, patchy growth either.
What is this miracle cure we speak of, you ask? Two words: Beard oil. If the sound of it already has you confused over the concept, never fear. We have just the thing to remedy you with our comprehensive guide.
What is it?
The concept behind it is very simple. You see, like the hair on your head, when you wash your face in the shower (or by the sink), you’re stripping dirt and grime off the beard follicles. However, in the process, you’re also stripping the hairs of its natural oils that keep your beard nice and conditions. Now, the extent of the effects of this vary from person to person, and just like the hair on your head you can end up with really frizzy fuzz if you don’t end up replacing the oil, pronto.
This is where beard oil comes in; it is effectively a leave-in conditioner for your beard. You’ve probably heard of hair oil—the two products basically do the same thing, except that beard oil goes on your face. Truth be told, beard oil can also go on your hair, if you're brave enough (industry secret). Anyway, after washing, you’d run a few drops of it through your beard, shaping it along the way however you desire and hey presto, you’re golden! Reduced frizz, moisturised skin and hair plus (if you’re fancy) fresh scents to boot.
It won’t just help to improve the condition and look of your beard, either. Beard oil is nourishing to the skin your precious facial hair sprouts from, so keeping it happy and healthy will help promote new growth. That’s right, you’ll finally be able to fill in some of those bald spots.
So, looking to get started? You’ve come to the right place.
There are two ways you can get your hands on some of the good stuff—both are incredibly easy to do. The first is to create your own personal blend. Don’t worry, not intimidating, only takes a few ingredients and is a great way to cut costs (and customise it to your tastes!). Here’s the recipe guide:
Making your own beard oil
The recipe is super simple. Mix an ounce of your carrier oil or carrier oil blend with 15 to 20 drops of essential oils (or to your liking). Shake, store away from heat and direct sun and you’re good to go!
- Amber bottle (or any bottle that blocks out UV)
- Carrier oil
- Essential oils
So, let’s break each component down one by one.
This is the ingredient that’s going to do most of the leg work in your beard oil. In fact, if you’re too lazy to go the full mile, you can use them on their own and get equally good results. In addition, you can mix a few carrier oils together to get the consistency and result that suits you best i.e. mix lighter weight oils like Avocado, Jojoba or Grapeseed oils with the heavier Argan oil to allow the blend to absorb better and help you avoid the ‘oily’ look. There are many different carrier oils you can use depending on your desired result, but the most common are as follows:
- Jojoba Oil The ideal oil to use as it mild and mimics the oil produced by the skin, meaning that it is also hypoallergenic and is unlikely to lead to any adverse reaction
- Argan Oil Really moisturising, a favourite in the beauty and skincare industry because of its intense moisturising properties
- Grapeseed Oil A good oil for oily or acne prone skin as it absorbs well and is quite thin
- Hemp Seed Oil Good for promoting new hair growth (it is derived from the marijuana plant but does not get you high, sorry!)
- Avocado Oil Wonderfully moisturising and is a treat for the skin
- Sweet Almond Oil Also a good option for promoting beard growth and moisturising
Note: Watch out for coconut oil—it is a big favourite among DIY skincare enthusiasts, but it can cause breakouts in some people. It’s comedogenic (which means it will break you out) and it tends to solidify at room temperature, making it a pain to use.
Not really a necessity per se, but it is definitely a surefire way to make the whole experience much more luxurious. Note: Remember to check and see if you are allergic to any of these oils! They can be quite potent and irritating. Firstly, being able to customise the scent is the best part of making your own beard oil.
In fact, you can really go wild with this. Mix citrus notes with bergamot for a bright, fresh scent (though, don’t mix more than two or three scents to start otherwise things will get pretty overwhelming). Alternatively, go super simple and opt for a few drops of Balsam Fir Needle to get you smelling like a forest… in the best way. There are lots of oils to play around with, but the most popular are the following:
- Balsam Fir Needle
Tip: When blending, keep a notebook or journal handy so you can easily keep track of what works and what doesn’t (you’ll thank us later).
When all is blended and done, if you didn’t blend it in the bottle itself, transfer it into the sanitised amber bottle you have handy. The reason behind the need for an amber coloured bottle specifically is that amber bottles prevent UV rays from reaching its contents. Basically, it increases the shelf life of your product by preventing the UV rays from breaking down the molecules of the beard oil.
The best part about DIY beard oils, however, is that they also make great personalised gifts. Keep a bottle handy for Father's Day, or make your custom blend in large batches to make birthday gifting your boys a lot easier.
If you can't be bothered to go down the DIY route, your second option is a lot less effort (but, potentially, a lot more costly):
Shop these beard oils
Note: You’ll want to watch out for certain ingredients. Specifically, be wary of any blends containing silicone. Silicone-containing formulas won’t do you any real harm health-wise, but you’ll want to avoid it for several reasons. Yes, it makes your hair feel softer, but it comes at a great cost. The silicone coating (which is usually water-resistant) seals up the shaft of your hair follicles, which is what makes the beard hairs so soft.
However, although it feels nice, it’s not doing much for your beard. The coating actually prevents nutrients from penetrating the shaft of follicles, so you can be sure that any results are all aesthetic. Also, because the coating is water-resistant, it takes more effort and elbow grease to wash it off, which dries out the beard hairs even more. Overall, you’ll probably just want to steer clear.
All in all, facial hair is an often overlooked aspect of skincare–but no longer. It's time to invest in yourselves and get your self-care game up to par, lads—your future is... beard oil.