“The internet is full of beard oil reviews and recommendations, with everyone from GQ Magazine to Yahoo featuring articles about which oil is right for you and comparing various oils to one another. Beard balms on the other hand tend to be overlooked a little. The beard balm could be thought of as the beard oil’s thicker, harder working, cousin: It may not be as pretty or as popular with the ladies, but it pitches in and gets the job done and it does it with style. Here at The Great Australian Beard Company though we love our beard balms and we think they deserve a whole heap more attention, so we’ve taken the time to review three of our most popular balms and share our thoughts with the readers of TheBeardMag.
What is beard balm and why should you be using it?
Beard balms serve a couple of purposes, primarily:
1. They’re a leave in conditioner for your facial hair // Because beard balms contain many of the same “magic” ingredients as beard oils, including things like coconut oil, argan, jojoba, shea, etc, they have all of the same moisturising, nourishing and caring properties as the beard oils we all love. Using a quality balm regularly ensures that both the hair and the skin on your face get the care they need and deserve;
2. Balms provide style and hold // Like a pomade for your face, beard balm offers more hold than a beard oil and allows you to tame and lightly style your chin warmer. We’re not saying you should try to form an 80s punk rock mohawk on your face (but if you do, PLEASE send us a photo!), but the use of a beard balm will help to prevent wild flyaway hairs and hold the beard in your desired shape.
What are the “typical” beard balm ingredients, and what do they do?
Beard balms are pretty simple beasts, typically made up of a combination of base or carrier oils and essential oils to provide scent and nourishment, along with a wax or butter product to give it the consistency and hold that we want from them. Generally, the carrier and essential oils are going to look much the same as what you find in any beard oil product, with things like jojoba, argan, coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc all getting a frequent nod. The essential oils, again, are much the same (there is a HUGE range of common essential oils though, so I won’t go into those here). What makes balms unique though is the combination of these oils with waxes and/or butters to take them from being just another beard oil to the awesomeness that is your favourite beard balm.
Generally, when you look at the ingredients list on your favourite beard balm you will find some combination of the following:
Beeswax // Beeswax is the ultimate beard holding material. If you want to tame a wild beard, this should be the main ingredient you’re looking for. Balms using beeswax will hold your beard better much better than those without.
Shea, almond, mango, cocoa or other butters // Butters don’t give as much hold as beeswax but they do a great job of thickening up the balm and providing a “medium” hold while being some of the most nourishing ingredients available. These are perfect for when you have a “medium” length beard as they provide enough hold to tame flyaway hairs while really getting in and moisturising the skin and hair.
Ok, now on to our favourites!
Now that we’ve given you a (very) brief introduction to what beard balm is and what’s in that little tin or jar of magic, we’d like to introduce you to three of our favourites here at The Great Australian Beard Company
Parker for Men is an Australian company, based out of the Gold Coast in Queensland. They pride themselves on using natural and organic ingredients to craft men’s grooming products that “recultivate the way the world perceives mens care.” The Bay Rum beard balm they produce is, far and away, one of the nicest smelling and best holding balms we’ve ever personally used (and we have used a few!!). The balm has a “grainy” feel in the hand as a result of the amount of beeswax used, and as a result has quite a strong and long-lasting hold, yet doesn’t leave the beard feeling waxy afterwards. The Bay Rum scent is a traditional “manly” scent, which can be described as a sweet yet spicy mix. The scent in this particular balm is very strong in the tin, but quite quickly fades in the beard so it isn’t as overpowering as it might seem when you first open it.
In summary, this is a great balm for putting on in the morning before work or before heading out for a night on the town. Whenever you want a strong long-lasting hold and a scent that’s masculine enough and strong enough to work as a cologne alternative, this is the one for you
Another Australian company, Swagger Beards are based in Kiama, New South Wales. Produced by a mad scientist of a beard fanatic (or something to that effect), Swagger have a huge range of beard grooming and conditioning products and are always adding more. Their conditioning balms range have less hold than their holding balms (funny that), but provide all of the nourishment and care you need to keep it healthy. The balm that we have chosen here is perhaps the “mildest” balm we have available and is perfect for use by gents with a short-medium length beard that are just looking to keep it neat and tidy, while at the same time keeping the hair and skin underneath as healthy as can be. With a focus on the butters, this balm has a limited amount of hold, and being a “naked” variant is without any added scent. There is a light natural scent associated with the oils and butters used, but this is very faint.
Use this balm on short to medium length beards that don’t need a great deal of styling. The lack of any added scent means that this can be worn with your favourite cologne or by those who don’t like to wear any scents at all
The only non-Australian balm in this list, this one is produced by Bossman Brands out of the USA are at the forefront of beard treatment of innovation. This is another balm with limited hold, being a mix of primarily butters and oils with a limited wax component. The balm has a fairly soft consistency in the tin and melts easily in the palm of the hand to spread through your beard. The “magic” scent we have featured here is described as being a warm and intoxicating blend of rich Sandal Wood and Vanilla oils that creates a clean base intended to highlight the Bergamont, Patchouli and Frankincense accents. It’s an incredibly complex scent which you will struggle to describe but thoroughly enjoy. The scent in this is not as strong as the Parker for Men Bay Rum balm featured above, which makes it great for those who want a more subtle scent.
A beautiful, yet subtle, scented balm with limited hold. This is perfect for beards that don’t require a great deal of styling but need nourishment and scent. A good choice as an “everyday” balm. Especially great when used following the matching Bossman Brands Beard Jelly product.
The Great Australian Beard Company was founded in 2016 by an Australian Bearded Gentleman, for Australian Bearded Gentlemen. You might ask why? Why did Dave decide to do this? Well, Dave has a beard and when he went looking to buy himself some beard oils and balms he found that there were plenty of manufacturers out there, but very few places where he was able to go and browse a range of awesome products in one place. As a consumer, Dave didn’t want to be limited to just one brand, but he also didn’t want to have to go to multiple stores to get what he wanted. The Great Australian Beard Company was created to fix that. To provide a single destination where Dave (and all of Australia’s other bearded folks) can go and get everything under one (hypothetical) roof.”