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A great beard needs great care; healthy, shiny, groomed facial hair doesn’t just happen. That’s why every beard-sporter should have at least one go-to product to moisturize and style their facial locks.
But you may have noticed that the market is flooded with all sorts of different products, in particular beard balms and beard butters. And one of the most common questions among beard-wearers today is ‘What the heck is the difference?’
Well there actually is a difference between a beard balm and a beard butter. And although these differences can be subtle, you want to make sure you are using the right product for your needs.
Take a look below for a rundown of the differences and to find out which product you should be using!
- Beard Balm Vs Beard Butter at a Glance
- What’s the Difference Between Them?
- Recommended Beard Balms
- Recommended Beard Butter
- Should I use beard butter or beard balm?
- The verdict?
Beard Balm Vs Beard Butter at a Glance
If you don’t want to read the whole article, check out our recommended beard butter and beard balms in the table below.
- Thick, waxy texture
- Strong styling power
- Light conditioning
- ideal for medium and long beards
- Creamy texture
- Light styling power
- Deep conditioning
- Can be used daily on short, medium and long beards
What’s the Difference Between Them?
Texture and Ingredients
Beard balms are usually thicker and more waxy than beard butters. They are usually made with Beeswax and other carrier oils and have tacky texture. Beard balms mostly come in a solid form in a small metal tin or pot.
The stiff texture helps to really shape, style and hold your beard as well as hydrating it. To use a beard balm, take a small amount of balm on your hand and rub it between your fingers where the texture will turn thick and oily.
Then rub this through your beard thoroughly and evenly to style and smooth! All-natural ingredients will help to nourish and not dry out your beard. Many are scented with essential oils. Beard butters, on the other hand, have a lighter, whipped and creamier texture.
They are usually made with nourishing natural butters such as Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter etc. as well as other carrier oils. This means they are specially designed to deeply nourish and condition the beard, and provide a more natural and less styled look.
The butter can be scooped into the hand and rubbed between the fingers where it will take on a smooth, oily consistency and rubbed through the beard.
If you are looking for a product to style your beard and hold every hair in place all day long, beard balm is a must. It works a bit like a hair gel, with strong fixing properties that will smooth out stray hairs and add life and shape to your beard.
Unruly beards, particularly medium or long ones, may particularly benefit from the taming and grooming properties of a beard balm. Careful that you use a product that works for you and don’t add too much, as this could leave your beard feeling stiff or hardened.
If you prefer a lighter, more natural look and a less-styled beard, a beard butter could be for you. It helps to keep your beard looking healthy and soft, as well as lightly adding shape and styling away unruly hairs. However it doesn’t offer the same level of hold as a beard balm.
This makes it great for people who prefer a natural look and are more about deep conditioning and soft, healthy facial hair instead.
A beard balm has some moisturizing qualities as it is usually made with oils or butters that nourish and hydrate the hair. The moisturizing power of a balm however, is much less than that of a beard butter.
Balms are ideal for people who are looking to style and shape while lightly moisturizing at the same time. Rather than those with parched, damaged beards in need of deep conditioning.
If you are in search of a product to deep condition a dry or scraggly beard, try a beard butter. It intensely moisturizes the hair to leave it looking healthy, soft and shiny.
Commonly included ingredients are natural butters like Shea Butter. They absorb quickly into the beard, instantly giving your beard a fuller, healthier texture. The moisturizing properties of beard butters also help to encourage hair growth.
A great thing about beard butters is that they also absorb into the face behind your beard, helping to hydrate dry, scratchy skin and reduce ‘beardruff’.
Beard type and use
A beard balm can often be better suited to a medium to long beard. This is because a scraggly or unruly beard may need some more heavy duty help. Beard balms are versatile however, and can be used up to twice daily!
A beard butter can be well suited to all types of beard. The moisturizing properties nourish any type of hair and skin, leaving it looking and feeling soft and shiny. A beard butter can also be used daily.
Recommended Beard Balms
Heavy Duty Beard Balm by Honest Amish
This heavy duty beard balm by Amish is ideal for softening and conditioning coarse beards. It has a soothing fragrance and made from organic butters and natural oils. The coolest thing is that its free from harmful chemicals and artificial colors. If you want to learn more about the product, check out our brief review article on Honest Amish Beard Balm.
Beard Balm by Rocky Mountain Barber
Rocky Mountain Barber Beard Balm comes with a pleasant cedarwood fragrance and works well with all kinds of beards. It contains essential minerals, fatty acids, and vitamins that supplement beard growth and nourish your hair alike.
Recommended Beard Butter
Live Bearded Beard Butter
This beard butter is sold by Live Bearded brand and comes in three versions: American, Wingman, and Straight Up. It is great for softening dry beards and promotes better beard growth by making the hair grow fully.
Beard Guyz Beard Butter
Beard Guyz made this lightweight and non-greasy beard butter from shea, mango, cocoa butter, and coconut oil. It is an excellent product for hydrating and softening dry, itchy beard, and comes with a customer satisfaction guarantee.
Should I use beard butter or beard balm?
Do you want to style your beard?
If you like to style your beard, or have a particularly long or scraggly beard that needs some help keeping its shape, you might prefer a beard balm. If you are looking for a more natural look, preferring to lightly style your beard and leave it with a healthy, soft finish check out a beard butter.
Is your beard dry and damaged?
If you have a very dry, damaged beard that is in need of some intense moisture, use a beard butter. This helps to deep-condition daily and keep your hair in healthy shape. If you prefer a light, moisturizing effect, a beard balm may suit you better.
Do you want an all-in-one product?
If you prefer to use just one product and prefer a more low maintenance routine, we recommend going for a beard butter. It lightly shapes and styles while deeply conditioning at the same time. With a beard balm however, you may need to use another product every now and again to deeply moisturize the hair. You can also use beard oil, it is an excellent beard butter alternative.
While both balms and butters can be great depending on the look you want to achieve and the state of your beard, overall our winner is… beard butter!
It is a great all-in-one product that both moisturizes and styles but leaves you with a natural, healthy look! And it is low maintenance, just throw it on after showering daily and you are good to go!
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