Over the past few years, a number of publications and shaving brands have tried to declare the end of the beard trend. Of course, they’ve all failed miserably. That’s because while the shapes and sizes of on-trend beards might change, the fashion for whiskers will never disappear from the faces of men completely.
Why? Because wearing a beard is about more than just fashion. It’s about embracing ruggedness, showing off patience, and even protecting your skin from the elements. When you decide to grow a beard, you’re adopting a responsibility and a way of life that’s second only to parenthood.
Owning a beard isn’t as straight forward as just letting things grow anymore either. There’s more maintenance involved than that. In order to successfully turn the envious heads of your less hairy peers, you’ll need to arm yourself with a few essential products; the most important one being beard oil.
What is beard oil?
We don’t doubt that primitive men experimented on their beards with the fats and oils of the animals they hunted. But, strangely, these raw and wild blends didn’t catch on. Instead, the first real reports of beard oils take us back to Ancient Babylon; when concoctions of sesame seed oils were made popular among the rich and powerful for the natural shine they encouraged.
Today, beard oils are made up of a combination of carrier oils, essential oils and fragrances. Together, these ingredients are designed to nourish, hydrate and maintain your facial hair and the skin that lies beneath it.
Carrier oils usually make up the base of beard oils and are used to dilute the potency of essential oils. They are all-natural oils that are often extracted from the nuts and seeds of plants – similar to the ancient ways of Babylon. Common examples include olive oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil and jojoba oil. Essential oils are often what provide beard oils with their distinctive scents and properties – they’re what make the oils exciting!
What does beard oil do?
Put simply, a few splashes of beard oil will help you to replace the natural oils that are stripped from your hair and skin on a daily basis. Beard oils help to promote healthier, softer beard growth, while still looking after the skin that hides beneath. With regular use, you can eliminate wiry tangles and split ends, beardruff, itchiness, dry skin and even spotty outbreaks.
The recent popularity of these charismatic elixirs means there’s now a vast array of masculine scents for you to choose from as well. With a little bit of testing, you can find an oil to charm the pants off anyone.
How beard oils help with dry, itchy skin
The first time your patience will be tested when growing a beard is when you reach the infamous itchy stage. This usually kicks in during the first three weeks of growth but at times can persist for longer. For your sake, we hope it comes and goes quickly.
There are two main reasons for this unrelenting itchiness. Firstly, when you shave, your razor has a habit of cutting through your whiskers in a very blunt fashion. This leaves the ends of your hairs with sharp, tough edges that can scratch and generally annoy your skin when they grow back through. Don’t worry though; you’re not doing anything wrong. It’s just the way it works.
The second (and most often overlooked) reason for this galling agony is dry skin. This usually occurs when you forget to continue caring for the skin beneath your beard. The other main factor is that the increased length of your beard hair creates an imbalance in the amount of sebum oil secreted from your sebaceous glands – as your beard grows the amount of sebum oil produced is not enough to coat the entire hair follicle, meaning your skin starts to dry out rapidly.
Thankfully, there is a saviour that can soothe your prickly problem. When combed through your face rug properly, beard oil helps to soften your hair, remove tangles and rehydrate your skin. The upshot of this is that the harshness of your blunt hairs is removed and your skin receives a much needed punch of moisture. With a few regular drops of beard oil, you stand a much better chance of weathering the itchy storm and successfully growing a triumphant beard that even the toughest Viking would be proud of.
How beard oils help to get rid of dandruff/beardruff
Failure to conquer beard itch and dry skin will likely leave you with a peppering of small white flakes in your beard and on your clothes. This is better known as beardruff, and it’s not a great look for any discerning gent.
The easiest way to avoid beardruff is to apply a few drops of beard oil regularly to soften your facial hair and moisturise your skin. This is because the fusion of carrier and essential oils found in beard oils helps to pack moisture back into your skin’s pores.
Other important things to remember are to wash your beard regularly with warm (not hot!) water and avoid using shampoos and conditioners with sulphates. It’s also worth investing in a face scrub as a heavy-duty exfoliator will help you to disrupt any stubborn beardruff that’s still hiding beneath your beard.
Styling a beard with beard oils
Aside from their softening and moisturising properties, beard oils play a pivotal role in the styling of modern masculinity. We live in an age where taking an invested interest in our appearance is no longer something to be mocked. Instead, you can oil your beard and style it with pride for the world (and Instagram) to see.
The healthy shine and refreshing, masculine scents that beard oils give off have made them a permanent resident on men’s bathroom shelves. The addition of beard oil to your daily routine will help you to tame flyaway hairs and add a super subtle hold that’s much lighter than balms and waxes.
When to apply beard oils
When and how you choose to apply beard oil could make or break your style. Of course, every man’s beard is different and there’s more than one way to skin a cat (no cats were harmed in the making of this article) but if you’re looking for some extra guidance on when to apply beard oils, we’ve got you covered.
According to our bearded ambassador Liam Hamilton, the best time to apply beard oil is straight after washing your face. “Personally, I like to apply my beard oil straight after I shower in the morning; this is when the pores in my skin and hair follicles are most open. It means I absorb more of the goodness and it lasts all day.” Alternatively, you could apply your oil last thing at night and let it soak in naturally while you sleep.
How to apply beard oils
When applying beard oil, there are a few golden rules to follow. These beard oil tips will help you to make sure you get the most out of your chosen oil.
The length of your beard will determine how much oil you need to apply. It should come as no great surprise that the longer your beard grows, the more oil it will need.
For shorter designer stubbles, apply one or two drops.
For beards that are one or two inches long, apply two to four drops.
For a beard that’s three to six inches long, apply four to six drops.
For beards longer than six inches, apply seven drops or more.
If you choose to apply your beard oil straight after you’ve showered or washed your face, make sure you towel-dry your beard first. Oil and water don’t mix too well in large volumes.
Once you’ve dried most of the water from your beard, place a few drops of oil into one of your hands. Rub the oil between your palms to get a little heat into it before ruffling your hands through your beard. Be sure to massage the oil right down to the skin and right to the tips of each hair. If you’ve got a longer beard, use a comb or beard brush to distribute the oils perfectly throughout. Repeat this process daily, or every other day, to maintain an irresistibly healthy beard.
The Bluebeards Revenge barber-grade beard oils
Congratulations, you’re now an expert in beardology! Now you need to arm yourself with a selection of beard oils that even your barber swears by…
Our Classic and Cuban Blend Beard Oils are packed with essential carrier oils and two distinctive scents. When brushed through a beard from root to tip they add shine, softness and vital hydration. The Classic Blend Beard Oil offers up a refined British barbershop scent, while our Cuban Blend Beard Oil is an all-out explosion of exotic aromas inspired by the Caribbean. Which will you choose?