This is a question I get fairly frequently: "If I'm already using beard oil, do I also need to use beard butter?" The answer varies on what you're trying to accomplish and the length of your beard. First, let's understand what the difference is between beard butter and beard oil.
Why use Beard Butter in the First Place?
Where beard oil is primarily for the conditioning of the face, beard butter is for conditioning the beard itself. Granted, you can use beard butter to also condition the skin (more on that below) but the primary use of beard butter is conditioning the beard while also allowing for a bit of styling.
Beard Butter or Beard Balm?
In many cases, the terms beard butter and beard balm are used interchangeably. Ideally, a butter has a lower melting point and less "drag" in the palm and in your beard when putting it on. A balm should have better hold than a butter, but different beard grooming companies will produce a "balm" that has more of a butter-like property, while others will have a "butter" that has a bit more wax and hold like a traditional balm. It's best to simply read the ingredients before you buy and check out the reviews to get an idea before you buy.
Here at Wolf & Iron, we craft a beard butter that has the right amount of hold and split the difference. We don't use any waxes in our butters, only high quality Kokum and Shea butters.
Beard Butter and Beard Oil Together?
Typically, if your beard is longer than an inch, you will benefit from a beard butter. As your beard grows, the oil in your skin isn't sufficient to keep the beard conditioned. This can lead to a dry and brittle beard. While beard oil may also work to condition your beard, your best bet is to use the proper product for its intended purpose.
- Conditions the beard - It sits on top of the beard and slowly absorbs into the hair.
- Helps with styling - Can help beard hairs stay in their place and allows for some basic shaping of your beard.
- Brings out your beard's color - A dry beard is a dull beard. Just like oiling a piece of furniture, conditioning your beard makes it healthier and more vibrant.
- Conditions your skin - Helps balance the oil in your face and fights inflammation.
- Antimicrobial (fights beardruff) - One of the causes of dandruff is thought to be a particular bacteria. Antimicrobial oils, like argan, help keep those buggers in check.
- Reduces in-grown hairs - By controlling waxy oil buildup on your skin, a quality beard oil reduces the likelihood of in-grown hairs. Nobody like those!
Can I use just one or the other?
Yes, absolutely. Even if your beard is shorter, you can use beard butter instead of beard oil if you like. While a butter will primarily hang out on the hairs of the beard, some of the oils in the butter will make its way to the skin. That may be enough for some guys and if you prefer the texture of a butter over an oil it may be a good fit.
How to use beard butter and beard oil together without over doing it?
You're proud of your beard, but you don't want to be a walking fumigator. Check out this article for tips on how to use a beard butter and a beard oil together.
Have any other question on beards and beard grooming? Just reach out and we'll be glad to help.