Beard Balm and Beard Wax Recipes
Beard Wax vs. Balm: Choosing and Creating the Right Products for the Care and Styling of Your Beard
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I wanted to formulate a beard balm recipe that would be simple to put together, hopefully from whatever materials you had on hand, and would require minimal shopping. For this reason, I divided the beard balm recipe into three parts — wax, liquid oil, and solid butter. Use the recommended waxes, oils, and butters or try what you have on hand. The beard wax recipe is also simplified in a similar manner, with set proportions of wax, oils, and butters that you can switch around as you please. If you have a short to medium beard, I recommend the beard balm recipe for most situations, unless you have a strong curl pattern or extra coarse hair. The beard wax recipe is better for curlier, coarser or longer beards, and is more of a styling agent than a skin or hair conditioner.
What does beard balm do? Or, what is beard balm used for? At its’ heart, beard wax is mostly a skin and hair conditioner with a mild effect of offering control for styling. You apply it in such a way that it reaches all the way to the skin and the roots of the hair, where its’ conditioning properties are most beneficial. The proportion of waxes and butters in the recipe provide a modicum of styling control and curl relaxing, but not a lot. If you want softer beard hair or to prevent beard dandruff, beard balm is the way to go.
Beard balm vs wax: Beard balm is softening and conditioning to hair and skin. Beard wax is not particularly softening and may be too thick to reach the skin and roots of hair. Below is a basic recipe for beard balm, separated into three main components: hard or waxy, liquid, and butters. The hard or waxy component offers curl relaxing, styling/shaping, and hold. The butters are rich with essential fatty acids that are good for skin and hair, offering light control and softening qualities. The liquid oils allow the product to melt easily with the heat of your skin, allowing even distribution throughout the beard.
- 7 grams beeswax, or tallow, or use soy wax for a vegan version
- 15 grams jojoba oil, or other liquid oil of your choice
- 6 grams cocoa butter, shea butter or other solid butters
- 5 drops bergamot essential oil, optional
- 5 drops vanilla absolute, optional
- 5 drops cypress essential oil, optional
Over gentle heat, melt the beeswax with the soft oils until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Continue stirring until completely melted. If the completely melted mixture is not clear, heat gently until it becomes clear. Remove from heat and add the essential oils and absolutes and stir thoroughly. Pour into a container and place in freezer for 20-30 minutes. This quick cooling prevents crystallization of the balm, which can cause a gritty, but harmless texture.
Beard wax vs balm: As we move on to the beard wax recipe, I’ll reiterate that the main purpose of wax is styling control and hold. For some, the light fragrance is a vital finishing touch to their grooming routine, whereas others will want to skip the scents in a product used on the face. The main purpose is styling related, particularly for medium to longer beards or beards with a strong curl pattern. The beard wax recipe contains a higher proportion of hard oils or waxes, which provide firm styling control. The butters offer softening and conditioning qualities, as well as light control in styling. The liquid oils are there to allow the formula to melt easily on the fingertips to be easily distributed throughout the beard.
- 9 grams beeswax, or tallow, or substitute soy wax for a vegan version
- 10 grams avocado or other liquid oils of your choice
- 9 grams cocoa butter, shea butter or other solid butters
- 5 drops lime essential oil, optional
- 5 drops pine essential oil, optional
- 5 drops bergamot essential oil, optional
Melt the beeswax and soft oil together over gentle heat until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted. Add essential oils and pour into a small container. Place in freezer for 20-30 minutes to harden (this prevents crystallization) then remove and thaw.
These simplified proportional recipes will allow room for endless experimentation while also providing a good quality product as-is. If you wish, omit the essential oils completely if you are worried about allergies or sensitivities. In the event that you do not have ready access to beeswax, hard, white tallow makes an excellent substitute. If you prefer a vegetable-based version, soy wax works as well. Avocado oil is rich in essential fatty acids and very conditioning and softening to skin and hair, but some may prefer a lighter oil such as raw sesame or jojoba oil. No matter how you choose to change it up, the recipe should provide enough product to last for 1-2 months of regular daily use. These recipes are easily scaled up or down, too. Enjoy!
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