It seems that while many of our front line NHS staff are having to remove their beards to ensure that protective face masks fit correctly, isolation and the lack of opportunity to visit the barber has lead to an increase of men letting their beards flourish. As you become acquainted to your new beard you may suffer with dry and itchy skin, this isn’t unusual and is worse at the beginning but there are things you can do to help.
Keep it clean– Use a beard shampoo to wash your beard once or twice a week, washing more regularly will strip the natural oils that condition your beard and skin, we recommend Norse Beard Shampoo Bar, its totally natural, plastic free and both scents smell great. Brushing or combing your beard also helps remove dirt and dry skin from your beard, as well as helping to tame any stray hairs and tangles. Boar hair brushes from Abby Horn and folding combs from Captain Fawcett are among our favourites.
Oils are more quickly absorbed and are particularly suited to shorter younger beards and help tackle the itchy phase. They can leave a slight shine to the beard but offer no hold for stray hairs. The light oil base helps carry the vitamins and other nutrients deep into the beard and to the skin at the base. Oils can be applied before bed to nourish and condition the beard overnight.
Balms are based on a shea butter and or bees wax base, but often use the same essential oils as nutrients and scents. Rubbing the balm between the fingers softens the product before it is applied to the beard where its texture helps to give volume to the beard and providing a slight hold, taming any flyaway hairs. The scents on the balm are often less strong than the oils so some people prefer to wear these throughout the day to complement their usual fragrance.
Conclusion – Use both, new beards will probably benefit from oil more than balm and if you only want to use one product go for oil, as it will look after the skin more efficiently, and ultimately healthy skin equals a healthy beard. Once you have reached a length where styling becomes important, use a balm as well. Remember oil is for the skin balm is for the hair.