One of the most common questions I get asked all the time is what is the difference between beard oil and beard balm. I think the best way to answer this question is to share with you my own experience of how I use them.
Aleph Male Beard Oil
So let’s start with beard oil because this is usually the first thing I put in my beard after I shower. Beard oil, first of all, is a liquid and I put it on using a dropper. I squeeze two or three droppers worth into my hand from the bottle, rub the oil between my palms and then massage it into my beard. I have to say when happens next is kind of a magical experience. Generally, I use a scented Aleph Male blend (made from 100% essential oils) so as I am working the oil into my beard and the skin underneath, the aromatherapy oils kick in and it just smells really good. I take some deep breaths and a voice inside of me is like ‘yeah!’ because it just smells awesome.
As this is happening, I feel the hairs soften and relax in my hands as I draw the oil down the length of each hair. I would say this experience is one of the noticeable differences between beard oil and beard balm, is that with oil, it really softens and lengthens the beard. I say ‘lengthens’ because as the hairs relax, they straighten out a bit. Another unique beard oil experience is it feels like each hair is being coated (anointed). A friend of mine who just started using the oil recently remarked how he can feel how each hair of his beard now flows on its own path rather than being tangled with all the other hairs. The oil also helps with beard frizz and when I look in the mirror the hairs of my beard are straighter, neater, more evenly spread out (rather than tangled together in clumps) more relaxed and my beard also has a nice shine to it.
With the Aleph Male beard oil there is an added element of the fact that my spiritual heritage is Judaism, and that back in the day, ancient Israelites anointed kings and priests with oil. As it says in Psalm 133, “A song of ascents of David. Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brothers sit together in unity. It is like good oil on the head that runs down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron…”. Also, from the perspective of Jewish law, the beard oil has the added flexibility that you can use it on Shabbat while you cannot do that with the balm.
Aleph Male Beard Balm
Beard Balm is a little bit different. While beard oil is a liquid, beard balm is a solid. So with the balm, I open the screw top tin and then scrape out a little bit with the top of my thumbnail (about two peas worth). Then I melt the balm between my palms by rubbing them back and forth and then I massage it into my beard. There is a very similar aromatherapy experience but it’s also different. Aleph Male Beard Balm contains shea butter and beeswax which both act as styling agents, that help shape the beard. So once the beard balm melts, it feels more like a lotion and I will spend more time working the balm into my beard. Because the balm also helps shape the beard, and my beard tends to really stand up on the sides of my cheeks, with the added power of the beeswax and shea butter I will massage the hairs down.
Another way of saying this is the balm really helps with beard frizz and flyaway hairs even more than the oil. Also, you can feel it in your hands, how besides being relaxed, the beard is more manageable and conforms more to whatever shape or direction you are trying to give it (keep in mind the balm is not a beard wax so crazy shapes won’t work). When I look in the mirror, I see that my beard looks more shaped vs the oil. Another difference between the balm and the oil is that with oil, it’s much better if your beard is damp before you put it on, but with balm, you can use it on a dry beard.
Generally speaking, my routine in the morning is - shower > oil > brush > balm > smile.
I love both products but if I had to choose one I would choose balm (because of the styling power) but especially for long beards the oil and balm work great together.