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Beard product breakdown

November 13, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

IMG_8326The TitleBeard and Mod Cabin No Shave November and Movember series is sponsored by The Mod Cabin’s Backwoods Beard Balm and each article in the series will feature a giveaway of products from The Mod Cabin and occur on a different social media platform. To learn more about what Backwoods Beard Balm can do for you, take a look at this article, Backwoods Beard Balm from The Mod Cabin. You can find more details on this week’s giveaway below. 

In celebration of No Shave November and Movember, TitleBeard has teamed up with The Mod Cabin to present a series of articles during November.  The series is sponsored by The Mod Cabin’s Backwoods Beard Balm, and with the publication of each of the three articles will come a giveaway where each winner will receive a bar of The Mod Cabin’s Birch Tar Soap, a bottle of the Gunbarrel Beard Oil, and of course a tin of the Backwoods Beard Balm.  If you just can’t wait to win one of the giveaways to get these products, you can use the code TitleBeard to get 15% any (or all) of these three.

If you haven’t already, head over and check out the first article in the series, Top 5 tips for new facial hair growers.

This week, let’s talk beard product breakdown. If you have spent any time on TitleBeard, you probably realize that there is no dearth of products and product categories from which to choose. Balms, oils, waxes, brushes, combs, all sorts of things. While you may be generally familiar with certain grooming accessories like brushes and combs, you might not have heard much about beard care products, or more importantly, you might not know how to use those products to get the most out of your beard.

If you’re planning on shaving your beard and/or moustache off at the end of November, you likely won’t need any of these products, but if you’re thinking about growing your new facial hair for a longer period of time, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the types of products that are out there. For you more established beardsmen, this may answer some questions you’ve been asking, or maybe just give you a fresh look at some of the things you run into every day.

Beard Soap

A healthy beard starts as a clean beard, so we’ll start with beard soap. For a more detailed explanation on why using a beard soap is a good idea, take a look at Beard Advice Vol. 2 – So you want to wash your beard, now what?. Suffice it to say, beard soaps are typically handmade from natural ingredients. The off-the-shelf, industrialized soaps you see at your local stores are often loaded with chemicals that can dry out your beard making it unhealthy and brittle, more prone to breaking and split ends.

A good beard soap will not only clean your beard, but also make it more manageable (very important as it gets longer), and thus more ready to have a follow-up conditioning product applied to it. There are some beardsmen who say you should only wash your beard every few days unless your daily environment makes your beard dirty everday, but I believe this to be an old school way of thinking. Now, with the wide variety of conditioning products available to beardsmen, there’s no reason you shouldn’t wash your beard everyday, unless you simply don’t want to.

For some specific beard soap recommendations, have a look at Beard Advice Vol. 4 – Beard soap recommendations. In that, you find a number of different soaps, including Birch Tar Soap from The Mod Cabin. The soaps listed in that article span the price spectrum and scent range as well, so you are very likely to find something that fits your budgetary needs and scent preferences.

Beard Balm

Mod CabinBeard balms are a leave-in conditioner used to keep your beard moisturized and healthy, many of which offer some styling capabilities as well. For you newbies, “conditioner” does not refer to an off-the-shelf conditioner that you would buy with your shampoo. The vast majority of those “conditioners” also contain a number of harsh chemicals that will do much more harm than good to your beard.

Beard balms typically contain a number of different ingredients such as essential oils or things like shea butter that will help condition your beard. Many also contain a small amount of beeswax and this not only makes the balm appear solid in the tin, but also offer users the styling properties I just mentioned. I recently wrote a post, Backwoods Beard Balm from The Mod Cabin that discusses not only the Backwoods Beard Balm but also how regular use of a beard balm can improve the look of your beard while keeping it healthy.  Feel free to have a look at that to get a more in-depth explanation on the benefits of using a beard balm.

I recommend twice a day conditioning (provided your budget allows for that). While beard balms are great to use in either the morning or evening, my personal regimen consists of using beard oil (discussed below) in the morning, and a beard balm in the evening before I go to bed. However, for those of you with shorter beards, beard balms are often perfect to use in the morning because the styling capabilities the balm offers will allow you to keep your beard looking neat all day. I prefer to use a beard balm in the evening because the slightly heavier weight of the product (when compared to a beard oil) offers great conditioning of my beard throughout the entire night, so when I wake up in the morning, my beard feels soft and manageable, not dry and tangled.

Beard Oil

Beard oils are lighter weight conditioning products in liquid form (obviously) that offer your beard the same conditioning as a beard balm, but without the same styling properties. Beard oils are generally made with essentials oils for conditioning and various other oils added for scent. Some beard oils are all natural and/or organic, others do contain more chemicals. I prefer using a beard oil in the morning because I like my beard to have a nice, natural look throughout the day. But natural doesn’t mean wild.

A good beard oil will relax or “tame” your beard so that the hairs lie straighter and feel soft, sometimes even giving your whiskers a nice sheen. A great beard oil will allow you to keep this look all day. The Mod Cabin’s series of beard oils does just this. My personal favorite is currently Gunbarrel Beard Oil, while Miner’s Mint runs a very close second.

Moustache Wax

When I first started growing my current beard, I trimmed my moustache every week for the first six months (biggest mistake I’ve ever made). I trimmed like this because I thought I couldn’t do anything about my moustache hanging over my mouth once it got longer and I didn’t feel like chewing on my moustache when I tried to eat. I knew what moustache wax was, but I mistakenly thought that moustache waxes were only good for more aggressive or fancy stylings, like a nice handlebar.

What I eventually realized was that while a good moustache wax can do those things, it can also function to simply keep your moustache out of your mouth and that through repeated use of a moustache wax, you can also slowly train the hairs to grow and lay a certain way, giving you more the look and style you want without products and making your moustache more manageable. A good moustache wax will function well as a daily driver to keep your moustache out of your mouth, and for more aggressive stylings if you so choose.

A true moustache wax is wax-based. Sounds simple, but a number of products that people commonly refer to as “wax” are really more of a paste or gel-based substance that has different styling properties and capabilities. You can find true moustache waxes on all ends of the spectrum, from light hold to firm hold. Keep in mind, the lighter hold waxes will often be easier to manipulate and apply to your moustache, but also will often not hold more aggressive stylings, or simply not hold up for a longer amount of time. The firmer moustache waxes often require the use of a heating element like a hair dryer to make sure the wax is evenly distributed through your moustache and not clumpy, but these firmer waxes will hold more aggressive styles nicely and for longer periods of time, even overnight in many instances.

The Mod Cabin also offers a moustache wax with a medium hold that is perfectly suited for daily use or more aggressive stylings on shorter or thinner moustaches.

Beard Wax

Beard wax functions much like moustache wax, allowing you to give your beard some hold, more of that found in most beard balms.  However, most beard waxes are not used for aggressive beard styles like you might see in the freestyle beard category at a beard competition, but rather to give your beard a good shape that you can maintain throughout the entire day.  A good beard wax will also contain ingredients that can nourish your beard, and will not dry it out.  Despite that, you may find that as your beard gets longer, if you routinely apply beard wax, it’s still a good idea to apply a balm or oil prior to the wax, to ensure you beard gets the conditioning you need.

While there are a number of other products that you can use in your beard and moustache, such as hairspray, gel-based products or pomades, just to name a few, the ones mentioned above are what you’ll likely see the most of as you search for beard products.  Products such as hairspray are typically not recommended for use in your beard or moustache as most tend to dry out your facial hair, but they can be useful when styling, especially for competitive purposes.

You may even see advertisements for over-the-counter supplements (such as Biotin) that claim to affect hair health, but keep in mind that products such as these are not regulated and therefore are not required to prove their effects in any sort of scientific study.   I take a few over the counter supplements and believe that they do positively impact how my beard looks, but again, that is only based on my observations.

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for – this week’s giveaway.  For your chance at a prize this week, you’ll need to have an Instagram account.  To enter:

1) Follow The Mod Cabin on Instagram @TheModCabin.
2) Follow Titlebeard on Instagram @TitleBeard.
3) Post a picture of your current facial hair (even if you recently shaved for No Shave November or Movember) and tag @TheModCabin and @TitleBeard in the picture.

You have until 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, 11/20/14 to enter. Once the deadline has expired, a winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck! The next article in the series (and giveaway) will be posted on 11/21/14 so make sure to check back then for another chance to win some great products from The Mod Cabin!

Please email TitleBeard@gmail.com with any questions. Good luck!

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Category: Beard Advice, Beard Care, Featured

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