Ah, your beard's best friends. If you're not using oils in your beard, you should definitely consider it. I'm not going to preach that oils are essential (pun intended) to growing a beard, but some of the best beards you've seen likely had the guy oiling and regularly maintaining it. Scraggly beards can look cool on the right person, but a well-groomed beard is always sexy.
What are carrier and essential oils?
Carrier oils will be oils such as
Essential oils will be
The list for both go on much longer, these are just a few examples and some of the most common.
Carrier oils will contain fatty acids known as triglycerides, which are great for skin and hair care in general, while also helping carry essential oils onto your skin. Essential oils have a wide range of benefits, with the ones listed above being common in many hair-growth recipes.
Benefit of Using Oils in your Beard
Not to try and get into botany on a beard article, but think of your face as dirt. The follicle which forms the hair is beneath your skin. This is the seed. Seeds need nourishment to grow, and we can thank rain for that. But hey, we don't always wait for rain to come to water our garden, do we?
The rain is oil. Our bodies produce a natural sebum, which is oil, but every person is different as to how much or little they produce. You also have to take into account washing your face, taking showers, and even sleeping on pillowcases that aren't satin or silk all take part in stripping your natural oils. So to make up for the lack of oil (because the beard hair itself needs some of that goodness too), we turn to using these cold-pressed products.
Whether it's a specific product made and labeled for beards, or a home concoction of your own carrier and essential oils, this is what a beard needs to thrive and be at its best. Dry, brittle hair will make the overall beard grow at a slower rate as the unhealthy, damaged hair falls out and new hair replaces it.
If you experience itchiness during beard growth, part of the reason is because your face isn't being properly conditioned. Even stubble needs moisture, along with the skin on your face. Those with shaved faces also tend not to use oils and will want to wait until the beard starts coming in. Don't wait, just put that ish on your face.
How to use Oil in your Beard
Like applying Jamaican Black Castor Oil, it's not too difficult to apply oil. Simply put some into the palm of your hand using whatever method the bottle has. If you have an oil that comes with a dropper, use about 2-4 drops for a bare face. Add drops as the beard gets bigger: around 4-5 drops for full stubble, 5-6 drops for a full but short beard, and increase as needed.
First, wash or rinse your face. I personally recommend only washing your beard about 3 times per week. So go ahead and rinse it or, ya know, hop out of the shower if you've done your thing in there instead. While it's wet, pat dry your beard to the point where it's just slightly damp. I say pat because you shouldn't be scrubbing or rubbing it with your towel — you'll damage the hair. That goes for your head hair too. Now that the beard is damp, put the oil into your palm and rub your hands together. Start swiping and gently rubbing them through the beard and skin. Use a nice acetate comb to style and neaten your beard. Be gentle while the beard is damp, combing and brushing can also cause damage while hair is wet. The oil you just used helps coat and protect the hair from that, however, so it's okay if it's just slightly damp.
Once the beard is fully dry, that's when I go over it with a boar's hair bristle brush. Try not to brush more than a couple of times per day. Comb as often as you'd like, so long as you're not tugging or pulling at hair. Always use oil before brushing or combing, it really helps with spreading the oils through your hair and skin.
Can Oils Clog Pores?
They can indeed. Depending on the comedogenic rating of the oil, you might experience clogged pores if you don't use a modest amount. For example, coconut oil has a comedogenic rating of 4, whereas JBCO is 1. The lower, the better. But that doesn't necessarily mean higher ratings are worse oils, rather, they should be used more sparingly.
Aren't Essential Oils DHT Blockers?
Some oils are indeed DHT blockers — lavender and rosemary being fairly potent ones. If the oil is added only for scent, it likely won't inhibit 5AR to the extent that we fear. If it's diluted in large amounts or if it's a product for use on balding scalps, stay away from it. DHT blockers, while good for those that are balding on their heads, is bad for beards.