Instead of having to hunt for beard oils that don't contain DHT blockers, another route to take is to make your own. It's both economical and provides peace of mind that you're not hindering your progress when trying to grow your beard out. The initial cost might add up to more than a bottle of pre-made beard oil that you might find, but because we're purchasing these items in larger quantities, they will last much longer than a single bottle of oil.
Things You'll Need to Make Your Own Beard Oil
The carrier oil will be the main ingredient of the beard oil. You could technically just buy some carrier and call it a day; this alone would provide enough benefits of keeping your hair and skin healthy without going overboard with your purchases. But if you want some scents and benefits of using essential oils, you'll want at least one of those too. Grab a carrier such as jojoba, and make sure it's cold-pressed for the best quality. Jojoba most resembles our natural sebum, doesn't contain a composition that inhibits DHT (like coconut oil), and is very light and easy to spread. It's not a thick oil, unlike castor.
As an example, peppermint essential oil was tested against minoxidil and was shown to be an effective way of growing hair. Keep in mind that there are a lot of essential oils that are plant-derived anti-androgens — you don't want to be putting these on your face, as we talk about in the article "Why We Shouldn't Use Scalp-Related Products to Grow Our Beards."
In short, the mechanism of growth shouldn't be via 5-alpha reductase inhibition, as we need DHT to grow facial hair.
In conclusion, our experimental data suggest that 3% PEO facilitates hair growth by promoting the conservation of vascularization of hair dermal papilla, which may contribute to the induction of early anagen stage. In addition, PEO effectively stimulated hair growth in an animal model via several mechanisms and thus could be used as a therapeutic or preventive alternative medicine for hair loss in humans.
The glass amber bottles run for cheap and are great because they block out more UV rays than the blue bottles do. Most oils that you buy will likely come in amber-colored bottles. A 10-pack of half oz (15ml) bottles with glass droppers run for less than 7 bucks, which will allow you to make a different combination of oils if you're going that route.
15ml of beard oil should also last quite a while: my beard at the time of this writing is roughly 4 inches off my face, with no trimmings to keep it short or neat. 7-10 drops of oil does the trick for both the skin and beard hair. To put things in perspective, there are 300 drops in 15ml.
The steel funnel is the most optional out of all of the things you'll need, but it will definitely make mixing your oils easier. It's self-explanatory.
Mixing the Oils Together
Now that you've gathered everything you need, all you really need to do now is get the essential(s) mixed into the carrier(s). Using the included dropper that came with your carrier oil, fill your amber bottle almost to the neck, but leave some space as you'll want to take into account putting the dropper back into it and the additional ingredients you're adding. If you have the 15ml bottles as we'll be using as an example, great. If you have the 30ml bottles (that's 1 ounce), then all you need to do is double the numbers to achieve the same thing.
15ml = 0.5oz | 15ml = 300 drops
Note that 300 drops is an estimate, as it also depends on the oil you're using, as the viscosity varies. This guideline is fine to use for most oils, however, and the general rule in aromatherapy is that 1ml contains 20 drops.
Diluting the Essential into the Carrier
After you've gotten your carrier into your bottle, you'll need to start adding drops of essential into it. This is where the steel funnel comes in handy, particularly if you've purchased an essential that uses its cap as the dropper (more common) rather than one that comes with a glass, detachable dropper.
Generally, you'll want to stay around 2-3% dilutions, which would mean:
6 drops essential to 15ml carrier = 2%
9 drops essential to 15ml carrier = 3%
If you have only one essential, such as peppermint, put 9 drops in; close the cap; shake it up! It's that easy. If you're adding more essentials to make your own scent, add just a single drop at a time until you feel that the scent is where you want it.
I'd recommend not going over about 5% (15 drops to 15ml carrier) of essential oils in the total makeup of your beard oil. Remember that essential oils are potent, so it takes very little to have an effect on your skin (positive or negative). Essential oils can actually be toxic in high doses, such as if you put the undiluted oil directly onto your skin in large amounts. So avoid doing that.
Quick Application without Mixing
If you don't have amber bottles or a way to mix your oils, you can also do a quick application. Simply put your carrier oil into your palm, then a single drop of your essential; rub your hands together, then apply to your beard. This is higher than a 5% solution, of course. Take note of how your skin reacts, highly diluted or not. If you're wary of reacting to essential oils, do a spot test first by applying your diluted solution to the underside of your arm and check it 24 hours later. Keep in mind that we can have skin reactions to essential oils, but we cannot have allergies to them.
Additional Tips & Reminders
Have you mixed an oil that you'd like to share with Beard Profile members? Let us know over on the beard forums, many people are interested in different beard oil combinations.