Beards don’t just sneak up and appear out of nowhere. They take their sweet time to grow, not accounting for the days spent pondering whether you wanted to stop shaving in the first place.
For this reason, you’ve got plenty of time to stock up on the beard-growing essentials, to arm yourself with the best conditioning, taming and styling products. These come as oils, balms, soaps, combs, brushes, trimmers and even shears. And the top-tier products will elevate your beard from rookie status to Best in Show. It’ll be free of itching, flaking, splitting, breaking and tangling. Like a well-trained pet, it’ll sit and stay exactly as you tell it to. It won’t scratch your significant other, nor will it mushroom from dehydration. You’ll have infinite styles to try but can also maintain your preferred one with aplomb.
So here they are. Seven beard products you need, and the best in each field.
Beard Oil: Baxter of California Beard Oil
Left untended, beards become dry, itchy, flaky and unruly. Just like you need moisturizer on your face and conditioner in your hair, a beard oil softens and strengthens your face fuzz. Squalane and avocado oil are the hero ingredients in this beard blend. The former is an ultra moisturizer that improves shine and elasticity in the hair. Furthermore, it’s a Grade-A anti-aging agent for the skin beneath your beard, too. Avocado oil fortifies the hair by quickly penetrating each shaft (words I never thought I’d write), making your whiskers stronger and less likely to split or snap. Vitamin E plays a supporting role, adding more moisture to prevent beard itch and dandruff.
Beard Balm: Brothers Artisan Oil Tanner Balm
For big beards and humble beards alike, balm is essential for taming flyaways and keeping your actual beard style in check. It’s amazing what a single pass of balm can do to help you “clean up nice.” And Brothers Artisan Oil’s balm doubles as a hair styler, too. They use the same nourishing ingredients here as they do in their signature beard oils — argan, jojoba, grapeseed, hemp, avocado and sunflower, among others — with the anchoring blend of shea butter, beeswax and cocoa butter. All in all, this styler nourishes hair and skin while keeping your beard in check.
Beard Wash: Mr. Natty Face Forest Soap
You want a beard wash that is as nourishing as it is cleansing. Mr. Natty’s beard soap is so effective that it doubles as a face cleanser. It uses olive oil to extract the excess sebum and grime from your skin and beard. Along with shea butter, it keeps everything hydrated, never compromising moisture levels while it cleans. Peppermint adds a fresh feel and scent, while rosemary’s antimicrobial powers keep the skin balanced, helping to prevent breakouts.
Facial Hair Scissors: Premax Ring Lock Mustache Scissors
If you’re going to hold anything sharp up to your face, don’t gamble on the cheap stuff. The quality shears — like these stainless steelers from Premax — will stay in shape longer. In this case, it’s the central ring lock that prevents the ends from separating. (You know how scissors do that, and then are essentially useless?) They stay sharp, and they stay together so that you can go in for that spot-check detailing around the cheek, and under the ‘stache.
Beard Brush: Beardbrand Boar’s Hair Beard Brush
The act of beard brushing is a soothing and rewarding one, and its benefits are magnified with boar bristles. Beardbrand’s wooden boar-bristle brush helps distribute the sebum from your skin and the base of the hair shaft, all the way through each beard strand. Doing this before bed ensures that your beard and skin stay healthy and nourished — no beard breakage, no suffocated hair follicles. It’s great to brush it out before styling, too, if you’ve got a big bushy beard — better yet, after applying beard oil — and then to graduate to a comb when you finish and finesse the look.
Beard Comb: Tom Ford Beard Comb
Like a beard brush, facial hair combs help to distribute oils and conditioning agents, and they keep stray hairs in check. (Often times you may need to snip these pesky strays, or spot-check them with a balm.) Tom Ford’s tortoise-shell beard comb is a nice stray from the barbershop staples that look like everyday pocket combs. This tool is your new pride and joy — it’s your styling wand, your beard detangler, your product distributor… and it looks so gosh-darn cute.
Beard Trimmer: Wahl Lithium Ion Vacuum Trimmer
We live in customizable times, and just as you can add avocado to your burrito bowl and monograms to your oxfords, you can also control so much about your beard-trimming regimen. Wahl’s vacuum trimmer allows you to adjust the intensity of suction (crank it up to minimize the mess in your drain), and comes with eight interchangeable guide combs, a 6-toggle adjustable head, and even a nose and ear trimming head so that you can keep those strays in order, too. It holds a 90-minute charge and has an LED monitor that lets you know how much remains. You may think that beard trimming should be kept simple, but this device opens up all sorts of possibilities for styling, shaping and even clean up (as if that isn’t the biggest benefit of them all).
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