I have a beard now. And…that’s everything that’s new with me. What’s new with you?
The following is a list of my favorite beard products, after a year of trying a whole lot of different ones. I’m not being paid to write this, nor can I be bothered to sign up for some affiliate links, so enjoy—no strings attached.
For reference, my beard is coarse, dry, and very frizzy.
Beard brushes are good for short beards and the occasional bit of sculpting. As far as I can tell, they’re all about the same (and aren’t we glad boar bristles are useful for something?). But if your beard gets more than a couple inches long you’ll need a comb. Most combs are thin and made of sandalwood, so they’ll last a handful of months before snapping in two mid-stroke. But Cremo makes one out of Verawood that’s thicker, allowing for more gently-rounded teeth, and feels luxuriously heavy in the hand. It’s a solid piece of equipment; the difference in price (about six extra dollars, versus a sandalwood comb) gets you an impressive step up in quality.
I kid you not, it’s almost worth having a beard just so you can run this thing through it now and then.
Hair shampoo is barely good enough for hair, let alone a beard. Any beard wash is an improvement over that 2-in-1 goop. But my all-time favorite actually isn’t a beard wash at all: it’s an exfoliating face scrub by St. Ives. They say that healthy skin makes a healthy beard, and this stuff is awesome for fighting through any amount of beard, clearing out your pores, and leaving your skin fresh and clean.
A good shower routine is key to surviving that initial itchy-as-heck phase of beard growth, and beard conditioner is the linchpin of the whole process. I like Cremo’s beard and scruff softener, which does what it says on the bottle. Smells nice, too.
The label says you’re supposed to leave it in for 30 seconds and then rinse it out, but I do a pretty half-hearted rinse. For a beard like mine you almost can’t over-condition.
The make-or-break thing about beard oil is the smell. The product itself isn’t rocket science: if the main ingredient is oil, it’ll get the job done. But it’s going to be hanging out under your nose all day, so it needs to smell good. And somehow, roughly half the beard oils on the market smell like a pile of gym shorts in a dentist’s office.
My favorite oils are made by Mini Moustachery. The Thunderation (eucalyptus/mint) and Raggabrash (balsam/pine) varieties have a subtle, woodsy scent that hits all the right notes. Some of the other varieties are a little riskier—I’m still on the fence about Gadzooks (citrus/spice)—but to each their own.
Any serious beardsman or beardswoman will have their own take on the perfect beard care routine, but mine is beard oil in the morning (for moldability and shine) and beard balm at night (for softness and moisturization). King C. Gilette’s Soft Beard Balm is my long-time favorite in the balm department. It feels silky and rich and keeps my beard from drying out overnight, even in winter, which is no small feat.
I don’t have strong feelings on cordless trimmers, but feel obligated to mention that I bought a Philips Multigroom 7000 on May 1, 2022, charged the battery to full the same day, have trimmed with it once or twice a week since then, and haven’t needed to recharge it even once. It’s been over a year. I’m starting to think it’s haunted.
If your reaction to all this is “you own six beard products? Isn’t that a little excessive?”…well, I understand where you’re coming from. But also, it’s way more than six and I regret nothing. Listen, I get more compliments on my beard than I ever got on my face. Gotta take care of this thing.
Did I miss any of your favorite beard products? Sound off in the comments.