We’re all about tackling the big questions on this blog and in the beard world, this is one of the biggest: what is beard softener?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
One name, many products
A soft beard is a healthy beard. If your beard feels soft to touch, it means the hair has all the hydration and nutrients it needs. If, on the other hand, your beard feels dry and brittle and your skin feels itchy and irritable, it means your hair needs nourishment.
Nourishment = softness.
Which means any product that gives your beard the nourishment it needs could be classed as a beard softener. This is a good thing as it means you have a good range of products to choose from that can hydrate the skin and preserve the essential oils your facial hair needs to stay healthy. But it also means there’s no single product called beard softener that you can find on Google and buy.
For example, all of these products are designed to soften your beard:
The ultimate beard softener and the most important product in your grooming bag. Beard oil is formulated to condition and hydrate facial hair and the skin underneath. Anytime your beard is feeling itchy, dry or brittle, or the texture isn’t meeting expectation, a few drops of beard oil massaged evenly into the roots of your hair will give your mane a healthy glow and leave it feeling as soft as a duck down pillow.
Beard balm has a thick consistency like lip balm. This is because it’s developed to tame and control unruly hair to make it more manageable and easier to style.
How does it do this?
By hydrating and conditioning your beard to soften it.
Beard butter sits somewhere between oil and balm. It's a luxury product that combines Argan and Jojoba oil with Shea butter (which is where it gets its texture) and Cocoa to nourish and condition your facial hair, leaving it — you guessed it — soft to the touch. Butter is also a great styler, giving a light hold and a matte finish.
Beard conditioner is to beards what regular conditioner is to the hair on your head. Like a regular conditioner, beard conditioner’s role is to soften, soothe and hydrate your facial hair after washing. Where it differs is in the ingredients.
Most regular conditioners contain silicone that works to stick the conditioner to your hair to protect it and leave a healthy sheen. The silicone is then washed away with shampoo and reapplied. That’s all good... for your hair.
Applying a regular conditioner to your beard would mean having to use a regular shampoo — one that’s harsh enough to wash away the silicone. That’s not good.
Regular shampoo, unlike beard wash, is designed to strip naturally produced sebum oil from your hair. But sebum is the oily substance your beard needs to stay hydrated. So using regular shampoo on your facial hair would leave it dry and brittle. Which also isn’t good.
Beard conditioner is formulated using natural ingredients. So that your beard gets all of the nourishment it needs without risk to its natural oils.
Depending on where you look online, any of these products could be described and packaged as beard softener. You may even find them sold as ‘beard quencher’ or ‘beard sauce’.
Which product should you use as a beard softener?
A good beard care routine should include beard oil, balm, butter and conditioner. You don’t have to use them all at the same time, but they all play a role in keeping your beard healthy — oil as a go-to product for instant softness, conditioner for after using beard wash and balm or butter to style and manage your mane.
If you were to ask us to name one single product as beard softener it would probably be beard conditioner.
Or beard oil.
Okay, beard conditioner.
How to keep your beard soft
Applying a beard softener to your facial hair will give you that quickfire hit of softness. But if you want it to stay soft and fluffy, a good routine is as important as any product.
To keep your beard looking and feeling healthy, follow the Mo Bro’s 5 Step Process:
- Wash it: Ideally, twice a week using a natural beard wash. You can wash your beard daily using lukewarm water, but limit beard wash to twice a week.
- Condition it: Apply beard conditioner after washing on the days you use beard wash.
- Hydrate it: Apply beard oil twice a day, morning and evening, and any time your beard feels dry.
- Style it: Break out the beard balm or beard butter to prime your hair for styling. Both of these products can be used whenever you want to tame your mane.
- Comb it: Comb or brush your hair every day to help distribute products evenly around your beard, detangle hair and train hair to grow in the right direction.
Take a look at this routine in-depth, with videos to accompany each step, in our post: The Mo Bro’s 5 Step Process to Better Beard Care.
Hopefully, this has given you the answer you were looking for. Essentially, beard softener is many things. If it was one thing, it would probably be beard conditioner. But if you want to keep your beard soft, you should invest in all of the products that help you do it.
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