They say, manners maketh a man, but minding manners probably only gets you in your grandma’s good books these days. Today, it is no secret that facial hair or sporting a beard is the true sign of an Alpha Male. Whether your beard is short, long, patchy, curly or straight; you must use beard oils to groom and keep it healthy and clean. So what is beard oil for? In this article, we will consider what a beard oil is, how it works and how you can use it to groom and maintain your beard.
What is Beard Oil?
Apart from facial hygiene, your beard also needs special ingredients for it to grow and remain clean and healthy. Facial hygiene can keep your beard from looking lackluster and might help prevent ringworm and other fungal skin infections. But what really helps keep your beard luxurious and full of health is good quality beard oil.
Beard oil is an oil that does the following:
- It helps keep facial hair clean and smooth.
- It gives a shiny and luxurious appearance to your beard.
- It has all the right ingredients to stimulate growth of the beard- the oils work in the same manner as an after-shampoo conditioner works for hair and scalp-they go straight to the hair follicles and nourish the roots of the hair to smooth, nourish and stimulate growth of facial hair.
- The blend of oils in the beard oils helps condition the hair and facial skin to prevent dryness, flaking and dandruff.
- Beard oil recipes also prevent itching of facial skin underneath the beard.
- Beard oils help prepare the skin and provide the right conditions and environment for the beard to grow.
The Use of Beard Oils in History
It is said that the manliest of manly men in history have sported beards. From Aristotle-The Founder of Western Philosophy to Charles Darwin-the Discoverer of Evolution to the Emancipator of Slaves-Abe Lincoln to Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning writer Ernest Hemmingway-many a great man have sported beautiful luxurious beards.
Likewise, beards oils have been used since the era of the early Mesopotamian Civilizations. Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians were all known to use beard oils to dress their beards. Some even went as far as using hot curling tongs to curl and guide their beards in specific ways. In ancient Rome too, prepubescent boys slathered their hairless chins with beard oils in hopes of making hair grow faster. Many famous bearded kings throughout history had special beard oiling regimens to help ensure that their beards remained luxurious, rich and soft.
Native American Indians, in particular, were known to use specialized ingredients for grooming their facial hair. Typically these were Rosemary, Grape Seed Oil, Jojoba, Coconut, Argan and Hempseed oils. The major benefits of using these oils were that they alleviated itching and were also favorable to sensitive skin. Native Americans also used sweet almond oils to keep their beard soft under harsh cold conditions that made their skin dry and itchy. The oils protected their facial skin from dryness, flaking, itching and dandruff especially when they went on long hunts.
Beard Oils Today
The popularity of beard oils has shot up over the past decades, thanks to the rise in popularity of keeping facial hair. That being said; beard oils are not easily available in stores and one often has to depend on DIY beard oil recipes for the purpose. If you have facial hair, you must definitely use beard oil given the fact that we live in a highly polluted environment. Sun, wind, chemicals in air etc can all affect the texture and growth of beard over the years. Beard oils help protect against these toxic conditions and ensure that the beard remains healthy and luscious.
Whereas the beard oils used in ancient times were scented; today, most men prefer unscented beard oils. Commercially available beard oils contain essential oil extracts along with carrier oils like coconut oil, olive oil etc. They may also be fortified with Vitamins A and E which help increase the softness and shine of beards.
What to Look For in Beard Oils?
If you plan on using beard oils, this is what to look for:
- Look for as natural ingredients as possible. Beard oils must ideally mimic the sebum-the oily fatty substance that keeps our skin moisturized and supple.
- You can also look for ingredients that give specific advantages: anti bacterial, anti aging, anti inflammatory etc. Many essential oils contained in beard oils give these enhanced properties.
- Avoid very strong or highly concentrated essential oils especially if you have sensitive skin. Some essential oils can give rise to allergic reactions or adverse effects like burning, scarring etc. It is essential that you do a patch test before using any oil.
Applying beard oils is a time honored practice used by men to keep their beards luxurious and healthy. The specific ingredients in beard oils help generate softer and more luscious hair. You too can acquire great quality beard oil from stores or simply make one at home.
Want to learn more? Find out when to start using beard oil.