Beards have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many men sporting different styles of facial hair. While it’s a welcome respite from the razor for many, beards still require some level of care. A whole range of products are made specifically for this. Among them is pomade, or balm, a product that both promotes healthy facial hair and helps sculpt it. You’ll need to choose the right product, then make sure you get your beard ready for it before applying.
EditGetting your Beard Ready
- Take a shower. Ideally, you should only apply beard pomade after a warm shower. Warm water helps open up your pores and raise up your beard hairs. This makes them more receptive to treatment and styling.
- Wash your beard. Use a beard shampoo if you have it. Otherwise, you can get away with using a face wash, as long as it’s not too harsh (if it’s made for dealing with acne, don’t use it for your beard). In either case, use a small amount, and rub it gently into your beard so it lathers. Massage the product into your skin and rinse well.
- Towel off. Dry off your beard right after you get out of the shower. Don’t be too rough with the towel, or you might rip out some hairs and end up with a less than full looking beard. It doesn’t need to be bone dry, but it shouldn’t be drenched either.
EditChoosing the Right Pomade
- Determine whether you need balm or oil. While the two products have a similar purpose, they shouldn’t be used interchangeably. Balm allows you to sculpt and style your beard in a way that oil can’t, and so is usually better for longer beards. Balm has less of a sheen than beard oil as well, resulting in a more toned-down look.
- Beard oil is better for daily upkeep, but won’t work as well on longer beards, since it lacks a balm’s sculpting power.
- Choose petroleum-based balms. While different brands of beard pomade will have their own special ingredients, they’re always either water or petroleum-based. Avoid the water-based balms, since they tend to be runnier, especially if exposed to liquid after application.
- Choose your scent. Many pomades have a distinct scent, usually due to the unique combination of ingredients used. They usually include essential oils from different sources, and some will have strong smelling ingredients like coffee or citrus. Try to find a shop that will allow you to smell samples, so you know you’re choosing a smell that suits you.
- If you have sensitive skin, go for unscented beard pomades to limit the chances of an allergic reaction.
EditApplying the Pomade
- Use a fingertip sized amount of balm. Use your fingertip to scoop out some pomade from its container. Don’t use too much pomade, since this can clog your pores.
- Your fingers should be clean before applying beard pomade, otherwise any residue on your hands could end up in your pomade and in your beard.
- A fingertip sized amount f beard balm is usually what you’ll need. However, depending on a number of factors, such as the thickness and length of your beard, you may need a less or more balm. You’ll find the right amount of balm to use through trial and error.
- Spread the balm over your hands. Using beard pomade is very similar to using hair gel. Make sure it’s well spread out over the palms of your hands and between your fingertips. This will give you more control when you apply the product, ensuring it covers your beard evenly.
- Run your fingers through your beard. Much like applying hair gel or pomade, you want to use your fingers much like a comb, running them through your beard. Do this from multiple angles to ensure the balm is evenly distributed throughout the beard.
- Massage the balm into your skin as well; this will help keep your beard lush and healthy..
- Rinse excess beard pomade if needed. It’s possible to get overzealous with your balm and apply just a bit too much. You’ll know this is the case if your beard is looking extra shiny and greasy. Unfortunately, you’ll need to fully rinse your beard and start over, this time using a bit less balm.
- Brush and comb your beard. While not strictly necessary, this step will give your beard more fullness and help you apply the balm more evenly throughout your facial hair. The brush will help straighten out your beard hairs and coat them with balm evenly. The comb will give you more control over your beard, letting you sculpt and shape it.