A beard-grooming enthusiast who writes about beard products, styling and other related facial hair trivia who also sports a beardstache.
What is Beard Wax?
Beard wax is basically a beard product that sits firmly in the beard styling category. Like you get a beard oil that would help to condition the beard and make it soft and healthy. A beard wax is primarily about styling the beard. It does offer some conditioning capabilities but it’s main use is about getting your beard to be stylied in a way that you like.
What Does Beard Wax Do?
If you are wanting to know more specifically about what beard wax is used for, it’s pretty simply categorised as a facial hair styling product. In the same way, you get a moustache wax or even hair wax, a beard wax is for those guys who are looking to style up their beards.
Whether that’s because they have a particularly unruly beard or they are looking to achieve quite a bold looking beard style, a beard wax will be great as compared to other beard products, it’s one that offers the most hold. We will explore the ingredients that goes into a typical beard wax below, but due to it’s high content of wax (generally beeswax), it can help even the most coarse beards to maintain a particular shape. You will see it being used to achieve some of the most inventive and creative beard styles.
Of course, for some guys, it's simply a great product because they just want their beard to be straight or to lay down flat. It’s considered the upgraded product to a beard styling balm in terms of hold. What can happen though is that it can feel slightly uncomfortable to wear on your beard and somewhat greasy if you apply it incorrectly.
How to Use Beard Wax
Beard wax is actually pretty simple to use, carry out the following instructions to make the best use of it.
- Warm up the beard wax tin
- Dab your fingers into the wax
- Emulsify the wax between your finger tips
- Spread the wax right through the beard follicle from base to tip
- Brush over the wax with a boar bristle brush
Now before you go straight into applying a beard wax on to your beard, you should make sure that your beard is well kept and clean before doing so. You don’t want to be adding beard wax into a dirty or greasy beard as this will just accentuate the problem. Quite frankly you will end up with an itchy and rather strange looking beard.
Likewise, beard wax is not a one stop solution to a stylish beard. It should only be used as a styling aid to help accentuate the shape of beard that is already stylish. To be sure of this I would either recommend you head to a beard barber who will make the best of your given bearded, facial and hair style features to give you a beard that suits you. Of course, you can always have a go at styling your beard as well.
#1 Warm up the beard wax tin
Often, you will find (as with moustache waxes as well) that beard waxes in tins are incredibly tough to actually get any ‘wax’ out from due to their high percentage of beeswax. So to help soften it up and make it more malleable, you want to try and heat the tin up. You can do this simply by letting it sit in your trouser pocket for a while or if you are in a bit of a rush, just let it sit on the radiator to let it heat up a bit. Then crack open the lid and see if it is a fair bit softer to work with.
#2 Pick up some beard wax
Now you want to be getting some beard wax to actually work with. The best way of doing this I have found is with the back of your thumbnail or a fingernail, alternatively a guitar plectrum tends to work well as well. Start off small, then if you need more you can work your way up by applying more. You don’t want to be in the situation of having too much beard wax and your face becoming overly greasy, as beard wax in particular can be quite tough to remove, then you will have to start the whole process over again.
#3 Emulsify the beard wax
Once you have got a bit of the beard wax on your finger tips, you don’t want to be heading straight into your bead with it. Instead, you want to work it down and emulsify it between your fingers so that it can then be applied directly into the beard. Simply, rubbing the wax against your thumb and fingers is a good way of making sure that the wax is broken down before applying. Try and work it across your fingertips as opposed to the actual palm of your hand.
#4 Work the wax right into the beard and start to shape and style it
As you’ve got the beard wax right on your fingertips, it’s time to work it into the beard. Use the wax and spread it right throughout the beard hairs. From the end right onto the base. Basically, the main aim of the game here is to initially cover the beard completely in wax this then gives you a good amount of control over the beard. Then gradually as you manage to start achieving the first objective, you can start to style and shape it how you want it.
#5 Brush the beard into shape
An optional extra step that I would recommend is to then start using a boar bristle brush to run through the beard along with a drizzle of beard oil. This helps to ensure that the beard is completely and uniformly covered in the beard wax as well as helps to bring a bit of neatness to the beard that just using your fingers can’t. Adding the beard oils helps the brush to slide and distribute through the beard.
Beard Wax Before and After
Typically a beard wax will help to tame your beard. So if you have a beard that sticks out a lot and you want something to hold it flat down, a beard wax is a great solution and it will help to achieve that. Plus, if you are looking for a beard style that is potentially quite bold and outlandish, then it’s great for that too. In combination with perhaps a moustache wax, a beard wax along with potentially petroleum products as well as a combination of blow drying skills are often used for those entering beard competitions.
Beard Oil Vs Beard Wax
A beard oil compared to a beard wax is quite different. A beard oil is primarily a conditioning product that offers a tonne of benefits for your beard. It will help it produce a sheen, be softer, help the beard hairs to remain strong, keeps your beard supple. However, it won’t help to really give you a hold of the beard.
A beard wax on the other hand, will offer you quite little in the way of the conditioning properties that a beard oil will. Instead, it provides you with a good amount of holds that will allow you to style the beard.
If you think about the hair on your head, a beard oil will be like the conditioner and pre-styler for your beard. Whereas the beard wax will be the hair clay or paste that you use to actually give it the textured look and position your beard into place.
Beard Balm Vs Beard Wax
Firstly, it is worth noting that there are two different types of beard balm typically. You get a conditioning balm that is basically like a solid version of a beard oil, this is mainly for keeping the beard in a healthy state but does offer a slight hold.
Then you also get a beard styling balm that does offer some conditioning properties but is mainly about styling and giving the beard a bit of hold. The beard wax is mostly similar to the latter, however, tends to have a higher percentage of actual wax content in its ingredients allowing it to have more hold and styling power than a standard beard styling balm. You find out more about the beard balm vs beard wax debate here.
As with every beard product that you might go out to purchase, you want to be investigating the ingredients. Not every beard product that is made is necessarily good for your beard. You certainly get good beard waxes and bad ones, so make sure that you are thoroughly carrying out your research.
What you will tend to find is there is obviously one or more components of wax in there (hence the name), among a mix of butters that offers some hold as well as a conditioning element. Along with some carrier oils to add further conditioning benefits as well as essential oils that can help with the scent.
Let us know if you have any questions with regards to how to use beard wax in the questions and answers section below and we will be more than happy to help you. If you are looking for a particular recommendation of what beard wax you should be using, I certainly recommend that you check out the Seven Potions beard wxax option.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Jonathan Lees