You Don’t Need Beard Oil

Me in college with my gnarly beard.

Not infrequently I’ll get a question that goes something like this.

“I’ve started growing a beard for the first time and I hear people talking about beard oil. Is this something I really need?”

As someone who makes and sells beard oil, you might expect me to say “yes.” But here’s the honest answer. No, you don’t need beard oil.

I’ve had a beard for 23 years — that’s more than half my life. And for about 20 of those years, I hadn’t even heard of beard oil. That’s right. I had a beard for two decades without using beard oil at all. Not even once. My beard didn’t fall out. I didn’t die of acute beard dryness. In fact, my beard looked pretty nice (if my wife is to be believed).

Most of the time I have kept my beard trimmed short, but I did let it grow out in college (see the above photo). During that time, I took care of it the same way that I took care of the hair on my head, which I had also let grow long. I shampooed and conditioned it every day with products on the lower end of the cost scale. I combed the tangles out of it when I got out of the shower. Other than that, I just let it do its thing.

Me and my short beard at college graduation.

Before I graduated I decided to trim my beard short. Part of the reason was that I didn’t feel my long beard presented a well-kept appearance. Even though I combed it every day the hairs still had a mind of their own, going every which way. And combing it was a chore. I was getting tired of dealing with all the split ends and knots. My beard looked dry and brittle, because it was dry and brittle.Trimming it seemed like the best way to improve the health and appearance of my beard.

I also noticed that as my beard grew longer, the skin beneath it became more dry. Maybe it wasn’t getting enough sunlight. Whatever the reason, my face would itch and when I would scratch it, white flakes of dead skin would rain down on my shirt. Face dandruff is not attractive. Wearing my beard short seemed to help with that somewhat, as well.

A few years ago I got into a routine of letting my beard grow out during the fall and winter and keeping it trimmed in the spring and summer. Then one Christmas my darling wife put some beard oil in my stocking (my beard had gone a good two months without a trim at that point). When I began to use it, I could instantly tell a difference. My beard hair was softer and easier to comb. It didn’t tangle as easily. And my skin didn’t feel so dry and itchy.

I enjoyed how it made my beard feel so much that when spring came around that year I decided to let it keep growing. Daily use of beard oil made a remarkable difference compared to the last time I grew my beard long. The hair stayed soft and healthy looking. The split ends I remember having so much trouble with before weren’t happening. My beard felt and looked better than I remember. Part of it, admittedly, is due to the fact that I, like fine wine, just get better with age. But I suspect the beard oil also played a role.

Me and my mighty beard today.

My beard care routine is a bit different now than when I was in college. I no longer use bargain shampoo and conditioner (those harsh shampoos were part of the reason my hair was so dry back then). Instead I use natural home-made shampoo every other day or so, and condition it daily with beard oil.

Suffice it to say, I was impressed by how beard oil benefited my beard. But it is no magical potion. It won’t help you grow a thick, full man-mane if your genetics say otherwise. If you think beard oil will help your beard grow thicker, faster or longer, then allow me to save you some money. It won’t.

In Summation…

Do you need beard oil? No. No one “needs” beard oil.

Will you appreciate how beard oil makes your beard look and feel? Probably.

There is only one way to find out how much your beard could benefit from a good beard oil, and that is to try it for yourself.

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Rev. Mr. Matthew Newsome

Rev. Mr. Matthew Newsome

Husband of one, father of seven, Roman Catholic deacon, college campus minister, shepherd and drinker of fine coffee.

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