Let’s face it - your boyfriend, husband, brother, or father deserves better than socks this year. That’s why we created this guide to help you find the Perfect Beard Gift for the 2016 Holidays.
Beard Brush or Beard Comb?
The short answer is both help guys achieve a well-groomed, smooth and healthy-looking beard.
The long answer is there are times when the condition of your beard is better suited for combing and other times better suited for brushing.
When to Brush & Comb
The biggest driving factor in determining when to use a brush or comb is the state your beard is in. Your beard is really no different from your hair - it's susceptible to tangling and knots and acts, looks and feels different in humid/dry environments - which is why it's always good to have both options in your back pocket (zing!).
Combs are great for detangling and working out knots because of the deeper and wider placement of the teeth. The best time to use a comb is when your beard is soft or wet, say after a shower or during the summer months, as it’s better designed to assist with working out knots and tangles and ensuring your beard is ready to be styled.
Alternatively, a brush is better suited when your beard is more dry. Its dense and firm bristles do a better job of removing dead skin cells and forcing your beard hairs to lie in a given direction - making styling your beard much easier.
A common grooming routine after showering is to use your beard comb to work out any knots and tangles, allow some time for your beard to dry, do an initial pass with a brush, apply a balm or oil with your hands, and then use a brush again to comb and style to your desire.
Don’t Forget the Case
Some beard combs also have multiple teeth widths, which allows them to accommodate different styles and hair types. Also, while all combs and brushes can be transported fairly easily, some come with carrying cases, which make them particularly well-suited for on-the-go maintenance and grooming.
Beard Balm or Beard Oil?
Let’s start with their similarities first. Both moisturize and hydrate your beard and skin. Both are often made with natural ingredients, such as Tea Tree and Coconut Oil for Beard Oil, and Bees Wax and Shea Butter for Beard Balm. Both are applied using your hands and commonly available in scented or unscented varieties.
Now onto their differences. The biggest and most obvious difference is their consistencies and ingredients - balm has a solid structure that breaks down once rubbed in your hands, whereas oil starts off as a liquid right from within the bottle. In addition to containing essential oils like a beard oil, beard balm also contains bees wax.
The addition of bees wax means beard balms' slightly thicker consistency makes it better suited for facial hair styles where a little bending, twisting and molding is often needed. Although it provides a healthy shine, its shine is a little more muted when compared to a beard oil. Its thicker consistency also means it's more forgiving if you've over applied, making it a little bit easier to work with.
Because of its liquid consistency beard oil is also extremely popular because it is more easily absorbed into the beard, face and skin. The absorption of the essential oils into the hairs assist with softening the beard as well as adding a wonderful shine, while absorption into the skin helps ensure it does not dry out, reducing the effects of beard itch and beardruff.
Get the all-new Sandalwood Beard Balm, made with nutrient-rich bees wax, jojoba, shea butter, coconut oil and more.
Scented or Unscented?
The beauty about many men’s grooming products is that they are available in scented or unscented varieties. Ultimately, deciding which one is right for you comes down to personal taste. To make things easier, here’s a list of our all-star beard-care line-up broken down by scents:
- Sandalwood is a heavy, fine-grained, aromatic and pleasant-smelling type of wood that has been highly-valued for centuries. If this sounds appealing to you, check out our Sandalwood Beard Balm, Sandalwood Beard Comb, and Hatchet Style Beard Comb.
- Cedarwood is an essential oil derived from coniferous plants and trees and is characterized by its deep, refreshing, woodsy scent. Check out our Cedarwood Beard Balm if this sounds like your thing.
- Birchwood is an essential oil derived from a species of birch native to eastern North America and has a fresh, cheery scent that is sure to brighten up your day. Check out our Birchwood and Cedar Spice soap which is also infused with the deep, aromatic scent of Cinnamon Leaf Oil and Orange Oil.
Pomade, Styling Clay, Or Texture Paste?
Pomade gives your hair direction and usually comes with a high-shine look to it (where you can literally see the light reflecting off of someone’s hair). Pomade doesn’t have that crunchy or clumpy feel associated with gels, and it won't flake. Pomades are great if you use a hair comb to style your hair.
Texture Paste leaves your hair messy or styled, but it will still move in a gust of wind. Texture Paste is typically shine-free, won’t clump up, and can be restyled throughout the day.
Styling Clay is happy medium between Gel and Paste. It has a stronger hold like gel, without the high-shine finish. Clay is great for shorter spikier styles and has great "tack" in the hair.
How To Pick The Perfect Comb
If you’ve narrowed your choice down to a comb over a brush, there are a still few more things you should consider before making your final choice:
- Single or multiple teeth widths. Combs with multiple teeth widths give you greater flexibility when it comes to hair types and lengths they can tackle. The fine-tooth portion of the comb gives you the greatest degree of control over your hair, but can be difficult to work through long or tangled hair. The wide-tooth portion of the comb, on the other hand, handles long or tangled hair more easily, but it less effective at dealing with unruly hair (such as a cow-lick). Combs with multiple teeth widths truly are the best of both worlds.
- Multi-use combs. Multi-use combs are combs that can be used on your heard hair and beard hair. They are commonly constructed out of wood such as sandalwood or pear wood which are highly versatile and can easily comb through multiple hair types and thicknesses without generating excessive static. This is one of the many drawbacks of plastic combs, and is one of the reasons why we recommend combs made of cellulose acetate – which is a natural plant-based plastic – if a more flexible alternative to wood is desired.
Get the Craftsman Beard Comb. Built to last, made with real Sandalwood, and packaged in a custom gift-box that’s perfect for the holidays.
Win Your Christmas Gift
Still haven’t found the perfect gift? Win your Christmas gift this year by signing up for our 30 Day Mustache Comb Giveaway Contest. Just two days left to enter!