Frequently Asked Question's
In the Bangin’ Blog as a whole, you will get plenty of articles overtime. These articles will generally be quite detailed as we are wanting to try to fill in a lot of the holes that are out there in the beard care world. We also want to provide some history of beards, address myths if they are true or not and generally speaking make the bearded world a more understood place.
But of course, we understand that not everyone is looking for that detail all the time. There are times where you will want a shorter answer for one or two questions you have and don't want to read a whole article to get it. That's where this post comes in. Here is where we will try to give you the shorter but still detailed answers to the most FAQ's that we receive here. Hopefully by doing this one, it will help to quickly address some of those questions you have.
Q. What is the difference between beard Oil, Butter and Balm?
A. All have their place in the beard care world, and all are good for your beard in their own way. It may be obvious but Oil is arguably the most important product you can put in your beard. It is almost exclusively for lubricating and nourishing your skin and beard and helping the health of it all. Balm as a product is more used for styling, with it giving you the best hold of the three, normally having a higher wax content in comparison to the others, but still provides some moisture and a good amount of nutrition for your beard. Butters are basically the middle ground. As the name suggests, they tend to have more 'butters' in the recipe to help with the nourishment. With it not being quite as nourishing as oil but more so than balm, and with better styling element than oil but not quite as much as balm. However, with butters and balms, what you get tends to differ from brand to brand. With some brands, their butters may have more wax in it so it's closer to the typical balm, or with balms having a slightly less wax ratio so it's closer to butters.
Q. What should I use first, Oil or Balm?
A. Oil first, without question. Oil is meant for your skin, just as much, if not more than for your beard. So you want to get that right down to the base without anything in the way. If you do balm first, with its wax content it can slightly cap the skin and beard, stopping as many of the nutrients and lubrication from the oil getting in. Whereas if you do the balm second it will help lock in any of the oils nutrients and moisture on your beard, which will let the benefits last longer.
Q. How can I make my beard grow faster and fuller?
A. This is 95 percent down to genetics unfortunately. And there definitely is no miracle product you can use to change that either. However there's things you can do to help give it the best chances. As annoying as it may sound, exercise, drinking enough water, eating the right foods, vitamins, using oils, brushing the beard and skin to stimulate blood flow to the follicles are all the fundamental ways to get your body healthier, which in turn will make your beard healthier and grow fuller and slightly faster. But more than anything, time and patience. Most want-to-be beard growers have more potential than they give themselves a chance to show. A beard takes time to grow, and unless you've been blessed with incredible genes, then it will not be a fast process.
Q. What scent of oil do you recommend?
A. There's no wrong scent to pick, this is down to individual taste as what some like others may hate. But my personal favourite scent and one that I recommend the most is the Valhalla Oil as to me it strikes the balance between sweet and fresh but with a little depth and has a bit of an aftershave profile about it as well. But other than that, Mango Melody, Impresso Espresso and Coconut Rum are all close Runners up which all have their own qualities that make them brilliant.
Q. Why has my beard stopped growing?
A. There’s lots of possible answers to this question unfortunately, and without knowing your individual case I couldn't answer confidently. It could be something as simple as the time of year, as a lot of bearded men report that their growth slows and even stops in winter. This is likely due to the lack of sunlight and vitamin D helping growth and find that once summer has kicked in, their beard starts growing again. It could also be generally down to your diet. If you're not eating right or drinking enough water, the health of your beard won't be as good, so it isn't reaching its full potential. But another reason, and one you unfortunately can't do anything about, is you could be at Terminal length, meaning it could be the biggest your beard will grow. Every person has a terminal length for their beard, it normally occurs after 2-5 years on average, but it can be less or more depending on your genetics. The length is random as well, some men can only grow a beard that is a couple inches long, some don't stop until they are past 20 inches.
Q. My beard hairs are falling out, is this a problem?
A. It's only a problem if it's at the point that your beard is getting thinner and/or shorter as a result, I am no doctor so I wont get into the medical reasons for that, however I can say some common standard reasons for it. To begin with, it is completely normal for hairs to fall out, everyone's does regardless what part of the body it is and what gender you are, it is just part of the natural growth cycles of the hair. There are 3 growth cycles and they are Anagen, Catagen and Telogen. To keep it short, Anagen is when the hair is alive and actively growing. Catagen is essentially when the hair stops getting growth from the follicle and actively dies. Telogen is when the hair falls out/ pushed out and is made way for new growth. Your hairs are not all at the same stage of growth, and this will change from hair to hair all over your face. A healthy and normal hair fall out is when it has a little white ‘bulb’ like bit at the end of the hair, if you don't see that, it normally means the hair has been cut, snapped or pulled out prematurely. If that's the case you need to look at your grooming habits, as it's possible you are either brushing/combing to hard (especially if trying to get through tangles), your beard is too dry when you brush it, the health of your beard isn't great in general, or you do it right after a hot bath/shower when the hairs and follicles are softer.
Q. Can I use normal hair shampoo in my beard?
A. Well you can yes, but really you shouldn’t. Common hair shampoo for your head is made to strip your scalp and head hair of the excess sebum oil and grease that naturally forms there far more than on your beard. As a result, normal shampoo is far too harsh for your face fur and will through time lead to a dry and brittle beard and skin with the added possibility of beardruff, sores and itches. The reason beard shampoo exists is it typically is far more gentle on your face and beard than normal shampoo is, and even then we typically wouldn't recommend using it as often as you use normal shampoo on your hair.
Q. Will Biotin Help my beard grow?
A. Biotin is one of the names that you see a lot in the beard care world and is often plastered as a wonder supplement for growth so we get this question a lot. Basically it can help, but it is not a wonder product it is often marketed as, it is simply just one of the B complex vitamins. What this vitamin essentially does to help beard growth is it promotes the protein Keratin, which is responsible for growth of healthy hair, nails and skin. The reason some people deem it as a miracle product and some don't is largely because a lot of people have enough levels from their diets already as it’s in quite a lot of common foods. Your body doesn't store and use excess, so if you're already getting enough biotin from your diet (maybe topped up by a multi vitamin) then you will get little to no benefit from it. Equally, if you’ve got a lack of sources of biotin in your diet, there is a good chance you will get a benefit from it. So yes it can help, but only if you need it. If it interests you, I would ask your doctor if it’s ok to take it as a supplement but otherwise there's no harm in trying, just don't expect massive changes.
Q. Should I use a brush or a comb?
A. To put it simply, use both if you can as they both have their place, but if you only have one I would pick a comb. Brushes are generally speaking softer, and you want to use them either for styling, smoothing hair or evenly distributing oil in the beard. But they aren't as good for de-tangling or exfoliating, that's where combs come in. You should get some oil, massage it into your beard and skin, then gently but firmly comb through, making sure you don't force your way through any tangles but gently coax them out instead. Also, make sure you are pressing the comb into the skin slightly firm so it rubs/ scratches it lightly, which will get the blood flow going and helps loosen and remove dead skin cells. This also helps spread the oil through the beard and detangles it all. After you have done that, you can then use a brush if you have one, and go over your beard with it, which spreads the oil better helping coat all the hairs evenly and can help with styling. The reason, if only given one option, that I would pick a comb over a brush is the comb is generally speaking better for the health of your beard and skin, and good at detangling. While a brush has its place in my routine, the comb is really good at what it does, and can do some of the things the brush can, just not as well. But the brush is good at what it does, it can't do the combs parts that well, especially in longer and thicker beards.
Q. Do I need Beard Oil?
A. For a more detailed answer, follow this link to go to our article on beard oils. But to shorten it, you don't technically need it but you should definitely use it if you want your skin and beard to be ok and in its best condition. So your body produces its own oil called Sebum Oil, but unfortunately your beard area just doesn't produce enough to keep your beard healthy and lubricated, which is why beard oil is made and sold, as it tops up where your body lacks. It also provides additional nutrients that help your skin and beard grow and be healthy that you wouldn’t get outside of applying oil. So yes, you can grow a beard without applying oil, but generally speaking your beard and skin will likely be unhealthy, dry, itchy and even sore, especially as it grows longer. I have learnt this the hard way, as have many other men, which is why it is recommended that you should use it.
Q. How much oil should I use and how often should I use it?
A. The amount & how often can vary depending on the size of your beard, the condition of your skin & beard, the kind of life you lead and also the weather. But to give you an average, make a ‘pool’ in the palm of your hand that is roughly the size of a UK £1 coin. This is probably enough for the average beard, but if you aren't sure if that is enough or too much, wait 30 mins after applying, then run your hands over your beard, if it’s bone dry and seems like there's not any oil in it at all, it's maybe not quite enough and needs more. If instead, you see your hand has got a good bit of oil on it then you likely have put too much in it. In regards to how often, I recommend twice a day, once in the morning, once in the evening but the range I'd say is 1- 4 times a day.
Q. My beard is messy, can I use a heated brush on my beard?
A. Yes you can, Heated brushes are a great method for styling especially if your beard is being stubborn but there’s steps you should take before, during and after using them. Firstly don't have your beard wet even in the slightest if you are using it, heated brushes will boil the water and boil your hair as a result, which is really bad for your beard. What you should do is use Argan Oil or a product containing it. Argan Oil has great heat protecting properties and will reduce and even stop any heat damage, all of our oils at Bangin’ Beards contain Argan Oil as one of its base ingredients so using our oils works. What to do is put a generous amount in your beard, combing and/or brushing it over and through all your hairs, and leaving it to soak into your beard for at least 5 minutes before you do any heat treatment. Once you have done this and got your heated brush ready, you want to fast-ish run through your beard with the heated brush, so you don't linger in any spot at all. If you need to do more than one run in the same spot that is fine, but you want a minimum amount of contact from the heat. It is better to run the heated brush over your whole beard once, before doing any area more than once, this way it gives each section a rest from the heat as well as giving you an idea of what your whole beard looks like after each pass from the brush. Once you are done, you should do a second application of oil in your beard to help nourish your hair and repair any damage that may have occurred from the heat.
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Written by your friendly Bangin' Bearded Blogsman