Is it soft or is it hard?

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I spoke to a man the other day who made a comment about beard balm not having the same hold as beard & mustache wax.

With this write-up I will try to shed some light on the subject of balm and wax. The definition according to the dictionary, not very clear though, says the following:

Balm: any of various oily, fragrant, resinous substances

Wax: a sticky yellowish moldable substance

With that being said, I will spend some time highlighting various aspects of the various properties of balm and wax. I am going to get straight to the point. Balms from various manufacturers can differ greatly in a number of ways.

(I just have to add that I will not be dissing any of the balms or the waxes. This is purely educational).

Once you have purchased your product (balm or wax), you will then proceed to open the tub or tin and- if you are anything like me- the first thing you will do is stick it under your nose and take a big sniff. Let us stop there and make some notes about the differences you may encounter at this point between wax and balm.

  1. Container size. Normally- and that is a very general normally- the wax comes in smaller containers compared to the beard balm. Balms come in tins and tubs of a slightly larger size. Why is there a difference between the two? Well basically, because of the hold wax has, small amounts are used to get the job done, whereas a larger quantity of balm will be used.
  2. Smell. Well, the two products could smell very different or they could smell exactly the same. This will depend on the oils and scents added to the initial blend to get the desired effect. Pretty straight forward.

Next you will probably stick your finger in there, right in the center, squeeze and rub and then check the consistency. Check the stickiness and then smell again.

  1. Consistency. Beard balm is again generally a bit softer than the waxes. I have come across some balms that have been relatively hard compared to others. It is very much a personal preference as to what will be the right one to use. The wax on the other hand will be harder and stickier in order to get the necessary hold for those curly mustaches or freestyle shaped beards. It might be a blend of various products like, waxes and oils etc.
  2. Smell. It still smells the same- fresh, clean, creamy and maybe a little minty even.

So, what’s the point?

You get beard balm and you get beard wax. They are different products used for different applications. You can use wax to style your beard or mustache but you probably won’t be able to use balm for the same purpose. Both products will help with feeding and nourishing your beard or mustache. It is possible that balm can be used to style your beard- it all depends on the beeswax content in the balm. Rather try and get the right product for the right application. You might take a while to find what you like in terms of scent and feel- experiment to find what works for you.

Hope this helps, and please send us your questions if there are any. We are happy to help where we can.

Happy bearding.

Black Hat Out!


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