My partner Sebastian has a long, thick beautiful beard. I just love it! He looks like a big, fuzzy bear. But like any other hair – it needs to be treated with proper care, which is why we came up with our super soft, beard butter. It’s halfway between an oil and a balm, making it great for taming fluffy or stray hairs but perfect for everyday use.
Why you need a beard balm
Since I’ve started making our own healing salves and natural beauty products at home, it’s become glaringly obvious that Seba has been missing something for his beard ever since we first met. Every single oil, salve and moisturiser he touches, gets rubbed between his hands and goes straight into that gorgeous beard of his (even our homemade deodorant bars!) .
Now I am not suggesting that you have to make your beard a fashion statement. But just like with every other hair on your head, you want a beard that is healthy, thick and manageable. And you don’t want to irritate the skin underneath. In fact you want to nourish it to prevent things like dry, flaky skin, eczema and acne.
That’s why I decided we needed to make something especially for the beard! The only problem was all the recipes we tried had way too much beeswax for Seba’s liking, especially for winter when skin is dry and beard balms becomes super solid!
How will this beard balm suit?
We were on a mission to find a super-specific type of beard balm. And I think we found it! It will suit men who are looking for something that is:
- Natural and organic
- Halfway between beard oil and beard balm
- Solid at room temperature but easy to dissolve between the hands for application
- Taming but not stiff or waxy (for everyday use)
- Nourishing, hydrating and repairing for the hair without being too expensive
- Good for the skin to help prevent acne, dry skin and dermatitis
- Has a subtle, woody yet sweet aroma
Here’s our recipe….
DIY super soft beard butter
- 10 parts coconut oil infused with rosemary
- 2 parts shea butter
- 1 part beeswax
- Essential oils: cedarwood and orange
Now as I said, it’s winter here and we deliberately used as little beeswax as possible so if you live in a really hot climate (shea butter generally melts at 38-40°C /89-100°F and coconut at 24°C/76°F) you can either play around with the proportions, store your balm in a really cool spot (or even the fridge) or come to terms with a softer beard butter (it will still have more hold than a simple oil).
If you want to check the consistency of your balm before pouring out into containers, you can pour a little into a spoon and allow to set in the fridge. If it’s too hard or flaky, add more oil. If it’s too soft, add more beeswax.
1. Infuse your coconut oil with rosemary, either by heating in a bain-marie for several hours or in the sun for six weeks. Strain off rosemary with cheesecloth or similar fabric, leaving your delicious rosemary infused coconut oil. For further directions see my post on making herbal infused oils.
2. Using either a double boiler or a bain-marie (with a simple glass jar in a pot of boiling water) melt your beeswax. Please note, it’s important to melt your beeswax before your shea butter as it has a higher melting point.
3. Next add your infused coconut oil. As coconut can withstand high temperatures, it’s fine to add it early on.
4. Add the shea butter last and melt on a very low heat – this is really important as shea butter gets grainy when overheated, which is not something you want out of a beard butter! Or better yet, remove from the stove top and stir until all the shea butter chunks are fully melted. To assist in this process you can chop your shea butter up into small pieces.
5. Once your mixture is completely melted, add your essential oils, remembering to use an appropriate dilution of 1-2%, depending on who is using it. Remember 20 drops of essential oil generally equals 1 ml.
6. Pour your beard balm/butter into a 60 ml or 2 oz tin, like these ones from Etsy and store in a cool dry place (18-20°C or 65–68°F)
Ingredient properties (and where to find them)
Each of the ingredients I chose for the beard butter are full of nutritional and healing properties.
- Coconut oil is chock-full of goodies for the hair and skin, including antioxidants and vitamin E to prevent ageing, medium chain fatty acids to retain moisture and anti-microbial properties to disinfect and fight dandruff.
- Shea butter is a rich source of moisture, vitamins and fat for your skin and hair and has anti-inflammatory properties to nourish the scalp.
- Rosemary is one of the best herbs around for hair growth, shine, and to prevent both dandruff and hair loss. You can read more about it in my rosemary herb profile.
- Cedarwood essential oil has anti-seborrheic and antiseptic properties to help treat eczema, dry skin and acne. It also has a manly, delicious, woody smell.
- Orange essential oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-depressant properties. It’s also a great repellent and aphrodisiac and smells so refreshing. Please note, citrus oils can increase photosensitivity. For most this generally isn’t a problem in the beard but if you’re super sensitive or have a really thin beard take care!
Where to buy the ingredients
For those in the US/Canada you can buy all the ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs including beeswax, shea butter, rosemary and essential oils. If you want to get your coconut oil in the same order, the coconut oil at Mountain Rose Herbs is certified organic, fair-trade, kosher and non GMO. Choose unrefined for a coconutty smell or refined for a more neutral smell.
Or if you’re feeling kind of lazy and just want a buy a kick-arse beard butter, try Wild Willie’s Beard Butter. It has lots of awesome, organic ingredients like shea butter, argan oil, almond oil and roesmary, cedarwood and tea tree essential oils.
Do you or your partner grow a beard? How do you take care of it? What would you look for in a beard oil or balm? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.