Finding the right beard oil is no easy feat and it can involve lots of testing and learning – particularly for Black men with thick and curly hair. The good news? There are many excellent beard oils on the market. As a Black man, I’ve learned that my facial hair products must be as tailored as my hair care products in order to support my curly and thick hair. I’ve battled my fair share of painful ingrown hairs, and while I’ve been lucky enough to avoid the horror of razor bumps, I’m familiar with the tribulation.
To better understand the unique beard care considerations that many Black men encounter, let’s get into the science behind skin, hair follicles, and beard oil.
Dr. Ife Rodney of Eternal Dermatology offers guidance saying, “Beard oil serves as a moisturizing conditioner for both coarse dry facial hair, as well as the skin beneath. This is especially true for Black men, with curved hair follicles that are likely to cause ingrown hairs and bumps on the face and neck. Ingrown hairs form when the coarse strands of curly hair fold inwards and puncture the skin. Beard oil makes the hairs softer, while also strengthening the skin barrier so that it is more difficult to puncture.”
Duly noted: the ultimate purpose of a beard oil is to support the skin and soften beard hair. With this in mind, whether you’re already sporting a full beard, or you’re still working through the kinks, pick up a handful of reliable beard essentials. The science shows that products that are tailored to your hair texture will work best.
Dr. Peterson Pierre of Pierre Skin Care notes, “Scalp hair and facial hair are very similar and require the same care. Hair in Black men tends to be dry and brittle and therefore, requires extra moisture…to keep it looking and feeling its best. [The hair] is also very curly and is prone to getting trapped under the skin, so proper hair care and skin care are vital to minimize these issues.”
From essential oils to naturally-derived moisturizers, look for quality beard oil ingredients that have been tested and formulated with your hair texture in mind. Ask your barber for beard oil recommendations, and once you get a feel for how the ingredients interact with your skin and hair, choose your favorite. Often, Black-owned grooming brands offer products with uniquely-tailored formulations that work. “Be sure your product includes at least one of the following: coconut oil for its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties; tea tree oil for its antimicrobial activity; argan oil to help strengthen the follicles; hyaluronic acid, [and finally] ceramides, and shea butter, to moisture, hydrate, repair and protect the skin barrier,” adds Dr. Pierre. “And if you have sensitive skin, steer clear of added fragrance as this can cause skin irritation.”
Now that we’ve covered the basics with our experts, let’s get into it.
Here are 11 of the best beard oils for Black men, all produced by Black-owned businesses.
Holly Hall Supply Co. Organic Beard Oil
Having trouble finding products that worked for him, Justin Moore founded Holly Hall Supply Co. in Houston, Texas. A go-to for guys with sensitive skin, the Holly Hall Supply Co. Organic Beard Oil is unscented, organic, and paraben-free. Argan and jojoba oil soften and smooth your beard, as well as support the skin barrier. “Beard oil should be applied twice a day. After washing your face, gently dry the beard, and then immediately apply the oil when the skin and hair are still warm and moist,” says Dr. Rodney. Pick a schedule that works for you. “With regular care, you can eventually maintain proper moisture levels with once a day application,” adds Dr. Pierre.
Bevans Grooming Beard Oil
Founded in Montgomery County Maryland by Master Barber Karim Bevans, Bevans Grooming Essentials Beard Oil is developed to promote beard growth and to fortify your beard. Wrapped up in a smooth sandalwood fragrance, jojoba, grapeseed, sunflower, and argan oils work in harmony to seal in moisture and leave you looking and feeling your best. This one’s barber-developed, so you know it works.
Frederick Benjamin Easy Primer Skin & Beard Oil
Grooming brand Frederick Benjamin was founded by Michael James to help Black men find grooming products that worked. The Frederick Benjamin Easy Primer Skin & Beard Oil is formulated with ingredients that are meant to work with your hair and nourish the skin barrier of men of color. Enjoy the soothing benefits of avocado, olive and grapeseed oils. The best part? The Easy Primer Skin & Beard Oil can also be used on the face (outside of the beard) and scalp.
Frederick Benjamin Beard Creme
An additional Frederick Benjamin essential, the brand recently released the Frederick Benjamin Beard Cream. This everyday beard hydrator softens beard hair follicles and is formulated to lock-in hydration to alleviate irritating itchiness that can be attributed to dry skin and dry facial hair. Don’t miss this latest addition to the brand’s line-up.
Scotch Porter Smoothing Beard Serum
Calvin Quallis’s passion for grooming led him to founding this New Jersey-based grooming brand Scotch Porter. The Scotch Porter Smoothing Beard Serum is formulated to be non-greasy and get the job done. Free of parabens, silicones, and mineral oils, the Smoothing Beard Serum will leave your beard smooth and frizz-free. “[Many products] include a variety of soothing emollients such as castor oil, coconut oils, or different plant oils for hydration and soothing effects,” notes Dr. Anna H. Chacon, board certified dermatologist. Touches of sandalwood and musk seal the finish, leaving you feeling and exuding confidence.
AudreyJames Company Natural Beard Oil
The secret to a well-maintained beard? Moisture. “You want to trap the moisture in the skin and hair with your favorite oil.” says Dr. Pierre. AudreyJames Company Natural Beard Oil does just that. This beard oil features a blend of rich-yet-balanced oils including almond, coconut, hemp, apricot and jojoba. Natural anti-inflammatory properties guard against skin irritation and ingrown hairs. Based in South Carolina, AudreyJames Company founder Nicole Caudle aims to deliver well-crafted, honest products that simply deliver.
Love & Snow Natural Restorative Hair and Scalp Serum
Frustrated by products that sold broken promises, Love White founded the Los Angeles-based hair and scalp care brand, Love & Snow. When launching the brand, White was inspired to offer quality essential oils that naturally support the body’s functions. The Love & Snow Natural Restorative Hair and Scalp Serum features essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E and B complex. Find relief from frizz, shedding, and itchy beards with this pick. Dr. Rodney shares a tip: “If your beard appears dull or lackluster throughout the day, you may apply a touch up at that time. Less is more.”
Organi Grow Hair Co. Beard Beverage
Organi Grow Hair Co. Beard Beverage gets to work and fortifies your beard without clogging pores. Organic is the key here, and a mix of organic oils and organic essential oils lay the path to a smooth beard. They key players in the formulation are hemp seed, jojoba, and sweet almond oils. Founder Kay Cola has a self-described ‘obsession’ with healthy hair, as well as vegan and organic grooming and beauty. We’ll say no more.
Aba Love Apothecary Beard Oil
Applying beard oil can be a form of self-care and a way to unwind. “[Beard oil] can also be used before bedtime, if your skin is extra dry,” notes Dr. Chacon. Aba Gyepi-Garbrah is the founder of New York City-based Aba Love Apothecary. She’s also a certified aromatherapist and a proponent of sensorial healing. The Aba Love Apothecary Beard Oil features smooth scents of vetiver and lavender—these mix with goldenseed jojoba oil to soften and open the hair follicles, as well as amp up moisture. The Aba Love Apothecary Beard Oil will give your beard and skin a healthy, yet non-greasy glow. Say ‘goodbye’ to itchiness and dry patches. Winter is coming.
Velvet Noir Bourbon Barrel Beard Oil
Having trouble growing out your beard? This one’s for you. The Velvet Noir Bourbon Barrel Beard Oil is formulated to stimulate growth and blood circulation in areas that may be thin or patchy. A blend of essential oils and vitamins will leave your beard soft to the touch. Roderick Foster—the founder of this Atlanta-based brand—aims to help Black men look and feel confident. And if you’re having trouble settling on one beard oil, it’s ok to try more than one. “There are many types of skincare products that men, especially African Americans with textured, dry or curly hair, can use on their beard that can help hydrate the skin, and help the hair appear smoother,” notes Dr. Chacon.
Nature Boy Beard Oil
Founded by Jacob Quetant, Los Angeles-based brand Nature Boy is serious about grooming. Nature Boy Beard Oil features an all-natural, non-greasy formula that will restore moisture, shine and strengthen your beard. Macadamia, jojoba, argan, coconut, and grapeseed oils pack a punch. After years of mixing and testing formulas, Quetant’s final product was well worth it. Your beard will look and feel smoother, hydrated, and healthier. Pro tip: Start easy with any beard oil. “Using too much beard oil can actually clog your pores and cause acne and breakouts on your face. Apply just a few drops of oil and gently massage in,” advises Dr. Rodney.
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