BEARDS, BALMS & THE POWER OF POWDER
August 20, 2019
When it comes to the world of mens grooming and styling products, we are now spoilt rotten in a realm that was once quite scant for choice. There are loads of new developments constantly popping onto the shelves, some of these come and go and some are here to stay. With so many choices it can be hard to know what’s what and what will work for you and your needs.
Let’s take a look at some of the products flooding into the mens grooming space and compare some of them in regards to what works best and when.
Beard oils and beard balms share many of the same characteristics, the main difference being the addition of waxes and butters in the balms. This creates the thicker consistencies that gives styling support and a mild level of hold for shaping. Balms tend to coat the hair while oils are more readily absorbed and penetrate deeper into the hair. Oils are great for daily conditioning and balms are popular for those with longer beards who are seeking more shape and control. In saying that it is is not uncommon to use both at once and many beardmen will keep both a beard oil and a beard balm handy in their kit.
Next we look at Pomades, Pastes and Clay, which one to choose here? Pomades work well for hairstyles that are shaped with a comb, they give a high level of shine and should not dry out or go crusty. Choose a water based pomade that will wash out more easily than oil based versions, that way you won’t damage your hair by stripping away your hairs natural oils in the cleaning process. Pastes are thicker than pomades and their texture is generally tacky like a glue. They offer a firm hold when styling and leave hair with a matte finish or little shine. The commonality or the clays is that they actually contain a form of clay in the formulation. Clays provide extra volume and stability and usually with good hold and a matte finish.
Lastly we look at the new kid on the block in ‘texturising volume powders’. Most of us are not yet familiar with the ‘power of powder’ but that is set to change as they quickly grow in popularity. The texturising powders will make your hair feel thicker and have greater volume as they bind to the hair and create friction, they are very effective and only a small amount is needed to instantly give the extra lift. Some of these powders double up as dry shampoos which can be the perfect saviour when you're on the run and your usual grooming routine is out of the question.
To wrap it up, the best way to get your head around these products is to talk to your barber. The staff in the barbershop are dealing with these products on a daily basis and with many or them before they are officially released to the public. They have a well developed understanding of the various products, their uses and their pros and cons. So the best bet if you're unsure about anything is to ask the staff, they are your best resource for the best advise.