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Statistics show that 22% of American men believe that facial hair is fashionable. We couldn't agree more!

If you're new to this whole beard growing thing though, you may not know (yet) how to properly care for your whiskers. If you've noticed your beard is feeling a little dry and your skin is getting a little itchy, these are two signs you need a beard conditioner.

Don't know exactly what a beard conditioner is and how to choose the right one? Fear not, our fellow bearded friend; you're about the get an introduction to beard conditioner 101. Here's everything you need to know.

What Is a Beard Conditioner?

No doubt you're already familiar with shampoo and conditioner for your hair. Well, the term beard conditioner actually applies to any product that will smooth and condition a beard. That product may be a beard balm, beard oil, or a conditioner that is the counterpart to a beard shampoo.

Which one you choose is totally a matter of personal preference. Some men like the idea of leaving in a balm or oil, particularly during the harsher winter months when the product can continue to nourish your beard throughout the day. Others may prefer a conditioner that can be rinsed out so it does not leave behind a lingering scent.

Why You Need a Beard Conditioner

Simply put, a beard conditioner nourishes your beard as well as the skin underneath. It prevents the beard from getting (and feeling) too wiry, and your facial skin from getting flaky (because beard dandruff is never a good look.)

Some dudes, when they grow their first beard or two, mistakenly believe that their facial hair is maintenance-free. They may use regular bath soap to wash their beard which can be a bad idea.

Soap can be harsh and can strip too many natural oils from your beard, as well as dry up your facial skin. If you do like using a bar of soap, opt for one specially formulated for beards. Beard soap usually contains natural ingredients such as plant extracts and butter to gently clean beard hairs and follicles while adding moisture.
If you're serious about your beard's appearance and softness, then you definitely want to clean it with an appropriate product such as beard shampoo. Some shampoos have been formulated with built-in conditioning ingredients that will do double-duty for you.

But maybe you prefer a separate beard shampoo and conditioner so you can control the amount of moisture you add. In this case, a standalone beard conditioning product is the right choice.

The Difference Between Beard Oils, Balms, and Conditioners

Beard oil is just that--oil--while a balm is thicker and heavier, much like the solid lip balm you apply to chapped lips.

Typically, we recommend that men with shorter beards and healthy skin use beard oil. Shorter beard hairs allow the oil to penetrate to reach the skin. Beard oil may also be used as a finishing product to add a little sheen to the hair and to further protect it from the elements during dry and cold weather.

A beard balm tends to work well for longer beards and men with dryer skin. It has a thicker consistency and is meant to use as a leave-in conditioner.
A beard conditioner usually has a beard shampoo to go along with it by the same manufacturer. Just like hair conditioner, you apply it after shampooing and rinse it out.

Our Fortify Intense Beard Conditioner is one product. It contains Betaine and mango butter to smooth and moisturize your beard. You can use it after washing your beard with our Bossman Body & Beard Soap.

If you find that a beard conditioner didn't add enough moisture, this is when applying a bit of beard oil can help smooth things out further.

Less is often more, and one thing you don't want to do is load up on any of these conditioning products or use all three of them together! Experiment to find out what works best for you.

For beard oils and balms, keep in mind that because these products are not rinsed out, their fragrance may linger for a while. Many beard conditioning products are made with essential oils, herbs, and other fragrant ingredients. (Our Fortify Intense Beard Conditioner is free of essential oils for a cleaner scent.)

Pick conditioning products that are just as pleasing to your nasal passages as they are to your beard.

How to Care for Your Beard

We generally recommend washing your beard at least twice a week. Your facial hair, particularly if it's longer, can pick up particles and odors from the food you've eaten, any beverages you've consumed, and even your girlfriend's fragrance. (The smell of stale ale and Miss Dior usually isn't the most pleasing combination.)

You may need to wash your beard more frequently if it gets dirty more often such as when you work up a sweat. Wash your beard with warm (not hot) water and a beard shampoo or cleanser.

If you prefer beard conditioners, apply your favorite and leave in for a minute or two, then rinse well with warm water. If you're going the leave-in product route, then gently pat your beard dry with an absorbent towel.

Your beard may need a few more minutes to air dry. When it's completely dry, add a few drops of beard oil or a bit of beard balm to your palms and rub your palms together to warm the product up. This will also allow it to better penetrate your beard.

Now run it through your beard, and massage it into the roots so it reaches your skin as well.

Additional Ways to Keep Your Beard Game Strong

Using a beard conditioner is just one way to keep your beard looking fantastic. Grooming your beard is also a must, even if it's longer. Regular trims by you or a barber will prevent straggly ends and keep your look pulled together.

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet will provide moisture and the right nutrients to your beard. So does drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep.

We have the right products to keep your beard soft, supple, and sexy, no matter your style and item preference. Shop our collections of beard products to find the right ones for you and your mug!