March 16, 2023

We men love efficiency. If we can use the same product for two separate purposes, we’re pretty damn proud of ourselves.

But can we apply that approach to styling products designed for our beards and mustaches? Can’t we just use one product to do the entire job? Are there really any significant differences between beard balm and mustache wax

After all, beard balm and mustache wax are both styling products with very similar ingredients. On the surface, it would make sense to use just one for the entire face.

Well, my man, there are significant differences between mustache wax and beard balm. We’re gonna examine those and set out the appropriate times to use each product.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to use one product for both your beard and stache. Read on to find out…

The Basic Differences Between Beard Balm and Mustache Wax

Comparing beard balm with mustache wax can be a tad confusing because they share many common ingredients. But they’re far from being the same.

    Beard balm:
      • A leave-in conditioner that does some styling work for the basic shape and uniformity of your facial hair.
      • The hold it provides is firm but flexible, natural-looking and non-greasy.
      • It’s designed for the health and maintenance of all your facial hair.
    Mustache wax:
      • A strong-hold styling product that has some conditioning capabilities.
      • Because it contains beeswax, its hold is stiffer and has a waxy, glossier appearance.
      • It’s designed for shaping a large/long mustache, like a handlebar, especially to provide pronounced twirl and/or fine points.
      • It’s generally not recommended for a beard. It can make it look and feel clumped and greasy.

    The Main Difference Between The Two

    The biggest difference is that mustache wax contains a significantly higher concentration of beeswax – hence the product is called a wax and not a balm or pomade. This provides the muscle to create cool, even flamboyant, shapes and designs, like tightly curled handlebars. Wax is designed to be used in tiny amounts, so as not to clog up hairs too much.

    The wax retains some flexibility but, at higher concentrations, will group hairs tightly together for a glossier finish and for defining fine points.

    Another key difference is that you really don’t want to run your beard brush through mustache wax. It will clog up the bristles, whereas balm will be distributed evenly and smoothly. To apply wax, you should use your fingers and a comb. (If you do clog up your beard brush, we’ve got you covered on how to clean it.)

    The Similarities of Balm and Wax

    It would be easy to think beard balm and mustache wax are basically the same because they share so many ingredients. 

    After all, our Beard Balm and Mustache Wax both contain virgin argan oil, golden jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, pumpkin seed oil, grapeseed oil and hempseed oil. These all moisturize, soften, condition, strengthen and shape your facial hairs while providing antioxidant power.

    Plus – both products contain beeswax.

    When Should You Use Each Product?

    The names really say it all - one is for beard, the other is for mustache. But here are some specifics about which one to use:

    • If you want your beard and mustache to be brushed uniformly and to remain so all day, without feeling stiff or “caked”, beard balm is the go for everything. Brush some beard oil thoroughly through your facial hair first - including on your mustache - before applying the balm.
    • If you have a bushy mustache and don’t want to twirl it, you can use beard balm on it to provide some shaping and to train/brush the direction of hair growth.
    • If you have a longer mustache but don’t enjoy hairs in your mouth, consider a touch of wax to hold them away.
    • If you have a bushy or handlebar mustache that you want to style more eccentrically or extravagantly, you need the extra strong control provided by mustache wax.
    • If you suffer from beard itch, flaking and/or excessive dryness, use beard balm after applying beard oil. Beard balm acts like a leave-in conditioner for your whiskers and skin.
    • If your facial hairs tend to go frizzy or have a lot of flyaways, use beard balm.
    • If you live in an especially dry climate or a punishing winter, apply beard balm to your beard and mustache to create a protective barrier that holds in essential moisture. After that, you can always add some mustache wax to your handlebar, if you have one.

    If you have a long and bushy beard that you want to braid or bind together like a Viking beard, you may want to consider adding a smidge of mustache wax to the very ends of the hairs - after oiling, balming, brushing and braiding/binding. We strongly recommend not applying wax to the roots of the hairs or in the middle of their shafts, unless you like everything gluggy and clogged.

    How Much Should You Use of Each?

    You’re in luck again. We’ve blogged about how to use beard balm and how to use mustache wax, so check ‘em out for some great tips.

    In both cases, less is more!

    Mustache wax: An amount the size of a grain of rice is all you need. It’s that powerful.

    Beard balm: About half a fingernail’s worth for a regular beard, maybe a full fingernail’s worth for a long beard.

    When Should You Use Each Product?

    In both cases, it’s best to treat all your facial hair to a glorious beard wash first. Prep that canvas for the masterpiece you’ll create!

    Rub a couple drops of beard oil throughout your beard and mustache, then brush it evenly through. It shouldn’t feel heavy or greasy, but smooth and soft.

    Apply beard balm with your hands, then brush it through and style the way you want. Ensure there are no clumps of product.

    If you use mustache wax, it’s the final touch after all the above.

    You can also add more mustache wax, if you need, throughout the day. Just don’t overdo it!

    Can You Use Either Product Everyday?

    Absolutely! But… be sure you use only premium quality beard balm and mustache wax. Cheaper versions may contain parabens, silicone and mineral oils that will damage/weaken hairs if used daily.

    If you forget to wash them out at the end of the day, be sure to have a protective pillowcase that you don’t mind absorbing some product while you sleep. Quality products will certainly do you and your face no harm during the night. Mustache wax can sometimes even be restyled the next morning.

    Are They Easy to Wash Out?

    Yep! Beard balm washes out in a snap, sometimes with just warm water. 

    To wash out mustache wax, use only a supreme beard wash product. Don’t use soap or body wash. You may need to wash a second time to remove all wax residue, but you certainly don’t need to scrub violently.

    And that’s the scoop on the differences between beard balm and mustache wax. If you still have questions, contact us here and we’ll send you our best, friendly advice. Otherwise, beard on, bro! And mustache on, my man!

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