Make Your Own Unique Beard Oil
Beards have made a real resurgence in recent years, and that has brought a whole new area of male grooming into the spotlight.
Your beard takes a real hammering; it sits out there at the mercy of the elements. Wind, rain, dust, dirt, and dare I say it.... food and drink, can really stress your face fuzz, rendering it dry and unhealthy.
So, what are you going to do about it?
Well, washing it regularly will go a long way to keeping your hair clean, fresh, and healthy. It doesn't need to be scrubbed 3 times a day with nutrient stripping soaps and gels, but it does need a good, daily rinse out. If your beard is anything like mine, you need to fire some water at it in the mornings just to stop yourself looking like a disheveled wookie!
But what next?
Feed it, that's what. Grab a few drops of good quality, manly scented beard oil and rub it deep in that hedge to keep it healthy and nourished. But when you type beard oil into your browser you find yourself faced with various tiny bottles of high priced and exotic sounding concoctions!
Do these bottles contain secret, expensive, mythical ingredients? Do you need a laboratory to make them? Have they been blessed by some high priest of beardiness?
The simple answer is..... NO!
You can make perfectly good beard oil yourself, for a fraction of the price. All of the ingredients and materials you need are available right here on the internet, you don't need any fancy laboratory equipment, and you can bless the finished article yourself... if that's your thing.
So, let's go.....
Firstly, you need to get yourself some bottles to put your final products in. The best material for beard oil is glass, as it won't react anywhere near as much as plastic. Dark glass is better, as it will prevent light from interfering with your oil.
The best type of cap to use are ones with a pipette fixed to the inside for more control (pic below). You can also use the dropper type, or even just a plain old cap if you're feeling wild!
The majority of your beard oil (90-99%) will be made up of your base, or carrier oils. These oils 'carry' the essential oils, that you will add later, to your skin, as well as being nourishing in their own right.
The most popular base oils for beard oil are-
- Argan oil
- Jojoba oil
- Almond oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Coconut oil
But many others, including olive oil and apricot kernel oil can be used, according to preference. Be aware that carrier oils do affect the end fragrance; oils like argan oil in particular can have a drastic effect on the final product.
If you're not feeling totally confident, mix your beard oil in a separate container before you contaminate your 'good' bottles. Begin by adding around 90% of the volume of your bottle in your chosen carrier oil, or combination of oils. Jojoba, almond and grapeseed is a popular combination.
Next you need to add a few drops of vitamin e oil. Vitamin e is excellent for healthy growth, lustre, and protection from split ends. Assuming you have 30ml bottles, add 5-10 drops, depending on skin sensitivity. Vitamin e can cause irritation in high concentrations, for those with sensitive skin.
Essential Oils (The Fragrance)
Now it's time to add the boom to your beard oil!
If you have no experience with essential oils and fragrances, you might be playing a bit of a guessing game here. If you know anybody that uses oils, such as an aromatherapist, or a massage therapist, pay them a visit and have a sniff of their collection.
The trick to mixing fragrances is to find the right balance, and don't go overboard with lots of very potent aromas.
Essential oils fall into a number of categories...
- Woody – Pine, Sandalwood, Cypress, Cedar...
- Earthy – Oakmoss, Valerian, Vetiver, Patchouli...
- Floral – Ylang-ylang, Chamomile, Lavender, Neroli, Rose, Jasmine...
- Minty – Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Spearmint...
- Resinous - Benzoin, Elemi, Frankincense, Myrrh...
- Medicinal – Eucalyptus, Cajuput, Rosemary, Tea Tree...
- Spicy – Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon, Black pepper, Coriander...
- Oriental – Ginger, Patchouli...
- Citrus – Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Lime, Bergamot...
- Herbaceous – Marjoram, Clary sage, Rosemary, Basil...
As a general rule...
- Earthy blends with minty and woody
- Floral blends with woody, citrus and spicy
- Herbaceous blends with woodsy and minty
- Minty blends with woody, earthy, herbaceous and citrus
- Woody blends with floral, earthy, herbaceous, minty, medicinal, spicy, oriental and citrus
- Medicinal blends with woody
- Spicy blends with floral, woody, oriental and citrus
- Citrus blends with floral, woody, minty, spicy and oriental
- Oriental blends with floral, woody, spicy and citrus
Another way of looking at blending essential oils, and perhaps the more traditional way, is by blending top, middle and bottom notes...
Top note oils are light and fresh by nature. They are the first thing you usually smell when you take in an oil. They are also the first to evaporate. Top notes include...
- Clary Sage
- Tea Tree
Middle notes are the aromas that add balance and body to your blend. They are not always apparent right away; instead they brighten up through the blend in the few minutes after they are applied. Middle notes include...
- Black Pepper
Base notes are the heavy and intense aromas. They are generally relaxing and deep. They stick around the longest out of all of the oils in the blend. Some base notes are...
- Ylang Ylang
Now it's time to put your fragrances together. Try adding a few drops of essential oils on their own and leaving them for a day to mature. This way you get an idea of whether a blend works or not, without contaminating a load of carrier oil.
Get stuck in. Have some fun. Mix up whatever blends work for you (and the lady in your life of course)
Here are some suggestions...
- Cypress, Cedar, Thyme and Lime- The cypress gives a really resinous, woody undertone, while the lime adds some zing at the other end of the spectrum. The thyme and cedar pull it all together nicely. You really don't need much lime, so be careful.
- Sandalwood and Benzoin (vanilla)- This is a really simple but effective blend. Give it a go. Nice and calming.
- Pine, Bay, and Jasmine- This is a soothing, floral blend to help you relax and zen out.
- Oakmoss, Patchouli, and Lime- This is one for the budding hippy.
- Oak moss, Birch tar, Leather, Spruce, and Fir- This is the viking blend. Researchers believe that the vikings would have used oils to keep their beards healthy, and this is what they believe they may have used.
- Sandalwood, Pine, Benzoin and Cinnamon- Surprisingly nice mix of scents. Go easy on the cinnamon.
- Pine, Cedar, Juniper and Eucalyptus- Refreshing and revitalising, with woody undertones.
- Cedar, Ginger and Clary Sage- Warming and herby. Invigorating. Slap this on before the gym.
Applying Your New Oil
I usually keep a range of oils on my shelf. I have a zingy and refreshing oil, an invigorating and spicy one, a relaxing and floral oil, and a couple manly scents, like my viking blend.
Always keep your oils stored in a cool, dark place. Keep them away from sunlight, as this can cause them to react and spoil.
Once you've hit upon the blends that are right for you, you're ready to get it on your face fuzz.
The best time to apply oil is right after washing your beard. Dry your beard, but leave it a little damp. Now put a few drips onto your fingers (depending on the length and density of your beard) and rub your hands and fingers together to warm the oil.
Now, I begin by pushing my fingers deep up under my beard and working into the skin of my neck, and then my cheeks, before drawing the last of the oil through the hair to the very tips, but everyone is different. As long as you rub the oil into the skin and follicles underneath, the nutrients will get into your hair, making it thick and healthy.
Beard oil is like aftershave times a hundred, and it costs just a fraction of the price to make. Get stuck in, be bold, make your own unique beard oil today.
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