Genetics may largely determine how fast your beard grows and how bristly it is but you don’t have to be a prisoner to your genes with a good beard softener.
Similar to leave-in hair conditioners, beard products with plenty of coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter can work to deeply moisturize and condition hair.
It’s not magic — just basic science and nature at work.
How a Beard Softener Works
Natural oils and butters all have a unique composition of fatty acids. These determine whether or not an oil is conditioning, if it makes a good moisturizer, etc.
Oils and butters can also have different levels of saturated and unsaturated fats including oleic and linoleic acid, which can also play a factor in how well a oil works as a beard softener.
Quality beard products take all of that into account when they’re being formulated. Some oils are complementary in their fatty acid profile while others overlap and add little to the final product.
Keep in mind that most beard products end up on your skin as well. Healthy skin often means a healthy beard and a good beard balm or beard oil will address both hair and skin health.
What to Look for in Beard Softeners
There’s no single recipe for the “best beard softener” but some general guidelines definitely apply.
Check the ingredients of any beard product you’re considering and look for a balanced mix of the following:
Conditioning oils and butters: Almond oil, avocado oil, evening primrose oil, grapeseed oil, hemp oil, olive oil
Moisturizing oils and butters: Coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter
Hair conditioning oils: Argan oil, evening primrose oil, meadowfoam oil
Oils and butters high in oleic acid: Avocado oil, olive oil, shea butter
Oils and butters high in linoleic acid: Argan oil, evening primrose oil, grapeseed oil, shea butter