Building the ultimate beard care kit
What should be included in a beard grooming kit?
Your beard grooming kit? It’s the secret to your beard looking more hipster and less hobo. So what’s in your stash of beard products?
Today, we’re outlining the essential items you should include in your beard grooming kit. Plus, we asked Aussie blokes to share their favourite products.
The five essential items in any good beard care kit
- shampoo and conditioner
- beard oil or pomade
- comb or brush
- beard-trimming scissors
Beard kit essential #1: BEARD SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER
You can’t use any old shampoo, and certainly not your lady-friend’s stupidly expensive salon shampoo on your beard. You need beard shampoo and conditioner that’s designed for thicker, coarser beard hair. Due to the whole proximity to mouth thing, beards tend to get food stuck in ‘em too. So you need a heavy-duty shampoo to get rid of the gunk. Smelly beard is the worst.
Beards tend to be dry. So a cheapo shampoo will dry your beard out even further. You’ll look like you’ve got steel wool growing on your face. The beard conditioner helps restore smoothness. You don’t want your beard to be glossy like a model in a Pantene commercial. But a bit of care via conditioner will avoid your face going too fuzzy. Some shampoos, like (ahem) ours, have conditioner built in.
“I have had a beard since my late teens, and am now in my mid 40s. Whilst I do not trim my beard, I like to keep it neat and feeling clean. I wash my beard daily, often using conditioner to keep it soft. I also regularly comb and brush my beard, to avoid the tangle. I don't use any specific beard oils or balms, some of my friends with beards, have, and swear by them. It might be time to give it a try.”
Beard kit essential #2: BEARD OIL OR BALM
Beard oil moisturises both the beard and the skin beneath. So if you suffer the dreaded beard-itch, beard oil can help alleviate the urge to scratch.
Most beard oils come with a base of almond or jojoba oil. Some have other essential oils to ensure hygiene, moisture or just to provide that manly can-do smell you’ve always wanted. Some beard oils include ingredients that even promise to promote growth, but we’re a little skeptical on that front.
Did you know you can get beard flakes just like dandruff? It’s totes true, sorry fellas. Beard oil tames any dryness that stops flakes forming. If you plan on kissing anyone in your bearded state, beard oil will ensure a smoother result for your lucky conquest.
Beard butter versus beard oil versus beard balm
A balm is a thicker solution. Beard oil is obviously all liquid oils, while the butter tends to contain natural butter such as cocoa butter or shea butter. In contrast, a beard is solid and waxy in texture. It’s down to individual preference and some men use both. The balm being thicker, allows more control and shaping of the beard. Balms tend to be more moisturising, so are the product of choice for men with dry beards. Longer beards tend to require the pomade too, because the longer the beard, the drier the ends.
Beard kit essential #3: COMB & OR BRUSH
If you plan on stroking your beard in a dastardly and/or pensive fashion, you don’t want beard tangles busting your chops. A beard brush or comb will ensure your beard is smooth and free of knots. You’ll be using this daily so make sure it fits comfortably in your hand. It should catch knots easily without excessive pulling or catching.
Beard brush or comb?
It’s down to individual preference; some blokes use both. If you’re out and about often, go for a comb, as it’s less bulky to carry around. Brushes are good for working in beard oil, combs are more about getting rid of tangles. If you have a shorter beard, you probably don’t have to worry about tangles, so a brush will do fine. As your beard grows, a brush will fluff up your bread, giving it a fuller appearance.
“When it was shorter I never bothered with combing. Now it’s longer I’ve realised I need to comb from time to time. I brush it when it’s wet after the shower with a wide-tooth brush. Does the trick just fine.”
Beard kit essential #4: SCISSORS
News alert: your beard doesn’t magically grow into the perfect Kit Harrington shape you’re hankering after. (Tidbit: on average, 140 people Google ‘Kit Harrington Beard’ each month.) So you need scissors to trim your beard to shape. And newsflash: if you prefer a shorter beard, this means regular trims. You can go to the barber, sure. But it can get pricey and time consuming. If you trim at home, your mum’s rusted old shears won’t do. You need dedicated blades designed for the cutting of coarse beard hair. The key elements to consider are the quality of the blades (sharp) and the feel of the scissors in your hand (comfortable).
“I tried to trim my beard and made a mess of it. I kept going shorter and shorter to even it up. Took me a few months to grow it back. Now I prefer going to the barber because they get it perfect.”
Beard kit essential #5: BAG
You got swag, you need a bag. If you travel or grace someone with the pleasure of your company for sleepovers, a strong sturdy bag to store your beard gear is necessary. It should be hard-wearing, water resistant, well constructed and reliable. Just like our beard bags.
Other beard kit essentials
If your are putting together a beard kit for yourself or as a gift, consider these items too:
- a beard face towel for wiping away beer foam and other residue
- our famous mo-stick for polishing the moustache
- a beard shaper, to help you trim with precision
- a beard apron to collect fuzz when you trim
“I’m in my 60s and have always had a beard, mostly because I prefer trimming it to shaving. I’ve grown it even longer recently. After my wife began complaining of ‘beer smell’ in my beard I started giving it a wipe with my handkerchief. It was that or stop drinking beer. I wash my beard with soap more often now too.”
Gift beard kits - ours are rather good
Unsurprisingly, here at Milkman we have a few beard kits on offer. You get up to 30% off for purchasing in a bundle.
Travel beard kits
When you’re on the road for fun or work, you need your beard looking good for Instagram, TikTok and staring moodily at yourself in the mirror, you handsome bastard. So your beard kit needs to support you during this high-photographing risk stage [without being a total space hog in the suitcase]. Travel beard kits, therefore, provide all your beard faves in mini size, just right for a sojourn across the seas. During your next shop for beard gear, add mini travel size versions of your favourite to your shopping cart, so your travel-size beard stash is ready for your next adventure.