As a black man, there is nothing more important to me than having a fresh & clean appearance. From the clothes that I wear, to the way my hair looks is important because we’re constantly on the stage of public perception.
Without getting too deep into that conversation, because we could probably go for hours on that subject, I wanted to talk about some of the products that I use and share a bit about the items that I keep in my dopp kit.
… you don’t have a dopp kit you say?
I’m going to highlight some of the best products that black men can use to take care of their beards.
Keeping your beard clean
The main item you need in your beard kit is something that’s going to help you clean and nurture your facial hair while also helping to clean your facial skin underneath your beard. This might sound like a simple idea, but products that are designed to wash your beard hair are often not the same mixture you want to wash your face.
If you’re anything like me, the skin from my mustache down to my neck is extremely sensitive and very prone to irritation so I like to use all natural soaps to reduce irritation on my skin and face.
I’ve found that these are gentle on my skin while also accomplishing the job of cleaning my beard.
I absolutely HATE the name and I hated the way this African black soap looked in my mother's soap dish, but once I started using it, I immediately understood exactly why she swore by it.
Why? It has lots of great natural ingredients like: shea butter, honey, aloe vera, palm ash, lemon juice, palm oil, osum-camwood, and water.
It also is really great on your skin especially if you suffer from dry skin or prone to adult acne.
Maple Hills Naturals
What I like about this product is that it’s made of all natural ingredients and essential oils that are necessary for your beard hair, but this will leave your beard hair dry as it cleans out all the natural oils very well.
You definitely want to pair this soap with a good conditioner and I wouldn’t recommend that you use this soap on the skin underneath your beard. There are much better alternatives for that.
You want to be careful to avoid soaps that contain alcohol, fragrances, sulfates, mineral oil, chlorine and polyethylene glycol as these can dry the hair out causing it to be brittle. They also can strip the natural oils your body produces that help your beard remain strong
Keeping your beard soft and moisturized
It’s important to add back essential oils and moisture to your beard after you’ve washed it with a soap that’s going to strip most, if not all of the oils out of it.
I typically keep my beard on the shorter side of things as I work in the professional world and sometimes going with too long of a beard makes me feel like I’m Rick Ross walking into the studio so I’m not always the biggest fan of oil.
Some drawbacks if you have a shorter beard and want beard oil:
- Oils can interact with your skin and cause irritation or acne
- Oils need a lot of hair to be properly absorbed and if your beard hair is lower, you might not like the idea of this oil sitting on your skin
Scotch Porter Beard Serum
You’re going to see this name a lot in the products I recommend. I stand by a lot of the products that this black owned brand produces. There isn’t another culture with hair similar to ours and it sometimes takes a better understanding of our unique hair in order to engineer a product that will fit you.
Remember those Andre 3000 Gillette commercials?
That brother must have a different type of hair game going on. I haven’t put a razor on my face in over a decade and Gillette couldn’t pay me enough commas to endure the pain of razor bumps on my face after shaving with a 5 blade razor.
I’m clearly kidding . P&G is worth about $280 Billion!!! I’d walk around in a Gillette razor costume for the right money.
The key-points are this beard serum has no:
- Mineral Oil
- NO SMELL
Honest Amish Beard Oil
I don’t know if this stuff is actually made by Amish people. Not that it really matters either way, but I found this product after giving their beard balm (which we’ll talk about later) a try.
It’s 100% natural and includes no artificial additives. It doesn’t have a greasy texture, but this does have an earthy aroma to it. It’s not so strong that you’ll be smelling it all day if it’s in your beard, but it is something to be aware of if you’re hypersensitive to fragrances.
You can’t go wrong with Honest Amish.
I’m a huge fan of beard conditioners. I just like the general idea of a solution that has the texture of lotion that I can put on my beard and massage in as needed. This isn’t to say that conditioner is better than oil. In fact, I find that you have to be more careful with beard conditioner and moisturizer.
You want to be care to avoid all the similar ingredients that are bad for your beard like sulphates, fragrances, alcohol and polyethylene as well.
So ditch the idea of putting pink lotion in your beard hair because it’s what you’ve “always done”. I get it. I grew up with it as well, but just because something is familiar, doesn’t mean it’s the best product for your hair.
Scotch Porter Beard Conditioner
I recommend this product for anyone that suffers from beard dandruff or dry and frizzy beard hair. It works wonders when it comes to keeping your beard smooth and also has lots of natural ingredients that help moisturize the skin underneath.
- Coconut Oil
- Aloe Vera
- Shea Butter
- Agave Nectar
You’ll notice that lots of the ingredients are things that you find in some of your favorite skin care products and that’s by design. The brilliant minds at scotch porter understand that people with bears of curly hair have to really massage products in to get them evenly spread out.
This almost always will leave beard products resting on your skin and that can be problematic if those products are made with your skin in mind. While it can be a bit more on the pricey side for a beard conditioner, it really shines in… well… making your beard shine.
Keeping Your Beard Protected
The hair in your beard can dry out throughout the day especially if you have a more robust and fuller beard. You’ll want to use some kind of balm to help with the shaping and styling of your beard, but also work as a conditioner that can continue to moisturize your facial hair throughout the day.
Avoid beard balms that use any synthetic materials because they can damage the hair and most importantly irritate the skin underneath
If you have a shorter beard length or if you have a patchy beard, I would recommend that you use a beard balm with shea butter. Shea butter is not only great on the skin, but it helps your hair to look more full and thicker.
It’s important to note that you need to moisturize your beard before applying a balm or else you’re just going to seal in the dryness and make your hair prone to breaking.
Honest Amish Beard Balm
What is there to not like about this balm?
There are no man made chemicals. No preservatives. No fragrances or colors added of any kind. Just all natural oils and butter. The butter was even churned on an Amish farm, so you know it’s legit.
*I’m kidding. I have NO idea if that’s actually true*
The best of all is this brand stands behind their product. If you’re not 100% satisfied then you can return this product for a FULL refund.
Scotch Porter Beard Balm
Did I mention that I fully support this this brand and love their products?
Oh, I did?
One of the things that I like about this product is that the balm has a good consistency. Anyone who’s ever used a wave pomade will understand what I’m on about. I hate a thick balm that you have to work into your hands and use hand friction just so you can apply it to your hair. I always got the feeling that it never evenly distributed like a cold piece of butter on a pancake.
I’ve noticed that this beard balm really cuts down on my beard dandruff and I have noticeably smoother skin and softer beard hair. You only have to apply this balm 2-3 times a week. The can comes with a premium price, it lasts just as long due the quality of the product.
Keeping Your Beard Tamed
There are a lot of products that you can use to brush & comb your beard. I’ve owned dozens of brushes over the years back in my day when I had hair and waves. I always have 2 brushes of varying stiffness to help tame my beard hair into a smoother look while also distributing the products evenly throughout.
The Anthony Hamilton looks doesn’t fly in my book. Apparently, not in his either...
I would make sure that you’re getting boars hair brushes. I like a medium to soft stiffness and I wouldn’t recommend anything much stiffer than that to be used on your face. I prefer a rounded head that fits in your hand, but to each their own.
A good beard & mustache comb will have teeth with smoother edges and you want to stay away from the cheap pharmacy brand combs that have teeth sharp enough to cut steak. I’d recommend a comb with a larger teeth on one side for your beard and more fine teeth on the other side for your mustache.
Keeping Your Products Organized
Oh yes young Padawan. I’ve thought of everything. This is supposed to be a full kit, right? I like to keep all my beard care products in a dopp kit. There are literally 1000’s of options that you can purchase ranging from $20 to $2,000.
I like the type that hang on a hook while you get prepared. They function well for travel and also a great way to keep your products out of the way in bathrooms with limited space.
Last update on 2020-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API