The Best Beard Conditioner for Soft, Healthy Scruff

Don't let your beard get all wiry and coarse. 
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We rounded up the best beard conditioner, because growing some facial hair is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you get the beard, whether it’s a seasonal look, a new personalty, or just a lark. On the other hand, you have all that maintenance: Beard trimming, cleaning, preventing beard dandruff, keeping the beard soft, avoiding beard itch, and so forth. (And you thought “not shaving” would save you precious time?) 

But don’t let all of that deter you: Putting extra time into your beard has huge payoffs—in particular, you can wear the beard proudly, instead of letting it get bristly (and scratch up anyone you happen to be making out with). 

One of the best ways to grow the healthiest, least itchy, least flaky, most softest beards is to use a beard conditioner. This can be one or even five different products, since the nourishment comes in many forms—we hope you’ll use at least one, for your sake and that of your favorite +1.

So, from beard oils to balms to moisturizing creams, here are the best beard conditioners for maintaining soft, healthy scruff.

The Best Ingredients to Look For

Before we consider the various types of beard conditioners, let’s quickly spotlight some of the best ingredients you should seek out. You’ll notice a pattern here: they’re mostly oils and butters, which will seep into the hairs and even into the underlying skin. They prevent things like beard itch, split ends, brittle hairs, beard dandruff, and to even promote beard growth and shine. 

Jojoba oil: One of the best hair growth oils, in that it promotes longevity with its extremely nourishing properties.

Coconut oil: Softens and moisturizes, while neutralizing bacteria and fungus with its antimicrobial abilities. (Note that it can clog pores of acne-prone individuals.)

Argan oil: Bolsters defenses with its antioxidant powers, thus preventing dryness, split ends, and more.

Shea butter: Conditions hair and skin with fatty acid and a roster of vitamins.

Cocoa butter: Simultaneously softens hairs and strengthens their shafts. (Also highly comedogenic for acne-prone individuals.)

Option 1: Beard Oil

A beard oil is one of the easiest products to add into your regimen, and a few drops go a long way. Beard oils condition your facial hair by pumping the strands full of moisture. They can soften the hairs on contact, and keep them more relaxed over time. This prevents things like split ends, breakage, and beard itch. Beard oils can easily reach the skin underneath the whiskers, in order to offer nourishment and prevent beard flaking. Most blends offer some universal version of these benefits, while others might offer a unique oil blend that targets specific conditions. Apply it to clean, dried bears of all lengths, both morning and night.

Read More: The Best Beard Oil

King C. Gillette beard oil


Smooth Viking beard oil


Option 2: Beard Balm

Beard balms are lightweight but offer slightly greater control over your beard’s shape and style compared to beard oils. The best balms are chock full of beard softening oils, butters, and possibly even waxes, depending on the recipe. You can use them in the morning to get better control over your beard (and even in place of a beard oil if your balm contains the same ingredients). But, you can then swap it out at night and solely use beard oil, since you don’t need any residue on the beard as you rest.

Read More: The Best Beard Balm

Honest Amish beard balm


Scotch Porter beard balm


Option 3: Beard Cream/Beard Moisturizer/Leave-In Beard Conditioner

The nomenclature gets a bit fuzzy here, because different brands might offer entirely different formulas for their similarly named products. Beard creams and moisturizers have the same goal, of course, which is to hydrate and condition your whiskers. Their texture is probably inherent to their name: A beard cream would feel like a hair cream, with lightweight holding properties, while a beard moisturizer will feel similar to a facial lotion, and will likely absorb more completely into the skin and hair.  Along those lines, anything calling itself a leave-in conditioner is basically a beard cream with tons of beard softening ingredients. Don’t get too hung up on the name of your chosen product; instead, simply make sure you’re using it properly. In any case, you can wear any of them overnight if they absorb into your skin and hair (like a beard oil), but anything that leaves residue or provides hold should only be worn in the daytime.

Cremo beard & scruff cream


Stubble & 'Stache beard and face moisturizer

Stubble & 'Stache

Bevel leave-in beard conditioner


Option 4: In-Shower Beard Conditioner

You might be wondering, “can I use normal conditioner on my beard?”, and the short answer is yes. However, products engineered for your scalp and hair are very different from those engineered for your face—since some ingredients might visibly irritate the face or clog pores. So, we wouldn’t recommend using your standard hair conditioner as a beard conditioner. Instead, pick up one that's been specifically engineered for your mug. Or, cleanse with your facial cleanser, and follow the shower with a beard oil, cream, moisturizer, or balm application. It’s as easy as that!

ZEUS rinse-away beard conditioner


How to grow a beard for the first time. Bradley Cooper with a full and well groomed beard.
A seven-step plan to reach your fullest beard potential.