Looking for the best beard conditioner to hydrate and nourish your dry facial hair?

Look no further.

Our review and buyer’s guide details the key specs of the top beard softening conditioners and compares them so that you can find the right fit for you.

None of us like a beard that feels like scraggly barbed-wire, especially if the dryness is causing you to have beardruff that flakes all around your dark shirts.

But what type of conditioner should you get?

I mean there are so many types of conditioners for facial hair to choose from…

  • There are leave-in beard conditioners.
  • Conditioners that you apply and then wash off.
  • And sometimes beard oils and balms say “beard conditioner”.

Don’t worry, we will be covering the details between the different types of scruff hydrating products as well, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Beard Conditioner Types Explained

different types of beard conditioners

Quick search from any big online retailer like Amazon with the words “beard conditioner” will result in all kinds of beard products being served.

You will see beard oils and beard balms popping up which say softener or conditioner in their description, as well as, conditioning beard creams and balm tins that actually say “leave-in conditioner”.

Which of these things really is beard conditioner then, I mean not everything can be labeled under the same blanket term?

Well of course not, allow us to explain the differences…

Classic Beard Conditioners

These are the “real deal” classic type of softening conditioners that are used in a similar way that you would use a hair conditioner.

Just wash your facial hair with a beard shampoo, apply the conditioner, wait for a bit and wash off.

Beard Leave-in Conditioners

These are the products that usually come in the same kind of 1-2 oz. tins as beard balms and beard waxes do.

They are not the same thing though. Leave-in conditioner is a bit thinner than balm/wax and can be applied after the shower.

2-in-1 Conditioning Beard Washes

Beard washes with the conditioning ingredients within are called “conditioning beard washes” or 2-in-1 beard shampoos.

They can be effective, but often times do neither of their designated jobs well (too oily for shampoo, to dry to condition).

Beard Creams and Lotions

Sometimes you can see beard creams and lotions in the results when you try to find a good conditioner.

They are not real conditioners, or at least not formulated that way. Instead, the marketers are trying to place the “conditioner” word in their product description and titles so that more people would see their product, even though it isn’t what they’re searching.

Conditioning Beard Oils and Balms

The same thing happens here as with the creams and lotions. Beard oils and beard balms are not the same as a conditioner, despite the fact that the marketers try to sell them all under the same blanket term.

Both may be called softeners and they do help your beard get softer for sure, but this does not make them an actual beard conditioner, it’s a completely different product.

What to Consider when Buying a Beard Conditioner

man with thumbs up and down

Before you buy any type of beard softening conditioner, you need to know what are the benefits, how the product works, and how does it compare to regular hair conditioner.

Your skin sensitivity and facial hair type also matter, as do the ingredients and price.

Here are some important factors to look at before your purchase:

1. Ingredients, and Hydrating Properties

beard conditioner ingredients

There are many all-natural beard conditioners as well as some that are mostly made from man-made chemicals.

We recommend that you opt for the natural ones, as most beards can be really sensitive to harsh chemicals that affect the natural sebum oil production.

The best base-ingredient by far that you can find in a beard conditioner is coconut oil. This is because coconut oil has been proven to penetrate the facial hair fibers, nourishing the skin and the hairs from within.

Other types of natural fats and oils are also beneficial, such as shea butter, castor oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, and meadowfoam seed oil.

Then there are the poor-quality ingredients and chemicals that can hurt your beard and shouldn’t be used in beard conditioners, to begin with.

I’m talking about things like silicone and SLS, parabens, mineral oil, and vegetable oils that go rancid easily (sunflower seed oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, etc).

Our recommendation is that you always stick to all-natural, perhaps even organic beard conditioners and skip the stuff with a lot of chemicals and additives.

2. Your Beard Length

evenly trimmed beard

Longer beards usually need more natural oils to stay hydrated and soft, because of that, they also take in much more conditioner as well.

If you have a long and thick beard, I would recommend that you get a big enough conditioner bottle so that you’re not using all of it in a week.

Super bushy beards may even need to use both classic wash-off beard conditioner and leave-in conditioner for best softening results (on top of using high-quality beard oil or balm).

3. Anti-Dandruff Benefits & Damage Repair

beard dandruff

One of the main reasons bearded men need to use conditioners on their facial hair is to prevent dandruff (beardruff).

Almost all conditioners will claim that they do this, but scientifically speaking, only coconut oil and jojoba oil have some proven benefits in preventing beard dandruff.

Coconut oil works by hydrating the deep skin layers and the hair fibers, whereas jojoba oil contains natural iodine that works to kill the bacteria and candida that sometimes causes flaky dandruff to form.

If you’re looking to prevent some of the beard damage like ingrown beard hairs or beard split-ends, then coconut oil should be the key ingredient as it has been shown to prevent protein-loss damage at the hair follicles.

So if you’re looking for a beard conditioner that prevents dandruff, make sure it has coconut oil and jojoba oil listed as ingredients.

4. Price

money growing from ground

If you look at the ingredient list of any facial hair conditioning product, you can come to a conclusion that it probably doesn’t cost much to produce and manufacture.

And it doesn’t, it’s probably just a few bucks per container for the manufacturer.

Which means that if you buy a conditioner that costs more than 30-40 bucks and claims “premium” in the label, you are more than likely grossly over-paying.

We will be listing the best value options below and you can also find the best price-to-quality ratio beard conditioner in our comparison tables.

5. Scent

essential oils

There are a few different types of scent options in beard conditioners.

  • Unscented; which has no scent at all (obviously).
  • Scented with essential oils (usually peppermint oil or citrus).
  • Scented with chemical fragrance (usually strong unnatural scent).

What scent should you choose depends on your beard care routine as a whole.

For example, if you use beard oil and beard balm which already has a scent, then using scented conditioner may be a bit of an overkill, especially if the scents are completely different in nature.

Our recommendation is to get either unscented or mildly scented products.

Beard Conditioner Comparison Table

Our Choice
Scotch Porter - Hydrate & Nourish Beard Conditioner - 8 oz.
Runner-Up
GRAVE BEFORE SHAVETM Beard Conditioner
Best Value
Palmer's Formula Leave-in Conditioner, Coconut Oil, 250 mL
Product
Scotch Porter Hydrating Beard Conditioner
Grave Before Shave Facial Hair Conditioner
Palmer's Leave-in Beard Conditioner
Size
8 oz
6 oz
8.5 oz
Natural Ingredients
Type
Classic in-shower conditioner
Classic in-shower conditioner
Leave-in beard & hair conditioner
Prime Status
Price
$20.00
$12.85
$9.49
Our Choice
Scotch Porter - Hydrate & Nourish Beard Conditioner - 8 oz.
Product
Scotch Porter Hydrating Beard Conditioner
Size
8 oz
Natural Ingredients
Type
Classic in-shower conditioner
Prime Status
Price
$20.00
Where to Buy
Runner-Up
GRAVE BEFORE SHAVETM Beard Conditioner
Product
Grave Before Shave Facial Hair Conditioner
Size
6 oz
Natural Ingredients
Type
Classic in-shower conditioner
Prime Status
Price
$12.85
Where to Buy
Best Value
Palmer's Formula Leave-in Conditioner, Coconut Oil, 250 mL
Product
Palmer's Leave-in Beard Conditioner
Size
8.5 oz
Natural Ingredients
Type
Leave-in beard & hair conditioner
Prime Status
Price
$9.49
Where to Buy

Best Beard Conditioners of 2019

1. Scotch Porter Hydrating Beard Conditioner

scotch porter hydrating conditioner

Scotch Porter is the golden standard when it comes to any type of beard washing products.

Their beard hydrating conditioner?

The absolute bee’s knees of a product that can’t be matched.

Made with base-ingredients such as coconut oil and shea butter, this “hydrating conditioner” truly has what it needs to hydrate the follicles.

Their products are also 100% natural and free from SLS, parabens, and other man-made chemicals.

Specs and Details:

  • Type: Classic conditioner
  • Bottle size: 8 oz (236ml)
  • Natural ingredients: Yes
  • Scent: Mild and sweet
  • Suitable for: All beard lengths
  • Price: $$

Who is it Best for?

The Scotch Porter conditioner is the best choice for almost all men, for any length of beard.

We do not say this lightly, but there simply isn’t a product with the ingredient list and hydrating properties that would come even close to this.

The only people I would say shouldn’t buy it are those who are working with a tight budget and need a cheap value beard conditioner.

Pros:

  • Free from SLS, parabens, and other harsh chemicals.
  • Contains ingredients that are proven to hydrate beard hairs.
  • The mild scent doesn’t interfere with your beard oils and balms.

Cons:

  • The 8 oz. container looks much bigger in the product pictures.
  • Price is medium-high, so not the cheapest product out there.

Where to Buy it?

All of the Scotch Porter products, including their conditioner, can be bought from Amazon.Com

Verdict

This is the beard conditioner you should be comparing others against. The quality standards are out of this World. It has no DHT-blockers or poor-quality vegetable oils in its ingredients, and everything is 100% natural.

The creamy consistency is proven to hydrate the beard and deep skin layers thanks to coconut oil and shea butter base.

2. Grave Before Shave Facial Hair Conditioner

grave before shave facial hair softening conditioner

I haven’t always recommended Grave Before Shave’s products on this blog.

Simply because sometimes they use vegetable oils in their oil and balm formulations.

(and we are not big fans of those as they could interfere with the natural beard growth hormones in the face).

But when it comes to their beard conditioner, it has mostly good ingredients, the second-best available in fact.

Sure it’s not 100% natural and it does have some alcohol (which in excess can lead to dry and itchy beard), but it also has organic coconut oils and argan oils to counteract that and provide some excellent softening and moisturizing benefits.

It’s also fairly inexpensive and decently good value choice if you have a big beard and need to go through multiple bottles of conditioner per year to maintain the softness of your beard.

Specs and Details:

  • Type: Classic conditioner
  • Bottle size: 6 oz (177ml)
  • Natural ingredients: Some but not all
  • Scent: Oldtime barbershop
  • Suitable for: All beard lengths
  • Price: $

Who is it Best for?

The GBS in-shower facial hair conditioner is a great mix of quality and value, and for this reason, we chose it as the #2 in our list.

Because of its cheap price and good lathering qualities, we think it’s best suited for guys with medium-long beards whose beards go through many bottles of conditioner per year.

Pros:

  • Enriched with coconut oil and argan oil for hydrating benefits.
  • Contains jojoba oil and meadowfoam oil, which are great ingredients.
  • Enriched with provitamin B5 which has a beard repairing effect.
  • Good value choice for guys with big and bushy beards.

Cons:

  • Not all ingredients are natural and it has some alcohol in it.
  • Because of the alcohol, it may leave your beard feeling dry.
  • Requires the use of beard oil or balm afterward.

Where to Buy it?

All of the Grave Before Shave products can be purchased from Amazon.Com

Verdict

The GBS conditioner is a great value choice for most men, but best for those with lengthy and big beards.

It could battle for the #1 spot, but with alcohol in the ingredients and some users reporting that it leaves their beards dry enough to need beard oil afterwards, we can’t see it ever beating the Scotch Porter conditioner.

3. Bluebeards Original Conditioning Beard Wash

bluebeards conditioning wash

This is a bit of a different type of conditioner.

It’s a beard wash that contains the conditioning ingredients within.

Are they effective you ask?

Yes, certainly, but sometimes when you mix shampoo and conditioner together into the same product you may end up with two functions which neither really works well.

In Bluebeards Original Extra Conditioning Beard Wash though, this isn’t a problem, as it cleans and moisturizes the beard area, without leaving it dry.

Its ingredient list is short and sweet with mostly natural ingredients, and they claim that this conditioner is excellent for preventing beard dandruff and flakes.

Specs and Details:

  • Type: 2-in-1 Conditioning wash
  • Bottle size: 8.5 oz (250ml)
  • Natural ingredients: Most but not all
  • Scent: Fresh aloe & citrus
  • Suitable for: All beard lengths
  • Price: $$

Who is it Best for?

If you would rather not get your beard shampoo and conditioner separately, then choosing a product like this which has both of them packed into one might be a good idea.

Pros:

  • Although not 100% natural, the chemicals used aren’t too bad.
  • Effectively compresses two beard products into one without issues.
  • The mild scent doesn’t interfere with the one in your oils and balms.
  • Decent value considering that it’s a 2-in-1 product.

Cons:

  • Some users report that it leaves the beard a bit dry.
  • Does not contain coconut oil, the #1 beard conditioner ingredient.

Where to Buy it?

You can find the Bluebeards conditioning beard wash from Amazon.

Verdict

The Bluebeards revenge offers a nice 2-in-1 punch to the classic type of beard shampoo and conditioner combos.

However, it does struggle with some of the usual downfalls of multi-purpose beard products, as it does leave the beard a bit dry which is not something you’d expect from a conditioner.

4. Palmer’s Leave-in Beard Conditioner

coconut oil leave-in conditioner

Palmer’s Formula Leave-in Conditioner is not actually formulated for beard use.

But looking through its ingredients, it appears to be the perfect thing for deep nourishment of the facial hair.

Why?

Because the ingredient list is only extra virgin coconut oil, vitamin E, shea butter, and coconut milk.

That means it’s 100% natural, and only contains the best ingredients proven to prevent protein-loss damage at the hair fibers and penetrate the hairs to hydrate from deep within.

As a leave-in conditioner, you actually apply this product after you have washed your beard and hopped off the shower.

It works best as an occasionally used beard repairing conditioner, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend applying it daily.

You could also use it to protect the facial hair when using heated beard straighteners. All the ingredients are saturated and won’t easily go rancid with heat so it doubles as a perfect heat shield.

Specs and Details:

  • Type: Leave-in conditioner
  • Bottle size: 8.5 oz (250ml)
  • Natural ingredients: Yes
  • Scent: Natural coconut aroma
  • Suitable for: All types of beards
  • Price: $

Who is it Best for?

This is the best beard conditioner for guys who want to get a deep repairing effect on their beard hairs and the skin underneath occasionally, but not daily.

If you use a lot of heated beard tools, you may also want to get it to use as a sprayable heat shield.

Pros:

  • 100% natural and contains coconut oil; the best conditioner ingredient.
  • Big bottle with low price and infrequent use means great value.
  • No SLS, parabens, mineral oils, benzoates, or any other man-made stuff.
  • The addition of vitamin E can further nourish and hydrate facial hair.

Cons:

  • Not specifically made for beard use, although that’s not a big issue.
  • Too oily for frequent use works better when used occasionally.

Where to Buy it?

You can find this leave-in beard conditioner at Amazon.Com

Verdict

Best leave-in beard conditioner for preventing beard hair damage and deep nourishment of the skin and facial hair fibers.

Although not formulated for beard use, there’s nothing that should stop you from applying it to your facial hair, and we recommend you to do so!

5. Grizzly Unscented Beard Conditioner

unscented beard conditioner

The Beard Necessities Unscented Grizzly Beard Conditioner is the last product on our list.

It’s decently good hydrating softener that contains mostly good ingredients.

There’s also some provitamin B5 and argan oil for extra hydrating benefits.

The added MSM can give some volume to your beard hairs, and it’s something not found in other products on this list.

Price-wise it’s not great but not bad either.

With a bottle costing little over 20 bucks, you could still get the top beard conditioner on this list (The Scotch Porter Hydrating Beard Conditioner).

Specs and Details:

  • Type: Classic in-shower conditioner
  • Bottle size: 8 oz (236ml)
  • Natural ingredients: Some but not all
  • Scent: Unscented
  • Suitable for: Most beard types
  • Price: $$

Who is it Best for?

This is a decent quality conditioner that should work for most guys. Personally, I would choose the Scotch Porter conditioner over this one, but if you’re on the market for an unscented product, this may be worth the purchase.

Pros:

  • Decently good ingredient list with added provitamin B5 and MSM.
  • Good size bottle, not the best value but still a good price.
  • Doesn’t contain SLS or parabens as most conditioners do.
  • A high number of customer reviews and almost all are positive.

Cons:

  • Does contain argan oil, but lacks coconut oil or shea butter.
  • “Natural”, but a quick look at the ingredient list says otherwise…

Where to Buy it?

You can find this unscented beard conditioner from Amazon.

Verdict

The last facial hair softening conditioner on our list is not bad, but it could use some slight improvements.

Is it worth a purchase? Yes, we do think so.

How to Use a Beard Conditioner

african american man using facial hair conditioner

Using and applying a beard conditioner is simple and easy. Here’s a quick guide for using all the different types of conditioners:

  • In-shower beard conditioners: Start by washing your facial hair area with a quality beard shampoo. Rinse off, then rub in the beard conditioner and wait 2-5 minutes to wash it away.
  • Leave-in beard conditioners: Wash your beard as instructed above. Jump out of the shower and gently towel-dampen your beard. Apply the leave-in conditioner (a pea-sized amount is usually enough) and leave it on.
  • 2-in-1 Shampoo conditioners: Since the two-in-one beard conditioning washes contain both the wash and the conditioner in the same bottle, all you have to do is to rub it in your hair, wait a bit, and then rinse off.

That’s all you need to know about how to use facial hair conditioners. Not much different from hair conditioners, perhaps even easier to use in some cases.

Beard Conditioner vs. Beard Oil

beard conditioner vs oil

You might be thinking how beard conditioner compares to beard oil, as they’re both often called “beard softeners”.

Well, the truth is that leave-in beard conditioners don’t differ much from beard oil, at least the balm-like ones.

The main difference tends to be that leave-in beard conditioners have solid fats and tropical kinds of butter as the ingredient, whereas beard oils are made from mostly oils that are liquid in room temperature.

When it comes to classic beard conditioners that you rinse off in the shower, then they are definitely much different from beard oil and share almost no similarity whatsoever.

Which should you use?

Both. While beard oil may be a bit more important beard product to own, beard conditioner is not far behind, and when you combine the two, your beard will easily stay soft, hydrated, and well-nourished.

Beard conditioners are used to hydrate and nourish the deep skin layers and beard hair fibers, while beard oil is primarily used to replenish the natural oils you lose when you wash your beard. They are both important when it comes to beard care and grooming.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use hair conditioner on your beard?

Yes. Regular hair conditioner works decently on the beard area, but it’s still better to use beard conditioner that is specifically formulated for the sensitive skin of the face.

How can I soften my beard?

Start from washing it, then apply conditioner and wait for 2-5 minutes, rinse off. After you hop out of shower, apply beard oil to seal in moisture and beard balm for extra softening results.

Do beard conditioners work?

Yes facial hair conditioning products can hydrate and nourish the deep skin layers under your beard and preserve the moisture-balance of the beard hairs. In this regard, they do work and are effective for their intended purpose.

Can I use Head and Shoulders on my beard?

We don’t recommend that you do. They contain powerful anti-dandruff chemicals that can hurt your beard growing hormones and the sensitive skin underneath your facial hair.

Head&Shoulders might work well on the scalp, but it shouldn’t be applied to facial hair.

Should I use beard conditioner every day?

Leave-in beard conditioners can be used daily, but in-shower conditioners are best to be used 2-3 times per week at the same time that you wash your beard.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed our expert review on best beard conditioners.

If you have any products you’d wish me to take a look at, please drop them in the comments and I’ll see if they’re worthy of adding to our facial hair conditioner buyer’s guide.

As for now, these five hydrating creams shall do the job.

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