I experimented with beard balm years ago after my beard started getting longer than 5 or 6 inches. My beard oil was good at keeping it softer and conditioned, but didn’t have any hold. I hit on a commercial one really quickly, but years later, my favorite beard balm seems to have changed their formula. It smells bad and doesn’t have the same consistency. No worries, time to make my own.
I know from a lot of my other work that you can thin out wax with oils to get anywhere from paste wax to a fairly stiff mustache wax. I wanted to start with a base of my regular beard oil and try stiffening it with shea butter and beeswax. I went through a number of iterations over a few months to find something I liked.
I would call it a hit or miss process, but it was mostly miss. Almost everything was too stiff. I kept adding oil to the first batch till I almost completely filled the cup. The ingredients for the oil are kind of expensive. I should have started with a cheap oil at the right melting point instead of my beard oil. The shea butter was making it difficult, so I removed that ingredient. In the end I found a 4.5:1 ratio of oil to wax that was soft enough to spread, but hard enough to hold. My bathroom was looking like an odd place for a while.
Final Recipe: By weight 4.5 parts beard oil 1 part beeswax
With that ratio established and having been used for a few weeks I went about making a lot more of it. Instead of using the PET (which will hold up to gentle heating) cups I upgraded to glass jars. I mixed up a big batch of the beard oil and got to work at the double boiler.
Jars and cups make it hard to extract the beard balm by hand, so I went with finger friendly 2oz tins for easy use. I managed to pour all of them without making a huge mess too!
A new beard product requires a new logo. I sculpted the beard so it looks a bit more like my real one these days. Over a foot long deployed, but only 3 or 4 inches when wrapped up. This much balm ought to last me for a number of years, or make a lot of nice gifts for my bearded cohorts.
While I was making oily messes in the kitchen I mixed up a whole pint of my shave oil. I use this every time I hsave and wouldn’t be without it. It makes good gifts and is cheap/easy to make for yourself. A pint of this stuff should last me for years as well.