Best Beard Grooming Kit Review – Top 5 Most Stylish List For Jan. 2019 with Buying Guide
Great beards don’t just grow in perfectly and stay that way. Whether your goal is an “oh-my-god-look-at-that!” David Letterman beard, or a more professional and sedate Jimmy Kimmel look, you’re going to have to spend time and effort to fashion and maintain your facial hair.
You’ll also need a great beard grooming kit.
Sure, you can pick up various grooming products at a drugstore or at Amazon. You can buy just a standalone beard trimmer. You can even use your razor to hack away at rogue hairs. But those are the difficult ways to do things, and the latter two options won’t let you maintain a beard you can truly be proud of.
A “real” beard (not the one you just grow when you’re on vacation for a week) requires a commitment – along with the right tools to tame and shape your often-stubborn facial hair.
That’s where a high-quality beard grooming kit comes in. We’ll look at the best choices for beardsmen, after looking at what you’ll need in more detail.
Why Can’t You Just Use a Beard Trimmer?
You can, in fact! Trimmers, however, are best for short corporate-style beards or maintaining stubble. If you have a longer, luxurious beard that’s taken weeks or months to grow out, you can ruin it with one badly-chosen or accidental stroke of a beard trimmer. The review team (more accurately, the men on the team) prefers to use scissors to trim longer beards.
Just as importantly, there’s more to grooming a beard than the actual cutting. You’re probably aware that a beard is made of hair (that’s a joke) – and you probably also know that hair needs to be washed or shampooed (another joke) and conditioned. A concentrated growth of facial hair can cause skin flaking or itching, so additional skin hydration is necessary to prevent those issues. Finally, a tangled mess of chin hair isn’t healthy or attractive, and ordinary combs have a nasty habit of getting stuck in the tangle. So a tool to properly comb out and shape a beard is needed for proper beard grooming.
Washing, conditioning, hydration and combing/styling. That’s what has to be accomplished, and leads to our next key question.
What’s in a Beard Grooming Kit?
Each choice is a little different, of course, but you’ll usually find three important items in a beard grooming kit.
First, there will be beard wash. You’ll notice that we didn’t mention regular shampoo as an option because it’s a bad choice for a beard (although some manufacturers do call their beard wash “beard shampoo”). Here’s why. Most shampoos contain strong cleaning agents designed to remove oil from the hair and scalp. When you use them on a beard, though, they remove needed moisture and dry out your hair and face – causing dandruff and flaking. A beard wash is designed to be gentler without stripping away those essential oils.
Beard Conditioner, Oil or Balm
Next, there will be beard conditioner, oil or balm, and several of them will be included in the best beard grooming kits. Most men (and their significant others) feel that beard conditioner is the most important because it makes a beard soft and comfortable. It also helps to detangle the hair, soothe the face and provide hydration.
Beard balm and beard oil perform many of the same functions but unlike conditioner, they’re each left in the beard all day. Balm is a pomade (similar to a gel or ointment) which also helps with styling and making a beard look thicker; oil is a good choice for itchy or new beards, and are often made from oils with natural fragrances giving them the added benefit of acting as a deodorant or even a cologne. Some kits come with beard wax as well, a nice addition if that fits your style.
Beard Brush or Comb
The final item in a beard kit should be a beard brush or comb. The comb is softer than the plastic ones you pick up at the drugstore. Beard combs won’t catch in your facial hair or split the follicles because they’re polished smooth during the manufacturing process. A beard comb normally is made from wood and has two sides with teeth set at different widths; it’s best for detangling and styling. Many kits substitute or add a beard brush, used to train and detangle facial hair, evenly distribute moisturizing agents throughout the beard and keep the beard clean.
Choosing the Best Beard Grooming Kit
The right kit for your beard is largely a matter of personal preference. But there are several attributes to look for.
The products in a great beard kit will have all-natural ingredients, both to avoid irritating the skin and to promote healthy hair growth. The products should be designed specifically for beard care with ingredients like argan, jojoba or grapeseed oil, and aloe vera is a key ingredient for those with sensitive skin or dandruff problems. You also should be sure that the products’ fragrances are ones you won’t mind having right underneath your nose.
The Right Comb – Width and Quality
Check the width of the comb (if one is included) to ensure it fits your beard; narrow teeth won’t do much good, for example, if you have a beard that’s always tangling up. And it’s important that the comb and/or brush are made from quality materials which will last, since you’ll ideally be using the same beard kit for a long time.
Let’s get that facial hair of yours looking good, with Groom+Style’s reviews of the top 5 best beard grooming kits.
1. Zeus Deluxe Beard Grooming Kit For Men
There’s no beard comb in this terrific kit but everything else is top-quality, and it’s reasonably priced for a high-end beard grooming kit. The bearded men on the review team feel that having to buy a comb separately is a small sacrifice to make in return for a kit like the Zeus.
The word “Deluxe” in this beard kit’s name isn’t misused. The hydrating beard wash is an antioxidant soap created for facial hair, and it creates lots of lather that works deep into the beard. It works great on all facial hair but is perfect for sensitive skin, thanks to a natural ingredient called “Dragon’s Blood” which cuts down on irritation. The ingredients also include chamomile (which strengthens hair) and green tea (which fights dandruff).
The companion all-natural beard conditioner uses a combination of avocado oil and jojoba seed oil to hydrate, and aloe vera and Dragon’s Blood to hydrate. Quite simply, the wash and conditioner do a fantastic job cleaning and softening the hair while making the skin feel great. Zeus’s beard oil is also all-natural and just as good. It mixes safflower seed oil, argan oil, grapeseed oil and vitamin E to work all day softening and adding shine to hair while soothing the skin.
Last but certainly not least, this beard grooming kit comes with a soft boar bristle brush with a pear wood handle, which can be used by itself or to apply the oil. Boar bristles are viewed by most beardsmen as their #1 choice because they’re relatively firm but still soft and gentle, able to detangle even long and thick beards. The Zeus has seven rows of bristles with rounded tips that spread oil beautifully, and the pear wood won’t give or warp as you work. It’s excellent.
The Zeus Deluxe beard grooming kit is available in three subtle but wonderful scents: sandalwood, vanilla rum and verbena lime. Everything comes in a sharp-looking burlap sack.
The Groom+Style teams wishes that Zeus had spent the few extra bucks to include a beard comb (and perhaps some beard balm) in their kit, but no matter. This is still the best collection of beard products and tools you can find.
Facts and figures for the Zeus Deluxe Beard Grooming Kit For Men:
SUMMARY: For the person who wants high-quality, all-natural beard grooming products along with a terrific beard brush.
PROS: Quality, quality and quality, along with performance, performance and performance, plus great scents.
CONS: No beard comb or balm, higher price.
It seems that all of our Groom+Style choices for best beard grooming kits are missing one or two things that would make them much better; in the case of the DapperGanger, a beard brush isn’t included. But each of our selections also have elements that make them great choices; in this case, it’s a beard comb and stainless steel grooming scissors.
Admittedly, not every man will find the metal comb right for their beard since it’s only single-sided without the flexibility of a double-sided model. Some may be searching for a kit that includes a brush. But that’s nitpicking. DappleGanger’s products are extremely well-crafted and a welcome addition to any beardsman’s arsenal.
Start with the fact that the beard wash, conditioner/balm and oil are all certified organic and vegan products, except for the balm. Notable ingredients include safflower, avocado, almond, sunflower and other essential oils for the oil; many of the same oils plus coconut and lavender, plus aloe vera for the wash; and five more oils plus aloe and shea butter in the conditioner/balm. The bottom line: soft and manageable facial hair, along with irritation-free and healthy skin. A canvas travel bag comes with the kit.
DapperGanger has already built a great reputation despite being a relatively-new company. Even though their beard kit comes without a brush and could have a better comb, it’s still one of the nicest gifts you can give to your beard or your man who owns one.
More info on the DapperGanger Beard Kit:
SUMMARY: For the person who wants outstanding, organic products to keep their beard soft and manageable, and doesn’t insist on a brush in their kit.
PROS: Slightly less expensive than the Zeus, comb included, most products organic/vegan, leaves beards soft and well-managed without irritating skin.
CONS: No beard brush, comb not as flexible as it should be.
3. Beardsley In The Box Beard Care Set
The Zeus doesn’t have a comb. The DapperGanger doesn’t have a brush. The Beardsley doesn’t have either a comb or a brush – but when it comes to beard care products in their beard grooming kit, the company doesn’t fool around. Most kits give you one or two ounce bottles of beard wash, conditioner and oil. The Beardsley In The Box kit includes full-sized four- or eight-ounce bottles filled with premium product. In fact, there are two eight-ounce bottles of beard wash with two different scents (wild berry and cantaloupe) and no hint of a “soapy taste.” None of the ingredients are all-natural or parabens-free, though, as the products are a combination of herbal extracts and oils with alcohol and man-made ingredients.
Despite that fact the quality of Beardsley products is unquestioned, as the company has built a worldwide reputation for excellence. The beard shampoos include aloe vera, chamomile, and vitamins; the conditioner has jojoba seed oil, golden seal and marigold extract, the beard oil includes six different oils and extracts, and there’s also a sealing lotion with several oils and shea butter plus a bay rum scent. Be aware, though, that there’s also alcohol in everything but the beard wash and oil.
Everything’s packaged in a beautiful pinewood box but more importantly, the products live up to their billing. They leave beards clean, soft, manageable and smelling great, and facial skin supple and irritation-free.
The Beardsley In A Box kit isn’t full-featured, but the products are full-sized and high-performing for those who don’t require an all-natural solution.
More info on the Beardsley In The Box Beard Care Set:
SUMMARY: For the person who doesn’t need a comb or brush, and doesn’t care if great beard products are all-natural.
PROS: Large bottles of all high-quality products, leaves beards soft and manageable, great scents.
CONS: Not all-natural, contains alcohol and parabens, no brush or comb.
4. Mountaineer Brand Beard Care Kit
Here’s another option with slightly different ingredients. It includes a tough, but relatively-soft, military-style boar hair brush (but no comb) and excellent beard wash, oil and balm (but no conditioner). By now, you’ve certainly gotten the correct impression that there’s a wide variety of beard grooming kits, giving you the opportunity to choose a great one with exactly the components you want. The Mountaineer has two additional advantages: it’s less expensive than similar products, and the WV Coal Scent used in the wash, oil and balm uses a mix of patchouli and peppermint to give your beard an authentic but not overpowering “woodsy” aroma.
Everything is all-natural in this kit thanks to a number of essential oils and an organic Castile soap base, the lather is substantial and effective, and the leave-in oil and balm make beard hair soft, manageable and healthy while keeping skin hydrated and itch-free. The kit comes in a burlap bag that fits the brand and scent perfectly, too. The Groom+Style team does wish it also included a comb and conditioner, but as with all beard grooming kits, you usually can’t have everything.
Those want their beard to look great and “smell authentic” will love the Mountaineer kit, and the top-notch formulations do their job effectively at a distinctly lower price than most of our choices.
Digging deeper on the Mountaineer Brand Beard Care Kit:
SUMMARY: For the person who wants a great looking beard that has the subtle smell of the great outdoors.
PROS: Top-quality products, all-natural, boar hair brush, lower price and good value.
CONS: Brush isn’t as well-constructed as it could be, no comb or conditioner.
5. Craft Beard Grooming Kit With Scissors
The review team’s final recommendation isn’t exactly a budget choice and it doesn’t include beard wash or balm, but it’s still priced well below our top options and has an extra bonus: it makes your beard smell faintly of craft beer. The two beard oils in the kit give you a choice, too; one smells faintly of a fine IPA (pine, citrus and floral notes) and the other has the essence of a stout or porter (notes of chocolate, coffee and vanilla).
The Craft Beard grooming kit may also catch your eye because it includes a two-sided natural sandalwood comb, or because it features a pair of 5½ inch stainless steel scissors, unusual for most kits. The oils are completely organic, eliminating itch and irritation while making facial hair smoother, fuller and softer. The kit is packaged in a faux cigar box.
You’ll still need to purchase beard wash (plus conditioner and balm, if you want them) separately, but the Craft Beard kit is a very good starting point for newer beardsmen. It will keep your taste buds watering, too.
Details for the Craft Beard Grooming Kit With Scissors:
SUMMARY: For the person who wants scissors and a beard comb, along with a selection of quality beard oils.
PROS: Good results, interesting aroma, scissors and comb included, lower price.
CONS: Wash, conditioner, balm and brush not included, scent won’t not appeal to all, box is rather chintzy.
If you do get to the point where you need to do some shaving on the neck or cheeks to maintain control of your beard, but do not want to use a disposable blade or electric shaver, then please consider using a safety razor or straight razor – there are excellent choices in both product types.