The Top 7 Alternatives to Beard Oil You Need to Try

Alex Cutler

If you want to make the most out of your beard, you should be using beard oil.

That’s because beard oil helps moisturize, soften, reducing itching, and, yes, it even promotes new hair growth.

However, beard oil isn’t for everyone.

Maybe you’re allergic to one of the ingredients, maybe you have extremely sensitive skin, or maybe it’s the price.

Whatever it is, you shouldn’t feel bad – there are plenty of big bearded beauties out there who have never used beard oil.

Thankfully, we’ve compiled this list of the best alternatives for beard oil. You’ll learn which natural oils are beard safe, as well as how to use them.

So, sit back, relax, and try not to itch your beard.

Best Alternatives for Beard Oil

Before you start applying any oil you can find in your medicine cabinet – you should know which ones work.

But, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Here are the top seven natural carrier oils that can act as beard oil substitutes:

Note: we haven’t included any essential oils on this list. While you can use essential oils on your beard, they need to be diluted. Don’t sweat - we’ve written an article all about it. You can find it here.

Coconut Oil

First and foremost, coconut oil is one of the most popular oils for hair and beard care.

That’s because it’s a humectant – or an ingredient that absorbs moisture from the air and seals it into your skin and beard.

That means you’ll have a soft and smooth beard that’s perfect for stroking when deep in thought.

And guess what? Coconut oil isn’t just a moisturizer.

It can also reduce hair breakage and stimulate new hair growth.

That’s right. If you’re using coconut oil, your beard is bound to become fuller, thicker, and bushier – just like you’ve seen in your dreams.

Furthermore, thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, coconut oil can prevent dandruff. That means you can focus on what's truly important – growing out your beard.

If you want to learn exactly how coconut oil is able to achieve all these things, and how it mixes with essential oil, read our in-depth guide.

Argan Oil

Second on our list is argan oil – another popular carrier oil.

Just like coconut oil, argan oil is also a humectant – which gives your beard long-lasting hydration.

Argan oil also has a rich concentration of vitamin E – an essential hair-healthy vitamin.

Vitamin E is important when it comes to hair growth. It has natural antioxidant properties that promote circulation, which, in turn, encourages the growth of new hair follicles.

That’s not the only way argan oil helps hair growth, though.

It also prevents that dreaded beard itch. And, if you didn’t know, beard itch often leads to dandruff, which can lead to hair thinning or shedding.

Check out our guide to learn more about argan oil, and the best way to apply it.

Castor Oil

Castor oil is heralded online as a miracle cure for patchy beards. 

While there is some anecdotal evidence to back up this claim, it isn't something we personally put our money behind (although we'd love to be proven wrong.)

However, that doesn't mean it doesn't still have significant advantages

Packed full of fatty acids, castor oil strengthens hair follicles, moisturizes underlying skin and conditions and protects your hair follicles. All of these benefits mean castor oil is a fierce opponent of beard itch and the dreaded beard dandruff.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is a popular ingredient in some of the best beard oils money can buy (shameless self-plug - like our Underdog).

That makes it the perfect replacement for beard oil, and the key benefits of jojoba are well documented. 

Jojoba oil is another impressive moisturizer that gives your beard that soft, shiny, and reflective appearance. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t want that?

The added hydration in your beard will prevent environmental damage – like UV rays and pollution. In turn, that means you’ll notice fewer split ends, brittle hair, or breakage.

You really can’t go wrong when using jojoba oil – it has all the moisturizing benefits to keep your beard growing healthily.

Olive Oil

We know what you’re thinking… “You told us not to put any random cooking oil in our beard.”

And you’re right, we did say that – and we stand by it.

However, olive oil is one of the few exceptions.

Thanks to its impressive makeup of squalane and oleic acid – two hair-healthy ingredients found in beard conditioners.

Speaking of beard conditioners, you’re missing out if you’ve never used the Utility Softener. Seriously, it lives up to its name by resurfacing and softening your beard.

But, let’s get back to olive oil.

A 2015 study found that oleuropein, the main component in olive oil, promoted beard growth. Additionally, it’s rich in vitamin E – which, as you know, also helps new facial hair grow.

Of course, since it’s an oil, olive oil also moisturizes your beard. That keeps things soft and prevents split ends or damage.

So, if you’re looking for a quick replacement for beard oil, we seriously recommend olive oil. You most likely already have it in your kitchen.

Almond Oil

Our fifth choice for a beard oil substitute is almond oil.

Also called sweet almond oil, this ingredient is one of the key players in our high-quality oils.

What makes almond oil so popular, is that it’s an emollient – meaning it fills moisture gaps in your hair on a cellular level.

After regular use, your beard will start to become softer, less prickly, and tangle-free.

So, if you’re prone to tangles or a cactus-like beard, using sweet almond oil is the perfect choice for you.

Just like olive oil, almond oil is also rich in vitamin E – meaning it will promote new growth and thicker hair strands. Not only will your beard feel softer, but it will also look fuller – and that’s a win-win in our books.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is probably one of the less popular options on this list.

However, that doesn’t mean it works any worse than the previous choices. In fact, grapeseed oil has just as many benefits.

It contains vitamin E, which you should be well versed in by now, as well as linoleic acid – which studies show also encourages new hair growth.

Of course, it also has moisturizing benefits. But, unlike some heavier oils, grapeseed oil won’t leave your beard greasy looking. In fact, it does the opposite – as it’s quick to absorb into your hair and skin.

The extra hydration in your beard will prevent environmental damage, split ends, and even itching.

But to go even further, grapeseed oil will strengthen weak and brittle strands of hair. That means you’ll find fewer stray strands sitting in your bathroom sink after brushing or washing your beard.

That’s right, you should be brushing your beard regularly - especially if it’s long. We recommend using a boar bristle brush, like these.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

Last, but certainly not least, on our list is pumpkin seed oil.

And pumpkin seed oil really packs a punch.

In fact, a study found that pumpkin seed oil increased hair growth up to 30%. And, if you think about it, that’s a lot.

That means if you’re using pumpkin seed oil, your beard will be full of life.

Your beard will also be lighter, softer, and better moisturized thanks to the hydrating properties of the oil.

The only downside to pumpkin seed oil is that it doesn’t prevent dandruff. While, yes, additional moisture can prevent itching, if you have fungal-caused dandruff, pumpkin seed oil doesn’t help.

So if you’re dealing with this type of dandruff, you’ll better benefit from using another beard oil alternative.

To learn more about beard-safe oils, check out our essential oil guide.

Honorable mention: Beard Balm

This article might have been about natural carriers oils, but we feel wrong talking about viable beard oil substitutes without discussing beard balm. While it has a slightly different purpose - beard balm contains waxes to add subtle hold and control - they're also usually packed with butters and natural oils to help condition your beard hair and moisturize the underlying skin. 

For shorter beards, we'd recommend sticking with a beard oil, or one of the natural oils we've mentioned above. But if your beard's getting longer, and a little unruly, beard balm is well worth your time. We recommend a couple of highly rated ones here. 

How to Use Alternatives

So, you’ve picked out which oil you’re going to use, and you’re all ready to start applying it (or making your own DIY beard oils).

Well, slow down…There are a few things you should know before jumping in.

We’ve broken up the steps into four easy-to-understand steps, which you can find below:

Preparing the Area

Before applying the oil, you’ll want your beard and skin to be clean.

If you’re not, you’re pretty much wasting your precious oil – as it won’t be as effective.

That’s because your beard may already be saturated with natural oils, meaning the hair can’t absorb any additional oil. So, instead of that beautiful reflective shine, your beard will look like a greasy mess. And nobody wants that.

Thankfully, cleaning your beard is easy. We recommend washing it with a beard wash (like this high-quality option).

However, if you don’t have a beard wash, or aren’t interested in purchasing one, you can always use warm water and some good old-fashioned elbow grease (gentle elbow grease, that is).

Whatever you do, stay away from using shampoo or a bar of soap. That’ll do nothing but cause irritation, dandruff, and itching.

After you wash your beard, you’ll want to dry it off.

Here’s how you can dry your beard:

  • For short beards: Use a towel to gently pat your beard dry.
  • For long beards: Use a hair dryer on its lowe