I have been making my own mustache wax and beard balm for about three months now. I had some successes, which I have continued, and a few so-so batches. I won't really call them failures simply because they were not really that terrible. In short, my process boils down to the following: research, experiment, record, adjust, and repeat. I've learned a few things in the last few months.
I already knew this, but my DIY research confirms that there is a lot of bad information on the internet. Who knew? I have run across many sites that are propagating information that they lifted from other sites without really understanding the info. The 5 Great Beard Balms sites are a great example of this. The recipes on these sites use random units of measure for each recipe. People also make recommend random ingredient substitutions without understanding the difference between the ingredients. For example, if you don't like beeswax, just use candelilla wax. That would be great except that candelilla wax has a different melting point and hardness so it changes the final product if you don't compensate for the differences.
My original spring kitchen scale is not accurate enough for the small batches that I am creating. Since I'm experimenting, I am trying to keep my batches as small as possible. Most of my recent batches have been less than 2 oz each. I am only saying ounces here because I purchased 1 oz tins for my product. I picked up an inexpensive digital kitchen scale from Amazon. I am able to make accurate measurements of small quantities now.
I needed a better method for taking notes. I started out recording my recipes and observations in a small 3x5 notebook. I logged my way through a third of a notebook before I realized that hunting around for my notes on a previous recipe. Was that 2 or 3 weeks ago? I'm still working on this one. I've installed a recipe manager and a journal app. As expected, most recipe apps are geared towards meal recipes and not beard balms, but I found one that meets my needs.
I'm having fun making my own product; however, it is a bit more expensive during the experimentation phase. My expenses drop as I refine my recipes. Of course, once I get a get recipe, it's time to move onto something now.