A Further Examination of Beard Oil & Its Ramifications

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Way back in September of 2013, I wrote a post about what it was like to lose my beard oil virginity. I’ve come a fair distance since Beard Oil & Its Ramifications, and I thought this might be a good time to revisit the issue. My beard is not as friggin’ huge as it was back in September. My beard is like a bramble patch, and I’m still in the process of figuring out if there’s a low-hassle way to mitigate that. I don’t really mind having a face that looks like there’s a pubic bush growing out of it, as long as I can keep my chin-hedge properly clipped.

Beard oil doesn’t help with that. I have discovered that I like how it changes the feel of the beard, and I am very intrigued by the scent possibilities. It should be clear that in general, I’m cheap, and I’m picky. Know that before reading on. I’ve done a bit of research, and here’s what I’ve tried out so far:

Queen Bee Trading Company All Natural Beard Oil

My friend Jerika recommended this one to me, at $10 (plus shipping) it’s about as inexpensive as you can find beard oil, and it has a pleasant but unassuming woodsy scent. I’ve been using it as my daily beard oil, and it’s done the job very well. You can also place a custom order request and get pretty much any scent you’d care for. The order came with a sample of the coffee-scented oil, and I was a big fan.

Odin Spiced Mead Beard Oil by Bath Sabbath

By far the brand closest to my black heart. Everything Bath Sabbath makes is metal-themed, and they’ve got bitchin’ graphic design. I couldn’t pass up trying their Odin beard oil ($10 plus shipping). If you like sweeter & more floral scents for your beard, a stronger scent, or a beard oil that’s a bit thicker than standard, make a run for this. Spiced Mead is right on for the description. Think wildflower honey, drinking from mead horns while outside, in the dark, something slavers. I was contacted by the proprietor after leaving my Etsy review, and she said she’d send me a sample of her upcoming Cernunnos scent.

Tree Ranger Beard Oil by Beardbrand

I just recently received this beard oil, and though it’s normally out of my price range ($25 plus shipping) I got a good deal on it from Huckberry. I like its woodsy scent, the cedarwood & pinewood essential oils are a good combo, but it’s definitely less viscous (it arrived frozen) than any other oil I’ve tried, and doesn’t come with a dropper. This means it is getting used up really fast. Unless you’re super picky about the types of oil used and its sourcing, you can get a similar product for significantly less in a variety of places.

The Carpenter by Dream Beard

This was one of the samples that I got in my first attempt at beard oiling. It was my favorite, so I bought a proper bottle ($15 plus shipping). The name is spot on. It smells like a woodshop. What’s not to like about that?

The Gentleman’s Beard Grooming Kit by First Olympian

I felt like I took a big gamble with this, but it definitely paid off. This amazing grooming kit (£94) came with 4 travel-sized oils (Hermes, Ares, Zeus, Eros), trimming shears, and a badass wooden comb. Each of the oils smell good enough to eat, and kind of leave everything else I’ve reviewed so far in the dust. Seriously the best stuff I’ve tried. I’ll have to use it parsimoniously.

Combs

I knew I needed a decent wood comb for the beard, the Conair comb I’ve been using for my hair for a billion years ain’t got what it takes to clear a swath through my tangle, and I wanted something wooden to absorb the excess oil. I bought a cheap neem wood comb from Amazon and it’s done a great job. I wanted to find something a bit better quality and made in the USA, if possible. All I could scrounge up at the time was Sierra Legacy Hardwood Combs. What I got was a great comb, but not for my beard. Now I’ve stumbled across a few other beard comb options, but haven’t picked anything yet.

Beard Oil & Its Ramifications

Friday, 6 September 2013

So, beard oil is a thing that exists. I was intrigued that, thus imparted to me, in fact, some people oil their beards. The first thing I discovered is that beard oil is fucking expensive. The next thing I discovered is that making your own is only a modicum less fucking expensive. Dismayed but not daunted, I finally came across Dream Beard Oils and felt comfortable dropping $12 for 4 different samples.

Be prepared: oiling your beard feels decadent, frivolous and affected. This will not be a problem for those who aspire to lombardy due to style considerations, but is a bit uncomfortable to those of us who are instinctually predisposed to face fur.

You don’t use much, perhaps 10 drops for a full beard. Your beard doesn’t get oily. I used more oil on my chin than elsewhere. I immediately noticed a change in both the albedo and grit of my beard as well as a soothing of the underlying skin, a balm I wasn’t aware was needed. I anticipate a concomitant decrease in static charge during cold dry winter.

I assume that, in addition to keeping the skin healthy, the oil on the beard prevents the skin from losing further moisture to the hair.

If you don’t feel the necessity of ascribing to the use of rare oils and sundry tinctures that add cost and scent but provide dubious efficacy, buying a nice high-grade food oil like grapeseed oil will do the trick and be much cheaper.

I am scent agnostic at this point. I am not a cologne or aftershave man, but a light natural scent to my beard does appeal. I could just as easily go with something unscented. I think that the occasional heavier oiling and then grooming with a semi-porous natural-material comb (wood, probably) would also be beneficial. Eventually enough oil would saturate the comb that a light run-through would even do the trick.

A bit about the scents from the Dream Beard sampler:

  • “Bearded Barber” has a predominantly astringent tea tree scent. Perhaps a hint of flower. The smell fades within a couple of hours, and is not strong to begin with.
  • “Mechanic” is patchouli. I’m guessing this choice was made because mechanics and hippies are both greasy? Not gonna use this one again.
  • “Lumberjack” smells piney. Imagine organic Pine-Sol or a free-range, vertically farmed car air freshener from “Repo Man” and you get the idea.
  • “Carpenter” has a pleasant wood smell, but isn’t immediately identifiable. I like it the best.

After a few days of use my beard is a noticeably less wretched tangle, and my skin noticeably healthier.

Still feels stupid though.

Beard Accident

Monday, 10 February 2003

-Why are things like this reported?

Honestly, it serves only as an explication of cultural values instead of anything remotely health-related. It is also far too narrow, dealing only with Welsh men. Now, they mention that social factors are probably the cause of a majority of the diseases, apparently because men that don’t shave regularly are blue collar workers that don’t get any. But this is immediately dismissed in favor of the evidence for shaving. and apparently, not shaving regularly fucks up the testosterone levels which in turn leads to stroke. excuse me, but a beard grows whether or not you shave it. and the lack of sex is most definitely due to mate appearence preferences rather than anything to do with the physiology of facial hair. if a girl doesn’t like facial hair she won’t sleep with you. if facial hair messes up sexual virility Homo sapiens sapiens would have died out long before the first razor. how can people get 20 years of funding for this when an artist or independent filmmaker has to kiss pimply ass and jump through flaming hoops blindfolded just to get the chance to ask for money. Stuff like the above article will destroy the world.

why am i so emotionally involved? well, i do have facial hair. i do not get any, and i would much rather think that it is because girls don’t like facial hair rather than the idea that hair makes me impotent. was it not a sign of potency back in the day? also the NEA gets axed while 20 year studies on shaving get plenty of funding. yeah, the NEA was a US thing and this was in Britain, but they are most definitely related phenomenon.

*UPDATE*

not two minutes ago after going to the bathroom to trim said facial hair, the electric trimmer slipped from its selected trimming length and before i knew it i had taken quite a chunk out of my beard. i had to trim it almost to oblivion. poetic justice my ass.