Here are my thoughts after putting Beardbrand’s grooming products through their paces.
If you’ve ever shopped for men’s grooming products before, you’ve probably seen Beardbrand items before.
(And even if you haven’t, you’ve probably seen founder Eric Bandholz’s legendary beard.)
And while Beardbrand unsurprisingly specializes in beard products, it’s no one-trick pony. The company’s lineup also includes hair and body products, from shampoos to scissors.
I’ve been aware of Beardbrand for a while, so when I got the opportunity to review some of their products, I gladly accepted.
For this review, I tested two product sets: the Beard Bundle and Hair Bundle. I also received two of their combs and their Utility Balm, which are available separately.
In this article, I’ll be taking a comprehensive look at each product and giving my honest thoughts on how they performed.
NB: I opted for the Spiced Citrus scent, which Beardbrand will be retiring in 2022. You can read more about their available fragrances on the FAQ page.
Beard Bundle Review
This first bundle consists of four products: beard oil, beard wash, beard softener, and styling balm.
As a set, this bundle really is “everything you need for an awesome beard.” It’s a complete range of beard products that provides all of the essentials.
This is Beardbrand’s most popular product and for good reason. High-quality beard oil is great for hydrating and softening facial hair, and it’s an integral part of any beard grooming routine.
Beardbrand’s oil uses a blend of seed oils (including jojoba and castor) to moisturize and soften the hair. Impressively, it’s about as non-greasy as you can get. It also absorbs quickly, which means your beard isn’t left with any residue.
I was immediately impressed by how well it worked. My beard is naturally quite coarse, and while I’ve tried other oils before, I never found them that beneficial. This oil, on the other hand, provides instant softness and silkiness.
The difference in feel is night and day. Without the oil, my beard is rough and wiry. With the oil, it feels much gentler and more pillowy.
To apply the oil, I use a beard brush, which does a great job of distributing the oil thoroughly and evenly. You can also apply the oil directly with your hands, but I found the brush to be significantly better, especially for uniform strand coverage.
And since the brush also untangles the hair, it enhances softness by creating a nice, even surface.
While most guys wash the hair on top of their heads regularly, they tend to neglect washing their facial hair. (I was guilty of this for years.) But beards can get pretty gnarly, and you don’t want all kinds of debris making a nest in there.
That’s what Beardbrand’s beard wash is for. The wash is a gentle cleanser that retains the beard’s natural oils while still removing dirt.
It’s got a nice foamy texture that creates mild suds for a pleasant washing experience. It applies easily and washes out quickly.
Beardbrand recommends that most men wash their beards two to three times a week, which is roughly the schedule I stuck to during my review. Using the wash on my beard instantly results in a smooth, clean feeling.
The texture of the beard hair stays the same, but the strands are clearly free of grime. There’s also a big difference in appearance; post-wash, I find my beard is bushier and fluffier.
I also experienced reduced irritation after using the wash. The skin underneath a beard is often neglected, so giving it a good wash helps to combat dryness and itchiness.
This is especially beneficial if you deal with beard dandruff (as I do). I saw a marked decrease in flake production and redness/irritation, but your results may be different.
Just as beard wash is similar to shampoo, beard softener is similar to conditioner. It changes the actual feel and texture of the beard.
Beardbrand’s softener has a pleasing lotion-like feel that generously coats the beard hairs. It’s a leave-in conditioner, and Beardbrand recommends allowing it to soak for one to two minutes.
If you’re after all-day softness, you can just leave the softener in your beard without rinsing it at all. You can also try co-washing, where you skip the beard wash and go straight to the conditioner. This doesn’t provide as deep of a clean, but it’s quick and easy.
I almost always used the wash and softener together, and this combo gave me some of the most visible results I experienced during the review.
My beard was much softer and more pliable after giving it the one-two punch of shampoo and softener, making it much easier to brush and style into place.
I typically let the softener soak for about two minutes, which is a good duration that provides a boost of softness without taking up too much time. I also experimented with letting it soak longer, but for my grooming routine, it’s more convenient and practical to do a shorter soak.
If you’re after any beard style that’s clean and well-groomed, you’ll probably need a styling product. Beardbrand’s styling balm works similarly to hair pomade, making sure your beard stays in place all day long.
The balm is buttery smooth and quite light, so it won’t weigh down your beard or add any crunch.
It works with wet or dry hair, so you don’t have to worry if you’re using this with other beard products.
I’ve never gone for super tidy beard styles—I prefer a bit of ruggedness—so I didn’t get as much use out of the balm. However, I did find it worked nicely for rogue strands that refused to stay put. I get quite a few of these around my mustache, and the balm did a good job of encouraging those rascals to behave.
If you’re someone who goes for clean and detailed beard looks, you’ll benefit from this balm. On the other hand, if you go for a more lumberjack-inspired look, you might only find the balm useful for controlling flyaways.
Beard Bundle: My Thoughts
As a whole, the Beard Bundle is one of the nicer beard sets I’ve come across. It’s currently priced at $71, which is a solid price for a set that lasts about three months.
I saw the biggest results with daily (or near-daily) oil application and regular wash/softener usage. This regimen changes the feel and texture of my facial hair so much that it’s like having a completely new beard.
Here’s my beard before and after using the wash, softener, and oil:
Check out how much rougher and scragglier the before texture is while the after texture is much smoother and neater. And while you can’t tell through pictures, my after beard feels much softer and more hydrated.
All in all, this bundle gets two thumbs up from me. Even if you don’t get a ton of use out of the balm, the bundle is still worth it for the triple threat of oil, wash, and softener. If you have a beard, you’ll enjoy the Beard Bundle.
Hair Bundle Review
A disclaimer before I begin: I have thin hair with a slight curl that tends to fall flat and limp, so it’s naturally difficult to work with. If you don’t have the same hair type as me, you’ll likely get completely different results.
In my experience, hair products are far less forgiving than beard products, so I was curious to see what results I’d get (especially considering my stubborn hair type).
Beardbrand’s Hair Bundle consists of shampoo, conditioner, styling balm, and sea salt spray. Like the Beard Bundle, it’s meant to give you everything you need for washing and styling your hair.
Here’s a breakdown of my experience with each product:
I’ve had my fair share of shampoo woes. Because my hair is so light and flat, it doesn’t benefit from heavier shampoos that are more aggressive at removing natural oils.
Thankfully, Beardbrand’s shampoo ticks all the right boxes for me. Because it’s free of sulfates, parabens, and silicones, it provides a deep clean without flattening the hair or sucking out much-needed oils.
This means I can skip using a prestyler, which I prefer since it not only saves time but also reduces the total amount of product in my hair (and thus reduces product buildup).
It’s a thick, luscious shampoo that feels great to work into the hair. It’s probably the most heavily scented product, but that hasn’t bothered me one bit. I really enjoy the more obvious scent. However, if you’re sensitive to fragrances, this will probably be a no-go for you.
Like the shampoo, this conditioner has no harsh surfactants, which means it does its job really well, offering more softness and shine than your average drugstore conditioner.
For my hair type, though, this is more of a negative than a positive.
Because my hair is naturally almost downy, the conditioner made my hair too soft, causing it to lie flat on my head and reducing its potential for volume. Both my regular hair products and the styling products from the Hair Bundle were less effective after using the conditioner.
I could see this being useful for guys with rough and coarse hair, but it just doesn’t work with my hair type. It does provide much more softness than other conditioners I’ve tried, and it’s just as gentle as the shampoo.
No, that’s not a typo—we’re indeed revisiting the styling balm. Since it’s formulated for both hair and beard, it appears in both bundles.
It’s the only solid styling product included in the Hair Bundle, so it should theoretically provide everything you need to style your hair: hold, flexibility, shape, texture, etc.
Unfortunately, this was another product that just didn’t click with my hair. The soft, buttery nature of the balm makes it similar to a styling cream, which means it has a light hold that preserves the natural texture of the hair.
In my case, I need to introduce volume and texture since my hair naturally lacks both. I usually employ a hair paste or clay that’s thicker and grittier to give my hair lift and substance.
Because this balm is light and creamy, it doesn’t add much body or dimension to my hair. Even when I paired the balm with the sea salt spray, I still didn’t get good results since I was working with a weak foundation.
That said, I did have more success using the styling balm as a prestyler. It gave my hair a slight volume boost that worked nicely with my usual styling products.
Overall, if you have thicker hair and tend to go for classic hairstyles that don’t require too much texture, then the styling balm is a solid choice. That said, it’s not ideal for texture-heavy hairstyles that need a medium to heavy hold. It’s not a bad product—it’s just not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Sea Salt Spray
Sea salt spray is one of the best men’s hair products. It’s an easy way of adding loads of texture without weighing down the hair.
Beardbrand’s spray is great for beachy, windswept hairstyles. It’s full of large globules of texture that are easily visible on the hair when first applied. The spray is easy to distribute throughout the hair and creates an airiness that complements casual hairstyles.
Here’s what I could accomplish using both the sea salt spray and styling balm:
Where this spray succeeds most is in the volume department. It’s a light spray, so it doesn’t add that much texture, but it almost magically expands the hair, making it easy to style tall quiffs or medium-length messy looks.
But if you’re going for more structured styles, you may be underwhelmed. While the spray does provide texture, it doesn’t have the gritty hold that other sea salt sprays offer. It’s best used as a finishing spray to round off a hairstyle that already has a good amount of texture.
Hair Bundle: My Thoughts
I didn’t get a ton of use out of this bundle, but that is completely due to my hair. These products would work much better for someone with thick, coarse hair that’s hard to tame.
That said, the shampoo is fantastic, and I have no plans to stop using it. It’s genuinely one of the best shampoos I’ve tried, and if it works well with my thin and flat hair, it’ll work well for your hair, too.
The balm and spray are both excellent for specific needs. If you’re after a creamy styling product with a light hold, then the balm is for you. And if you’re after a volumizing spray to add a finishing touch to a messy hairstyle, go for the sea salt spray. Outside of those use cases, your mileage may vary.
Beardbrand offers quite a few products that are billed as all-in-one solutions, but the Utility Balm takes that to another level. Beardbrand claims that this balm can be used for beard, hair, and skin with all kinds of applications ranging from hairstyling to tattoo moisturizing.
Like a lot of Beardbrand’s multipurpose products, the utility balm excels in a few areas and underperforms in others. Since it’s formulated using shea and mango butters, it’s great as a general salve.
I got these products during the dead of winter, so my cracked hands were thankful for the soothing moisture the utility balm offered.
Similarly, this balm would be ideal for many of the skin-based applications Beardbrand suggests including sunburn relief, shaving lubrication, and foot care. However, as a hair or beard styling product, it struggles to keep up with dedicated products. (The styling balm is better for those purposes.)
The utility balm is best for guys who have fairly general grooming needs and don’t want to juggle multiple products. I could also see this being a great first product for younger guys who are just developing their grooming routines.
To top it all off, Beardbrand included two of their beard combs.
I received the Clever Girl Large Comb and Blue Steel Pocket Comb. Both of the designs are more subtle than they look in pictures, but you can see more of the depth when you look up close, which is cool.
Instead of using plastic or metal, these wide-tooth combs are made from cellulose acetate for a static-free experience. They’re handmade in Switzerland, and that build quality is apparent as soon as you touch them. They don’t bend, and the teeth are rigid, so you don’t need to worry about them breaking off.
Both combs excel at their purpose. They untangle hairs with minimal snagging and feel smooth against the face. I have a fairly thick beard, but the combs tackled it with ease.
The mini comb performed just as well as its larger counterpart, and I often used it to touch up smaller areas around my chin and mustache without disturbing the rest of the beard.
Is Beardbrand Worth It?
Overall, I can confidently recommend Beardbrand.
My experience with these products was mostly all positive. A few products didn’t work for me at all, but that makes sense—not every product is going to be right for everyone. Many of their products excel at meeting specific needs, but some of them are better for general purposes.
My recommendation is to consider any specific needs you have before purchasing a Beardbrand product. Think about your hair, beard, and skin types along with any other hair or skin conditions like acne or dryness.
On the other hand, if you just have general grooming needs, then these bundles might be perfect for you. They’re both fairly priced options that conveniently give you all the basics.
The beard products were easily the best for me. Almost all of them delivered all of the promised results, and their high-quality formulas are a treat to experience.
I especially enjoyed the beard oil and shampoo. Both products gave me great results, and I’ve continued to use them well after the initial review period. The beard wash and softener were also standouts.
If you’re a bearded guy who needs to step up his grooming routine, then Beardbrand is definitely worth a try.
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