Beard Oils and Their Limitations

You know how there are some things you just want to avoid? Things like getting your taxes done. Putting the top and doors back on the Jeep even though there’s frost on the windshield in the morning. Fessing up to dear old dad about what actually happened to those missing sleeping bags (that one took me over 20 years to cop to).

People always ask me, “Jeff, when are you going to make a Beard oil?” By this, they mean a liquid oil rather than a semi-solid Beard balm. I understand why some guys don’t favor Bead balms. Some feel they are too heavy, which is why we’re currently developing a Beard Grease formula that retains the conditioning qualities with a much lighter feel.

As for why we don’t offer Beard oils, I’ve become quite adept at deflecting and giving a diplomatic non-answer that any political candidate would be proud of. I know Beard oils are a hugely popular product. I know I could make an absolute KILLING if The Beardsmith made Beard oils. So why don’t we offer them?? I’ve been hesitant to express my reasons for not doing so, because I know a lot of guys like them. I’m sure my reasons will alienate some people and probably downright piss some people off. As much as I’ve tried to avoid answering this question, it’s one that needs a genuine answer.

This will be a fairly lengthy read, so I’ll outline my reasons, with explanations below. The tl;dr; version of why we don’t offer Beard oils:
They’re a partial solution.
I’m just not that high maintenance.
My conscience won’t let me.

Liquid Beard Oils Are A Partial Solution
There are many fantastic carrier oils in a lot of Beard oils. Many companies say they use “the best” oils. Some say the best is jojoba, or argan or hemp or [take your pick]. Even if one particular oil could objectively be called “the best”, does that mean that’s all your Beard needs? Not really.

Just as kale is commonly referred to as a super food–in fact, many claim it is THE super duper super food of super foods–even if that is objectively true, the human body needs a balanced variety of lean proteins, carbs and healthy fats in order to maximize health. The all-kale diet isn’t going to cut it, no matter how super kale is.

Most people who make Beard oils understand this notion, which is why most have a combination of carrier oils, which is a good start. But they’re limited to liquid carrier oils. That’s the rough equivalent of recognizing that the human body needs more than an all-kale diet and responding by adding an array of vegetables to one’s plate. No lean proteins, no healthy fats, no whole-grain carbs. Just vegetables. There are many non-liquid ingredients that condition the hair and skin in ways that liquid oils alone can’t. Things like coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and lanolin have deep moisturizing properties that aren’t found in liquid oils. A quality balm/conditioner/tamer like Beard Grease that uses a combination of liquid carrier oils and natural solid/semi-solid ingredients is more like adding an array of foods from several different food groups to one’s kale diet.

I’m Just Not That High Maintenance
Virtually all Beard oil instructions recommend you apply the oil in the morning and then again 2-3 times throughout the day. I’m a dude. I have neither the time nor inclination to groom throughout the day. Sure, I want to look (and smell) good, but once I’m out of the shower, I comb my hair, throw on some Beard Grease, and get dressed. At that point, my grooming cares are done for the day. I need a once-and-done, all-day product. If a product recommends I re-apply it several times throughout the day, it’s the wrong product for me. Since I approach the world the way I want the world to approach me, trying to sell a product I can’t personally get behind would be disingenuous. I know most guys feel the same way I do–they don’t want to have to primp and preen throughout the day.

My Conscience Won’t Let Me
I fear this will raise the ire of some people, but if I’m being genuine about the subject, I have to include it because even if this was the sole reason that stood in the way of me making and selling liquid Beard oils, it would be enough to keep me from doing it. I personally can’t in good conscience pour a liquid from one bottle into a smaller bottle and charge people for the privilege, let alone charge them $20-$60 per ounce for it. Some will say the various combinations of liquids make it justifiable. For me, it doesn’t. Most Beard oil formulas contain between 1 and 4 carrier oils. It may take some experimentation to get a certain combination exactly as one wants it. But for me, that minimal experimentation doesn’t justify the premium that’s charged for ultimately pouring liquid from big bottles into tiny bottles.

Some may also say that a good Beard balm is no different–after all, you can get most of the ingredients used in all-natural balms at a health food store. This is very true. But when you’re combining liquid oils with semi-solid and solid ingredients that react differently under temperature and change properties when they cool, the experimentation needed to get just the right combinations can become fairly extensive. And even after you have a particular formula nailed down, the production process is still much more labor intensive than pouring liquids into containers. It’s a bit like coffee. Most people will make their own drip coffee at home. Some delve into buying an espresso machine and making their own drinks at home. For most, the result isn’t worth the time and effort to make their own espresso drinks, but it most certainly is worth it to make their own drip coffee. Unfortunately, purchasing a lot of Beard oils is akin to buying drip coffee at a coffeehouse and paying 2-4 times the cost of a quad-shot latte.

Some guys love to experiment and have the time to figure out how to make a great Beard balm. For those guys, I say DO IT! Most guys just want to have a quality product that’s easy and reasonably priced. That’s why Beard Grease lets me sleep at night. It’s been designed specifically for Beard health using a variety of liquid, semi-solid and solid ingredients. It took several months of testing different formulas with Bearded clients to get it just right, and manufacturing it is an actual process (one step of which is all that goes into producing a Beard oil). And it’s priced at up to 1/3 the price that people commonly pay for liquid Beard oils.

I know there are many guys who will give a lot of reasons why they like Beard oils. If you like using liquid Beard oils, by all means, keep using them. Every person likes different things. I’m not out to stop people from using what they like. I just needed to finally give an answer to the question of why I don’t make and sell liquid Beard oils. If you like and use them, I would suggest that rather than falling prey to a slick marketing campaign without much substance to back it up, you find a reasonably-priced, high-quality Beard oil. Even though it probably makes me a dismal businessman by not capitalizing on a big slice of the market, I can live with that, knowing that I’m not simply being an opportunist at the expense of the way I see the world.

So there you have it. Now you know the real answer. And giving it was only marginally easier than explaining The Great Sleeping Bag Incident of 1986.

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