Although Beard care products may appear to be a more recent phenomenon, the ingredients and recipes for oils, pomades, and waxes to keep your beard in place and help it grow, have been in use for centuries. And they have been in use for so long because the recipes have been honed to perfection.
Another advantage of these traditional recipes was that they contained mainly just natural and wholesome ingredients, without any additives, e-numbers, chemicals or other junk. Lets head back in time and see how it all began...
Even as far back as the Babylonian, Ancient Greek, and Roman societies, the incredibly detailed facial hair you see in the statues didn't just happen. Those with a higher status would use beard oil and balms to get a look befitting of their place in society.
The history of beard oil began with the Babylonians, and the beard oil ingredient most used was believed to be sesame seed oil, which contained properties that both moisturized the hair and prevented and healed damage caused by lice, whilst enabling them to sculpt into unique looks with curlers. The trend from the upper-classes to also dye their beards with henna and sprinkle with gold dust does not seem to have stood the test of time as successfully (although glitter beards are attempting to revive that trend)..
In Ancient Greece and Rome, a large amount of significance was placed on a boy's first shave, for the Greeks this meant not being allowed to cut even the hair on their head until the first signs of facial hair had become a beard, to appease the sun god Apollo. To help speed this process along, they would use castor oil due to its thickness compared with alternatives, an ingredient that some producers of beard products still use today.
For Romans, there was a little less of a beard culture as society preferred smooth skin, though there was still a 'rite of passage' first shave that held enough importance to be considered a religious ceremony. For this, the young shave-ee would prepare their beard to look as nice as possible for the occasion with olive oil.
Between then and the 19th century, little development occurred in the beard product area, with communities either using their own local solutions or nothing at all, but as arguably the most consumerist nation on the planet began to grow, so too did the chance to commercialize facial hair health.
While the British had the better mass-marketed products, in the form of Macassar Oil (a thick mixture containing ylang-ylang, coconut, and palm oils, messy enough to make housewives put blankets over the furniture), salesmen in the fast-developing US of A would go from town to town to hawk their wares.
The ones carrying beard oils and moustache wax (read history of mustache wax) would claim that you too could look like Wyatt Earp or Buffalo Bill, with their blend of ingredients that could include anything from bear fat, whale or snake oil, and lard, those just being the popular ones. Boy howdy!
That brief wild western renaissance is where The Beard & The Wonderful has the origins of its all-natural recipes from. Top quality beard products were being sold in the United States back in the 1890s and we keep as close to the traditional methods and use as many of the same ingredients as we can.
Beeswax and petroleum jelly (early 20th-century innovations) have continued in popularity to this day, although in the beard oil especially, some ingredients have been replaced to be more whale/snake/[insert creature here]-friendly. And where substitutions have had to be made, only the best quality alternatives are being used (e.g. Whale Oil was substituted for Jojoba Oil), as jojoba shrubs produce a base that is just as, if not even more effective.
The greatest thing about our traditional recipes for beard balm, beard oil, and mustache wax is that there are No additives, No E numbers, No Preservatives, No Chemicals, and No crap. Just pure quality in a tin or bottle.
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