If you're anything like me, one of your favorite parts of going to the grocery store is a quick walk down the clearance ailse. There's no telling what you'll find, sometimes you can score some big time come-ups; I once came a cross a bunch of bottles of Selvarey rum marked down to $10 each, I bought all but three (so as not to be a total dick, and let somebody else enjoy the deal too). The other day, I saw a whole boatload of Beard Guyz (you know, the company that makes the remarkably meh beard butter that I reviewed months ago, and spells their name wrong on purpose, because "speling wurdz rong om purpoz iz kool", or something) beard serum. Now I wasn't about to buy out their whole stock because I couldn't hardly see myself enjoying this product that much that I'd need a dozen bottles or so, especially considering the fact that I have more beard-care products than I could possibly use in multiple years sitting on a shelf in my master bathroom linen closet...but I figured that this would be a good opportunity to review something that I might not normally feel compelled to (the goal of this page is, after all, to review all types of beard care, not just small-batch indie brands). My last experience with this brand obviously wasn't the best, but this is a brand that does seem to have a bit of a following, so let's keep an open mind, and see if we aren't pleasantly surprised by this stuff...
Not much of a scent to speak of...which is good, considering the fact that their butter had this weird linseed oil funk to it. If I really focus, I get a sort of chemical-tinged-citrus, hairspray smell, but it's so faint that I'm not going to count it either way. If you're sensitive to strong scents, you should totally be in the clear with this stuff.
How does it work?
Upon opening this product, I was shocked by the apperance, it didn't look like anything else in my collection, it was this pale, thin, cloudy liquid that I honestly wasnt sure about putting in my beard, but I decided for the sake of this review I'd soldier on (In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit that I only used this stuff twice, but I feel like it told me everything about itself that it needed to know after just two applications). This jarring apperance, made me think...what exactly is a beard "serum" and how does it differentiate itself from a beard oil? I remember not being very wowed by the serum from Scotch Porter, but it still looked and acted like an oil. So I decided to do a little homework, on the Beard Guyz (with a "z") website, they didnt offer any answers, just they typical "blah blah blah you'll look so cool blah blah blah" that they seem to have as the description on every product page, and an allusion to the fact that their serum has a higher concentratin of *ugh* "grotein" (In case you missed my review of their butter, "grotein" is the incredibly cringey name that they have given to their proprietary carrier blend). After a bit more digging, I came to the conclusion that there is really no solid definition as to what a beard "Serum" really is, some companies use the name for oils with heavier weight designed for finishing and taming fly-aways, others assign it to whatever snake-oil bullshit they're hucking, that promises to give you the beard of Zeus and add an inch to your ding-dong (just kidding about that last part, but that's how ridiculoulous some of these "put this junk on your beard and watch it grow overnight" claims are...obviously you are all smart enough to know that most beard growth products are bullshit, just take care of your beard, take a good suppliment, drink plenty of water, and your beard will grow just fine...anyway, I'm getting way off track here).
So we can surmise that this particular serum is just beard oil with enough "grotein" in it to turn it cloudy...but what does that translate to when it comes to performance? Well, I'd stop short of saying that performance is anywhing to scream about, but at the same time, this stuff isn't terrible. Tactile slip is actually outstanding (in fact I had to scan through the comically long list of ingredients just to make sure that there was no silicone in this stuff), and absorption is very good. Viscosity is pretty low, and as such it doesnt really feel like a normal dose is enough to get deep down into my beard. It seems to offer a bit of protection, but doesn't do much in terms of making my skin feel hydrated or nourished. Conditioning is okay, imparting some softness to my beard, but again, nothing to get too excited about...it's just "okay". One ingredient in particular had me curious as to whether or not the person who formulated this stuff has a beard; alcohol...So, every now an then you'll see something with "alcohol" in the name on the back of a beard care product, and it usually refers to an alcohol in the scientific sense (any organic compound with a carbon molecule bonded to a hydroxyl group), you'll find these in certain fragrances, and they are generally harmless...but this is something else, this is straight up alcohol, like the rubbing variety, which only serves to dry skin and hair and doesnt offer any beneficial properties for your beard, so it doesn't make sense as to why it's even there...but whatever, maybe it's the secret ingredient in "grotein" or something. Staying power is so-so, definitely the kind of product that will have you reaching for a reapplication or two throughout the course of a day.
The bottom line
The more products I review, the less respect I have for products that treat the customer like they're stupid. The whole "grotein" thing irritates me a bit more than it probably should, but still, I prefer when a company doesn't assume that their customers are idiots (especially those who may not know any better). That being said, this isnt the worst product I've ever tried (far from the best though, that's for sure). Would I recommend this to...well...anybody? Probably not...but I suppose if you happen to see it in the clearance section of your local grocery store marked down to the price of a Snickers bar, and curiosity gets the better of you, you definintely won't feel like you didn't get your money's worth.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Pisum Sativum Sprout Extract, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Arginine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Triethyl Citrate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzoic Acid, D-Limonene, Linalool.
$9.99 at beardguyz.com