I find it somewhat odd that even though salt-sprays have gained a little bit of traction among beard-care enthusiasts, to my knowledge there is only one beard-specific salt spray out there; the Beardbrand offering, which is worth checking out. I suppose it could just boil down to the fact that your beard has different needs than the hair on your head, and maybe nobody else really wants to put in the hours trying to re-formulate this product to be beard-specific? Who knows? Now, as I've said before, I have absolutely don't intend to make a habit of reviewing non beard-specific produtcs on this site, but since I purchased this stuff solely for use in my beard (the only styling my male-pattern baldness having self does on my head hair, is to go over it once a week with a #1 guard on my clippers), so I figured that this product was worth talking about. Of course, there is some debate as to whether or not salt sprays do more harm than good in your beard, and I'm certainly not going to be the one to try and argue the point that putting salt in your beard on a daily basis is a good idea. I don't use a salt spray every day, but I do find that on days when my beard is looking/feeling a little "meh", a good couple of shots of salt spray seem to breathe new life into it...your mileage, of course may vary.
Captain Blankenship is an interesting brand that I just recently came across (a few weeks ago, when I picked up this spray, to be exact). Based out of the Hudson River Valley, they aim to make luxurious products for hair and skin utilizing only the finest all-natural ingredients (Unfortunately they dont seem to have any dedicated beard-care products just yet). Their company ethos seems to center on sustainability and good environmental practices, which is definitely commendable. Their salt spray jumped out at me because it seemed to boast a solid lineup of natural ingredients, including some moisturizers that were no doubt added to counteract the drying effect that salt can have on skin and hair. Is this somehting that you'll want to go out of your way to pick up? Only one way to find out...let's take it for a spin...
In a word...unpleasant...
There's this fresh lemongrass bouquet at the very front end of this scent, but that quickly plummets off of whatever ladder it was climbing, and lands with a thud into a briney, unclean miasma that vaguely reminds me of stagnant pond water, I'm not sure what they were going for here, but they missed the mark so badly that this scent doesnt even warrant me taking the time to write one of my usual colorful descriptions about it. Luckily this smell dissapates quickly, but holy smokes, it's bad.
How does it work?
There are plenty of great videos out there explaining the benefits and risks of salt spray...and I'm not going to dispute that salt sprays can have a very drying effect on my beard if I go too many days in a row using them...but as I touched on before, I find that on days when my beard may be looking a little lifeless, or one of my patchy spots is bugging me a little more than usual, I'll reach for the salt spray and that'll usually do the trick, leaving my beard looking its best again. This particular product does a fantastic job when it comes to that, I find that on days when my beard is just looking "flatter" for lack of a better term than usual, this product adds just the perfect amount of volume and texture while still maintaining a lighter-than-air in-beard feel. I also appreciate the addition of aloe vera, as it helps to keep dryness at bay...but be that as it may, (I know I'm about to start sounding like a broken record here, but I cannot stress this enough...) do not use a salt spray every day, no amount of moisturizers can prevent the split ends, breakage, and other all around nastiness that can result from drying out your face and beard. So just because the aloe in this product can help keep your beard from drying out right away, doesn't mean that the salt wont eventually wreack havok on your beard (practice safe salt). Dramatic warnings of dryness aside, another thing that I really like about this product is the fact that it doesn't seem to leave any sort of sticky/gritty residue like other sprays I've tried before have. I find that the amount of hold this product imparts is excellent, especially when paired with a stiff balm. If you read the instructions on the bottle, this stuff also touts itself as a dry shampoo, now this goes without saying that you shouldnt dry shampoo your beard. I mean, you do know that the hair on your head is different from the hair in your beard, and dry shampooing your beard will leave undesirable buildup that can clog pores and ultimately lead to stunted beard growth, right? I'm sure you do...At the end of the day, this can be a worthwhile tool to have in your beard-care arsenal, and while it may not be a product that you get a ton of mileage from, on those days when your beard is looking and feeling like it could use a little extra love, you'll be glad you have it.
The bottom line
Even though I just told you multiple times that this is not an every day product, ultimately, it (and salt sprays in general) is nothing to be afraid of, just like any other beard care product there is a bit of learning involved before you can determine if it's for you. If you arent really familiar with salt sprays, I suggest educating yourself a little before deciding if you're even interested in trying them. There are a lot of great YouTube videos explaining both the pros and cons of using this stuff. If after absorbing some knowledge on the subject, you find your interest is still piqued, my personal suggestion would be to grab a reasonably priced spray like this one, and just give it a try for yourself, determine what works best for you, or if it is even something you really feel you need. The invenstment is minimal, and aside from the dreadful scent, this is one of the better performing products from a performance standpoint, that I've tried in this category. Now if you are the kind of guy who already keeps a good salt spray or two in their beard care arsenal, this is definitely one worth checking out, for all the same reasons I mentioned above.
Ingredients: Water, Maris Sal (Dead Sea Salt), Rosa Rugosa Fruit Extract, Lupinus Albus Seed Extract, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, Lauroyl Lysine, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Capryl/Capryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Citric Acid, Polyglyceryl-6 Oleate, Sodium Surfactin, Pinus Sylvestris (Pine) Leaf Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil, Phytic Acid, Tocopherol, Guaiazulene, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide.
$15 at captainblankenship.com