Conditioner is the one part of the beardcare arsenal that gets used the least. Not because it isn't important, but because you really dont want to over condition. I condition my beard every other day (which may be too much for some, but my beard gets wild if I don't keep it on a regular conditioning schedule), as such I just don't buy as many conditioners as I do other products (this, of course translates to me not reviewing as many either). When I saw an ad for this new beard conditioner by Detroit Grooming, I figured if nothing else it would make for a good review on this site. After all, Detroit Grooming Co makes one of my absolute favorite beard butters of all time, and they are definitely one of the more trusted names in the premium beard-care game. Will the combination of a quality pedigree and innovative ingredients result in me having a new favorite conditioner? Let's give it a try and find out...
The Detroit Grooming Co. website describes the scent of this product as "toasted vanilla and amber". I get a sweet toastiness that rides the line between gourmand and vegetal...think coconut macaroons, or amaretto. The scent is definitely on the milder side, but there is a ton of complexity, flashes of vanillin streak across an unctuous, almost nutty base, while a soft warm component that approaches musky but stops just short, hovers elegantly in the background. It's an extemely pleasant couple of minutes while you let this product work its magic on your beard, unfortunately, it's pretty much undetectable after rinsing, I even make it a point to not entirely rinse out my conditioners, and I still can't really smell even a trace of this product when I step out of the shower.
How does it work?
I never thought I'd be "wowed" by a conditioner...but WOW! So this formulation has all the usual suspects that you'd expect from a beard conditioner (aloe, argan oil, shea butter, etc...) but the addition of biotin really seems to boost the performance of this product. Work it into your beard, be patient, take a few minutes to sing along with your music, or wash the rest of your body, or enjoy a shower beer...whatever you do in the shower to kill a few minutes, you'll be glad that you did, because immediately upon rinsing (and remember, try to only rinse like 90% of this product out of your beard, leave juuuuuust a little bit in there) you'll notice that this stuff is different. Even when it's still wet, you'll be impressed by how your beard feels instantly healthier. Upon stepping out of the shower you'll be blown away at how your comb glides through your mane like a swan across the pristine surface of a crystal clear lake, and after blow-drying, you'll be shocked at how luxuriously full your beard looks. Before you put any other products in your beard, do yourself a favor and just run your hand through...soft as butter. There are conditioners, and then there is this stuff, in a class all its own!
The bottom line
I have a very small rotation of conditioners that I use, I enjoy them all, but as of right now, this one is my favorite by a good margin. Considering the generous eight ounce size will last you a good long while, the higher price tag isn't that much of an issue. The performance of this product really sets a new mark, and definitely leaves me tempted to condition every...but I dont.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua),Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Shea Butter Ethyl Ethers, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Unrefined Sea Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Pyrus Maius (Apple) Pectin Extract, Wheat Germ Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borsage) Extract, Phenoxethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Biotin B7, Citric Acid Extract, Essential Oils, and Fragrance
$24.95 at detroitgrooming.com
Kingsmen Beard Club is a brand that has earned a cult following with its Holy Grail beard oil (a product that really does live up to the hype). When visiting the Kingsmen webiste, it's easy to overlook some of the other offerings and go straight for their awesome Holy Grail scent, I mean it's been reviewed by countless YouTube channels and blogs (even this one), to almost universal acclaim...but if you take amoment to check out some of the other scent creations the good folks at Kingsmen have come up with, you'll see some really intreaguing options. I was in the market for a new beard conditioner the other day, and decided that I could use this as the perfect opportunity to try another Kingsmen scent that caught my attention. Will this be another home run on the level of their Holy Grail oil? or am I just putting unrealistic expectations on Kingsmen to capture lightning in a conveniently sized 4 oz. bottle again? Let's give it a try and see...
Billed as a blend of lavender, citrus, mixed berries, sandalwood, and rum spice, the Black Knight scent is advertised on the Kingsmen website as a "cologne type" scent, and I wouldn't argue with this description. Once again, Kingsmen has managed to create a scent that smells more like a pricey cologne than your typical beard care product. I pick up a lot of woodsy sweetness, laced with a floral (not perfumey, but real honest-to goodness-flowering plants) component, and rounded out by a warm, almost amber-like spice. It makes for a really pleasant experience to just close your eyes and inhale deeply in the shower while you wait for this stuff to work its magic. Longevity is about what you'd expect for a conditioner (If you want the scent to hang around, you'd need to buy their entire suite of Black Knight products and layer them). Definitely another winner as far as scent is concerned.
How does it work?
I condition my beard every other day, so it never really gets to the point that it urgently needs deep conditioning, that being said, I dont know that this is a product that you would want to reach for if you were in need of really intensive conditioning...but as an "every day" (or almost every day) conditioner, you can't ask for much more. It seems to be thinner than some other conditioners (but in no means runny/watery), and as such, works into your beard really well, the one drawback to its consistency is that it seems to rinse out really quickly. As I've mentioned before, I try to rinse almost all of the conditioner out of my beard, just leave juuuuuust a little bit in for deeper conditioning throughout the day...the benefits of this practice are somewhat open to debate...but what isn't up for debate is how awesome your mane will feel after you step out of the shower. Your beard will feel soft and managable, and your comb will meet virtually zero resistance as you blowdry. It also imparts a really healthy shine to your beard that only intensifies when you add your favorite oil.
The bottom line
The amazing Holy Grail offerings from Kingsmen throw a long shadow that may cause you to overlook some of their other scents, but if that awesome "church-y" oud isn't your thing, or you're just looking for a conditioner that works as great as it smells, this is definitely one not to be missed. The fact that this stuff can easily compete with conditioners that sell for twice as much, makes it all the more stellar of an product from a brand that clearly knows something about stellar products!
Ingredients: Purified Water, Polawax, Glycerin, Glycerol Monostearate, PVP K30, Cetrimonium Chloride, Safflower Oil, Propylparaben, Crotein SPA, Stearyl Konium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylparaben
$12.49 at Kingsmenbeardclub.com
You've spent months growing an epic beard...youve perfected your routine, you meticulously wash, dry, comb, and oil. You have a different balm for every day of the week, you can even identify the individual components of any random beard oil you work into your beard...you're just that good...but what if I told you that your routine is just a little bit lacking??? Well if you aren't using a quality beard conditioner a couple of times a week, it totally is. We already know that Beardbrand is one of the top names in the premium beard care game, constantly taking standard issue beard care concepts and elevating them to another level. With their beard softener, they've taken the concept of a beard conditioner and made it a uniquely luxurious experience. Is it that one final piece that is missing from your routine? Or is it just another plain old conditioner? Lets find out...
As we discussed in our review of Beardbrand Old Money Styling Balm, the scent isnt exactly accurate to the description. Its nice, just not quite the oak, amber, and pepper blend that I was expecting when I ordered this scent online. That weird "healthfood store" note I found present in their balm is a bit more prominent in their beard softener. Staying power is fine, nothing remarkable, but you can still smell it on your beard after use.
How does it work?
After working a small dab into your beard (pay special attention to the ends), you'll immediately feel this stuff starting to work. There is an ingredient in this that creates just the slightest pleasant tingling sensation on your skin. I find I get best results if I leave this in for at least 2 minutes, after a light rinse (you actually want to leave just a bit of it in), you'll find the results are a beard that is smooth as silk. Your comb will glide through like a hot knife through butter...tangles? nope, knots, nada, split ends? puh-lease...nothing but a healthy, amazingly soft beard that is ready for whatever awesome products you like to finish up with.
The bottom line.
Okay, this is a product that I cannot recommend enough. This is hardcore therapy for even the thickest, crunchiest beards. Now the fact that this product is part of Beardbrand's gold line does mean that it carries a bit more premium of a price tag, so it's up to you as an individual consumer to decide if this is something that you want to make room for in your budget (especially considering that both the white and silver lines offer beard softeners at a more down-to-earth price). The scent, while not unpleasant, is not quite what one might expect when reading the description on the beardbrand site...but that aside, this is by-far one of the more awesome products that you can treat your beard to.
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Fragrance, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Pentaclethra Macroloba (Pracaxi Fruit) Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Coconut Glucosides, Coconut Alcohol, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Panthenol, Glycolic Acid, Soybean Oil, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, and Sodium Hydroxide
$23 at beardbrand.com