There are a number of different companies out there offering quality facial hair products, and most of them can be classified as a “local business”, so support of these businesses can help support your local economy. But don’t be fooled, plenty of these local businesses can have a national reach, and such is the case with the company I’m reviewing products from today; the Kentucky-based Grandpa Brands Company.
Let’s have a look where you can find the Grandpa Brands Company on the web:
I came across Grandpa’s Wonder Pine Tar Soap when looking for a beard soap. The longer I grew my beard, the harder I found it to manage. I know there is a school of thought that says beard growers should not wash their beards everyday, because it strips the natural oils that keep your beard healthy. However, I’m the type of person that needs to wash my beard everyday. I do not necessarily engage in strenuous activities that get it particularly dirty, but I’m obsessive enough that I need to wash it everyday. As it started to get longer, I noticed that no combination of shampoo and conditioner or regular bar soap would give me the results I wanted.
I did some research on the Grandpa’s Brands company and was pleased to learn that their operations are now based in Kentucky; I was then fortunate enough to find the Pine Tar Soap at a local health foods store, and then requested some from the Grandpa’s company for purposes of this review. I received some of the Pine Tar bar soap to review in addition to some of the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
First up, let’s have a look at the most well-known product of the Grandpa’s arsenal; the Pine Tar Soap. Don’t have time to read the full review? No problem, visit The Tale of the Tape.
The Pine Tar Soap is a dark brown color, but as the box states, it lathers white. I was able to create a nice, thick lather very easily. I used the 4.25 oz bar, and found this to be a great size – very easy to hold onto, and it lasted for a good amount of time despite daily use.
Cleansing and manageability
Clearly, for a soap to be effective, it has to clean well. The pine tar soap thoroughly cleansed my beard with each use, even at time after I’d been working in the garage on some woodworking projects with a lot of sawdust. However, an equally important quality on which soap needs to be evaluated is manageability. With manageability, I evaluate how my beard feels after use, and after drying off. A good beard soap will leave your beard feeling moisturized and easy to manage after use. You should be able to easily brush or comb your beard afterwards, and a good beard soap will set up your beard for application of any post-washing conditioning products like a beard oil or beard balm. The Grandpa’s soap offers great manageability as well; my beard felt good after each use and was very easy to work with.
The Pine Tar Soap has a strong smoky scent, reminiscent of a campfire. It is a strong scent that’s not for everyone, but I enjoyed it a great deal. If you’re concerned about the strength of the scent, it does fade fairly quickly after washing the soap out, but the scent is strong from the time you receive the package until the time the soap is gone.
Grandpa’s lists the soap prices size – $5.79 for the 4.25 oz. bar, $4.47 for the 3.25 oz. bar, and $1.45 for the 1.25 oz (travel size) bar. Although the soap can sometimes be found at local stores and through other online retailers for slightly cheaper prices, even at these prices, the comparative cost is great, and all of the factors together make this soap a strong buy.
Next up, let’s have a look at the Pine Tar Shampoo, Conditioner, and Bath & Shower Gel. Don’t have time to read the full review? No problem, have a look at the Tales of the Tape.
Like the soap, the Shampoo and Bath & Shower Gel are also brown in color but lather white. As I’m sure you have noticed with other conditioners, conditioners don’t exactly lather, and this was no exception.
Cleaning, conditioning and manageability
The shampoo and conditioner offered many of the same benefits of the bar soap in terms of effectiveness in cleaning my beard, but my preference is to the bar soap. While I did find that my beard was consistently more manageable after using the bar soap versus the shampoo and conditioner, the manageability that the pine tar shampoo and conditioner give is still good, and highly superior to any other shampoo and conditioner combination that I have tried.
I even found that the bath & shower gel works great as a shampoo as well. In fact, since I started using the Grandpa’s pine tar line, I’ve not used any other shampoo or conditioner (for the hair on my head), and when I run out of the shampoo, I always go back to the bath & shower gel to use it as shampoo.
Both the body wash and bar soap rinse off very well and I did not feel like there was a film left on my skin like I have felt with other body washes. All in all, Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap product line is a solid line of products – and I especially would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering using it for washing facial hair.
The scent is still strong, but not nearly as strong with the shampoo, conditioner and bath & shower gel. Additionally, while the smoky notes are still the dominant scent, the shampoo, conditioner and bath & shower gel also have some stereotypically “soapy” undertones that cut down on the smoky aspect.
On the Grandpa Brands website, the Shampoo (8 oz) sells for $12.85, the conditioner for $11.75 and the Bath & Shower Gel (8 0z) sells for $12.85. While this is more expensive than many shampoos, conditioners, and bath and shower gels that most of you have likely tried, I found that I was able to use a smaller amount of shampoo or the bath & shower gel to wash my hair than I would with a typical shampoo, so that greatly extended the life of the bottle. Granted, my hair has never been that long, so those of you with longer hair may find you have to use a little bit more.
While these products may seem expensive, you have to remember to keep things in perspective. When I first saw the prices, I thought “that’s high”, but high compared to what? The shampoo I would normally buy, which was typically the cheapest shampoo I could find at Wal-Mart. When compared to other high-end shampoos and conditioners, the price of the Grandpa’s Pine Tar line is actually on the low end, so if you have a few extra dollars you’re looking to spend, I would definitely recommend checking it out.
Grandpa’s Brands also offers a wide variety of other types of soaps and even some deodorants. To see the full line of what Grandpa Brands has to offer, visit GrandpaBrands.com. Also, be sure to like their Facebook page for more info on products and the occasional giveaway.