This blog will provide details about our products and our industry. Best methods to get the most out of what we offer and how to choose the right product for you - as well as how we stack up against other products you will find in the marketplace.
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There is not a single best way to care for your beard. Maybe that is why all the beard care oracles out there seem so confusing to most men. They each tell you their one way, but that may not be the best way for you. At the core of J&L POGONOTROPHICS is the belief that there is no one true way, nor a single product that works perfectly for all men. No matter what steps you follow, the goal is to have a method that works for your beard as well as your lifestyle.
BRUSHING & COMBING
We start off with these two items as they are often overlooked or added as a footnote. Brushing does more than neaten the appearance and remove loose hair. It is a crucial step to stimulating the follicles and breaking away dead skin from underneath. This is great for a beard of any length or density. For most men, brushes are the best bet. Keep your brush clean by regularly pulling out the loose hair and lint it collects and an occasional hit with a disinfecting spray won’t hurt either.
Combs help untangle hair and can lead to a sleeker appearance. They are not always optimal for all beards as they can damage and pull hair if used improperly. Also, not just any comb will do. Metal, wood or plastic, they all have drawbacks that can potentially rip good hair. It is imperative that the comb you use is smooth in every point and on every surface. No sharp edges or corners present anywhere. Wood combs may pull away moisture if they are not properly finished. Metal quite often has unpolished edges that are jagged or too sharp. Plastic models may have marks from where they were formed in the mold which prevent them from moving through hair evenly. Having a level of “give” and flexibility is very beneficial as you can feel it pulling on hair before it may rip it out.
Rinse or wash, but do clean your beard. Brushing or combing will sweep away some of the dirt and dead skin but it won’t get all the dirt that collects and leads to irritation, dandruff (we call it “beardruff”) and all the environmental elements your beard collects – crumbs, lint, food particles, larger dust and dirt particles for example.
The simplest means of cleaning your beard is to just rinse it well with warm water. Avoid too hot of water. Sometimes that may not be enough. If you have oilier skin or work in environments that produce a lot of humidity and/or dirt then using a gentle soap is ideal. You want a very simple, no frills, shampoo or beard wash that is free of excessive detergents and additives. A soap that produces a lot of natural lather is great as it will suspend the dirt and oils it is removing within the suds. Wet your beard with warm water, apply a small amount of soap and then massage into your hair and scrub your skin as well. Let it lather well and then rinse with colder water. Why? The colder water will allow your hair’s cuticles to close up and lock in the moisture as well as start the oils that the suds removed solidify.
Depending on the oil level of your skin the frequency of washing your beard may vary. Washing daily is not recommended for anybody. Washing more than once a day is totally counterproductive to having great hair. If you need to shower more than once a day, rinse your beard if absolutely necessary. If you are one to shower before and after the gym or working out, leave the washing until after your workout.
First let’s talk about the two means to condition your beard. In the shower and after the shower. We will address in shower conditioning first.
Keep strongly in mind that the hair on your face is nothing like the hair anywhere else on your body. For the vast majority of men their beard hair is closer in grain and density to their pubic hair than the hair on their scalp. The individual hair strands are among the thickest on your body. Thicker strands require more penetrative conditioning. That means, that the hair conditioner you buy for your head will likely not do that great on your beard. Especially if you merely massage the conditioner in and then rinse.
If you try leaving the conditioner in for 2 – 3 minutes before rinsing and use cold water during the rinse you may find a dramatic improvement in the conditioning power.
For most men, that still will not be enough. That is why there are other conditioning products out there. Most common among them is beard oil.
Why add oil to your beard? Natural fruit and nut oils are very high in vitamin E and fatty acids that mimic your body’s own oils. With our modern hygiene methods, we are removing too many of the oils that are good for protecting our skin and hair. Add environmental situations that also strip the oils away. Beard oils work to reapply what we have taken away.
There are hundreds of beard oils, butters and balms on the market. To find a great oil is daunting. Most men will ask a friend what they use and give that a try, often with mixed results. Why is that? Not every beard is the same! What oil works best for one will be worthless for another. Sadly, trial and error is how you find the best oil.
There are things to know to help you rule out some of the beard oils out there. First, it should contain ONLY oils and Vitamin E (which is an oil). Immediately put back any “beard oil” that contains any form of alcohol. You do not want an oil that contains glycerin. As it is a great ingredient to moisturize skin and hair, left in your hair it will pull the moisture out of the hair. Glycerin is a humectant – just like those packets your find in pill bottles, it absorbs moisture. Then there are the “cheap” oils and oils that degrade too quickly. Oils like olive oil are easy to come by and are extremely inexpensive but also don’t work that great and will go rancid very quickly. Look for oils that contain Argan, Jojoba, Almond, Avocado, Apricot, Safflower as the most prominent oils in the formula. These are oils with a long-proven history of being ideal for hair and skin.
Butters and balms provide levels of conditioning as well as styling. Beard Butter were invented by J&L POGONOTROPHICS to be a half way point between an oil and a balm. They are thick, salve like product that deeply condition why helping keep your beard neat in appearance. Not all beard butters were created under this concept and are often merely a balm under another name.
When we came onto the scene with our beard oils there was still a need for something stronger, more penetrative with its conditioning power and helped neaten the appearance of longer, fuller beards.
Many of our friends were shopping the Black Hair Care aisles at their local stores using products designed for coarse and easily dried and damaged hair. These are amazing products for such hair needs we studied what makes them so awesome.
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Through the last 3.5 years we have grown a lot. As a business and as people. What started out as a little side venture has turned into a full time job plus.
From an initial 3 products we are now over 100 unique items we produce and sell.
Our intent and vision was to be different. As founder I have over 25 years experience dealing with retail, inventory management, merchandising and sales, as well as management - that's just my work experience.
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J&L Pogonotrophics LLC
Chicago, IL 60626