Hobo Head Beard Balm Creating a "Desolate" Experience Or A Joyful Collection?
Hobo Head are back once again, getting up close and personal with my beard in a review for the Desolate beard balm. If you haven't already then make sure you jump back to my previous review of their Exile beard oil by clicking HERE!
The continuing hobo theme pulls through and the deeper you dive into their products and the more I apricate the branding. Something which may fly over most heads but for someone like myself who has a proud, extensive collection, I love finding small things which make brands unique. If you haven't figured it out yet then I'm talking about the names for the products. Each product name has a deeper meaning of isolation, segregation, or emotional disconnection, which as a society we try to distance ourselves from the homeless community in a shameful manner. Exile, Pariah, Lorn, Woodsmans Sorrow, Desolate, Citrus Isolation. Do a quick google search for the name meanings, then sit there and show a little sign of recognition to company branding which dives into new layers.
Outside The Tin?
Desolate beard balm comes in a pretty standard silver, screw top container. A clean product label on the front gives the product a nice look however it doesn't scream "PICK ME" from the draw. Still sticking with a colour theme the red "Desolate" writing bounces from the matte black label nicely however perhaps a little more colour is needed to make it pop a little more. On the back is the standard safety guidance which is compulsory as the company is CPSR compliant. The writing is slightly on the small side but there's not many brands I have seen which can successfully put all the relevant information on a tin label and to the reader and not need a magnifying glass.
Inside The Tin?
A quick breakdown of the ingredients shows that Hobo Head continues its use of widely recognised ingredients to ensure consistent quality rather than being and outlandish failure.
Beeswax - Keeps your beard soft and shiny but the goal is to provide styling and strength to ensure your beard stays in place.
Shea Butter - Used as a beard softness to allow better grooming of your mane. Better conditioning for your beard ultimately leads to reduced breakages and hair loss.
Cocoa Butter - This is used to give you the softest of beards and is widely recognised as an absolute must ingredient.
Fractionated Coconut Oil - Used to help decrease split ends and gives a protective barrier to your hair whilst nourishing your skin. Widely recognised as a stunning carrier oil with some amazing benefits however low quality variants can cause havoc to scent profiles and completely ruining batches resulting in this oil being rather temperamental.
Sweet Almond Oil - An all-round oil for enhancing skin and beard hair qualities. Can help acting as a beard growth stimulant but it's main properties are for eliminating dandruff and itchy inflammation.
Jojoba Oil - The current champ of beard carrier oils. A natural replicant of sebum which gives deep nourishment and a protective coating to your beard.
Carrying on with the natural essential blend from the Exile beard oil and this proves to be no different.
Lavender Essential Oil - Helps with anxiety, stress and insomnia.
Citrus Lemon Peel Essential Oil - Helps with stress relief, anxiety and recent studies indicate mood enhancing
Eucalyptus Essential Oil - Helps with nasal and throat problems to help clear congested sinuses.
Hobo Head introduced itself to the beard world using a simplistic and widely proven blend of carrier oils. The beard balm blend is no different and brings a series of ingredients which are aimed to compliment each other without the need to be extravagant.
The balm itself has a medium setting within the tin which saves your fingertips from the deadly scrape. Unfortunately as you scrape the balm out the tin it provides quite a grainy texture which is not necessarily uncommon in small batch brands, however this felt a little excessive than normal. Many reasons can cause this issue over time however considering the balm arrived like this then the finger needs to be pointed at either how the product is being cooked or stored before it was sent across. Whilst this first world problem doesn't put me off however it does mean I need to put in a little more elbow grease than normal to ensure the product has melted down. The balm works surprisingly well despite its initial flaw, giving a decent amount of hold for most of the beard hairs however it wont hold down a full length beard, which means its best suited for medium length beards. General nourishment and hold lasts around the 6 to 8 hour mark with a heavy application.
The aroma release is subtle and pleasant which can be a hard task to achieve when dealing with citrus scents or eucalyptus. The lemon peel zest is first to arrive blended magnificently with the eucalyptus. The combination entwines like the scents are locked in a fight to take control for the dominant scent however equally matching each other. The citrus zest gives a stunning little kick, like a freshly squeezed lemon which is bursting with ripeness whilst the eucalyptus blends behind giving you blast of freshness. The mixture is fantastic and really provides a well worked balance however the lavender feels a little left behind within the dance initially however after around 30min once citrus zest has died down a shallow whiff of lavender emerges to help soothe. Overall the scent profile maxes out at around 2-3 hours in a really nice but basic blend or aromas.
Desolate beard balm has jumped in amongst some of the best UK brands and I think it should hold its head up firm. A new company has created a really nice blend of ingredients to ensure its getting the basics right. The scent profile is uplifting and punchy despite its short duration and the balm does a decent job creating hold for a medium sized beard. There are a few flaws which need to be corrected before it jumps up another level but this experience can only be gained by being in the middle of the industry. A look into the graininess of the balm and ultimately extending that scent duration are all tasks which can be done over time but currently I feel the overall brand is 100% worth getting behind especially if scent duration is not a true deciding factor.