Nathan & Son, A True Family Business Part 2
Updated: Feb 15, 2021
Nathan & Son are back again with their Vanilla Latte beard balm. This can be used in conjunction with the Vanilla Latte oil which you can check you my review for by clicking HERE.
Outside The Tin
As previously stated in oil review, Nathan & Son have gone through a rebrand with their labels. Instead of the faded wood design which was previously slapped across their product they have now opted for a more modern look with a dark grey / black background with a stand out white font. This is all slapped on a standard silver screw top tin with a 30ml variant ready for use. The packaging doesn't scream for attention despite the recent rebrand but the tin is simple and effective. No gimmicks, no fancy applicators just widely used and approved packaging.
Inside The Tin
This is where things begin to get interesting and for me its the first bit of spark to truly get me intrigued. Whilst ingredients are not everyone's interest but for me these are the pillars to a great brand and indicates how adventurous the owners want to be.
Vitamin E Blended In Sunflower Oil - Sunflower oil has its benefits within the beard however widely seen in the small batch community as almost a "filler" product however pump it with Vitamin E and a whole new level of goodness comes through. Could this also be achieved via applying these products separately or does the mix have an ulterior effect?
Organic, Unrefined, Food Grade Cocoa Butter - A highly desirable product used to help with the beard and skin moisture retention. High grade products are better for the user and provides better nourishment.
Organic White Beeswax - Another interesting ingredient as natural beeswax is normally yellowish in colour and for it to be turned white it undergoes additional process of extraction creating an additional layer of man made interference. Whilst most beeswax is labelled organic but using "true" organic beeswax is extremely hard to monitor as bees can fly in an 8 mile circumference to search for pollen, which makes its almost impossible for the bee keeper to ensure every plant which the bees visited was organic and not treated with any form of pesticides. The industry is massively unregulated and despite products being labelled as organic from the source its an absolute minefield to monitor. Sourcing true organic beeswax is not an easy thing to do and very few companies around the world can supply this demand with appropriate evidence to prove otherwise. Beeswax is used ultimately for styling but minimal benefits of softening the beard hair.
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. This ingredient is also used within the oil.
Grapeseed Oil - Acts as a cleansing agent to remove excess sebum which reduces hair growth however also helps increase blood flow to the hair follicles. This ingredient is also used in the oil.
The ingredients are not massively outlandish but it is great to see that Nathan & Son have pushed the boat out a little more compared to the oil using high grade ingredients. The way the products are label have peaked an interest and is very different than most other brands. There are no Latin names which is a legal requirement, however a quick word with Nathan himself and that's now all being sorted. They also appear to be very proud of their sourcing methods by using organic, unrefined and high grade ingredients which is fantastic and something companies should ultimately achieve to ensure the best products are being made. You don't normally see this type of labelling on a product because of the guidelines imposed on UK / EU products and I think this more to do with the inexperienced within the beard sector rather than anything else.
The beard balm itself is a medium to firm holding balm whilst sitting within its metal container. Scraping the balm out the tin is not a laborious task however its something which may need a few digs with the fingernail to ensure you get enough. Unfortunately the balm was not sticking to the tin which meant I had the pleasure of the balm constantly spinning like a merry-go-round every time I tried to dig some out but a giggle from my daughter behind made me see the lighter side of things.
The balm rubs down relatively well with no inconsistencies or lumps and becomes translucent quickly enough leaving a tangible oily reside. Apply to the beard and it rubs through like an oil and doesn't pull or tug which some firm balms can do. After applying there is a slight residue left over on your hands which feels slightly greasy but not much more than most other balms. Shaping your beard with the balm is a smooth process and it can manage virtually all of the unruly hairs into your desired style. It's not a true pinpoint hold however its enough to handle most beards into a presentable style minus any true definition which can be applied with a wax for moustaches etc.
The scent profile is an almost identical match for the oil which is great as too many times and oil and balm can smell different due to the additional ingredients. Like the oil it's a true coffee powerhouse with softer hints of vanilla which back up creating a smoother aroma. Even before you open the balm lid the aroma is seeping through the crevices but sitting within your beard then your going to get continual whiffs of coffee lasting 10+ hours with a balm nourishment to last around the same sort of time.
The balm and oil combo is a journey which all coffee lovers needs to elope on. It's has a scent strength which is up there with some of the best within the UK market at the moment and provides you with instantaneously flashbacks of coffee shops spread around the globe, hosting gatherings of friends in a joyous environment which in our current climate feels like a lifetime ago.
The branding is simply not to my taste which does need updating and I feel as such a young company there is a lot to learn but this does come with experience and community comradery which will guide this company to new heights.
The balm has a good hold and does exactly what it needs to providing an adequate level of nourishment and whisker management. It's not flashy or fancy but I feel the basics are right and that is an important stepping stone for the future.