Beard Science: Q&A with Beardbrand Founder Eric Bandholz

Did you know if a beard is grown for a year, it’s called a yeard? That if one is grown to the longest length a particular human body can push out, it’s a terminal beard?

Without getting too deep into the finer points of the subculture—let alone the #lumbersexual movement—Beardbrand founder (and Spokane, WA, entrepreneur) Eric Bandholz educates us about Tree Ranger, our current favorite of his beard oil scents, and beards in general.

Images of Bandholz and Beardbrand production facilities in Spokane are courtesy of Bandholz.

Tree Ranger beard oil being bottled; prototype beard oil scents “fresh” and “smoke”

How’s your beard feeling today?
Delightful. I’ve been testing out products and I have four different scents in there right now. There’s a lot going on.

Talk to us about the evolution of the Tree Ranger scent beard oil.
Tree Ranger’s a real fun one. At my beard club in Spokane, WA, I was talking to one of the members, a forester, who did forest management, cut down trees, that kind of thing. I couldn’t remember what his job title was; I’m a little dyslexic at times. I said, “What are you, some kind of tree ranger?” And the name stuck. I fell in love with the name and thought about what a tree ranger would smell like, and nailed down individual notes: pine, cedar wood and eucalyptus. It’s uplifting, big, bold, fresh. It’s a strong smell but the cedar wood is in there to mellow it out.

At what point does stubble become a beard?
Whether you’re wearing real short stubble, or longer, like a terminal beard, a giant beard, you’re part of the facial hair brotherhood. But I would say two weeks is the end of the stubble phase. Beards aren’t measured in length but in time. It’s just part of the culture to know what someone’s committed to wearing a beard. The hallmark of a beardsman is a yeard, which is a year-long beard. That’s about a six-inch beard.

Why is oil good for a beard?
As opposed to head hair, beard hairs grow flat and coarser. They’re not as soft to the touch as head hair. So the oil helps with that. And the average man strokes his beard 720 times per day. When you’re using beard oil, you’re directly feeling that change from rough and course to soft and aromatic every time you stroke your beard. It also helps with beard dandruff and skin moisturizing.

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