Our Honest Amish Beard Balm Review
Honest Amish is probably one of the "biggest names in the game" when it comes to beard products, and of all their offerings, their beard balm is probably their best-known.
Like most well-known products, there's a lot that's been said about it. It was one of the first beard balms that really seemed to "reach the masses," so to say, and everyone seems to have something they like—or don't like!—about it.
So, in the post below, we'll throw our two cents in and provide our Honest Amish Beard Balm review. We’ll take a close look at different aspects of the balm, from its ingredient makeup, to its scent and texture, to how it actually performs. And for those of you who value brevity, we’ll start with a quick overview. Let’s get to it:
Summary: Honest Amish Beard Balm
As far ingredients go, Honest Amish is "top of the pops"—all of the oils, butters, and waxes in the concoction are all-natural and create a really nice balance and feel. It provides a great deal of moisturizing for skin and hair, and while it's not a homerun when it comes to styling capabilities, it's better than most other balms (and if you really need sculpting capability, you may want to check out the Honest Amish Heavy Duty Balm, which we discuss below). Some people—ourselves included—love the sweet-but-not-flowery-or-overpowering scent, but that's a subjective measurement, and there are plenty of folks who don't like it. All in all, worth the hype, in our humble opinion, and a great option.
Alright! And now for you lovers of detail out there...
Honest Amish: What We Liked
We’ll start with the most obvious feature:
The Scent is a Little Mysterious and Very Pleasant
Creating a scent is a really tricky and difficult task. Not only is it difficult to mix fragrances into something new and enticing, it's hard to sell them—because after all, people don't know the experience of a new scent until they get a whiff of it.
That's why so many beard balms—and more particularly, so many beard oils—stick to single-scent concoctions. They're just easier, and people usually know the experience of a single scent. You either know what it smells like or you don't.
So that's why we think Honest Amish has accomplished something significant with their beard balm scent. It's a mixture of clove, anise, and cedar—three ingredients that you'd never really consider mixing together—and it's a really pleasant concoction. The clove adds some sweetness, the anise (which is used in licorice and liquors like Sambuca or Uozo) adds a little kick, and the cedarwood... honestly, we're not certain what the cedarwood does—we couldn't really smell it. It's a sweet scent mixture, and the anise is really pleasant, because it's not too strong. It doesn't have that strong licorice scent—it's more just a sweet, perky scent.
There are a bunch of other scents in there—lavender, grapefruit, and coconut—but those don't come through as much, and (our guess is that) they're more for balance. There's cinnamon leaf, as well, and that comes through (a little bit—it doesn't smell like cinnamon, per se).
Altogether, it's kind of "lively" scent—but not overpowering, the way some menthol or pine scents can be—and it's not too gentle, either, which is a trap that sandalwoods, bay rums, and various liquor-based scents can fall into. If anything, it has a similar "feel" to a citrus scent, in that it's kind of perky, with some sweetness behind it. It doesn't smell like citrus—we should be clear about that—but it has that same kind of experience.
So... in a word, "pleasant!"
We should mention, however, that while *we* like the scent... not everyone does! In fact, there are some people who straight-up hate it. They either dislike clove, or sweeter scents, or this scent mixture in particular.
And, listen: discussing scents—especially signature scents, that are unlike any other because they're a combination of scents—is just about impossible. There's no real way we could tell you whether you'll like it or you won't, other than providing broad descriptions of our experience of the scent. We would say, however, that if you dislike sweet scents—again, not that this is overly sweet!—but if you dislike sweet scents, this may not be a perfect fit for you.
The Texture Achieves a Delicate Balance
Every beard balm has its own ingredient list, and that makes for a broad range of textures. Some are waxy or brittle—and Smooth Viking falls into that category), whereas others are more "goo-ey," or even pasty (and Clubman Pinaud would fall into that category). There's no "right" consistency, really—it's whatever you like, and whatever works for you—and ultimately the ingredient list determines the texture. Here’s what Honest Amish Beard Balm looks like:
It seems to fall mid-range in terms of consistency, right between "waxy" and "pasty." It's easy to spread, but consistent (most of the time, anyway, and we'll discuss that later), and that balance is probably due to all the nut butters in the formulation. Honest Amish includes Cocoa Butter, Kokum Butter, and Shea Butter—that's more than many beard balms, which usually just include Shea Butter and that's it—but it also includes a range of waxes, including Candelilla Wax, Soft and Silky Emulsifying Wax, and Organic Yellow Beeswax. That, too, is more than many beard balms, which usually include beeswax and call it a day. That wax enables it to provide you with some hold (and if you can click here for before-and-after photos of Honest Amish Beard Balm and the hold it provides).
So what, exactly, does it feel like? What's the experience of the "balanced" texture? It's soft and smooth with a little bit of graininess—not course or sandy, but more like the icing on a cake.
The Ingredient List is Pretty Fantastic
The ingredient list is really the most important thing about any beard product (even though we seem to spend all our time talking about scents!). As per their Facebook page, Honest Amish promises to stick to all-natural, all-organic ingredients:
"We use absolutely NO chemicals, NO man-made preservatives, NO fake fragrances, or colorants in any of our products. All oils and butters used are organic and natural infused with over 15 hair enhancing and strengthening wild harvested botanicals."
So, that's a great starting point, and the ingredients themselves are pretty wonderful, as well. According to the Honest Amish product page, the formulation contains...
The following butters: Organic Cocoa Butter, Kokum Butter, White Refined Organic Shea Nut Butter
The following waxes: Candelilla Wax, Soft and Silky Emulsifying Wax, Organic Yellow Beeswax
The following oils: Lavender Oil Bulgarian, Organic Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Grapefruit (Pink) Oil, Star Anise Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Clove Bud Oil, Virgin Organic Argan Nut Oil, Golden Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Castor Oil, Extra Virgin Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil Extra Virgin RBD Organic Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, RBD Organic Coconut Oil
...and that's it! Nothing odd or chemically-sounding, and all those agents—the butters, waxes, and oils—are included to soften hair (it is a conditioner, after all), stop beard itch and flaking/dandruff, and fortify whisker roots. That's really what a beard balm is supposed to be about—skin conditioning and hair care.
There's something else we like about their approach to balm-making, and that is...
The Tin is Recyclable
...and we love that, because that's not always the case. Another beard balm we like—Clubman Pinaud—is made in 5 PP plastic, which is very difficult to recycle. Here's a canister of Clubman Pinaud Balm:
And if you look, you can see that small triangle with the “5” in it here:
So it's fantastic that Honest Amish takes serious efforts to be green. According to their site, they promise that their products are "packaged in a 100 percent recyclable tin that is fully biodegradable, re-usable, and will not leach like a plastic container."
Now, because no Honest Amish Beard Balm review would be complete without some complaints, we’ll give you:
Honest Amish: What We Didn't Like
So, by and large, we give this one the old two-thumbs up—in fact, this is one of our favorite beard balms out there (with Viking Revolution Beard Balm and their Viking Revolution Beard Balm 4-Pack (affiliate link) being the other one).
But, alas, nothing is perfect, and here's where we'd deduct points, if we were to do so:
Con: It Can Sometimes "Bead Up" in the Tin
This is, perhaps, the biggest "con" that comes with Honest Amish Beard Balm: every once in a blue moon, it can "bead up" in the tin and look like oatmeal with too much water in it. Or, sometimes, it can melt a little bit, and it looks more like a liquid than the stiff semi-solid it's supposed to be.
This isn't a *common* problem—we've ordered dozens (if not hundreds!) of tins of this balm over the years, and it's only happened once or twice, but it has been known to happen.
It's probably due to the contents of the balm—after all, it is mostly wax and butter and oil, and that can be tough to keep in a semi-solid state. But that issue is also caused by what's *not* in the ingredient list, and that would a lot of the synthetic compounds that cosmetics companies/beard companies sometimes use to keep their products from melting/congealing in the tin. Honest Amish only uses all-natural ingredients—and they remind us of that again and again!—and that can mean the product doesn't age well in the canister.
It happens. Again, it doesn't happen often at all—at least in our experience—but it's something we thought we should mention.
It's Been Said That This Beard Balm Will Encourage Beard Growth, and That's Misleading
People often claim that beard balms and beard oils "encourage beard growth," and we want to be comment on that, because it's not exactly the case.
There are certain products—usually those which contain minoxidil—that seem to be able to create hair growth, but the verdict is still out on them. We're not talking about those here—that's a discussion for another time—we're talking about beard products that they say "encourage growth," or some language like that.
When beard balms and beard oils mean when they say they "encourage growth" is that they "encourage an environment on your skin that can help hair naturally grow." In other words, beard balms and beard oils hydrate the skin and open pores, and that can encourage whisker growth—if your body is already capable of growing whiskers. If you're not capable of growing whiskers, beard balms and beard oils won't enable you to grow whiskers.
So, be careful when you come across claims like that—they don't mean that you'll magically grow a huge, bushy beard overnight. We're not aware that Honest Amish has made any claims like that, but we've heard people repeat the claim that this beard oil or that beard oil can increase whisker growth, and that's not the case.
It Provides a Good Deal of Hold, But Not Enough for Sculpting
We mentioned earlier that there are three different waxes in the Honest Amish formulation, and that's more than many other beard balms—and it does seem to provide more hold than plenty of other beard balms. The only one that we would compare it to, in terms of hold, would be Clubman Pinaud, which also has a lot of wax in it.
If you're *really* looking for hold, though, you may want to kick it up a notch, and in that case, we would suggest the following two Honest Amish products:
> Honest Amish Heavy Duty Beard Balm. This is still a balm, so it has all the same conditioning features of the regular beard balm, but it's formulation to provide a little more stiffness than the regular balm. This is usually a better choice for guys with really long / really full beards. If, after using the Heavy Duty Balm, you still need a little structure, you can opt for
> Honest Amish Beard Wax. We all talk about the resurgence of beards in the last ten or fifteen years, but what we don't seem to mention is the resurgence of the size of those beards. The real come-back story when it comes to beards is BIG beards. If you want to shape a big beard, we think this is the real deal, and it a very high wax content. It's for when you have serious sculpting needs or need to tamp down fly-aways. Because of the higher wax concentration in the formula, you really need to warm it a bit and work it into your beard, and that's true at the end of the day, as well—because of the higher wax content, it takes a little more work to get out of your beard, as well. If you want to sculpt, this is usually what we recommend—we think it's "best in class" for serious shaping.
Our Spidey-Sense Perks Up When Someone Insists They're Honest...
...but with Honest Amish, we've always gotten the sense that they're for real. We don’t know the actual number of actual Amish people who work for the company—maybe that number is zero?—but the company’s ingredients are all-natural, the scent is pleasant and sweet but not cloyingly so, the tin is recyclable, and most importantly, in our experience, it does it's supposed to do: it conditions, imbues hydration to whisker and skin, and provides a little bit of hold.
So we're big fans. You may not like the scent—some people don't—and as we mentioned, once in a blue moon, the are some "congealing" issues when it comes to consistency. Other than that, though, we have nothing but high praise for Honest, and it's one of our favorite beard balms. We hope your Honest Amish Beard Balm review helps—be good, have fun, and happy beard!