August 18, 2017

Help for the hirsute

Observer courtesy photo Jason Gross, a lifelong beard wearer, has launched Vermont Beard and Mustache Company.

Observer courtesy photo
Jason Gross, a lifelong beard wearer, has launched Vermont Beard and Mustache Company.

Observer courtesy photo Vermont Beard and Mustache Company sells beard oils and shaving oils.

Observer courtesy photo
Vermont Beard and Mustache Company sells beard oils and shaving oils.

Local launches beard care line

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Jason Gross has had a beard nearly all his life, normally trimmed short. But an office beard-growing competition got him started on a new career path.

“It got itchy and scraggly, and I shaved it because I couldn’t stand it,” he said. “I thought, ‘How do guys get their beards so long?’”

He started looking into products designed for beards, with mixed success.

“I found some that worked fairly well but also weren’t the products I ultimately wanted,” he said. “I did some research and started creating my own.”

Gross launched Vermont Beard and Mustache Company in Williston, with a line of beard oils and shaving oils. All his oils are made with organic or wild-harvested ingredients.

“Most men haven’t taken care of their beard,” he said, largely because they don’t realize there are products out there for beard care.

While it stands to reason that hair on your face should be taken care of like hair on your head, many men have never heard of conditioning their beards.

“That’s the most exciting thing,” he said. “Once you break the ice that there’s a product out there, having that available for them.”

Nanci Bevilacqua, who owns Bugatti Barbers in Burlington, sells and uses the oils in her shop.

“It wasn’t something that just sat on the surface. It actually penetrates the hair follicle as well as nourishes the skin, and that’s huge for beard oils,” she said. “The clients love it.”

The oil soothes dry skin and hair without being greasy, Gross said.

“Beard oil basically mimics your natural sebum, which is a blend of nourishing benefits for your skin and your hair,” he said.

Gross said it took him a little while to come around to the idea of putting oil into his facial hair, but he’s now a convert.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but beard oils are very light, they aren’t meant to be basically motor oil,” he said.

Now, he is able to grow his beard out without irritation.

“It doesn’t get wiry and scratchy or itchy like it used to,” he said. “A lot of guys have issues with the four- to six-week mark. Skin can get very irritated and dry. I don’t have that issue anymore.”

Vermont Beard and Mustache Company products are in 10 local stores and barbershops—including Natural Provisions Market in Williston—and available online at vermontbeard.com

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