Disclaimer: this article includes non-sponsored PR products. Find out more on my disclosure policy here.
Hi all! Hope you’re doing well and enjoying the first week of SPRING! We’ve
suffered endured a harsh winter in Toronto, and as the school year begins to wrap up it’s truly beginning to look like the cold, dark days are behind us at last. I’ve already pulled out my spring scents and am looking forward to spending time outdoors.
SO! I’m a bit rusty at writing reviews these days, but I wanted to share a product that was sent to me a couple months ago for review consideration. I originally thought I was going to do a video demo and review, but as you’ll read that turned out not to be necessary. This PR sample was organized by the fine folks at the Canadian Beauty Bloggers network, so shout-out to them for getting this into my hands. I’ll be using stock images because I was too excited to remember to photograph the products before using and abusing them. Like I said, I’ve become rusty!
The brand in question is called Wise Men’s Care, and they’re an indie type hair products range specifically marketed to men. Now, you know how I feel about beauty products aimed for only a particular gender, so I’ll start by saying this: these products are 100% unisex. There is nothing about them as far as I can tell that would make them unsafe or unsuitable for use by anybody at all. I understand that the brand was born out of a barbershop, but I doubt women (and others) will turn their noses up at the brand’s key promises. They are: use natural, clean ingredients to create locally produced, naturally scented products in recyclable, reusable, reduced, and renewable packaging. Best yet, they’re a Canadian brand out of Quebec.
I was sent to review the Birch Bark Daily Shampoo ($34*) in the minimalist refill bag, designed to be poured into a reusable dispenser and use a fraction of the plastic required for a traditional bottle (see photo above). It looks like one of those folding canteens for hikers, and has a small hole to be hooked onto a backpack (excellent for camping!). You can also choose to order in a glass jar, but the bag is a superior value. I will say that the cap on the bag doesn’t always screw on tightly, so watch out for leaky spills. I can be pretty picky with my shampoos, because I like something that lathers (but not too much!), smells nice, gets styling products out of my hair, and doesn’t strip my hair of its natural oils. As someone with dry, curly hair, it is important to me to wash it with only the gentlest products.
I have to say, beyond the innovative packaging, this shampoo is a real pleasure to use. It is made with lots of essential oils that nourish and cleanse the hair and scalp, as well as keratin to strengthen the hair. At the heart of the formula is white birch extract from the Boreal forest, rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. The shampoo lathers slightly, smells natural and not perfumed, and washes through everything easily. I will say I typically use more than the recommended amount, even though my hair is short, because I enjoy the extra slip. My hair has never been so happy nor healthy as when I used this shampoo, and I not only recommend it, I will be repurchasing it. I love that the formula isn’t poisoning our water supply, and when I’m finished with it I can toss it in the recycling bin and not feel guilty! Five star product right here, which is why I wanted to take the time to write about it.
Now for the other product that I received, which is the Glacier Clay Pomade ($32*). This, I’m afraid, doesn’t live up to expectations. The hard clay is difficult to get out of the jar, work into the palms, and distribute through hair. It loves to bunch up in spots, and pull out a ton of hairs as you work it in. It delivers hold, but at the cost of being sticky and pliable, not ideal for winter toques despite the name. It also lends a bit of a white cast to dark hair. Even though it has the chicest jar packaging, I got rid of this one after less than a month. I did try a sample of the Red Maple Cream Pomade ($32*) and that one was a lot nicer, so perhaps looks into that one instead. I found it easier to manipulate and more nourishing.
So that’s it, I just wanted to talk about how awesome that shampoo was and perhaps give you a heads up on the clay pomade. I really like what this brand is doing overall and will be following to see what they do in the future! They have a limited range (the three products mentioned plus a couple of sets), but in the future I would love to see a variety of shampoo scents, body products, and maybe even grooming and skincare. Let me know if you end up checking out anything from Wise! Until next time…
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*Prices true at time of writing.