Avast, ye swabs! Cap'n Jim here with an insane observation.
It is ten years ago this month that I launched Blackbeard for Men.
In this photo here ye can see a much younger version of me holding up our original product and original packaging. While the design was cool, ultimately this packaging had a big smushing problem. That being, it would constantly get smushed by USPS machines during the shipping process. So we switched to a backing card with a plastic shell like many other cosmetic products.
Ten years ago, at the age of 47, I was already almost completely gray in my beard, mustache and sideburns. Yet except for a few occasional gray hairs, the hair on my head was mostly gray-free. What a bizarre phenomena. Obviously, men's facial hair turns gray first. But why?
Well, who cares? I'm a pirate, not a scientist. What I cared about was getting rid of it. Because it was quite simple: the gray made me look way older.
After trying the leading drugstore beard dye a few times, I gave up. The dyeing process was horrible and time-consuming. But the worst part to me was the smell -- you have to put this terrible, toxic chemical-stinking crap right on your mustache and then directly breathe it in for five minutes. No amount of sage or jojoba oil or other natural-sounding nonsense is going to help that. That cannot be healthy. Arr, why not go suck on car fumes for a few minutes and finish it off by drinking a flagon of battery acid? The stuff smelled AWFUL, and that's because as I found out later, it actually has ammonia in it. You know, the crap they use to scrub the floors in hospitals.
And that's when the itching began. Now I didn't have as bad a reaction as many men have to beard dye -- I didn't get lesions or rashes or sores. What I got was terrible itching all over my chin and neck. It started a few weeks after I dyed my beard for the third time. It was driving me crazy and lasted for days.
But the last straw was: now I don't know about ye fine gentlemen, but my beard grows FAST. And so around 4 days after dyeing, hey great! GREY ROOTS.
Drugstore beard dye = mega fail.
As they say, there has to be a better way. The first thing I looked into were mascaras. I checked out many different brands, and I liked the natural look I got with one or two of them, and the ease of use. But one of them ran in water (no workout for you!) and the other, the waterproof one, faded fast and was gone in just a few hours. Hmm.
But I knew I was onto something. So I started contacting labs the world over, telling them my idea and looking for a partner to help me develop the product. Again, I am not a scientist; I just knew what I wanted it to do, and I needed actual chemists to help me. I found an excellent Taiwan-based cosmetics manufacturer who immediately got what I was going for. We tested dozens of formulations, and after a dry run with an early version of the product that looked great but dried too stiff, we came up with our current Blackbeard for Men Formula X. It's based on a waterproof mascara, but has been tweaked substantially to work better with men's coarse beard hair. The US Patent Office agreed we had created something unique and awarded us a patent.
Arr! And now, ten years on, we look forward to helping all of ye look yer best -- and keeping that dread scourge of gray off yer manly mug. Thank ye all for being trusted mate, lads!
May fair winds always fill yer sails.
Blackbeard for Men