We named our company “Modern Barbarian Beard Company” because we like to think of ourselves as fervent enjoyers of life’s simple pleasures, a trait found in many men who are heroes in the stories we will tell forever. One of those simple pleasures, of course, is a well-grown, well-groomed beard.
We find the word barbarian to be a complimentary term, as life has much to offer those who embrace it wildly and deeply. Appropriately, “barba” also means beard in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
One of our favorite ‘barbaric’ cultures is that of the Old Norse. There are those who feel Vikings weren’t technically barbarians in that they actually had a very sophisticated society, and besides, sometimes people from Barbary are called Barbarians, and Scandinavia is pretty far away from Barbary. In the context of the “Modern Barbarian” brand, calling the Vikings ‘barbarians’ (with a lower case ‘b’) suits us just fine, because we mean it to be a term that describes a people who were wild and ancient and not necessarily from any specific geographic region, for whom we have much admiration.
Because the Vikings lived life heartily and had exceptionally advanced and meticulous grooming habits for their time, we chose to depict a bearded Viking on our label as a representation of our brand, which we hope conveys the spirit that our products allow modern men to heartily enjoy a clean, trimmed, well groomed beard in the tradition of the men who came before.
The Clean Viking Beard
The Vikings had many sources of masculine pride, ranging from the ability to hold their drink and fend off an enemy to their ability to attract women. Of course, they and many of their Iron Age contemporaries were known for their exceptional beardery.
To many, the word “Viking” conjures the image of a huge smelly man with a giant, out-of-control beard full of filth, food scraps, lice, and maybe even splatters of blood from the last battle he fought. If you’re one of the ones who thinks of them this way, you’re going to need to stop right now.
Based on the personal confessions of jealous men from other cultures, we know that Vikings visitors had a great interest in the sport of wooing women, and to that end they were fastidious groomers. They washed their hands before every meal and made sure to wash their face, hair and beard in a bowl of water and give it all a quick comb-through before emerging into the world each morning. That’s more than can be said for some contemporary men!
Archaeologists have confirmed that Vikings were buried with their most treasured objects so they would have them in Valhalla. Surprisingly, along with swords, axes, and drinking horns, many Viking men were buried with their combs and other grooming tools. Their combs were made from horn or animal bone, and were either one piece carved with individual teeth, or many pieces which included a base and separately attached teeth.
Our beard comb is made from the same material as the horn combs found in Viking burial sites, but its modern shape makes it more comfortable to hold.
Much like us, Viking men loved to style their beard length and shape according to what was in fashion. Some used beeswax like that found in our Beard Balm to shape or curl their mustaches, or to blend them into their long sideburns. The first step to growing a beard has always been determining what you can grow, and after that it’s all about figuring out what works best for you based on your face shape, your beard hair’s texture, and your preferred style.
We feel that if our bearded ancestors didn’t need modern chemicals and soaps in their daily beard regimen, then neither do we. We use all natural, ethically sourced animal horn and hair to make our comb and brush, which work together to strengthen your beard hairs by distributing natural oils without introducing harmful static or snagging while detangling. We also suggest conditioning, moisturizing, and protecting your beard with a few drops of our natural beard oil and subtly gaining control of the shape of your longer beard with a thumb of Modern Barbarian beard balm.