The Brotherhood of the Beard: Wheat City to Nickel City
Nickel City Beard Blends cannot emphasize enough on how excited we are for this one!
From famed sociology professor at Brandon University in Manitoba and award-winning author by day, and pogonophile by night, this incredibly-talented man (aka "Big Beardo") is wise beyond his years.
He has one of the nicest and most well-kept beards we've ever seen...seriously! Introducing our friend Dr. Christopher Schneider!
"I love rocking My Lil’ Cupcake beard oil and balm, and Whisker Wax in my lip curtain.", he said about the photo below.
(Dr. Schneider and his majestic beard pictured here above with All-Natural Canadian Beard & Body Care Products from Nickel City Beard Blends - Steph & Monique, owners of Nickel City Beard Blends, kindly sent him some of their flagship beard care products to sample on his Gandalf and they passed!
His research and publications have focused largely on information technologies and related changes to police work. He has also written or collaborated on five books and has published dozens of scholarly articles, book chapters and essays. He has received award recognition for his research contributions and public service as well as more than a dozen teaching awards and related honours. He is truly a man filled with knowledge and wisdom!
But his journey and passion has no borders. He has traveled the world and met exciting and famous figure heads...
To start, below is Dr. Schneider (right) pictured with Rt Hon. Richard Wagner, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
He's also been privileged to meet some famous rock stars and celebrities you may recognize below...Horns up!
Pretty impressive and exciting stuff, huh? Here's what Dr. Chris Schneider has to say about his evolving journey:
The Brotherhood of the Beard: Wheat City to Nickel City
My beard-growing journey started in Brandon, Manitoba, known as the Wheat City.
I started growing my Karl Marx in January 2016 during a divorce (a familiar story I know). My former spouse loathed face foliage so I figured it was an ideal time to see what I could grow; call it a benign act of hairy defiance. Much to my surprise, I inadvertently found myself a part of a vast community of bearded fellows, what a colleague dubbed “The Brotherhood of the Beard.” I quickly became intrigued. As my beard grew so did my interest in learning much more about beards and the Brotherhood, as it were.
There is a long and full history of beards (dad joke meets professor pun = worst thing ever, but I digress). The research on beards generally falls into two thematic categories, books exclusive to the beard (see Oldstone-Moore’s outstanding book Of Beards and Men - I highly recommend it) and self-help literature focusing on style and grooming advice. Less scholarly attention has focused on how online media and social media like YouTube and Instagram facilitate “The Brotherhood of the Beard.”
The internet paved much of the way for the modern bearded brotherhood. In the 2000s, Jack Passion, a two-time World Beard and Mustache Champion, established himself as a beard celebrity.
Passion (this dude had one seriously epic beard!) sometimes credited as the “first professional beardsman”, parlayed his fame into a what he referred to as his “beard empire” that included his 2009 beard handbook and corresponding blog (now inactive). Passion has since cut his glorious man mane and retired from competitive bearding, however, Passion’s work drew increased attention to beards (including starring in the short-lived 2011 reality TV show “Whisker Wars”) and laid some of the foundation for the contemporary international bearded brotherhood.
As an example, we might consider the Bearded Villains, a worldwide community of bearded fellas dedicated to camaraderie, community and service. Established in 2014 in Los Angeles, the Bearded Villains has spread around the globe, with Instagram as its primary facilitator. Its members are represented in 80 countries across locals like the Northwestern Ontario (nWo) Chapter, close to the home of Nickel City Beard Blends.(co-owner Mr. Pawkz is a full-fledged member of the Bearded Villains).
Nickel City Beard Blends reached out to me recently about a possible collaboration (they were not the first beard care brand to contact me about a partnership). Even before I agreed to try any of their products, one thing immediately stood out to me: a portion of every sale is donated to the Neo Kids Foundation.
The foundation is a non-profit that raises funds for children’s health care services including keeping children closer to home for their care needs (my 10-year-old nephew is currently battling Leukemia and has had to seek care hours from home).
Every year, Nickel City Beard Blends along with Bearded Villains (nWo Chapter), sponsor and participate in the Neo Kids' annual Superhero Event, which in partnership with Greater Sudbury's Police Tactical Unit, scale the walls of the local hospital in an effort to put smiles on children's faces. Beard oils, balms, and other facial hair care products are a dime a dozen. Decent quality beard oils less so, and brands that sell exceptional quality beard products and donate a portion of every sale to charities are few and far between.
Launched in 2018, Nickel City Beard Blends is an up-and-coming Canadian business that creates natural facial hair care products for regular dudes like myself. Their micro-batch based oil blends, balms and scents were locally made in the Greater Sudbury, Ontario region until, as Mr. Pawkz tells me, demand grew so much they had to partner up with a Canadian manufacturer.
I have used a handful of beard oils, balms, and waxes over the last four years. The beard oils at Nickel City Beard Blends are all smooth and non-greasy and give your beard (and hair) an equally nice shine and smell. Fuzzy Beaver is a favorite scent to my other half, prompting her to declare that she wants to eat me.
The Whisker Wax provides a nice medium hold for your ‘stache and has a subtle scent that nicely pairs with each of the Nickel City Beard Blends oil scents.
The All-Purpose Balm (now "Tattoo Balm") will also give your tattoos a nice non-greasy pop. The oil scents are incredibly long lasting. You will still notice the scent the next morning. In the coming weeks, I will post some additional feedback.
You can rest assured that you will find no wooden nickels at Nickel City Beard Blends. From the Wheat City to the Nickel City in a world saturated with dime-a-dozen beard oils, it is the NICKEL that STICKS out.
Dr. Christopher J. Schneider (aka “Big Beardo”) is Professor of Sociology and resident beard expert at Brandon University in Manitoba.
He has written or collaborated on five books and has published dozens of scholarly papers. Some of his published research has examined online beard culture. His beard research and commentary have been profiled nationally in Canada, including in the National Post and on CBC.