Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Madison Rowley, founder and alchemist of RidesWax (www.ridesclassic.com), an excellent line of mustache and beard products and a featured partner of BearSKN.
Hello, Madison! First, I just want to say how excited I am that BearSKN is teaming up with RidesWax for this New Product Launch promotion! I am a big fan--BUT before we can have a conversation about your excellent line of beard and mustache products, we simply must discuss your amazing beard—a beard that appears as if it may have eaten several smaller, weaker beards along the path to its current glory. How long is your beard currently? And what is the longest it has ever been?
My beard currently reaches just above my navel. It is the longest it has even been in my life, measuring in at about 17" from my lower lip.
When was the last time that you or anyone else saw your bare naked chin?
It has been a little over 3.5 years since my naked chin has battled the elements. The Winters are warmer and the Summers far hotter, but I couldn't be healthier.
I hear that you won top honors at the World Beard and Moustache Championships. Tell me a little about the contest and your experience.
After winning Best in Show at the "World Championships" in Portland, Oregon 2014 I was awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the official World Beard and Moustache Championships in Leogang, Austria. I never imagined I would win yet another title, this time competing in the "heavyweight" category, Full Natural Beard over 12". I was up against the best in the world, and to receive a perfect score in my category was unheard of. It was an amazing weekend, and truly an honor to bring home the gold to my club the Portland Beardsmen.
Wow! That’s impressive. Did you use your own products to prepare your beard for the championship?
The daily use of my products to cultivate healthy hair in preparation for competition was crucial. As a competitor in the full natural beard category, I am only allowed to show my beard in its natural state. This means there is absolutely no styling allowed, the more natural the better.
Your beard is not just long, but luxurious. I can only imagine that there must be a tremendous amount of upkeep involved to preserve its majesty. Is that what inspired you to create your line of beard products for Rides Wax?
RIDES was created out of necessity, to tame my own ‘stache during the filming of a faux mustache wax commercial shot in Paris, France in 2011. Once the ad was completed… why not make the product? The next couple of years were spent perfecting the formula, designing the brand, and sourcing local ingredients to make RIDES a sustainable product.
Your wax is handmade in small batches. What was the process that went into creating your first tin of Rides Moustache Wax?
The recipe for my very first tin of RIDES came from researching traditional heavy beeswax-based hair products from the turn of the century. The first recipe I experimented with utilized petroleum jelly to soften the firmness of the beeswax, which I wasn't a fan of. I wanted something more natural and hydrating with a lower melting point. That's when I started using organic coconut oil in my process which vastly improved the texture and consistency, allowing me to easily adjust the recipe for winter or summer use. I've settled on a medium hold wax as my standard, but on occasion when a client has sent in their tin for a refill I've made different weights upon request.
I am very particular about my beard oil—especially the scent. If you expect me to put something right under my nose, it had better smell good! It seems like scent is very important to you as well. How did you develop the scents for your products?
Second only to the quality of ingredients used, the importance of scent is fundamental to the quality of your experience. Myself and my business partner Sherry Okamura with Okamura Farmacopia have spent many hours perfecting the Rêve and Souverain blends we currently offer. Rêve is a beautiful blend of Vetiver, Sweet Orange, Palo Santo and Jasmine Sambac. Formulated to support quality and clarity of loving insight with mesmerizing vision, balanced for the heart chakra. Souverain our second co-creation is a subtle yet complex essential oil blend of frankincense, myrrh, cardamom and vanilla with a hint of smoke. Designed with peace & love for reverent application, balanced for the head chakra.
What does your beard care regimen entail?
My beard care routine consists of a thorough warm water rinse in morning followed by an application of RIDES leave in conditioner and beard oil. I brush it through the hair to organize, detangle and lay down any wild hairs, finishing with some Moustache wax to tame the ‘stache out of the mouth. I reapply the wax and oil as needed throughout the day to keep my beard well-coiffed and luxurious. I only shampoo my beard about three times a month with RIDES or any properly PH balanced beard shampoo. Normal head shampoo is not good for the skin on your face. Excessive washing will strip your hair and skin of its natural oils, leaving the hair abrasive to touch and your skin flaky, itchy and dry. Always condition and oil thoroughly after a shampooing.
Finally, what advice can you give to any of our BearSKN fans that might aspire to be future World Beard and Moustache Champions?
You never know—until you let it go—how long it may grow. Sleep, hydration and proper beard care is key for healthy hair, body and mind. The best advice I can give to someone looking to compete in the World Championships is to BEard YOURSELF.
Thank you, Madison! And to all of our BearSKN fans, be sure to check out our exciting New Product Launch cross-promotion with RidesWax! Spend $100 on Bear Skn Underwear and we will send you a bottle of Rides Beard Oil FREE!
Shannon Troy Jones