Just when you think you’ve got your shaving world all in order…you discover something new to you. Not new to the rest of the wet-shaving world…just you.
My Tallow Soap Discovery
That was my (late) discovery of the joy of tallow-based soaps. I started head-shaving a few years ago and was fine with lathering from my myriad of creams and a few soaps in my collection.
When I moved to shaving in the shower, I realized that soap is a better way to load the brush for me. Then…I happened to read Sharpologist’s article on best shave soaps. I already had Mike’s and realized that my scalp felt more moisturized when I shaved with it rather than the glycerin-based soaps and creams. Hmmm.
As I started to collect new soaps, I stumbled upon Heritage Hill Shave Company. A couple of things caught my eye about their products. It was tallow-based and each tub was $9.99. That is something I will throw some dollar bills at without doing much research.
I picked up two, George Washington and John Paul Jones. GW is described as Tobacco Bay, Jasmine, Patchouli, Sweet Orange, Fir Needle. JPJ’s scent notes are described as: “Bay Rum, Teakwood, Cedar, Bergamot, Patchouli.” The performance was the same for both. For this review, I am focusing on John Paul Jones.
The ingredient list was short and sweet for both: Beef Tallow, Stearic Acid, Organic Shea Butter, Kokum Butter, Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Potassium & Sodium Hydroxide, Distilled Water, Glycerin, Essential Oils, Fragrance Oil
The scent is on the low side but is pleasant. Intrigued, I reached out to the owners to ask how they got started in the soap-making business.
John, the co-founder, wrote back and said he and his college friend, Josh, started making soap as “another way to enjoy the wet shaving experience.” That was about four years ago. He said that as they gave soaps to their family and friends, it was well-received and gave them the idea of going into the soap making-business.
I asked John why they chose a tallow-based formula and said they decided to go with that because it was more “traditional” and they figured it could potentially last longer for the customer.
He said one of their successes is listening to customer’s feedback. He gave the example of the 3oz container.
He said early on they offered 4oz and 6oz tubs. A customer reached out and asked if they thought about a 3oz tub, saying he has a ton of soaps and thought that would be the perfect size. They went with the suggestion and report that customers seem “to really love it.” Plus, he says they provide a product that is affordable to anybody’s shaving budget.
My only concern with the smaller container is what may get on my hands as I load my brush. Since I shave in the shower, I don’t use my trusty scuttle as much.
I got some outside the container as I loaded my RazoRock synthetic but not enough to bother me. The 3oz container is the right size to throw in a shaving-kit bag when hitting the road.
After about 30 seconds, my brush was pretty well loaded with and ready to make lather.
After a couple minutes of work, I had a good amount of lather. The scent was still pretty light, something that John said was intentional, so it would not compete with any aftershave/balms or colognes.
The lather had a few bubbles, but I think that’s from adding a bit too much water.
As for the shave, this soap has really good slickness and protection. This is what I am coming to expect from tallow-based soaps and it did not disappoint. I got enough lather for a complete head shave and four passes. It was definitely BBS. While it is not in the league with some of the more expensive tallow-based soaps like Barrister and Mann or Ariana and Evans, it is a solid performer, especially for the price.
Post-shave, my scalp felt moisturized, which is what I am really enjoying these days.
One aspect of Heritage Hill that appeals to me is that part of each sale goes to the Hidden Battles Foundation, which provides mental health treatment for veterans and law enforcement.
John said he was in law enforcement and Josh taught history at the time they started HH and wanted to create a band that “educated and paid tribute to the founding of our nation.” That’s a pretty honorable endeavor.
John said they plan on introducing aftershave that will accompany the soaps next year and also plan on expanding their lineup of soap offerings.
Having tried two of their soaps and I am suitably impressed by the overall product, the founders and their mission. I will be adding more of their offerings to my collection and rotation.