The Beard Struggle – Exposed

The Beard Struggle. A behemoth of a beard company, swatting aside everything and everyone in their path. A true giant of the beard world, but, there is a hidden side to the success of this brand. There is an undercurrent of hatred, lies, deceit, hypocrisy and discrimination. Today, The Beard Struggle – Exposed will reveal all.

Make sure you read all the way to the end but don’t skip the first half! All will be revealed!!

Who Are The Beard Struggle?

The Beard Struggle (TBS) are a company based in Canada but they ship their products worldwide. On the face of it they seem like a great company, genuine and boy do they have some great reviews! More on that later.

They have really gone for the Viking theme and take the whole thing very seriously. Instagram videos with the guys dressed up in all the gear advertising the products. This seems to appeal to some men, they want to release their inner Viking and that is fine.

They sell several products including Beard Oil, Balm, Beard Wash, Combs and a Heated Beard Brush plus loads more. They have some well followed Instagram and YouTube ambassadors who help push the brand. Between them they have over 1m subscribers on the tube. Most of them from Jake the Viking of Mr Beast fame.

Who Founded TBS?

This is extremely hard to find out. I have searched google for this information but kept running up blind alleys. The most I can find is that their CEO is Faiysal Kothiwala. He seems to be a very private person with very little mention of TBS on his Facebook.

TBS seem to be a privately owned company with plenty of cash to splash! It looks like they spend a lot of money on marketing the product but here’s the thing. They don’t have to spend that much on it because they have ambassadors.

TBS Ambassador Program

Just like many companies these days, The Beard Struggle have an ambassador or affiliate program. It gives you personally 20% off all products with a 15% off code for your customers. As an ambassador, you receive a 10% commission which is about average.

With these benefits you would presume it would be difficult to get into the program. Wrong! They will accept absolutely anyone and everyone. That’s fine, a bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone but over 10,000 ambassadors, that is excessive.

They call their ambassadors Brand Vikings and they offer perks when you make sales for them. They do provide tips on how to advertise as well as other features. The more sales you make the better ranking you can get. They will even give you an advertising budget after a certain amount of sales.

Brand Vikings

The program has changed recently and is geared more towards earning points by posting Instagram stories etc..(plus other ways which will be revealed later!) Get your points and move up to the next level. Some people will even be chosen to work for TBS on a more regular basis and receive a salary. Sounds great, right?

On the face of it, yes. But, in reality there is a lot of “if your face fits” going on in the upper echelons. A fair bit of “TBS is the greatest” has to be said and you can’t like other brands Well, at least you can’t say they are better than TBS! Now, real beard enthusiasts will know that there are far superior products out there and for less money!

Still, it feels good to be part of a ‘Brotherhood’. Like minded bearded fellas. A place where you can feel comfortable, no matter your race, your sexuality, your disabilities. Or can you?

The Good Stuff

Right, that’s a bit of background on the company and the affiliate program for you. Let’s round that up with what’s good about TBS. It won’t take long!

TBS do have a brotherhood feel to them. Through their Brand Viking Facebook page, their Instagram and their AETT’s on Discord. (This is where everyone is split into groups. For instance in the UK you have the North, Scotland, Wales etc. Each AETT has a General and so on.)

I have met some really great people through TBS and I am grateful for that. These guys really support each other and it’s great to have met other men who feel the same way about beards. I wouldn’t have known them if it wasn’t for TBS so that’s a plus. I consider them to be friends, even though we’ve never met.

TBS have a range of products that they sell but I’m not sure that this is a good thing! Let’s have a look at what they offer.

The Products

Obviously, there is the beard oil. In fact, they offer 2. A day oil and a night oil, but what is the difference? Let me break it down for you.

The Day Oil

There are 5 carrier oils in the day oil and I’ll explain what each one does as we go along!

  1. Rice Bran Oil – This is an edible oil and is used as a cooking oil, predominantly in South and East Asian countries. It is also used as a substitute for carnauba wax in cosmetics, polishing compounds etc. The antioxidants in the oil may support skin health but there is a lack of research to really prove this.
  2. Sunflower Oil – Again, another cooking oil. It looks like you can use the day oil to cook yourself some eggs and bacon!! Sunflower oil can be used to run diesel engines when mixed with diesel. However, it is good for your skin as it contains vitamins A and E. There are also benefits for hair which is a bonus.
  3. Avocado Oil – Wait, there’s no way that……. Well, I didn’t know that. Avocado oil is also used as a cooking oil. Seems to be a pattern here! It is definitely good for your skin as it penetrates and absorbs into the skin really well.
  4. Argan Oil – The Argan tree is endemic to Morocco and there they use the oil for……….food. Not cooking oil but as a dip for bread or used on couscous. Studies have suggested that the oil contains health benefits and it is widely used in the cosmetic industry.
  5. Jojoba Oil – A replacement for Sperm Whale Oil, it is used in many cosmetic products. These include lotions, hair shampoo and conditioner. The pure oil can be used on skin and hair.

The Night Oil

The night oil contains the above 5 oils but adds in a further 3 carrier oils to the mix.

  1. Castor Oil – Mainly used in the food industry castor oil does have some benefits for skin and hair. It is also used as a laxative.
  2. Macadamia Oil – Would you believe it? A cooking oil! It does have good benefits for your hair though. It’s the fatty acid content in the oil that helps to add shine and nourishes the hair follicles. Macadamia Oil also keeps your skin healthy.
  3. Almond Oil – This oil is very good for your skin, keeping it soft and hydrated and it contains a high amount of Vitamin E. This vitamin may protect the skin from sun damage.

I am confused as to why there is a need to have 2 oils other than to make more money. Here is what it says about the oils on their website…


Day Tonic:

Day Tonic gives your beard added volume and shine using a non-greasy, lightweight formula for all-day softness.

This oil contains a higher concentration of macadamia, almond, and avocado oil which have natural SPF and protect your beard from damaging sun-rays, so you can spend all day outside without losing your beard’s touchable luster.

Night Elixir:

Keeping your beard soft and supple is so easy, you can do it in your sleep when you use this Night elixir. Specially formulated to nourish your beard and lock in moisture overnight, this is the perfect oil to finish your daily beard care routine.


Hmmmmm

Now, if you read that and then the list of Ingredients on the bottle for the day oil, it doesn’t contain Macadamia or Avocado oils. Strange! Maybe they include those as essential oils in the day tonic? The essential oils aren’t listed on the bottle and they are generally the oils used to create the fragrance.

I am using the Viking Storm scent (I use the word scent loosely for this oil) as an example as I have both the day and night oils. On the website again it gives me the scent guide for this oil as follows.


Viking Storm: Strong masculine notes of Oakmoss & musk blend with the freshness of apple & patchouli, while rich amber and soft hints of vanilla sensualize & seduce.


That looks like the list for essential oils to me. There is no mention of Macadamia or Almond oils anywhere on the Day Tonic. Maybe they don’t know which one is which!

In my opinion they only really need the night oil as it contains more beneficial carrier oils than the day. Although I don’t think there is much castor oil as the oil is very runny. This is definitely a ploy to earn more readies from unsuspecting beard newbies!

Other Products

TBS also offer Beard balm which I have tried and reviewed. Check out the review here. I wasn’t impressed with this balm at all but hey, that’s my opinion.

Then there is the Beard Wash and Conditioner. I do like the beard wash and am still using it to this day. Well, until it runs out!! It does make my beard feel very clean and soft and I can’t fault them for this product!

They also have a scruff balm for those just growing their beards. I mean, you could just use the oil but each to their own. It is clearly another ploy to take money from the uneducated new beard grower.

Last of all there is the Beard Mud Mask which contains Dead Sea Mud. I haven’t used this so can’t say much about it other than it’s expensive. Oh, and they claim it prevents thinning and balding as well as rejuvenating the beard. I can’t see anything that tells me it can do that although it does say it’s good for the skin. After speaking to a couple of people who have used it I can confirm that it is a waste of money.

Accessories

TBS have several accessories for sale but are they worth the price you pay? They have brushes, which according to several sources is rubbish, combs, bags and a heated beard brush.

The Dopp bags look good but at £54 for the black XXL and £36 for the brown regular size bag I would probably go elsewhere. Louis Vuitton they ain’t!

I have the Model Viking Comb which looks great and is well-made. Is it worth £20? Not at all. I might as well be running thin air through my beard for all the good it does. You can buy much better combs such as the Kent Combs. Here’s the link to one of them on amazon.

The Heated Beard Brush

This is the biggest seller for TBS and at £76 it seems like good value. This one is apparently designed by the CEO of the company himself. It is called the VÆRINGJAR and it does look sleek and well-made. You might or might not know this but it is the second heated brush TBS have sold.

The first one, named The Ulfberht, was extremely controversial. It was being sold at $100 and TBS claimed that they had designed it and created it for the bearded man. There is a video by Scuba/Beardtube below that disproves that. Have a watch.

After he released that video, TBS released 18 of their own videos to try and drown his one out. A strange one considering they hadn’t released that many videos all at once before. Was that a raid? (More on raids soon) Check out the video from Beardtube to highlight what TBS did.

While we are here, lets have a look at Beardtube’s video on the Viking mud mask.

The Bad Stuff

Okay, let’s get into the nitty gritty about TBS and what they are really all about. The things they do and the lies they tell. Starting off with the Ambassador programme.

Anyone, and I mean anyone, can join the Ambassador program. They have nearly 14k people on the program and it is growing all the time. The upper soldiers were looking into the whole thing and one of the things was to make it harder to join as an ambassador. Great news for those already in the program!

This turned out to be a lie when they recently created an advert stating that everyone was welcome under The Beard Struggle banner. So, still letting in whoever wants to join then.

How do you move up the rankings in TBS?

Well now, there are several ways you could move up the ranking and earn rewards with TBS. Sales was the main way to do it in the original program. In Ambassador 2.0 they developed new ways to help people move up. A points scheme where you can earn points for doing tasks!

This seems like a fun way to do things in the group. Excellent! Make videos on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube etc.

One of these tasks is to leave a review for the TBS products. In fact they have always asked their ambassadors to leave reviews even before the new program. Why do they ask their own ambassadors to leave a review?

Over 10,000 5 star reviews

Wow! That is unbelievable. I don’t think there is a company on this earth with that many 5 star reviews. I can’t think why!

No, wait, I think I know. The vast majority of the reviews on their website have been left by their ambassadors. That’s right. I can’t prove that all of them are but I can give you some examples where they definetly are by ambassadors.

This is taken from the website. It is giving the TBS hoodie 5 stars!! Amazing, I want one. What? I can’t buy one of these? Why not? Oh, it’s only available to ambassadors. I see.

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome, a T-Shirt. I’ll take two! Oh, so this is only available to Brand Vikings as well! Okay, so why is it being reviewed on the website then? To boost your 5 star ratings? Of course.

Blatant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one is blatantly an ambassador. Unless an ambassador bought that T-shirt for him!!

He is giving 5 stars to the Viking Face Shield, which I have to say, they are rubbish. Do not use them to try and protect yourself or others during the pandemic as your breath goes right through the material!!

So, while reviewing the face shield he is wearing an ambassador only t-shirt. That tells me he is getting himself some points for this!

The point I am trying to make is quite clear. If your products are genuinely that good then why do you need people who are part of TBS to review them. Of course, they are going to say it’s great, they will absolutely give the products 5 stars. They represent your brand and they don’t want to be raided!! (Wait, spoilers!)

Fake Reviews are good for business then?

Yes, although technically they aren’t fake reviews. They are reviews, only, they are reviews by people who support and work for TBS. I’m not talking about full time jobs, but you can earn commission for selling products. I’ve made a small amount of money myself.

These reviews make TBS look like they are genuinely getting all these wonderful 5 stars. However, if you were to remove the ambassadors reviews, I would take a wild guess that there would be less than 1,000 from genuine customers.

Who are the TBS customers?

Here’s the clever part of The Beard Struggles Ambassador program. The ambassadors are their customers. Of course, you have to use the product to represent the brand. As I mentioned earlier, TBS offer a 20% discount to their Brand Vikings. The ambassadors have a 15% off code for their customers/family/friends to use and they receive a 10% commission on each sale.

So, the main customers of The Beard Struggle are the ambassadors! That’s over 13,000 customers right there! Wow. No wonder they want more ambassadors. That would mean more sales and more 5 star reviews. What’s wrong with that?

Well, it isn’t honest for a start. A company that is built on misleading information is not a company that I want to be a part of!

The lies

So, the 5 star reviews are lies, seeing as they are mainly done by people who represent the company and not many by genuine customers. What other lies do they tell?

Here is the benefits from the TBS oil range, screen shot is from the website!

Enhance hair growth? I don’t recall seeing Biotin in the ingredients for the oil. That’s a lie, right there. I don’t believe that there is a beard oil that actually grows your hair for you. I’m sure that is down to genetics!

Still, it prevents hair loss. Well, actually, it doesn’t prevent it. It can delay it with some of the oils but it’s very rare that you would get hair loss in a beard. On your head maybe!

More lies and discrimination

Well, well, well. There has been known discrimination going on within the ranks of TBS. One person was ridiculed for being gay and disabled. I won’t name names but this was done by Brand Vikings. The man in question was kicked out of TBS for airing his views on a live chat. At least 2 other ambassadors were involved in the name-calling and when he questioned it the top dogs told him to basically grow up!!

It was of course, the man in questions fault. TBS does nothing wrong! When he questioned them about the behaviour of the other people he was told they would also be kicked out. They weren’t. It just goes to show that if your face fits, you can get away with anything!!

Maybe TBS doesn’t discriminate but it doesn’t take action when others do, unless they don’t like you of course! And that, in itself, is discrimination.

The snippet here is just one small part of a bigger conversation. Imagine saying to a disabled person that they are turning it into a pity party. The man was just trying to get his point across!

Raids

Here we are, raids. Real Vikings used to go on raids where they destroyed villages, raped, pillaged and plundered. Lovely lot the Vikings!! But, would you expect a professional company to go on a raid against another business? Well, that is exactly what they did and it was disgusting behaviour from TBS.

I am not in any way condoning what the other person did but the way they reacted was so over the top and extremely unprofessional. Here’s the story of it with pictures! Make sure you are over 18 because this is adult stuff!!!

What happened?

A lot of people post memes on Instagram and Facebook etc, even TBS do it. Using other celebrities of course such as Tom Hardy. Now, one particular person decided to post a meme about TBS. The person is from Beard Tings and he posted a controversial meme.

The man kneeling down had a similar logo to TBS covering him which is what got the Vikings so wound up! Most men would find this funny and take it as a bit of a joke and a laugh.

Some might disapprove of the pornographic imagery but in the whole it is done in good humour. The scene depicts a guy having sex with a woman and, presumably, her husband tied up and watching. A cuck.

TBS took great offence at this. Now, a professional business would do one of 2 things. Firstly, they would contact the person who posted the meme and politely ask them to take it down.

Secondly, if that didn’t work then they would threaten them with a lawsuit unless it was removed. Some companies would skip the first part. That wasn’t going to satisfy TBS, so, they sent their sheep, sorry, ambassadors on a raid.

The actual raid

As you can see, TBS offered their ambassadors 100 points to raid this company. By raid, they meant go onto his Facebook page, google page etc and post a negative review. Now, TBS claim that this company used their logo and it does look similar. But you can find logos that are similar to TBS’s all over the web. If they were that concerned it was the actual logo I am sure they would have consulted their lawyers!

Here’s some reviews that the so called Vikings left on this company’s page. Before you read them Beard Tings products aren’t available to buy yet. Please excuse the poor spelling!!

How do they know the products are sub-par? At least some of them found it amusing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmmmm, not impressed with the clan, this one!! I wonder if he’s still a member? The funniest one for me is the following statement. I will explain why it is funny in just a moment.

So, this guy is very upset that the company has used indecent sexual imagery to promote a product and/or company. Let’s have a look at some of The Beard Struggles Instagram posts shall we….

 

 

Indecent Sexual imagery, Check! I wonder if this guy complained about these memes that The Beard Struggle posted. I’m going to hazard a guess at NO!

Finally, there is this wonderful post where someone is sticking up for the company and he gets this very adult and mature response!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight us then! Can you get anymore ridiculous?

So the Brand Vikings went on a raid and earned loads of points. Woohoo! Well done big guys! I actually questioned one of the top guys about the raid and this was his response.

Upset!

Apparently Beard Tings upset the ambassadors. I mean seriously, are these guys Vikings or Mummys boys? Also, I know for a fact that he left the program himself, just as I have! It’s all part of the bullying tactics that TBS use when they disagree with something.

The ambassadors have become so indoctrinated to The Beard Struggle ethos that they actually think this is normal behaviour for a company. Yes, Beard Tings took the piss out of TBS but instead of either replying with their own funny meme……….What? They did? Let’s have a look then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very snappy!! Great comeback there by TBS. This was after they had raided the one man company with thousands of 1 star reviews, trying to break his brand before it got off the ground.

Ask yourself this, why didn’t they post this in response to the initial meme. Bit more professional, without the game over bro slogan, and shows that the company have a sense of humour.

Instead, they look like the playground bully who has to hit people and scare them into being his friend.

Conclusion

Look, TBS are a big brand and they have got several products that do a basic job. Do they overcharge for them? Yes. Are they top quality products? No. There are plenty of top companies out there making awesome products but TBS want to take over the world and try to destroy the competition!

They have certainly deceived the public into believing they are this amazing brand with over 10k 5 star reviews. Which we can pretty much assume is mainly by their ambassadors. I mean, they do offer points for people to leave reviews. Even on products that aren’t on general sale! This in itself is a gross misrepresentation of the brand.

So, is it a Con?

They are most definitely trying to con people into thinking they need a day and night oil and that you need a mud mask for your beard. TBS really are wanting to gain maximum cash for minimum quality.

They also rely heavily on their ambassadors for sales. These guys buy loads of stuff from TBS. I’m not sure that they have that many customers outside the ambassadorship. The CEO Faiysal told one Brand Viking that the ambassadors only made up 10% of the sales. If you believe that then you really are brainwashed.

I have left the TBS ambassador program as I feel the company are very unprofessional and they mislead the public. That is the most disappointing thing for me. The dishonesty and lack of respect for their customers/ambassadors/sheep. In fairness, not all the people I’ve met are sheep but there are definitely some brainwashed folk who truly believe that TBS is the best beard company in the world.

It isn’t!!

That’s all on The Beard Struggle – Exposed. Thank you for stopping by to check it out. I hope you enjoyed it, please let me know in the comments what you thought. Are you a Brand Viking who disagrees with me then leave a comment!! Keep it clean, I will delete abusive comments (after taking a screen shot!)

Take care and keep growing!

Tony

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10 Responses

  1. Andy says:

    Awesome review and so much truth here! The Beard Struggle are an absolute con!

    Keep up the great work and exposing lies.

    We appreciate it bro!

  2. Josh Overton says:

    Fantastic read as always dude! Really nice to see you digging into this!

    They have definitely made it hard for us smaller folk with genuine ingredients, care and passion to get going in this business. Can’t believe they went after Beard Tings like that, one of the greats of our bearded community.

    Josh
    Hinterlands Beard Oil

  3. Jordan says:

    Fantastic Article Tony! Absolutely 100% facts! Well done good Sir!
    Hopefully more ambassadors will see this, and think for themselves!

  4. Chris Dyer (piran_viking) says:

    I have felt for a while that if your face doesn’t fit with TBS that you may as well not bother. I’m a bigger guy and I think that unless you’re 6ft2 long blonde hair and a mane down to your knees, you will never be accepted by the “brotherhood”.
    I’ve been thinking about leaving for a while now, ever since they blocked a post of mine on the Facebook page… Deeming the content…. Now let me get this right, “not something that the brotherhood can help with”… Huh?…. I thought the brotherhood were a group of like minded people who can support you through your journey? Clearly not!

    I took a break from reading your blog, headed over to Instagram and the TBS “brotherhood” page and left them…. I’m gonna leave the ambassador program too by the end of the day… I’m not feeling the vibe…. I don’t like the idea of raids, and i feel inferior to these “vikings”.

    I do however absolutely love the idea of your #smallbatchbeardco support, and have made purchases recently off the back of reviews you have done for theses companies!

    Keep up the great work, and f**k TBS!

    • There is definitely a culture of ‘if your face doesn’t fit’ going on and you certainly have to say and do the right things or you are deemed to be against TBS. They are a brotherhood when they want to be and with who they want. I’m happy you have managed to leave and find better products for your beard. Keep looking out for more reviews on the way!!

    • Jordan says:

      Amazing!! Good for you brother! Welcome to the free world of Bearded Truth!

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