I’ve been around the block when it comes to men’s self care products.
Tried this, tried that, wasn’t completely satisfied, got skeeved out by the amount of ingredients in my body wash that I’d never be able to pronounce, etc.
I’ve drifted from brand to brand, frustrated that each promotes their products as the most technologically-advanced in each category with amazing smells and next-level exfoliation, but at the cost of not really being sure what’s going onto your skin and in your hair.
Luckily for me, I don’t have sensitive, irritable skin that could react with these synthetic ingredients. Some less fortunate guys I’ve seen drew the short straw in the genetic lottery and end up with breakouts, dry skin, eczema, and worse from trying generic men’s self care products.
It seemed ridiculous to me that simple, natural, self care products for men didn’t already exist, so I did some research to see if I was just uninformed.
That’s when I came across JACK HENRY.
What is JACK HENRY?
Call me a sucker for good marketing, but with JACK HENRY’S sleek, minimalist branding and a robust selection of self care products, my eye was drawn to their offerings on my first website visit.
Founded by Kyle Bardouche of Costa Mesa, California, this self care and wellness brand is named after his firstborn son, Jack Henry. However, the brand also represents a persona around which the brand defines its ideal client base.
In their own words, “JACK HENRY is an aspiration. He’s a trendsetter but he’s not trying to set trends. His life is not a performance for anyone. He lives for himself.”
This ideology describes a man who’s well-rounded in his interests and passions, cares about his impact on the planet, is compassionate for the needs of others, and cares about what he puts on and in his body.
Thus, a self care and wellness brand for men with plant-based products that are designed to help you look and feel your best without compromising on ingredients or packaging.
How did it all begin?
Mr. Bardouche realized one day that there were 33 ingredients (including synthetics and irritants) in his hair product, yet he was unable to find a clean and effective alternative. That’s when he decided to make his own products, and after many nights tinkering around the stovetop, JACK HENRY was born.
Offering skincare products, bath products like shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, and hair-styling products, JACK HENRY covers a wide range of men’s self-care categories. Their simple products are designed with as few ingredients as possible, which results in elegant, natural products that you can feel good about using.
Things to Consider Before Buying Self Care Products from JACK HENRY
There are a few things you should consider before jumping in face-first with JACK HENRY.
The first, and most important, is whether or not you care about using natural, plant-based, sustainable self care products. If you couldn’t care less about the things you smear on your body and in your hair, JACK HENRY might not be your scene.
If, however, you happen to want non-toxic, high-quality products that keep you healthy and clean, JACK HENRY is a great place to start your search.
As you’ve likely come to expect, these natural, premium self care products come at a premium price. Unfortunately, wild-harvesting and globally sourcing the best possible ingredients is still an expensive undertaking, which leads to higher prices for the products themselves.
If you’re not comfortable spending $20 on a stick of deodorant, consider more generic self care products. For those of us who are trying to avoid aluminum gathering in our brains from the use of cheap deodorants and antiperspirants, the high cost for fresh, healthy scents and BO-prevention is worth it.
Overall, the decision to buy JACK HENRY’S self care products is a matter of personal preference. If you have an interest in sustainable, holistic self care products and some cash to throw around, you’ll probably find something you like with JACK HENRY.
JACK HENRY Review
I was interested in getting a diverse set of JACK HENRY’S products in order to conduct a comprehensive review, so I picked up their Deodorant, Cleanse+, Clay, and Paste products.
Shipping takes a standard 3-5 business days, so before I knew it a clean black package from JACK HENRY was on my doorstep.
The package was deceptively heavy, which gave me an idea about the quality of the packaging and materials used to store JACK HENRY products.
Each product comes in a sleek black and white box with the product’s title, an ingredient list, and other relevant information. The clean aesthetic and design of the boxes was so visually appealing that it left me wondering whether or not I should throw them out.
Ultimately I did, given that the products themselves achieve that minimalist, modern look even better than the outer packaging. The Clay, Paste, and Cleanse+ products all come in glass containers, which seem to account for the majority of the product’s weight.
I appreciate this responsible packaging, as it’s much easier to recycle and reuse glass than it is to do the same with plastic packaging.
The Deodorant comes in a plastic tube, but that’s understandable to me given that the internal tube is threaded in order to push the deodorant stick up. Regardless, JACK HENRY clearly states that all materials used in packaging are fully recyclable.
JACK HENRY’S cornerstone product, Clay is a pomade-style hair clay intended to provide substantial hold and volume while maintaining your hair’s natural finish.
When I was in elementary school I was an avid user of L.A. Looks’ signature hair gel, and would apply iit to the extent that my hair turned into a brittle sheet on my head that could move as a single unit. My friends referred to my hair as being, “hard.” No stray hairs for me, given that I was basically dumping super glue on my head.
Clay is designed to have quite a different effect. Rather than turning your individual hairs into a shiny, cohesive unit, Clay aims to achieve that slightly messy, tousled yet suave look.
When applied correctly, Clay will coat the majority of the individual hairs on your head, allowing you to push and move the hair into your preferred style. Since Clay doesn’t lend a shiny look to your hair, the finished result gives a natural look, like you didn’t use any product at all.
That’s what it’s supposed to do, and after several days of use, I’m happy to report that it does it quite well.
Hair clays are sensitive to the weather. The texture of the clay can be drastically different if it’s hot or cold, much like actual clay that you might shape into pottery. If it’s too cold, it’s like trying to scrap a brick out of a glass jar. If it’s too warm, you can basically pour it out.
I tend to keep my apartment on the cool side, so actually digging into Clay required more effort than I expected. That said, once I was able to work the product between my fingers it warmed up quickly and became much more spreadable.
The first thing I noticed about Clay is its light lavender scent, which is just enough to give a refined, polished feel without coming across as feminine. I found the scent to be pleasant and enjoyable, especially since it diffuses slightly every time you run your hand through your hair.
The product has a bit of grain to it, which I found textually appealing and helped me to know which areas of my hair had been thoroughly coated.
I’ve got a fun combination of thick, dense hair and at least one cowlick, so I generally need a hefty amount of hair clay to tame my mop. I found this to be true with Clay, which worried me slightly with regard to how quickly I would use it and how expensive each jar is, but I think this problem is partially unique to my hair environment.
If you have thinner and/or less dense hair you could certainly use less product and get good results. Overall, I found the hold to be medium-strong, which offers a nice combination of stiffness while also allowing you to move it naturally.
Regarding the finish, it’s definitely matte, but perhaps a bit more shiny than I’d like. Again, this is likely just due to the amount of product I had to use to control my stubborn hair, but it’s worth noting.
To the seasoned eye it will definitely look like you have product in your hair after using Clay, but it’s certainly not shiny like a cue ball. To be fair, I’ve never used a hair clay or pomade that perfectly achieves a natural finish, so I think a slight sheen to your matte finish is to be expected.
It’s also worth mentioning that Clay achieves all of this with just four simple ingredients: bentonite clay, organic beeswax, organic coconut oil, and organic french lavender oil. These all-natural ingredients also have the benefit of being packed with antioxidants, which promote hair growth and prevent dandruff.
Clay boasts a 48-hour hold, which I didn’t substantiate myself but find believable based on my experience with it. I’m not entirely sure why 48 hours of hold would be necessary, as this implies you’re sleeping with it still in your hair, but I can assure you it lasts long enough for a work day or extended outing.
If you’re interested in a hair product with a lighter feel, JACK HENRY also makes a hair paste—again going all literal and with the name Paste. Paste is designed to spread more thinly through your hair and offer more shine than Clay, which can lend a more refined, sleek look.
While your hair is still adjustable with the clay, the paste steps it up a notch in terms of being able to run your hand through your hair without feeling the need to wipe it off afterwards.
On opening my jar of Paste, it took a similar amount of effort as Clay to scoop out the product, but the Paste spread much more easily between my fingers. Paste is ideally suited for guys with thin hair, but I still found it helpful for my thick, dense hair.
Oftentimes I just want a little something to keep my cowlick from interrupting my entire look, and the light hold offered by Paste is perfect for this.
While it offers more shine on the finish than Clay, I didn’t find it to be unappealing. It’s shiny in a suave sleek, sort of way, rather than a greasy one.
Paste has a few more ingredients than Clay, but still remarkably fewer than any name brand’s hair clay or pomade. As promised by the brand, each ingredient is organic and all natural, so you can apply these products with peace of mind.
Notable ingredients of the Paste include organic mango butter, organic beeswax, kaolin clay, organic arrowroot, and an essential oil blend that provides a fresh, herbaceous scent to the product. I enjoyed this scent even more than the Clay, as it had a bit more depth and complexity.
The Paste is also created with plant phytonutrients, which help to nourish your scalp and promote healthy, thick hair growth.
I’ve used light-hold hair products before that advertise the ability to reshape your hair all day and typically had the experience that the more I ran my hands through my hair, the more the product spread onto my hands and out of my hair, leading to less holding power.
I expected to have a similar experience with Paste, but was pleasantly surprised that my frequent hair adjustments had no effect on the product’s ability to keep my hair in check.
Cleanse+ is JACK HENRY’S stab at an all-in-one cleanser. And when I say all-in-one, I mean face, body, and hands. Generally a product of this size (6.6 oz) wouldn’t strike me as being suitable as a body wash, but JACK HENRY also offers refill pouches so you can keep the same Cleanse+ bottle and refill it as needed.
Cleanse+ packs an array of natural skincare benefits and remedies that I find most applicable for the face, like improving skin texture and elasticity and promoting collagen production, but can be great as a whole body cleanser if you’re a minimalist or have patches of troubled skin.
This cleanser is made with prebiotic sea extracts and hydrating botanicals that gently clean and moisturize the skin, while also reducing inflammation and sensitivity. Guys who struggle with acne, eczema, redness, and any other skin irritations will be well-served by this natural cleanser.
In use, Cleanse+ lathers nicely enough to easily cover your face and/or hands, but it took a long time to wash my entire body with it.
Like JACK HENRY’S other products, Cleanse+ maintains the fresh, natural scent you’d expect from an all-natural brand, which made it quite enjoyable to use. It smells great.
When switching skincare products, especially cleansers, by face can react poorly with breakouts and excess oil production. While using Cleanse+, however, I didn’t notice any of these adverse effects.
My skin felt clean and tight but not dry, like I had stripped all the oils out of it. I’ve noticed a reduction in the size of my pores as well, which is always a welcome sight.
Other notable ingredients in Cleanse+ include organic aloe vera powder, dead sea salt, organic sea kelp, citric acid, and another essential oil blend.
In my experience, natural deodorants are a bit of a mixed bag. Some are absolutely worth the premium price for a single stick of odor blocker for your pits, and others just feel like an ineffective scent smear.
While the price of JACK HENRY’S Deodorant is steep in my opinion ($24 a pop at the time of posting), I think it just about manages to justify it.
Formulated with an impressive lineup of bentonite clay, baking powder, and organic coconut oil, the Deodorant is well equipped to absorb bad smells and replace them with scents that JACK HENRY describes as, “euphoric.”
The ingredients to this euphoric scent experience include organic hinoki oil, juniper oil, and eucalyptus oil, and it does indeed smell good, as my wife will tell you.
The Deodorant applies easily and isn’t prone to leaving a residue when pulling my shirt over my head, like many name brands are known to do.
Speaking of name brands, if you’ve used the cheap sticks found at Walmart your whole life, have read report after report of aluminum build-up from deodorants can lead to dementia, and are interested in making the switch to natural deodorant, there are a few things to be aware of.
Said simply, you might stink for the first week or two after the switch.
This is most prevalent in cases of switching from an antiperspirant to a deodorant, in which case your body takes time to readjust to not having compounds temporarily plug up sweat glands.
This is so common that JACK HENRY listed a timeline of events you can expect when making the switch. They outline a four week adjustment period, during which you can expect the first two weeks to be the most pungent.
This is due to your body’s need to purge toxins from your system after consistent, synthetic antiperspirant use. Your body sweats to get rid of toxins, and toxins often walk hand-in-hand with odor-causing bad bacteria, which are also being purged.
Most people turn the corner by week three, with more sweating but less stink, and by week four your body has adjusted to the point that your natural deodorant keeps you smelling good all day long.
It may seem a large price to pay for the switch to a natural product, but it’s worth it.
I’ve used natural deodorants for several years now, so I didn’t experience this phenomenon, but did notice that I smelled delightful for the entire day after using JACK HENRY’S Deodorant.
My only complaint is that through the use of bentonite clay in the Deodorant’s formulation, the actual stick of deodorant is a bit rough and can be slightly difficult to roll on. I noticed this most when first using the stick—it got better the more I used it.
What do Other Reviewers Say About JACK HENRY?
Overall, JACK HENRY has a huge number of positive reviews. Their most popular products have hundreds of five-star reviews, with satisfied customers reporting their love for the natural ingredients, effective products, and amazing scents.
Of the negative reviews I could find, the vast majority centered around the difficulty of using the Deodorant. That being said, these people were a tiny minority compared to the number of guys who were happy with it.
Jack Henry Alternatives
Hawthorne is another one of our favorites in the men’s self-care space.
The brand started as a custom cologne brand and then expanded into skincare, deodorant, hair products, and other tailored bathroom products.
All their products are customized to your specific environment and habits, which is done through a short quiz that asks the type of industry you work in, and the type of products you currently use.
For example, if you struggle with a dry scalp, you can select that in the quiz and Hawthorne will send you a shampoo that helps moisturize your scalp.
The same goes for their deodorant. If you’re particularly sweaty, they’ll send you a high-strength deodorant.
I like this level of personalization, but their products aren’t organic and natural like Jack Henry’s.
By asking the right questions, Hawthorne was able to deliver me custom colognes and bathroom essentials at a solid price point, and while I was hesitant to leave my choice of fragrance up to someone else, Hawthorne won my seal of approval on the first spray.
Oars + Alps
Oars + Alps is primarily a men’s skincare brand that focuses on clean, healthy products without nasty chemicals.
They also make deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, beard oils, and hair styling products like pomade.
If you want a wide selection of men’s self care products that are made from natural ingredients and steer away from hard, toxic chemicals, check out Oars + Alps.
Affordable skincare you can toss in a gym bag on your way out the door. This stuff has the quality of your girl's routine, but, you know, isn't pink.
If you’re only looking for skincare solutions, Tiege Hanley is a good place to start.
They make basic skincare sets that are optimized for the subscription format. Want to get a complete skincare set that tells you what products to use and in what order delivered to your doorstep every month? Sign up for Tiege Hanley.
I like how easy they make skincare, and how affordable their skincare sets are.
After following their detailed instructions for a month, I saw significant improvements in the quality of my skin and was excited to keep up my routine.
Often hawked by YouTube superstar Aaron Marino, Tiege Hanley offers varying levels of skin care systems based on how much care and attention you're willing to give your face. Despite the hype, the brand lives up to their word with an uncomplicated skin care system that offers surprising value.
My Thoughts Overall On JACK HENRY
What I Like
- JACK HENRY carefully selects potent, all-natural ingredients to provide quality self-care products that are good for your body.
- All of the brand’s products are committed to sustainability and have low-impact production, along with recyclable packaging materials.
- The company strives to formulate quality products with as few ingredients as possible, to ensure that they’re not hiding any harmful, synthetic ingredients.
- The brand aesthetic is sleek and refined, and gets me excited to use their products.
What I Don’t Like
- The products are a bit expensive, but this is to be expected from natural, self-care brands.
- The Deodorant doesn’t roll on very easily to start.
Who is JACK HENRY for?
JACK HENRY is the perfect self-care choice for any guy who wants all-natural products from a company that commits itself to responsible, sustainable production practices and is willing to spend a little more for that cause. Those looking for quality organic, natural, or even vegan self-care products for their face, hair, and body will be well served by Jack Henry’s offerings.
JACK HENRY has committed itself to quality self-care products at every turn, and achieved it.
Their products are made with natural, globally-sourced ingredients of the highest quality to ensure that the products you use nourish your body, face, and hair, while also completing their intended purpose.
Along with this, JACK HENRY uses sustainable business practices and recyclable packaging materials to maintain a low environmental impact. But this does come at a premium price tag.
All of their products use as few ingredients as possible to achieve the look and self-care you want while having confidence that there are no hidden, synthetic ingredients that could cause you harm or irritation.
If you have the budget and you’re looking to make the switch to all-natural self-care products and want to find a brand that prioritizes you and the environment, JACK HENRY is a great place to start.
Is JACK HENRY a good brand?
JACK HENRY is a good brand for guys who want to use all-natural self-care products like hair clay, deodorant, or face wash.
What’s the difference between clay and paste for hair?
The difference between clay and paste for hair is in their use cases. Hair paste is used for sculpting and molding, and generally offers a medium to strong hold with a matte or shiny finish. Hair clays can do the same thing, but are made with a clay that creates tons of volume for hair when needed. If you just want to shape your hair, stick with paste. If you want to shape your hair and also add volume, go for a hair clay.
Is natural deodorant worth switching to?
Natural deodorant is worth switching to if you want to stop using synthetic, potentially toxic ingredients. Many of the claims that brand name deodorants and antiperspirants are bad for you are unsubstantiated, so it’s really a matter of personal preference.