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Cúram Nádúrtha Will Unleash Your Inner Gentleman

by Lawrence Ferber

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday September 12, 2021
Originally published on September 8, 2021

Michael Holt was raised in a beard-free household by a pair of loving lesbian moms. So when he finally was able to grow out his facial hair into a full beard, it came as a surprise that maintaining a good-looking, clean, and nice-smelling beard requires work and, most importantly, quality grooming products you likely won't find at a big box store. To do his part for his fellow gentlemen — cisgender, trans, and the bearded nonbinary — Holt created the all-natural Cúram Nádúrtha beard, hair, and body care line.

"A lot of guys think you can just let a beard grow and go," says Holt. "They don't realize their stuff looks a bit untidy and unkempt, and the common misconception is they don't need products even though they do. It's important to implement an actual routine. Having a brush and oil is highly important, and when they put on some beard butter and balm, they message me, 'Oh my God, I can't believe the difference.'"

Holt, who is third-generation Irish, founded the company with his wife Octavia in October 2020, intending to help users "unleash your inner gentleman" while fulfilling their joint dream of creating an all-organic company. Its Gaelic name translates to "natural care."

Carefully sourced, high-end ingredients found in Cúram Nádúrtha's fresh and sublimely scented products include pure, unrefined shea butter from Ghana, mango butter from Indonesia, organic beeswax, and 100% pure and cold-pressed oils: Jojoba, hemp seed, apricot, black Jamaican castor, and sweet almond, among others. And despite its focus on beard care and grooming, Cúram Nádúrtha takes care of users from head to toe, with hair and skin care products like daily-use body butter, styling pomade, and a solid cologne that Holt says is preferable to spray colognes.

"A solid will last longer for one," he explains. "And it has a longer shelf life. With a spray, it's easy to spray-spray-spray and drench yourself, and it becomes overbearing. The solid is comparatively low-key but also more intimate, and you use less. And the solid is better for your skin because there's no alcohol in it. We chose hemp seed oil with the beeswax because hemp seed oil is really good for the skin as well."

Smooth-faced in high school and during his time in the U.S. Marine Corps, Holt finally grew out a beard once he returned to civilian life. He soon realized the importance of maintenance and products that weren't heavy on chemicals. "Some chemicals can alter your skin and hair's chemistry," he says. "The texture, the way hair absorbs moisture, and that's no good, so I wanted to offer something without cheap fillers. With Cúram Nádúrtha, you're getting raw, pure ingredients, good for both your hair and skin and body overall."

For those who want to elevate their beard maintenance routine, begin with CoWash, which stands apart from competitors' products thanks to its dual cleansing and conditioning properties. The conditioning wash comes in two scents: The coolly peppermint-spiked Irish Mint, and brisk, rosemary-blessed Morning Wood.

The latter scent's cheeky name, he admits, was one of the rare points of contention when creating the brand with his wife. "Octavia was like, 'You're not naming it that," he recalls. "I explained it like, 'You're walking through the woods in the morning and the dew's on the trees...' I just wanted to do at least one cheeky name, because when people think of those old English gentlemen they think of a cheeky guy. But everything else is pretty refined; like, the solid cologne scent, Láidir, translates to 'strong' in Gaelic."

Other products to create the ideal Cúram Nádúrtha starter kit for the longtime or newly bearded include beard oil, which reduces the itch when facial hair grows in and can even speed the process, says Holt (the oil is available in six scents, including Lucky Orange, earthy and woodsy Forbidden Forest, signature Celtic mythology-inspired bergamot, and frankincense and myrrh Dragon's Blood); beard balm for a light hold; and pomade for more intense styling/hold for hair both above the scalp and on the face.

Cúram Nádúrtha's pomade, crafted with beeswax and shea butter, is also available in a water-based formula and light-to-medium and medium-to-hard hold versions. "I formulated the water-based for people who have more oily hair, and the other for people with normal hair," says Holt. "I'm excited to see how the medium to hard hold pomade goes, because harder hold pomades or gels are really hard to wash out or hold too hard and damage your hair in the long run, but I still put the shea butter in there so it'll wash out nicely and you'll still get that nice hydrated, moisturized look throughout the day."

"With Cúram Nádúrtha, I feel I made something all-inclusive," he adds. "The theory behind the brand is to embrace who you are and live naturally, because a lot of people don't embrace who they truly are. I was raised in a two-mother household, and remember at school I couldn't say I had two moms because I would be made fun of, and how hard it was for them to be able to get married. Especially in this day and age, it's important to embrace who you are and be yourself naturally."

Lawrence Ferber's travel and arts journalism has appeared in Passport Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, New York Post, and other publications. Based in NYC, he is also co-writer of the 2010 gay romcom BearCity and authored its 2013 novelization.