Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I think we've covered the fact that it just would not be a good idea for me to participate in the Movember cultural phenomenon. I admire those who did, but they just don't look as creepy/sinister as I do with a 'stache. As winter has hit Pittsburgh for real, thought, I have started a winter beard.

In talking to one of my wife's long-bearded coworkers about it yesterday, I found that he and I hold polar opposite men's facial hair theories. He says that once men get over the initial grief they get when they stop shaving, they then tend to keep their goatee/beard/'stache in perpetuity. I, on the other hand, think that because men's fashion and haircut styles change so little over the years, facial hair is the only appearance change option available to the bored male.

Data points on the grow-it-keep-it side of the ledger include
my boss and Don, my self-appointed beard mentor at church. Having had a beard for a very long time, my boss likes to summarize his mid-career technology masters degree experience by saying that he had classmates who were younger than his beard.The first time Don saw me at church with a newish beard, he said "Beard looks good. Two things: Don't touch it. Shampoo it like it's your hair. Then it won't itch." As good as this advice was, I had to chuckle the next winter when I grew the beard and Don approached me and said "Beard looks good. Two things..."

Most guys that I know, though, grow something on their face as a lark for a short time. After gauging how they personally like it and how those around them react, they then keep it for some length of time before starting over with a different look.

Which theory holds for more guys? The "grow-it-keep-it" or the "I wonder how I'd look with a beard"?


Anne H. said...

Don't know about all that but I think you look handsome in the photo.

Chip said...

Mine started during my freshman year after a white water rafting incident left me with a scar on the bottom of my chin. I didn't let the beard grow to hide the scar (the EMT on the trip told me not to bother with stitches because "chicks dig scars") but to let the scab heal.

I liked the look but shaved the following summer to get a job waiting tables. After that summer, there was no going back. For a few years in college and after, I alternated between the full beard and a goatee (I was a youth minister, after all) which supports your bored male theory. Eventually I put aside childish things.

The next decision point with beards has to do with gray hair. The beard of most men, including my dad and myself, is the first to go gray. After having a beard for about 15 years (his started when our church began an Easter play that had many of the men in the church start growing a beard just after Christmas every year) he shaved it because it was so much whiter than the hair on his head. He looked about 10 years younger without the gray beard.

I kind of like the idea of becoming a graybeard, so I might stick with it to the end. Right now the gray is not very noticeable in my red beard. In 10 years, I might feel differently.

Chip said...

I forgot to add, the most important consideration is the opinion of the woman you kiss. Proper grooming makes all the difference in terms of her comfort. You need to find the length that works for both of you and trim often. And there is nothing wrong with using conditioner in your beard if she thinks that makes it feel softer.

Azure said...

I agree with Chip's last comment. Hubby had a goatee when we met. After a lot of chin abrasion, the goatee left, never to return. (The tail, however, stayed.)

acne scar said...

Great review its always interesting to see other options thanks xx.. hair removal, microdermabrasion