December 1, 2023

Thinking About Facial Hair?

I know how you feel. “Man, I wonder what I would look like with a beard.” It’s a hard question to answer. There’s really no way for you to know without trying. Of course, aside from hairstyle, you also want to achieve Travis Scott braids. I realize how hard a concept that has to be for you. After all, isn’t the deck somewhat stacked against you if the only way to know is to take the time and go through the process of growing the hair? Well, the deck is stacked, sure, but “against you” may not be the right way of looking at it. But at the end of the day, it still depends on your preference and on what will make you happy. 

I recall my first experience attempting to grow facial hair. I was in eighth grade, and tried to grow a goatee. I stopped shaving for maybe two weeks, and it looked ridiculous. I shaved it, post haste. I didn’t try again until the summer after I graduated, this time for a full beard. After about four weeks of growth, I realized two things, that I was nearly incapable of growing any hair on my upper lip, and that my hair growth was very, very slow. I shaved again. I still wanted to give it a try, though. By the following March, which, in the context of this story, is this past March, I couldn’t take not knowing any more.

So, I resolved to grow a goatee…again. This time, I was committed. I was not going to shave my chin or top lip until I had a certifiable goatee, and nothing was going to stop me. And, friends, nothing did. I grew the goatee. And let me tell you, it was an experience. Once again, it was evident that my hair was going to grow slow, and that my moustache was, for some inexplicable reason, much weaker than the rest. I was also evident, after a while, that, despite the dark brown hair on my head, my beard was going to grow a rather vibrant red, with, apparently, blondish roots.

However, I stuck it out. In the face of derision and doubt that I would be able to do it, I persevered, and I could not be happier with the result. It took time, it took will power, it took a thick skin. In the end, though, I got to see what my face looked like with a goatee, and I’ll tell you, I am in no way disappointed. I am pleased with the result, and I believe that the process, long and arduous though it may have been, was worth it.

And so I am here to implore you today. If you are thinking about facial hair, if you’re seriously entertaining the notion, or if it was perhaps merely a transient interest, I say give it a go. No man should have to live his whole life wondering what it’s like, or, far worse, wanting it but being to afraid to try it. You have to try it, at least once. It’s a moral imperative.

However, I must also caution you. Even if you end up having the thickest, most robust beard, and the fastest growing, no man who decides to set off down this road to facial haird can completely forego the stage where he is “growing a beard,” which must come before the stage in which he “has a beard.” You will look funny, and you will feel awkward. More likely than not, you will be made fun of. Some people may even tell you straight out that they don’t like it. Some may even ask you to shave it off and give up. To them, you have to be willing to say, “This is my face, and this is a new look that I want to try. The decision is not yours.” And, then, you have to stick to your declaration of self-sufficiency.

The obvious hurdle for most men out there will be the wife. Some women will be very opposed to their clean-shaven man suddenly growing a beard. This is one area in which I really cannot offer any practical advice, as I have no experience. I am tempted to say that you should still stick to it, as you probably will also be tempted. However, I know that, deep down, if you sense that it really is causing your wife (or other significant other) that much undue stress and frustration, you’ll make what I consider the acceptable compromise of taking one for your family. Then again, perhaps you can work her over and get her to come around, eventually. That will have to be your call.

In any case, to all the clean-shaven men out there who want to grow beards, but aren’t sure they’ve got it in them, I want to say one last thing: The embarassing stage will end, eventually; it has to. And when it does, you’ll be strutting around with a distinguished-looking beard on your face, the kind that I know you will be proud of. Go for it.