Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Me vs My Facial Hair

Beards are in.  Facial hair is *in*.  Cool dudes are wearing beards.

I'm not one to care much about remaining trendy or fashion (he said, wearing his Bugs Bunny t-shirt as if to put too fine a point on it), but beards and mustaches when I was a young man were for girlfriends' dads and people trying to show you they were, in fact, an iconoclast.  Which, in itself, was super strange.  Facial hair is a pain and it *should* be far more normal to have a beard than not have one. After all, to have a beard, all you have to do is nothing, and a beard happens, if your genetics are so inclined.

And yet...  it's often been the fashion to have a smooth face.  And not just recently.  George Washington?   Chin clean as a newly washed dinner plate.  Paintings of renaissance dudes?  Maybe a twirly mustache.

But going back to college, me and my Norelco have had fairly regular meet-ups.  I'd shave for work pretty much every day, just as I'd done since, like, 9th grade (when my need to shave was to keep the odd patches of beard and peach-fuzz stache from creeping in). 

Until a few years ago, the longest I'd ever gone without shaving was five days on vacation.  But this year, around Christmas, I let it go for several weeks.  And, then, from March 15th to April 17th, I didn't shave.  

these pics are me "reacting" to reaction videos

Here's what I learned.  

  1. I have a pretty unimpressive beard.   It's not exactly *dense*.  Which I think I've always suspected, but finally confirmed.
  2. Much of the beard is gray to white.  I am pushing 50.  Lots of dudes I know have white in their beard.  I'm getting some individual gray head hair, but not a ton.  Unless you're really looking, I have the same hair color I had in college.  So while I look less like a baby with the beard, it's me and dads to tweens and teens sporting similar beards.  And that's fine!  But the white doesn't do anything to add to the "density" of the beard.
  3. The beard grows incredibly slowly.  That's a month of beard.  I had a few wild beard hairs but overall, it was still very short after a month.  
  4. I was going to need to learn how to trim and maintain a beard, and probably buy tools to do so, and I didn't feel like doing that
  5. Jamie wasn't overly thrilled by the beard
  6. I hated blowing my nose with a mustache
  7. I don't know what to use to wash my face when I have a beard, or how to get it properly dry.
  8. If I miss it, I can grow it back, I guess.

When I asked the niece and nephew what they thought, they told me to cut it off.  Now, they're about to turn 7 and 9, and change is scary, so I can understand if they wanted me clean-shaven again.  Anyway, I tend to listen to them. They know what they're doing and honest to a fault.

So, I took the beard off around noon.

Brought it down to the goatee.  But it's not 2005, and I am not a comedy cable guy, so I decided to keep going.

Ah, the mustache.  I've always wondered what I'd look like.  The answer is:  not great!  Maybe like a hapless middle school science teacher.  If I had visions of a robust, manly stache, it was a delusion.

It did really accentuate facial expressions, tho.  I almost left it just for that.

And, finally, taken all the way down.  And feeling weird.  And pale and doughy.  I've been seeing the beard in the mirror for a while, and suddenly having a clean face was like looking at a science experiment gone wrong.  

Anyway, probably won't shave for a while again.


JAL said...

The mustache looked good, at least in these pics. We are our own worst critics. I always find vacations are a pretty good time to get silly with the facial hair.

The League said...

I'd likely never be terribly comfortable with just a stache. Maybe some other facial hair, but I find myself weird with one. But the real lesson is that I have a bad face, hair or not.