Let’s be honest here for a moment.
Our Instagram feeds are flooded with photos of perfectly-dressed men rocking perfectly-groomed beards. We read countless tips on how to keep our beards healthy and looking their best. We buy the oils, the balms, the brushes, in order to maintain our favorite look.
But I’m sure you see, a lot of these ‘tips & tricks’ cater towards those men nearing the finish line; those men who are blessed with the ability to grow a full-faced-fleece in a matter of weeks, and can achieve their ideal look in the time it takes other men to grow stubble.
What about those other men? The one’s that battle through seemingly endless phases of slow growth and awkward patchiness. The men that spend months, even years to achieve that perfect look…
Today, we tip our hats to these dedicated gentlemen, for they are the dedicated and the deserving of that designation in the bearded brotherhood; and we want to recognize those struggles…
The Spot That Won’t Grow
Three years ago, I noticed after about a month of letting my facial hair grow that there was one spot, on my left jawline, that absolutely refused to grow anything that resembled a beard-hair.
Regretfully, I immediately shaved.
I remember feeling as if this flaw, as minor as it was, would be the focal point of everyone’s attention, and that I’d be the laughing-stock of the beard community; especially when I compared myself to the men I see modelling in whiskey ads and motorcycle magazines…
Years later, in the present, the spot filled out. But my perspective of bald-spots has changed as well.
Just because your beard isn’t flawless, doesn’t mean it isn’t great. So, next time you’re looking in the mirror and desperately trying to comb-over that patch of bare skin, remember that it’s a defining characteristic and makes your beard different than others.
The Fierce Opposition
The reality of ‘opinion’ is that most people have no problem expressing theirs, despite how shitty it is.
You could walk down the street wearing a $5,000, perfectly tailored suit, but someone will still have the audacity to say they “don’t like the look”.
The same thing could be said about growing a beard. It’s different and it’s certainly noticeable, and most opinionated people won’t let you forget that.
I spent some time with my Great Aunt last week, and despite the compliments I received regarding my beard from the majority of my family, she still found a way to voice her contradictory opinions and really kill my confidence.
But guess what?
She was born in like 1806, when men were expected to shave with broken glass and then go sift around in a f*cking coal mine all day for work. So her opinion, like all those opposing your glorious mane, don’t matter.
(Instead of shaving, I ended up combing it out to make me look like a total Neanderthal for dinner.)
I’d say most bearded men are met with snide comments and opposition to beard-culture in general. It’s important that you deflect all that nonsense and continue to grow what a million years of evolution told you looks great, despite what your family or friends think about it.
The Daily Annoyance Allowance
I don’t care how awesome your beard is… At one point, every single day, you have an instant thought of shaving it.
I remember enjoying food without having to maneuver it into my mouth as if I’m a dentist trying to place a gold-plated denture-set. And once a day, as I’m dabbing mustard or olive oil from by beard, I remember that my alleviation from those frustrations are only a quick-shave-away.
There’s a careful balance when it comes to how much grief your beard causes you in relation to how much you love having it. Fortunately, most bearded men can cope with having to use a knife and fork to eat pizza, or that painful mustache-hair pull after biting into an apple.
So remember, those daily annoyances are temporary, but the feeling you get, you know… when you catch a glimpse of your beard in a reflection as you walk by a shop window… lasts much longer.
Your beard is a reflection of you and your personality. Embrace the awkward phases and eat slowly; fight the opposition and enjoy your look; because even if there’s a small patch that won’t grow, it’s still f*cking beautiful.