Taking the plunge with proper facial furniture is often a scary prospect, but don’t let that hold you back…
“Shaving is a shackle made to keep a man from truly living”
There’s something about walking that first step on the path to growing a full beard that eludes most men. Tackling the initial hurdle, the one that rests between unshaven and bearded — ‘the shit bit’ we call it — always seems like a mammoth task.
Yet the only thing to fear about beard growing is fear itself, and actually growing a beard is one of the most liberating things you’ll ever do.
First things first though, you have to commit.
Committing to anything can be hard. Hell, we have enough trouble conforming to putting out the recycling every week, so having to chuck your lot in with something that you must to do every day can be, understandably, quite daunting.
However, the thing with beards is that they’re not a commitment: they’re an anti-commitment.
Think about it… Shaving is the commitment. Having to eradicate facial hair every day is a religious like experience, from which there’s no let up. It’s a chain society has created to keep you weak, to keep you in servitude, to waste some more of your time so that you don’t have any space to think of something better to do. It’s for the straights, man.
Shaving is just one more distraction to keep you from doing something else that you love.
So you know what? Don’t shave.
You just have to choose not to do it.
Go on, you could not do it from now if you wanted to. Why wait till tomorrow? Just stop right now. You can, y’know, you can literally stop NOW.
You don’t have to do anything else, you just have to change the way you think about you and your potential beard. Just decide: ‘From this moment on, I’m growing a beard.’
What have you got to lose? If you’ve never grown one, then cowboy up and grow one. Who can stop you?
There’s a saying, from I don’t know where, that’s worth repeating: ‘I see you’ve shaved… Sorry the weight of manhood was just too much.’
Think about that. And then step up to the plate.
Obviously, you might not be able to be so gung-ho as to just go right ahead and grow a beard from this very minute — we appreciate that’s an idealistic view to which not every man can subscribe.
Some people can not shave for a couple of days and then BOOM! they have a beard, but for most of us it’s a longer process than that. One that life tends to get in the way of, especially if you worry about what people will say.
Work is usually the first concern: ‘How will people react?’ And then the second fear is your family: ‘How will my wife and kids react?’
To get beyond this, and to start actually growing a beard, you might find it easier to choose your moment. And that moment is usually a holiday.
Two weeks, away from work, with your family, is the perfect place to begin. Don’t even bother to pack your shaving stuff, just leave it somewhere at home and then go on holiday.
Once you’ve finished that two-week stint, you’ll be well on your way to people saying, ‘hey, nice beard’. Then all you’ve got to do is hang in there, because ‘the shit bit’ is coming. This is the point where it no longer looks unshaven, but instead like a crap beard.
You’ll start thinking to yourself, ‘maybe I just can’t grow a beard, cos right now I’ve got patches and it’s a bit annoying,’ but trust me, if you stick with it you’ll go beyond that point and come out on the other side as a proper bearded man.
Then you just have to keep growing. You’ll find your own way, but think about how groomed you want to be with it. Some men love a well-crafted, ‘manscaped’ beard, but we feel that that’s kind of missing the point. What you really want to try and achieve is to look like you know how to swing an axe and then build a log cabin.
However, lumberjacks still need to make their beards clean, so get yourself a decent beard shampoo or soap, and some kind of wax or oil is good to help keep it a little under control.
My must have is a beard comb. These little beauties will get rid of the straggly hairs and let you steer clear of looking trampy. If you think a comb is a little too girly, then remember this: vikings used beard combs, they’d wear them on cord strung around their necks. There’s no more manly a figure than a viking.
If you mentally prepare yourself and commit, you’ll have people complementing you on your magnificent manliness in no time.
So go on, your beard is waiting for you…