Thoughts on Facial Hair, Year Four

IMG_20160310_183739884~2Spring is quickly approaching, and as days get longer and flowers bloom, we come to the time of year when my beard get’s a little too itchy and takes on too much food during meals. The beard has gotten to its normal 5ish month bushiness. This year, I’ve trimmed the sides so the beard will come to a point, which made tugging on it when I’m in deep thought very convenient.

In less than an hour, I would be back to a babyface feeling a large draft of cool air, and just a tinge of razor burn. Each year, I’ve tried to come up with some sort of theme as I IMG_20160310_211759006gradually trim down my face shrubbery. Laying a beard to rest deserves some sort of celebration, something big to mark the occasion that another great beard has moved on from the face to the bathroom wastebasket.

This year, I drew inspiration from a stocking stuffer my mom left me last Christmas called The Moustache Grower’s Guide. In it are a wide range of mustache styles, famous people who’ve worn them, and fashion recommendations to pull each one off. I thumbed through the guide, and came up with a progression of several styles that I could line up as I trimmed more and more hair.


The first the book called “the Lenin,” after the Soviet leader, involving a thick mustache and a fair amount of chin action, coming to a point at the bottom. I could certainly see pulling this one off if I had a bottle of vodka and a ushanka.


Next, we moved on “the Buffalo Bill,” which required a little mustache trimming, and then shaving the rounded sections of the chin into a more rectangular shape. This one got a great deal of laughs, but everyone agreed a cowboy hat would have really enhanced it.


Next in line was “the Shakespeare,” which, much to my chagrin, was probably the biggest fail of the night. Being and English major, it would be fantastic to know that I could easily pull of a beard like the Bard, just in case I got industrious on Halloween or got cast in a play. Alas, my facial hair is too wiry and thick to pull this off easily. On top of that, my facial hair isn’t black, which in some people’s opinions caused trouble later in the night as well.


The last stop before babyface would be “the Pencil,” very hip in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Clark Gable probably wore this thing the best. After “the Shakespeare” had been such a bust, I had little expectations for this one, worried it might just cross right into crustache territory. But, to be honest, I thought this one was not that bad. Surprisingly, I think this was my favorite of the night. It’s one I would actually wear for like a day or two. If I had enough hair up top to slick back like Clark Gable, that would be an awesome Halloween costume that only people over 60 would get.


Allyson did not share my excitement or the Clark Gable look, so it came down with the rest of the facial hair. I’m back to a smooth face, and I have already caught myself going to stroke my beard and only coming up with chin stubble. We close another book on the facial hair begun back in the Fall. Ah, to every thing there is a season. A time grow a time to shave. Turn, turn, turn.

To see earlier beard shaving extravaganzas check out: Thoughts on Facial Hair: The Third ChapterThoughts on Facial Hair Revisited: 1800s Presidents, and the orignal Thoughts on Facial Hair.


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