At some point in time, every beardsman goes through the same motions as the rest. Although every man’s beard is different, the experience of having a beard is quite similar from beardsman to beardsman in many ways. Sure, the first time you’re complimented on your beard is noteworthy, as is the first time you poignantly stroke your beard while deep in thought and suddenly realize how cool what you’re doing must look. However, for every awesome bearded milestone, there are other, less fortunate events that every beardsman can identify with.
These moments can range from something as simple as the first time you (or someone else) notice your beard shedding at an inopportune time to something as extreme as the first time you notice your beard has developed its own unique scent (remember fellas, grooming is the coolest). Rather than focus on the extreme ends of the spectrum though, let’s take a look at a few of the penultimate beardsman rights of passage.
Oh the horror! Just kidding, they aren’t so bad. It might take a while before you notice any ingrown hairs rearing their ugly faces within you beard, but they’re inevitable and most fellas, myself included, have trouble letting them be. Of course, if you’re restrained enough or have a long enough beard where you don’t even know notice them, then don’t give it a second thought. However, if you aren’t a member of either of those clubs, do as the fairer sex does and tweeze those suckers. Just don’t go overboard or else you’ll end up with a patch in your beard and one of the stranger conversation starters anyone will ever hear.
A Touch of Grey
Beards are full of tricks when it comes to the variety of colors that they’re capable of producing, but no shade is more striking than that first sprouting of grey. Whatever you do, don’t freak out and make it a big deal. Remember, a little grey might give you that refined gentlemanly quality that you’ve been after for a while or it might even go unnoticed as long as you don’t call attention to it. Rather than trying to remove it from the equation, do as a real beardsman would and simply embrace the change confidently.
Cutting Outside The Lines
One of the most tedious experiences for many beardsmen is defining and then maintaining their beard’s neckline. Especially for those of us with less defined jaw lines, this can be a major issue and most certainly takes practice to get perfect. Inevitably though you will cut too far and you’ll end up with less beard than you were aiming for. Stay calm, take a deep breath, and don’t do anything drastic. If you can confidently rock the higher cut line below your chin then go for it. However, if you decide that you’ve simply gone too far, you can always trim your beard down to make the error less noticeable. Whatever you do, you’ll definitely be more careful and precise the next time you need to trim up your neck.
Realizing Your Beard’s Uneven
No, you don’t need to adjust your mirror, it’s your beard. Just like all of the other hair on your body, one’s beard does not grow uniformly and especially once you’ve let it grow for a few months, you’ll begin to notice certain areas on your face where your beard grows fastest. For some it’s the area around their chin, where the hair grows densest, while for others it might be below their jaw lines. Everyone’s different and it’s solely up to you to determine the best way to manage your beard’s unique growth pattern. The easiest option is to simply adjust the length on your beard trimmer once all of your hair has grown to the length you want your whole beard to be at and then simply trim it to the uniform length of your choosing. Ya know, that or just let it fly.
There’s A Snack In Your Beard!
We’ve all been there. A delicious meal, surrounded by family or friends or a loved one and without realizing it, you take a little piece of the meal with you. Does this happen as much as people assume? Of course not. However, does it happen more than we beardsmen would care to admit? Probably. Unless you’re living out in the wild, you probably aren’t going to forget a roast turkey leg being lodged in your beard, but more likely than not at some point you’ll find a small piece of food in your beard after a meal, just hope you catch it before someone else does.
Someone Moves Your Mustache Out of the Way
Although beardsmen have many fans out there, the less experienced lot probably aren’t aware of the logistics of getting intimate with a beardsman and the obstacles you have to navigate when getting up, close, and personal. Inevitably you will encounter someone who physically maneuvers your mustache out of the way so they can more easily kiss you. I assure you, this happens all the time. I hear it from my fellow bearded brethren, along with their suitors. Do beards and mustaches look awesome from a distance? Absolutely, however, when the odds of something physical happening between two people increase, the non-beardsman will be forced to strategize and as a last ditch effort, they might just lift up your mustache as if they were opening a window. As long as you can laugh at silliness of the situation, just like so many other aspects of sex, y’all will be just fine.
Photos by Tommy Cairns