I love my beard. I’m currently at 29 weeks of growth, but I grew my first one 10 years ago. I had just finished a three year stint with a company that required me to be clean shaven, so I gave it a try simply because I could. To be fair, I was a lazy college freshman, so the idea of having less to do before I rolled out of bed made the prospect of tossing my razors pretty enticing.
A decade later, I don’t even recognize myself in the mirror when I trim my beard, let alone shave it off. One of the great ironies is that having a long beard has actually helped me to take better care of my physical appearance, (and grow a deeper respect for people who keep long hair on the top half of their head) because long beards get some pretty gnarly tangles in them.
I’ve discovered an entire culture built around facial hair. There are clothing lines, beard care products, even growing and styling competitions. Two facial hair clubs regularly meet within driving distance of my house (both of which my work schedule sadly prevents me from attending). Some people may find it silly, but growing and maintaining a healthy beard is something worth appreciating.
One thing I’m hoping to see more of over the coming years is brick and mortar facial hair shops, or a beard care aisle in Target. As much as I love supporting small online businesses, there is something to be said for at least knowing the exact scent of your personal care products. I’ve purchased beard oils and waxes that are currently at the back of my vanity drawer due to a scent or texture that I wasn’t thrilled with. I’ve thought about starting a business that centers around beard product trials, because I’ve discovered dozens of beardcare companies, and think it would be cool to get a goodie bag in the mail with a variety of products to try out (who doesn’t love goodie bags, right?). What do you think? is that a service you’d sink your folicles into?
Ultimately, my beard is part of who I am. I wear it proudly, and encourage every man to grow one at least once.
Let it grow!