This is my beard. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
Actually, there aren’t many beards like mine. Gaze upon it. Get lost in the deep mahogany, cedar, birch, and oak tones layered upon one another. No, seriously, there’s black, brown, red, white, and gray in there. No amount of, “Touch of Grey” is going to to get anyone close to what I’ve got going on here.
My brother shot me a text this morning saying for the umpteenth time that he was going to attempt to grow a beard. Growing a beard is easy, just stop shaving. However, sometimes we complicate things that don’t need to be complicated by our constant meddling.
My brother was actually concerned that his beard had multiple shades in it. Instead of darkening up the light hair, he wanted to brighten up the dark hair via bleach! This goes against the first tenant of growing facial hair.
- I’m growing this thing because I’m sick of shaving.
Dyeing or bleaching the hair color not only damages the hair, but it’s extra work. We started growing this thing because we wanted less work. Allowing our gray hair to shine allows us to age gracefully. Subsequently, it’s very little work. Not to mention it make us seem confident for no other reason than we are comfortable in our own skin (or fur).
Of course, there’s a difference between a multi-toned beard and a completely white/gray beard. Habits change when our beards get to a certain length. We drink from straws or bottles more than from a glass. We avoid certain foods *cough* buffalo wings *cough.* We learn how to properly use utensils again. We cut food up into smaller bites. We don’t want our beard to be the color of whatever we’ve eaten or drank last.
After deciding we’re going to stop shaving, the next step is simply making a promise. We have to promise we’re not going to touch the beard with razors or scissors for a predetermined amount of time. I recommend three months.
Three months is generally the time it takes to genuinely see what we’ve got to work with and if having a beard is going to be for us in the first place. Those sparse areas from weeks one through six will start to fill in. Different areas of your face will grow hair at different rates. We may come to the conclusion that a goatee or Van Dyke are more our speed. We may also find out we need to start entering competitions and modeling.
I highly recommend accepting whatever shades of color that come in naturally. Embrace it. No one will look like you and that’s a good thing.
Go on brother, get your beard on (with your wife’s permission, of course).
Nah, do it anyway…*shhhhh*…