What I Learnt From : A Month Of Growing A Beard

A few years ago, when I was in my first redundancy consultation, a friend at work and I came up with a plan.  We would spend all our money on travelling and, while doing so, we would grow beards to keep our faces warm for when we arrived “home” to live under a bridge in Holland.

I think that you’ll agree, dear reader, that that is a fairly solid plan.  That is but for one thing – I wasn’t even convinced that I could grow a beard.

I probably need to qualify that.  There are two things that my body is good at – sweating and growing hair.  Some of said hair does grow out my face but previous attempts at beard growth have suggested that certain parts of my face that I’d want hair to grow out of won’t comply.

Keeping my face warm wasn’t the only / real reason I wanted a beard.  I thought it might save some time not shaving every day.  The other reason was that, while online dating, I was inundated with profiles of women being attracted to men with beards and tattoos.  I got the tattoo so…

Anyway, on 3rd February, the Friday before going on holiday, I had my last wet shave.  I figured I could then get a solid week of not really needing to look my best in which to get started.  Since then, I’ve been using a Philips OneBlade to keep things as tidy as I can, and I’ve learnt some things.

First off, patchy bits do fill in.  Secondly, the itchy phase does go but (maybe I could call this thirdly) when I concentrate I start stroking the beard which looks silly as well causing some irritation.

But here’s the real kicker.  I can’t say that, after 5 weeks or so, I have a proper beard.  I have decent stubble.  However, far from taking less maintenance, it actually takes more than wet shaving every other day.  I need to do trimming everyday or else it looks a mess.  It’s weird that when I was shaving every other day, the off day still didn’t look too bad.  Now, with more facial furniture, it looks a mess.

When I didn’t have anything that I could class as beardy, it was what I wanted.  Now I have it, I’m feeling the urge to get rid of it, so I think that’s what I’ll do and then decide how I feel about being ID’d again.  At least I’ve now tried both things so can make the decision properly.

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