Thursday, September 8, 2011
Beard Maintenance: A Guide
"Adam!" said nobody. "How do you keep your beard looking so fancy fresh?"
Well, figment of my imagination, I'll tell you. It's not easy. It's a commitment, but since you asked, I'll do my best to impart my beard wisdom upon you.
First of all, beards aren't for everyone. If you aren't able to grow a full beard, then you must sadly abandon the endeavor. Beards are for strictly for manly men and ladies with hormonal imbalances. My own beard is something of a necessity, I've found. I grew a beard young––annoyingly young, in fact, and I discovered it was easier to let it grow freely than chop it off on a daily basis.
This doesn't mean beards are an excuse to be lazy. Far from it. Being a beard owner is a full time gig, and my own beard took years to master. Once I figured out what I was doing, though, my beard became my crowning achievement. I may not have a lot going for me; I can't throw a ball, or change the oil in my car, and I weigh 74 pounds soaking wet. But my beard strikes fear in the hearts of men and makes ovaries explode.
So, is a beard in your future? Perhaps. The first order of business is to do a bit of soul searching and decide what type of beard suits you best. Think about the message you want to send with your beard and proceed from there.
If you're a woman, fear not. A hair-beard makes a perfectly suitable alternative to a natural beard.
Once you've made the important decision of beard style, it's time to commit and nurture your new companion. Treat your beard like a friend and take care of it, and it will return the favor. Neglect your beard, and it may turn on you.
Imagine for a moment that you had a tiny, malformed Siamese twin attached to your side. Having a beard is sort of the same thing. If you don't take care of your mutant Siamese twin, he might grow unruly. The same goes for your beard. Nobody likes a sleazy unruly beard, except for maybe Ke$ha, and she's really not the person you should be concerned with impressing.
Letting your beard get too massive can be problematic, as it will begin to take over your face. You want to own your beard, not the other way around. Also, it's a known fact that spiders like to live in giant warm beards, and that's just frightening. You know how they say that in your lifetime you'll ingest 8 spiders while you sleep? Well that's technically true, but the average is thrown off by dudes with giant beards. They have thousands of spiders living in their beards, and probably eat 8 spiders every night.
So how do you know when your beard is getting out of hand? Well, for starters, you should make sure it's a proper beard––as in, on your face. If it extends too far below your jawline you'll start to look like a bum. There's a definite line between acceptable beard territory and the neckbeard danger zone, and neglecting this boundary can send the wrong message entirely.
Make sure your beard stops just below the jaw, and keep your neck cleaned up with a razor. Likewise you'll want to keep your actual beard clean and trimmed, and there are a number of tools at your disposal.
When maintaining your beard, it's paramount to do so within reason. Overly trimmed beards can look fussy, and before you know it you're AJ McLean from the Backstreet Boys.
This brings me to my final bit of advice: overly trimmed beards are certainly a faux pas, and under no circumstance should a beard be utilized to substitute a jawline. If you're a heavier fella, or you simply weren't blessed with a visible mandible, then I'm afraid you've gotta go big or go home. A full beard is your only option, unless you want to invest in, like, a courtesan veil.
There's not much to it other than that. Basically, don't let your beard get gross and you should be golden. In a few months, the ladies will be fawning over your beard, and you can sit back and bask in the sublime bliss that is beard ownership.