When you first decide to take the next step in the evolution chain and begin growing out your very own beard-mane there will be both ups and downs along the way. Here's a collection of possible scenarios you'll encounter on your bearding journey...
1. WELCOME TO THE ITCHING PHASE!
This stage breaks many men before they have truly began. The dreaded 'itch'. Whenever I'm contacted from folks asking advice about starting to grow a beard the first question many will ask is 'Will this itch ever stop??' and the short and often welcomed answer would be yes. Thankfully the dreaded itching stage of your facial forest journey doesn't last too long. And by not too long I mean less than a month depending on your beard growing rate rate. In the meantime I suggest keeping your face well hydrated and try your very best to resist to itch excessively, as this can prolong the discomfort and cause damage to your skin.
2. IT'S NEVER TOO SOON TO USE A GOOD QUALITY BEARD OIL!
I get some strange responses when I suggest applying a small amount of good quality beard oil to those who are only days into growing out a beard. But the benefits from using oils can prove key to your bearding success. Not only will the oil help with the itching phase of beard hair growing, but it will also help with your beards softness and even helps maintain smooth and healthy skin which can only be a plus. Look at it like this, If you were growing your own vegetables you'd much rather plant them seeds in a healthy rich soil to give your veggies the best possible chance of growing healthy and more appetizing. Well, look at your beard in the same way and you'll understand the real benefits when using quality beard oils.
3. YOU'LL QUICKLY FALL FOR YOUR BEARD LIKE YOU NEVER DREAMED POSSIBLE!
It's no secret that many of us bearded fellows are rather attached to our beard-manes and take great pride when looking after them. Some folks often cannot seem to digest as to why we care so much for our facial fluff, and for those who don't I usually use this concept to help them understand. For example later this year it's my eldest Brothers wedding and I am honoured to have been granted the pleasure of being asked to be his best man. His soon to be wife one day asked me 'Fran, Are you planning on sorting out that big ginger beard?' clearly suggesting I chop it down or even worse off. My response? 'Hey, I'll cut you a deal, You shave off that long blonde hair of yours on your head and I'll follow your lead and chop off my beard!' My point here being us bearded men take just as much time and pride if not more in their beards. Beards display a mans patience as they don't simply appear overnight.
4. THE UNWRITTEN RESPECT SHOWN BETWEEN BEARDED GENTS!
My wife often laughs at me when I try to explain this to her. But when you pass by another fellow bearded Gent you'll find yourself respectfully acknowledging one another, usually with a polite nod of the head, even if you have never met before in your life. The reason behind this being you understand the mans journey and respect the patience shown when growing out a beard. It's like a unwritten rule in the Brotherhood bible. One you'll respect without even willing knowing you are doing so. Relatable? I'm right aren't I?
5. INVITED OR NOT, EVERYONE WILL HAVE AN OPINION ON YOUR BEARD!
This has to be by far one of the most unavoidable situations when you have a beard. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE will have an opinion on your beard and most will happily voice them, even when most of the time we don't request they do so. From the kind old lady at the checkout asking 'Don't you get too warm in there?' to the disapproving relative at a family gathering who you haven't seen since you were a child who suggests 'Your beard makes you look old!'. You'll find yourself answering the same questions over and over. But it's not all bad! The majority of the time the folks you'll meet will rather admire your newly sprouted facial forest, and may even ask if they can touch it every once in a while! All in all I find it rather fun and somewhat entertaining. Embrace all the comments, simply ignore the negativity and have fun with it. Because after all is said and done, you my friend, are a bearded bad ass!
That's another beard blog in the bag for this week, as always let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
And until next time, Beard on Brothers, Beard on...