Monday, January 24, 2011

Dear Shopping Savage...

Dear Shopping Savage,

I'm thinking about growing a beard but my wife isn't too thrilled with the idea. Any advice on how I can convince her otherwise?


Fan of Facial Hair


Dear F.O.F.H.,

Seeing is believing my friend. The only way to convince your wife, and others, that you would look good with a beard is to start growing one. If you've never attempted one before be prepared: the first 2-4 weeks can be very tough and telling of how committed you are to the process.

Vacations or extra long weekends are great times to look at letting the preliminary whiskers take root. If you don't have that kind of time expect to endure an unsettling amount of "are you trying to grow a beard?" questions. Your self-esteem may take a few hits to the (scruffy) chin but its best to avoid shaving, or shaping up, any facial hair for the first four weeks. This will give you the best idea of how fast your facial hair grows, which areas are slower to fill in and if you're capable of producing a full beard altogether.

During this phase you may experience coarse hair, uneven growth and some itching, but these are all the growing pains that men must endure to attain a healthy beard. Your face will eventually adapt to the hair growth but in the interim try using a mild shampoo 2-to-3 times a week or applying hydrocortisone 1% as needed to counter the discomfort. Rubbing a capful of vitamin E oil will also help reduce the itching and irritation, as well as provide nourishing qualities that promote hair growth and healthy skin. During this growing out process, you should still plan to comb or brush your beard into some form of unruly submission.

After you've successfully survived a month of growing out your facial hair, your next challenge is to determine what beard would work best for you. Even with your willingness to try out this uncharted facial texture, it may not be in your genes to grow a full beard. In this instance, it may be best to refer to this facial hair chart to settle on which alternative helps you put your best fuzzy face forward.

If you don't already have a quality beard trimmer then now's definitely the time to invest. If nothing else, you want to trim the arrant hairs that may grow higher on your cheeks, close to your eyes and especially those on your neck.

Maintain your facial mane with weekly washes and trims. This will soften the hair and make it that much more manageable. You can use the same shampoo as the one for your head of hair, as long as its mild enough not to irritate the skin on your face. If the shampoo that you use has a hair restorative quality it may help fill in the slow-to-grow parts of your beard as well.

Your choice to shave against the societal grain takes as much courage as it does hair to fill in a beard. Surely many men have thought about doing this but so few actually go threw with it. Men of late have become obsessed with removing all traces of hair, but a beard is bold, masculine and when done properly, a smart and stylish addition to a man's aesthetic. With this small facial gesture you've taken a virile step that reminds us of what separates the men from the boys...and girls.

Worst case scenario? You could always shave it off.

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1 comment:

  1. Mr. Sellers, Why not post a picture of yourself on your webpage so your fans can see your dapper self.