I decided to grow a beard. Why? ‘Cuz I’m a man. Men do stuff like this. I haven’t tried to grow any kind of facial hair beyond some rugged stubble since sophomore year of college, when I had a terrible chin beard that was terrible. Before that, I had a mildly successful time with mutton chops in senior year of high school, but it probably didn’t look that good, and I distinctly remember one of my teachers commenting that the chops made me look “creepy.”
Some people grow a beard because they don’t like to shave. This is not I. I love shaving. It’s one of the few grooming routines that I genuinely enjoy. (Brushing my teeth? I could live without it. Same for showering. Yet I do it anyway.)
When it comes down to it, I just wanted to see if I could do it. I mean grow a manly beard.
After reading this article on the Art of Manliness website, I decided to give growing a beard a try. They recommend letting your beard grow for at least six weeks before giving up on it. But the article didn’t really make it clear that growing a beard is HARD. It is a terrible ordeal fraught with hardship, and I am frankly amazed that there are so many hipsters walking around with beards nowadays. I am a little more than two weeks into growing the beard, and it takes a lot of willpower to keep going.
Some of you might be wondering, how does growing a beard take any effort whatsoever? You literally do nothing except wait for it to grow. The argument could be made that not growing a beard is harder than growing one. Not so. Why?
Growing a beard ITCHES.
Do you see how I wrote that word “itches” in all caps? Go back and reread it if you missed it. That only begins to describe the discomfort at the early stages of this endeavor.
It takes every ounce of willpower as I type this to not run to the bathroom and shave it all off. Sweet relief is only a few strokes of the razor away. I am constantly scratching at my face, which makes the itching worse. The itching has not subsided in any way in the last week since it started. The bearded amongst us claim the itching will stop, and I have to hold out hope that they are not lying to me, but I am dying right now. I feel like I have poison ivy rashes all over my face. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. (But actually it is.)
I recommend to all men that you try to grow a beard to see what the hubbub is all about. And to you ladies, an alternative to beard-growing could be growing out your leg-hair (assuming you shave it, I don’t want to generalize though). I’m sure it will itch about the same amount and drive you just as crazy.
Updates to come as the beard fills in! Right now my beard is distinctly there but not enough for people to think I am purposefully growing it out. I know this because nobody is like “Oh, you’re growing a beard!” they just ignore it, I can only assume because they think I’m lazy and haven’t shaved. If only I could express to them how desperately I would like to break out the razor and shaving cream…