Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Further Down the Facial Hair Rabbit Hole?

Despite the apparent popularity of growing a beard during the month of November, the availability of hair care products designed for facial hair remains limited. (online they are plentiful, but I remain, for now, a like-to-hold-it-in-hands-before-purchase kind of shopper.) While I have been allowing my untamed facial hair to grow unchecked for periods of time ranging from one month to several months on-and-off for almost ten years now, I have rarely used any care products specifically designed for use with facial hair. (I have done some research though, most notably reading Jack Passion's Facial Hair Handbook, )

Thanks, Mom.
Occasionally I'll consider taking the beard-thing to the next level, and falling down the competitive bearding rabbit hole. This daydreaming is also usually not met with affection by my wife. Just the other day, I wondered aloud where one might buy beard-care products like moustache wax. Her response? "You go into the bathroom and shave it off!"

Even if I were inclined to buy specialized products, finding any for purchase at my neighborhood supermarket or convenience store would be near impossible. Twenty years ago, I vaguely recall using moustache (or "mustache" as is the more common spelling) wax to handlebar up a 'stache I was sporting. Wa-a-ay back then, the product (which I have zero idea where I obtained it from) came in a cylindrical tube much like lip balm. This past weekend while visiting with my mother, she inquired if I had been styling my beard with wax, and when I suggested that I might like to but didn't know where to buy it from, she suggested a local beauty supply shop. By the next day, my mother had stopped by to a shop and picked up a small tube of  Clubman Moustache Wax for me.

Before "waxing" (top)
and after. 

Ironically, it is during these moments when I begin to consider embracing the idea of the maintenance and appearance of my facial hair, that I wake up with the urge to roll out of bed, walk into the bathroom, and follow through with my wife's suggestion of buzzing the entire thing off. Invariably though, this act of initiating the "period when man with a beard shaves it off," is soon followed by, as famously suggested by Jean Cocteau, the wait to "return headlong to my [his] beard."

So what impact did using the wax have? Application was pretty simple, though I did watch a few Youtube videos illustrating just how to do so correctly. The overall impact was perhaps not noticeable by the casual observer, (see before and after pic to the right), but it did provide some lift to an otherwise unruly (and saggy) upper lip. The wax did help tame odd out-of-place hairs, as well as to provide some better overall structure for the 'stache. My beard is still in the early stages of growth (especially as compared to some of the magnificent examples I've come across online), so it's awkward look can not be avoided. In some ways, I have thus far cultivated the facial equivalent to a mullet: all business above the lip and a hillbilly party below.

With the questions of whether or not I am participating in No Shave November soon to be in the rare view mirror, and the queries about my status as a department store Santa soon to be oncoming, for today, at least I look forward to continuing to roll with the beard. That is, until I tire of it, shave and patiently await the next opportunity to return head long to my bearded state.

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