Beards and Man’s thinking. Sometimes.

A few weeks ago I started a full set beard. In other words not shaving at all. I had never tried this before which is quite unusual as most men will have had a go in their twenties and if for no other reason than laziness. Still most have seen and felt the effect. Me no. So A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to see what it looked like in its natural colour as soon enough it will begin changing.

Now, while I’m not going to compare growing a beard to child-birth. It does have some things in common. One, no one tells you stuff. Mind you with child-birth you’d imagine they’d be little enough need. It isn’t exactly a complex series of mathematical equations coming to the conclusion that anything widening 200 times its usual size regardless if that was its design, it will be a tad traumatic.

Beards are equally natural. Men are hormonally designed to grow them. But I can tell you that I can easily see how the first fellow came up with a flint flake. Laag sitting at the mouth his cave 35,000 years ago looking out over the beautiful valley of the Dordogne, but not seeing it. Surrounded by a clutch of tow haired kids, the fruit of many a night plumbing the depths of pleasure beneath the furs, not seeing them either. Magh, his mate, feeling fruity and contemplating a sweet night a bit later when all the kids are asleep sashays past him with a come-and-get-it roll of the hip and a ripe nut-brown globe freely seen beyond the loosened lace of her tunic, and Laag sees nothing. No Laag is banging two rocks together in a vain attempt to ease the face being EATEN off him by a beard.

The rock smashes in his hand. He looks down and sees the red oozing around the flakes and through the haze of blinding irritation has a dawning. He could slit shave off the offending stuff with the flakes of flint.

Six months later. Magh has divorced him, taking the kids and is now in a polygamous relationship with Naag and Dees. Laag, bare-faced as a boy has the new profession of flint knapper billing by the hour or part thereof, and is making a go of it. He has expanded the franchise and has developed the high-tech to de-hairing shins and skins, with a sideline in flakes for spears and arrows. He has caught the eye of Jaaf, a somewhat confused sporty lass. Who is doing a beta test on a concave flint flake to remove underarm growth she finds snags on bushes.

It is unbelievable the irritation cause by a growing beard. It felt like my face being eaten with hundreds and thousands of living things. And it was never-ending. Two weeks in and I knew I was doing something very wrong. Very wrong indeedy.

Surprisingly your face dries out more with a beard than without. And once the skin becomes less flexible every micron of movement is felt as the skin sticks and then releases to the shaft of hair. What you do to grow a beard is moisturize moisturize moisturize. Don’t put anything on it in the shower. That’s where I went really wrong. I worked off the headhair and shampood and conditioned the bejapers out of it. I couldn’t have done worse.

Anyhowzies, It seems I’m mostly blonde, +95%, with black -5%. Hardly a shock as I’ve got blonde hair and black brows and lashes. The problem with a blonde man growing a beard is the length needed for viability/visibility. The dark 5 o’clock shadow has instant visibility, with a blonde man you have to get into inches. Anything less has an out of focus feel. And with certain shades, an aspect of dirty face.

All in all, if ever I do it again I will be slathering on the B3. If what I read on the web has a grain of truth to it I should carry a tube in my pocket as I spend a goodly amount of time in the outdoors and the worse the better.

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19 Responses to Beards and Man’s thinking. Sometimes.

  1. Kelly says:

    Your caveman story had me laughing! The comparison to childbirth? Well, as I’ve never grown a beard, I don’t guess I can really say anything….but, really? πŸ˜‰

    My son (who’s in his 20s) has had partial facial hair for some time, but never a full beard. He pointed out to me the other day that he’s getting quite a bit of gray on his head now. I assured him I was getting my first gray in my late teens. I’ve had a head full of all-out “salt & pepper” for years. I’m too lazy to color it. Besides, it’s silver rather than dull gray, so I don’t mind it.

    • V.H says:

      Ah, it’s less that than the dearth of information that’s similar. And the beard isn’t painful per se.
      Yes I’ve friends that went grey early too. But the best one is the lie about the girl going grey while pregnant. Not that she was grey ten years earlier but now she has a bun she cannot put chemical in her hair. πŸ™‚

  2. Ed says:

    I’ve grown a beard over winter for several years now except for this last one we just got through with. I didn’t want to scare the baby with a beard so I kept it clean shaven all winter. The first time I grew a beard, it was itchy for a couple weeks before that feeling went away. After that, everything is great. Subsequent years only take four or five days for the itchy feeling to disappear. Since I didn’t do a beard last year, I’m curious if I do one next year if that itchy feeling will be longer as a result of skipping a year.

    Being blonde as well, I have the three day shadow instead of the five o’clock shadow. I’ve always loved this because I can get buy shaving for a few days and have no worries. But like you said, it takes my beard a month before it looks like a beard. Some of my darker haired friends can have a beard by the end of the week. But then if they don’t shave every morning, they look scruffy so I guess we all can’t have it both ways!

    • V.H says:

      Yes, I might give a go at it again now I’ve figured out the trick to keep it cool.

  3. Kimberly says:

    I too laughed at your story! You should do more of those.
    As for the beard, well that’s kind of funny also. πŸ˜‰ But yes, the daily shaving is a really good exfoliant so once that stops, between the hair and the skin that’s used to being sloughed, it’s gonna be itchy. I’ve heard that it subsides over time, but I can imagine the time leading up to that would be just miserable.
    For us blonde girls, the lack of the 5:00 shadow (so to speak) on our legs can buy us some extra time on those running-late days.

    • Kimberly says:

      Oh, and I sure like that header photo. The light is really pretty.

      • V.H says:

        That house is on the 100ft contour. The Suir (pronounced Sure) is tidal to a mile of it. The line out from the forest on the mountain is the path I take while climbing. But it’s from that point the mountains lifts rather steeply to 2365ft over about the same distance. It’s actually a bit less.
        That’s the style of house you’ll see all over since the Celtic Tiger. Not so much the brick though. But the size. I find the style lazy and derivative. But not only that it’s a repetition of designs deployed by English landlords to mark and grade their tenants. The Southern States didn’t lick their attitudes from a stone.

        • Kimberly says:

          I’m with Rebecca…I like the house because it is unique compared to what we have here. What a view they have of that mountain!

          • V.H says:

            Would that that were true here. But it isn’t. There are all over the darn place. I blame the women. You are the ones that really buy a house/pick a design. Men may think they have an input, but we don’t. It would want to be something traumatic for it to cause deflection of the woman’s goal. The other way though, well a little snit of a cousin felt a house was frowning at her as she was approaching it. And what was wrong, like with the house in the photo there was two such triangular projections with the door recessed.

    • V.H says:

      Bwaha, that may be true when you aren’t living with someone. But when your man runs a hand from ankle to knee, well you know what a hoof rasp is don’t you. It isn’t that you girls have hairy legs that’s the issue with most men but the texture.

      I was thinking about doing something like that with the story, I’ll see. And I didn’t think about an exfoliate. But that’s true too. All in all I think I went about it without reading up. If I had I’d have been ready for a bit like Ed says above it seems to be something once you know about it you know there’s an end to it.

      • Kimberly says:

        Oh sure, keeping up with those sorts of things is just good manners, BUT come on, it’s never been a deal breaker, especially if it’s a one off. It’s more a deterrent for us – we worry about the leg stubble FAR more than most men do.

        • V.H says:

          Oh good gracious NO. I certainly wouldn’t have said so. And if it did ‘he just isn’t that in to you’ as the saying goes. Plus. If he’s not outright kicking with the other foot and perhaps doesn’t know it.

  4. Rebecca S. says:

    My V had a beard once. When we were first together and he had quit is executive job and its ‘uniform’ and gone back to school, he decided, with my urging, to grow a beard (I love beards – my Dad has had one all my life, I like the look of them, etc. etc.) He kept it until the summer our second son was born. One day he looked at me and said, “Can I shave it off now?”

    I like the house, simply because we have nothing like that over here.

    • V.H says:

      I’ll have to have a think about this one.

    • V.H says:

      Oh-Kay then, I had a good chuckle and then went out with the hound for a walk.

      I think in good relationships we get a buzz when out partners find us desirable and that has a feedback loop. So a glance that lasts less than a second in a crowded room can bounce between partners and set both alight.

      I think why I dislike the design so much is that we could have done so much better. We had artistic design once that was the envy of Europe then we didn’t move an inch without some influence from elsewhere. But also, that house is half the floor space of yours. And while the light is better than most it still isn’t penetrating the house. The face you see is South so you have to assume half the house is in darkness permanently since there will be an internal wall running E-W. At our latitudes we should embrace sunlight like we won’t see it for months.

  5. Sage says:

    For reasons you cite, I grew my third and last beard almost 25 years ago (the anniversary is in August). No more for me, I haven’t been clean shaven since! My wife and kids have never seen me without a beard nor have friends except for a few life-long ones.

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