Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hair, You Go Again

A wise and hairy Dane once said:

To beard, or not to beard: that is the question:
Whether 'tis easier on the face to suffer
The stings and cuts of tonsorial torture,
Or to take a break and accept that sea of stubble,

And by not opposing, grow a beard.

People spend a lot of time and attention on hair. Women will also spend countless dollars on styling their hair. Men, on the other hand, spend very little money (by comparison anyway) on hairstyling. The reason is that most of us men tend to gradually lose what precious little hair we have covering our craniums.

Facial hair is another matter. Men can do all sorts of things with facial hair that women can't. We can shave it off to look as smooth as women or we can demonstrate our superior macho masculinity by growing a beard. Once a significant amount of facial hair has been amassed, it can be trimmed into all manner of styles.

One popular style of beard is known as the Van Rijn, named after the hirsute Dutch painter Rembrandt Hairmengroom van Rijn. Alternatively, this style has been called the Van Dyke or the Van Heflin.

Another beard, the goatee, is much like the Van Rijn/Van Dyke/Van Heflin but without the mustache part. This is a great style for men who want to look like that famous old west desperado, Billy the Goat.

Billy the Goat

The full beard can be worn at various lengths; from the ultra-short (like most actors and male models these days — who look like they're on the fifth day of a five-day razorless vacation) to the super-long (for the classic Rasputin appearance or that dashing, through-the-snow look of Santa-Claus).

While in my twenties and thirties, I sported a beard most of the time. As I got older however, my facial hair grew grayer and grayer until it got to the point where it was completely white. Thus, vanity kept me clean shaven for many years. But about a year and a half ago, I decided to grow a beard once more. Since it was so white, I figured it would look better if I kept it short — very short.

Unfortunately, this also made my beard very picky. Whenever I gave my wife a smooch, she felt as if she were kissing a pin cushion. I was about as cuddly as a scotch pine.

Furthermore, when I started growing the beard I envisioned that I would look like this:

Instead, I ended up looking more like this:

So I shaved it off.

Now I look something like this:

Makes me look younger, don't you think?

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