Every Guy Should Own: Facial hair etiquette

When walking around campus, it’s hard not to notice the influx of furry-faced men. “No Shave November” is upon us.

“No Shave November” is an awareness movement targeted at testicular cancer, which makes me inclined to support it as an awareness act. I am not, however, a fan of all these unkempt ferocious beards. Without the proper grooming — or the proper genetics — growing a beard can make you look like some guy on “Just Busted” and not an aware young adult. I personally have no desire to look like someone who would get arrested for breaking and entering or assault with a deadly weapon, and neither should you.

Keeping that in mind, here are a few ways to determine if you are a candidate for “No Shave November,” and how to take care of your budding beard and remove it if necessary.

When growing a beard, the first thing you need to consider is how you will look with facial hair. If you have slow-growing or patchy facial hair, count yourself out.  Walking around all month looking like a pubescent middle school student isn’t a good look. However, if you still want some facial hair, study your face  and determine where you get the most stubble — perhaps you are a candidate for a mustache or goatee.

If you do qualify for a beard, the next step you need to take is picking a style. I recommend checking out websites like www.beards.org that offer a selection and recommend what types of facial hair are best for which beards. It is important to go in knowing what you want your end result to be, otherwise you may end up letting your beard grow into a Santa Claus moment.

Taking care of your beard (and your face) while growing a beard isn’t as difficult as most guys believe. Be sure to trim your beard every few days to keep it looking neat. A pair of scissors or trimmers will do the job. A beard is just like any other hair — you need to wash it. Shampoo it daily, and pat it dry. I recommend buying a mild shampoo/conditioner combination. This will be the best for your skin and will keep your beard clean and manageable.

Remember, just because you have a beard doesn’t mean you can forget about the skin underneath. Wash your face regularly with hot water and a cleanser that works well with your skin. I recommend the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. It isn’t too strong, and it’s easy to apply. Stay away from anything exfoliating — many of these products have small beads that may get stuck in your beard when you try to clean the face wash off.

When removing a beard, set aside some time to make sure you do it right. I highly recommend going to a barber to remove your beard. A barber knows what he is doing and will do all the work for you. A good choice in Mount Pleasant is Woody’s Barber Shop on Mission Street (ask for a straight razor shave). If you do choose to remove your beard yourself, invest in a shaving kit that will give you some quality product and not upset your skin. My personal favorite is The Art Of Shaving, which is available at Nordstrom online. I recently received one of their shaving sets as an early Christmas present and it is well worth the cost.

Whether you are partaking in “No Shave November” or just exploring your options when it comes to facial hair, remember to take your beard and your skin and make a choice that is flattering to you. When done well, a beard can transform your look, so keep it clean and keep it fun.


Photo credit: Google Images