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#1
Old 11-18-2014, 03:08 PM
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What are your beard growing experiences?

About every three or four years I decide to stop shaving and let my beard grow. Usually it's at the tail end of a vacation when I'm not shaving and decide to just let it grow even after returning to work. Well this is one of those times and it also coincided with No-Shave-November / Movember...the American Cancer Society men's cancer awareness initiative. So I'm also giving some money to a good cause.

When I have grown out my beard in the past, I normally shave it off after about 4-6 weeks, but this time, I'm considering letting it go for a while. My wife likes the beard. My beard is blondish/red and wiry during the early stages. Beard balm usually helps keep it from looking so untamed.

So what are your experiences, if you have grown out your beard? Are there certain products that you use or prefer, etc.?
#2
Old 11-18-2014, 03:21 PM
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I have had facial hair ever since I could grow facial hair, primarily out of laziness. When my temples went grey, I switched from a full beard to a (I forget the correct terms) Van Dyke (Mustache and goatee). Ten years or so ago I went a long time without trimming and had a ZZTop type thing going on.

When I was in my beard-to-my-beltline phase it wasn't uncommon for women to ask if they could braid it. I would always say, "sure, so long as you're sitting in my lap" and surprisingly, they all went along with it.

Never used any product in my facial hair. Never saw the need. When I drove a soft top wrangler the wind would sometimes catch my beard and put it in my face.
#3
Old 11-18-2014, 03:22 PM
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Never let it go for more than 4-5 days, wnen on the road and shaving was inconvenient. But I had a mustache for a while.

I think most polls I've seen, women prefer clean-shaven men by a pretty wide margin. Personally, I always thought men with beards have an unattractive unkepmt appearance.
#4
Old 11-18-2014, 03:30 PM
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Have you ever looked at my picture in the SDMB portrait gallery? I can raise a beard like that from stubble in about 3 months. My beard has gone anywhere from really short to ZZ TOP in the course of my life and its almost a part of my identity. I shaved three times since Nixon was in office - the last time in 2006. My wife laughed, the neighborhood kids were frightened to death of me, and the family across the street called the cops and reported me breaking into my own house.

(Although sometimes I do claim to be clean-shaven ---- I insist the hair I used to have on top of my head fell out the bottom)

(Anyone growing a beard and bothered by the itch ---- brush in a little Mennon's Talc. Stops it real well)
#5
Old 11-18-2014, 03:37 PM
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I've had a beard most of my adult life. Sometimes it's well trimmed, other times I let it grow wild. To keep it well trimmed requires daily attention. You need to take a pair of scissors and check your beard in a mirror, rotating your head from side to side to catch anything sticking out. It's amazing how a hair that wasn't there yesterday can be sticking out an inch tomorrow.

I just use shampoo or plain white soap for washing, and hair conditioner to soften it occasionally. Sometimes I use a touch of mustache wax to get some spots under control.
#6
Old 11-18-2014, 03:42 PM
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Mine has been growing since sometime in June, so its getting pretty long now, this is about the longest i have ever grown it. Most people tell me they like it and give an emphatic NO if I mention that i'm thinking of shaving.

I don't put any product in it other than maybe once every second week or so i give it a really thorough shampooing.
#7
Old 11-18-2014, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Personally, I always thought men with beards have an unattractive unkepmt appearance.
So, you disagree with this study?
#8
Old 11-18-2014, 03:48 PM
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All have been fuzzy - except for one. That one was Wuzzy.

Kind of like Bill and Steve. You know? Jobs & Wozniak?
-------------------------------------------------------
I'd like to know from anyone may like to reply.

Is this post (above the dashed lines) a reasonable post in this forum? Would it be a better post in some other forum? Thank you. I'm trying to understand the rules for creating posts in these forums.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 11-18-2014 at 03:49 PM.
#9
Old 11-18-2014, 04:01 PM
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I tend to grow a bit of a Van-Dyke-style goatee, though I'll shave it all off occasionally. This year, I'm actually not shaving at all in November, though. It's nice having everything nice and soft without shaving. Got a good half an inch now.
#10
Old 11-18-2014, 04:03 PM
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I grew a full beard in my late 20s, and shaved it down into a goatee at the request and advice of my fiancee before we got married (she said it would make me look younger than the full beard, and it did).

This year, I grew the full beard back, then shaved the chin portion for a Halloween costume (I went as Wandering Oaken). My wife and daughter were horrified, as it was the first time they'd ever seen me without chin whiskers. So, after Halloween I shaved the sides and left a long mustache, which is now filling back in as a goatee again. I've been cautioned by the women of my household to "never do that again".

Last edited by Max Torque; 11-18-2014 at 04:04 PM.
#11
Old 11-18-2014, 04:05 PM
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I grow one every year, October through March or so, because winter. I always tell myself I'm going to grow a sweet-ass Viking beard, but I tend to leave it pretty short. After a certain point it gets too dense around the chin and I find it annoying to sleep on, so I trim it up.
#12
Old 11-18-2014, 04:37 PM
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I've pretty much had one since I was a senior in high school, with a few periods of clean-chinnedness. Laziness, mainly - shaving is a pain.

That said, I have never had nor ever liked the long Civil-War-general look that is popular among those crazy kids on the intertoobz these days. If my beard gets long enough for the whiskers to get in my mouth, I trim it - that's annoying as hell to me.

My one sop to vanity is that I have begun dyeing it - it was fully gray by the time I was thirty-five.
#13
Old 11-18-2014, 05:12 PM
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I’ve had a beard for 15 years. I don’t keep it long. Once every week or two I trim it using a Whal trimmer with #1 guard on the sides and hit the goatee area with a #3. I don’t have a very cool long beard because it just keeps getting bushier and rounder making my face look fat. Every time I trim it looks like I lost 10 lbs, but I don’t care enough to trim it as much as I should.
#14
Old 11-18-2014, 05:18 PM
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I have had my beard grow for about two or three weeks, but never a long beard in the style of ZZ Top/Osama Bin Laden/Duck Dynasty, Santa Claus. I like some light beard, five o'clock shadow but soon shave it. Content that I can grow a beard though I choose to be clean shaven.
#15
Old 11-18-2014, 05:23 PM
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My brother hasn't had a naked face for 32 years. He trims it every once in a while so it isn't that extremely long, but we wouldn't recognize him without it.
#16
Old 11-18-2014, 05:51 PM
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I've grown lazier about shaving since I retired. I'll often go a day or two without shaving. And then sometimes I let it go for a few days and at that point, I'll often decide to let it keep growing to beard length before shaving it all off again. As it happens, I'm currently at short beard length.
#17
Old 11-18-2014, 05:57 PM
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if it gets in your soup then use a barber clipper with the 3/4 or 1 inch attachment for a quick, easy and uniform whack back.
#18
Old 11-18-2014, 06:50 PM
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"Products"? "Beard balm"?

I ain't never used no balm, conditioner, fertilizer or other stuff on my beard. It grows just fine without outside intervention (I come from a long line of hairy men).

These days, not wanting to look like a cross between Bad Santa and Charles Manson, I've gravitated to a short beard. I mow every couple of weeks. That's it for maintenance.

According to the all-important Mrs. Jackmannii poll, it looks great.
#19
Old 11-18-2014, 07:08 PM
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It crawled onto my face Xmas day 1984 and never left. Trim monthly. Ivory soap in the shower. Nothing on the neck; ends at the jawline. Since I'm Irish, German and Cherokee, it took 2 dozen years for it to fill in properly. Just in time for it to go salt-and-pepper. Never any complaints from the fairer sex.
#20
Old 11-18-2014, 10:00 PM
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I grew a full beard and moustache.

Didn't care for it. A total stranger was looking back at me from my mirror.

I shaved it back to a fringe beard only, an "Abraham Lincoln" or "Captain Ahab" beard.

My family, friends, and co-workers all hated it!

I cut a notch in it, about 1 1/2 inches wide, at the chin, to make it into two muttonchops.

At this point in time, everybody's happy!
#21
Old 11-18-2014, 11:16 PM
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I do the beard irregularly. I recently shaved it off after about 2/12 years. I'm blonde so the beard is a mix of blonde and ginger, with gray now below the corners of the mouth.

As mine doesn't grow down but out, if I don't trim it it just makes my face fat. So I trimmed it usually once a week on Sunday with the clippers down to about 6mm long.

Other than that, so maintenance required.

One day i'm going to take the plunge and see if I can actually grow something long enough that it can hang down instead of sticking out.
#22
Old 11-19-2014, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Moving Vehicle View Post
My one sop to vanity is that I have begun dyeing it - it was fully gray by the time I was thirty-five.
OMG, I did that once with a Just For Men product. I guess I'm more brown than black, but I just grabbed the black off the shelf. I applied and waited the suggested time, but I still looked grey. So I waited. And waited.

When I finally said screw it, and rinsed, I looked like a cartoon character.
#23
Old 11-19-2014, 08:17 AM
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I've been shaving since I was 14 and growing beards since I was 16. Shaved from time to time for interviews & work; some of the places I have worked have been pretty My Three Sons in their men's styling culture. I switched to all-beard-all-the-time once I realized that, with the combination of very pale skin & very dark beard, I still have a 5 o'clock shadow immediately after shaving, so unless I'm working someplace where people are making their judgment call on my hirsuteness based off of the way my face feels (and I'd really like to know what kind of job that would be...), I'm not shaving myself bloody every day and STILL get dinged for looking like I haven't shaved in a couple days.

I've been working someplace for a year now and nobody here has ever seen me without a beard; I'm thinking of hacking it off just to see their reactions. I'm told that I look completely different without the beard; one guy said "dude, you could commit crimes, then shave the beard off and nobody would pick you out of a lineup..."
#24
Old 11-19-2014, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
if it gets in your soup then use a barber clipper with the 3/4 or 1 inch attachment for a quick, easy and uniform whack back.
Or just tuck it inside your shirt collar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
OMG, I did that once with a Just For Men product. I guess I'm more brown than black, but I just grabbed the black off the shelf. I applied and waited the suggested time, but I still looked grey. So I waited. And waited.

When I finally said screw it, and rinsed, I looked like a cartoon character.
(for those who haven't checked the portraits, I look a bit like the museum guy from Pawn Stars ---- although I looked like this long before he did)

Idiots like that guy from Pawn Stars make me laugh. Yeah - dye a couple stripes in your beard and all of a sudden be younger. Right. I've survived long past the point of caring how old I look. As a matter of fact, once I could pass at the booze shops, my caring ended and never came back.
#25
Old 11-19-2014, 08:49 AM
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A friend of mine whose beard grows out to ZZ Top length says that when it gets too long, you need to use hair ties on it if you drive with the windows open because otherwise it blows up into your face and you can't see.
#26
Old 11-19-2014, 10:50 AM
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I'm 42 and have facial hair for the first time in my life. Started 11/1 for No-Shave November

For some unknown bizarre reason, I have no hair growth where my sideburns should be, so I currently have a mustache and goatee.

At the end of the month, I am going to ditch the goatee, but leave the mustache for a week or so, it's going to be a beauty, like Sam Elliot in Lebowski. My wife will despise it, so that's why I'll only keep it for a week.
#27
Old 11-19-2014, 11:14 AM
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My attempts at growing facial hair have been a source of great amusement to my wife and daughter. Many years ago I was on a 2 month assignment to some operations in Kazahkstan and the family stayed behind, so I told them I would try to grow a beard and mustache. When I returned home to my loving family they were very amused at the results. My "beard" was the scraggly sort of mess that Dieter the East German terrorist might have sported at the Baader Meinhof meetings and the mustache was described as resembling a barcode.

When the laughter died down I went to the bathroom and shaved it all off. Even now I can go a few days without shaving. Must be a lack of hormones.
#28
Old 11-19-2014, 12:43 PM
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I should have been shaving twice a day since I was 14, and can grow a pretty luscious beard in 2 weeks. I went years shaving intermittently (once a week was probably average), and so I looked like The Homeless George Michael. As a result of my laziness, I was sent home from high school to shave twice.

When I was first allowed to grow a beard, I varied between THGM, weird mutton chops, a van dyke, and then a couple of years with a goatee. I eventually shaved that off for a job search, and displayed my little "butt chin" to the world for awhile. After I got married, I reverted to switching between THGM and more van dykes and moustaches for years, but my wife always complained ("It doesn't provide the right suction!", and "Cactuses are pretty, but you don't want to kiss them.").

Then, I fell and split my chin open. I couldn't shave, because I'd shave out the stitches. After they came out, I couldn't shave for another two weeks because the doc was worried I'd slice open the wound. Full beard was a forgone conclusion, because I wasn't going to shave if it contradicted medical advice.

Oddly enough, my wife did a wonderful painting of me in that beard. If I may be so vain, maybe the best work of her career to date. However, when she ended up being exposed to it day in and day out without an artistic or medical reason for it, the old complaints arose.

Nonetheless, I still loved my hirsute face, and toyed with several silly styles. I had "The Rent Is Too Damn High" for awhile ("It's like kissing a wet dog"), and I remember chasing my wife around the house, trying to kiss her while I had a Hitler toothbrush ("Noooooo, why are you doing this to meeeee!")

Like all mostly sane people, I came to my senses. I thought about what beard I had when we started dating - it was just a goatee! She even used to chew on it! (Odd, but endearing) I grew a goatee (now salt+pepper instead of brindle), and started shaving the rest twice a week. There was much rejoicing, and no complaints. On my dearest's request for a little more sexiness, I grew the sideburns out. I trim the sideburns, and let the goatee grow ( not quite ZZ Top length, about 7 3/4" after about a year and a half ) . We couldn't be happier - I have something to fondle besides my privates when thinking, and proper suction is achieved if we're within a day or two of the twice-ish weekly shave.

The only drawback now is that the kitten has decided the beard is a great toy, while I'm asleep. Wow oh wow, that was long and detailed. In my defense, you asked about my beard.

Last edited by scabpicker; 11-19-2014 at 12:47 PM.
#29
Old 11-19-2014, 12:57 PM
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Oh, and I missed the edit window, but:

After my beard reaches more than about 1/2 of an inch, it doesn't itch as long as I keep it clean with some sort of shampoo. I'm an oily person, so I don't need any conditioners besides the shaving lather that soaks into the beard when I shave.
#30
Old 11-19-2014, 01:22 PM
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Since I've been able to grow one, I've had a beard for more than half of my life. Only the first time did I let it grow long. I used to trim it with scissors, then I could afford beard trimmers with adjustable combs. And I generally kept my neck shaven. Daily for definition until it grew in, then maybe twice a week. I'd generally rub some shampoo into it when I was doing my hair in the shower.

Hmm.. I don't think I've seen my bare upper lip since 1977.
#31
Old 11-19-2014, 02:02 PM
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My wife has alleged that, if I ever try to grow a beard, she will shave it when I'm asleep. I *think* she is joking ...

In any event, mine grows in sparse and scraggly, so I'm better off beardless.
#32
Old 11-19-2014, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malthus View Post
mine grows in sparse and scraggly, so I'm better off beardless.
Facial hairs don't grow in evenly. Most people's beards look sparse and scraggly for the first couple of weeks. Anyone can grow a full beard, if you just let it grow. Typical advice is to give it 4-6 weeks. That way the follicles that typically don't grow fast early on have time to catch up. Then you can start trimming it up to make it even.
#33
Old 11-19-2014, 02:54 PM
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First off, let me issue a clarification on a misunderstanding I see everywhere facial hair discussion pops up: having a beard doesn't itch. Not having a beard (more specifically, the very beginnings of one growing in) itches, and sometimes crazily so.

When I was thirteen, after the third time my dad said "You need to shave" and I did, the next few days were agony as it grew back in; at one point I was scratching so hard I was drawing blood. I said nuts to that, and haven't shaved since; though I do trim it on a regularish basis.

Also: if facial hair really bothers you that much, you should probably just cut out the middleman and go be a chimpanzee. None of the other great apes can remotely compete with humans in the beard/mustache category.
#34
Old 11-19-2014, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Facial hairs don't grow in evenly. Most people's beards look sparse and scraggly for the first couple of weeks. Anyone can grow a full beard, if you just let it grow. Typical advice is to give it 4-6 weeks. That way the follicles that typically don't grow fast early on have time to catch up. Then you can start trimming it up to make it even.
Aside from a mustache and a Gagne, mine simply will not grow past a quarter inch and there are some patches that will not grow at all.
#35
Old 11-19-2014, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Facial hairs don't grow in evenly. Most people's beards look sparse and scraggly for the first couple of weeks. Anyone can grow a full beard, if you just let it grow. Typical advice is to give it 4-6 weeks. That way the follicles that typically don't grow fast early on have time to catch up. Then you can start trimming it up to make it even.
There have been times - when my wife was away on business ( ) - that I grew my beard (or rather, simply did not shave) for more than a month: still scraggly. Just longer.

Never took it to a full two months though.
#36
Old 11-19-2014, 03:05 PM
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Well if you never trimmed it up to even up all of the hairs, of course its going to look scraggly.
#37
Old 11-19-2014, 03:09 PM
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I've had a mustache since about 1968. Grew a beard when Zumwalt allowed Navy personnel to do so. Beards went away for good in the Navy in about 1985. When I retired in 1990, I grew it back and haven't shaved it off since then. I never went full Sasquatch with it, and prefer it shorter now, usually trimming it back quite a bit when I get a haircut. No potions, powders or other treatments; just shampoo. I've always disliked the chin-strap style and the Amish no-mustache leprechaun look. My sons all have the goatee style, which looks good on them.
#38
Old 11-19-2014, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Well if you never trimmed it up to even up all of the hairs, of course its going to look scraggly.
By "scraggly" I mean "thin and patchy in growth". That is, there are hairs, but not all over, enough to make a full beard. Not simply that the hairs are of uneven length.
#39
Old 11-19-2014, 03:20 PM
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Mine is intermittent. As a mature student I let hair and beard grow unchallenged for several years, then got a days work as a film extra which required a clean shave and a short-back-and-sides. The guy doing hair nearly wet himself with excitement and I got a free pro shave.

I've grown it out less since, but it's currently mostly trimmed to a number 2 every month or so, with only the tips of the moustache allowed free rein. They curl beautifully, I'm told, and I like the habit of waxing it. I did try briefly letting the rest of the moustache grow and combing it with a centre parting to bulk up the curl, but all that hair immediately under my nostril was infuriating - and without constant waxing it was like an emo fringe for the mouth. Soup was very unhygienic...
#40
Old 11-19-2014, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malthus View Post
By "scraggly" I mean "thin and patchy in growth". That is, there are hairs, but not all over, enough to make a full beard. Not simply that the hairs are of uneven length.
Ah, you sound like my grandpa. He always blamed his American Indian ancestry (which may just be family legend.)

I do have a bit of patchiness. There's a small patch between my mustache and beard that doesn't actually grow hair. It's small enough that, once I grow the beard out, you can't see it. But it always makes me self-conscious early on.

I have a similar problem from the hair under my bottom lip to my chin. Sometimes I just shave off what's under my lip.
#41
Old 11-19-2014, 03:47 PM
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I did a face plant in a bicycle wreck back in my college days and let my beard grow out since I couldn't properly shave around the numerous sutures. I've had a full beard since then.
#42
Old 11-19-2014, 04:07 PM
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Oh, another note about beards: no matter how careful you are, they make eating cotton candy a sticky mess.

Still worth it, though.
#43
Old 11-19-2014, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Recusant View Post
Oh, another note about beards: no matter how careful you are, they make eating cotton candy a sticky mess.

Still worth it, though.
And then there's THIS!
#44
Old 11-19-2014, 05:10 PM
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Growing mine out for Movember/Decembeard, and the itchiness fades after a week or three, IME.
The wife swore she couldn't stand me with facial hair but did a turnabout after everything grew in, now she likes my "bad boy" look as she calls it. Now if only I could convince her I need a motorcycle to look really badass...
#45
Old 11-19-2014, 06:26 PM
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I haven't shaved my upper lip in 41 years. The chin-fur has come and gone over the years. I've run a full beard several times but have been rocking a van dyke since I started shaving my head back in 2001. I generally keep it fairly close-cropped, running an electric trimmer over it (#4 setting) every week.
#46
Old 11-19-2014, 06:36 PM
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I didn't like it at first. But then it grew on me.









Thanks folks. I'll be here all evening. Be sure to tip your server.
#47
Old 11-19-2014, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
OMG, I did that once with a Just For Men product. I guess I'm more brown than black, but I just grabbed the black off the shelf. I applied and waited the suggested time, but I still looked grey. So I waited. And waited.

When I finally said screw it, and rinsed, I looked like a cartoon character.
That's what I use. Same thing happened to me last time I dyed. I looked like Bluto. Fortunately, the truism that the difference between a bad haircut and a good one is two weeks also applies to bad dye jobs; the gray has grown in, and lightened it back to something that looks like it belongs on a human face.

Last edited by Slow Moving Vehicle; 11-19-2014 at 09:03 PM.
#48
Old 11-20-2014, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recusant View Post
Oh, another note about beards: no matter how careful you are, they make eating cotton candy a sticky mess.

Still worth it, though.
But if you emit some water from your mouth, like if you're taking a pill or laughing, the beard catches it so your shirt doesn't get wet.
#49
Old 11-20-2014, 09:20 AM
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I have only shaved my moustache once in my life. It still took me well into my 20's to get a decent growth. Prior to this month, I have never gone longer than a week without shaving the rest of my face. One week of growth was always enough to show that I just didn't have the chops for a beard (see what I did there?). Two weeks ago I had some surgery which necessitated a week off work and another week working from home. I didn't shave during the entire 2 weeks and it is beginning to look like, at age 51, I just might be able to fill in enough to make it worthwhile - although it is as much grey as dark. Anyway, the wife thought I should let it go a bit longer and see what happens. A grand experiment, it is!
#50
Old 11-20-2014, 10:06 AM
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My facial hair grows pretty slowly so it's been ages since I was tempted since it means a long time looking like a hobo with mange.

On winter, years ago, I spent the winter working a job where no one cared so I went without shaving. My hair is charitably "dirty blonde" but my beard looked reddish. Last time I went two weeks without shaving, I noticed that my proto-beard was about 50% silver. I feel like I'm wearing someone else's face in comparison to my head-hair color.
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