I have a beard. For those of you who know me, this is very apparent. This beard is large and bushy, and, accompanied by my long hair, makes me rather unattractive. However, I am an actor who is working on a movie, and I am happy to sport these things in the name of my craft. I am normally without a huge beard and long hair, and I look forward to the return of a clean-cut look, but for now I thought I would take the time to share with you fine folks a little bit of what it’s like to have such a hearty beard. A bit of beard triva and mythbusting, if you will.
• My beard does not itch. When first growing a beard it itches constantly, however there are a few factors to this that eventually subside with time. It comes down to the simple fact that the skin is not used to being covered in hair. When the hairs first start to grow, they are short and rigid – which is partially why stubble is like sandpaper. As the hairs grow longer, however, they are no longer held straight by the skin, and they begin to curl. This interaction amongst the hairs is very irritating, as they begin to poke the skin and each other – and this is when the itch begins. As the hairs grow even longer, they are slowly pushed away from the skin, and no longer cause the poking effect that causes the itch. In other words, it becomes much more like the regular hair on top of your head, flowing together away from the skin.
• Tans are dangerous. If I were to spend a large amount of time in the sun, with a beard this thick, I would have a very strong tan line. Of course, this is only a danger if the beard is shaved before the tan has subsided, but it’s a worthy warning for others.
• Birds do not live in my beard. Come on, really?
• Beard hair often looks exactly like CERTAIN other types of body hair from CERTAIN nether-regions of the body. This can bring rather disgusted looks from fellow students as a bearded person sheds all over their desk at school – because the first assumption is NOT beard hair.
• Speaking of which, beards do shed quite a bit. Consider how many times you may touch your face in a day, and you will begin to realize how many hairs you would have knocked off if you had a beard.
• The most annoying part of having a beard is growing accustomed to seeing hair in your food. Cereal, drinks, mashed potatoes – anything is fair game. Blame the mustache hairs for this one. They get caught as you bring the spoon/fork up to eat, and return with it to the dish.
• Guys often think the beard is “awesome” and wish to proclaim you as their leader of manliness. Women do not usually share this enthusiasm.
• Personally, I shampoo my beard every morning – so you don’t have to fear touching it. It is clean, and very soft, and it will not hurt you.
Ultimately, I can’t say that I recommend having a thick beard to anyone. It’s manageable to wear, but aesthetically I really don’t find it very appealing. This isn’t just for myself, but for anyone.
Mustaches and eye-patches however 😉