Growing a Beard - The Real Struggles...that we don't really wanna talk about.
Hello fellow Beardsmen, today we are going to address the elephant in the room. The stuff no Beardsman wants to talk about. You see, pregnant women think THEY have it bad, and that having a glorious beard is all rainbows and milkshakes. BUT, little do they know having a godly face carpet isn't for the weak. Little do they know of the day to day battles we fight to look this magnificent. LITTLE DO THEY KNOW the sacrifices we make so they can be seen with a Viking!
Fellas, I present to you...The Unexpected Beard Struggles.
1. Bearded Eating and Drinking
Let's get right to the numero uno struggle-o us hairy Wolverines face. Bearded eating and drinking...virtually anything. Raise yo friggen hand if yah feel me my bruthas! Burger with mayo, or bbq sauce, or mustard anyone? How about some greasy pizza? Or a tuna sandwich? Maybe a gyro? Nah, let's get a milkshake!
Seriously, eating and drinking your beard, I mean with a beard is a complete disaster most times, especially if you've got a big ol' gnarly mustache to compliment your luscious beard. But hey, at least when you're done eating your meal, you'll have mustache leftovers! From having mayo or mustard drenched into your mustache, to having pizza grease dripping into your side beard, to having milkshake on your shirt and pants from dripping off the stache, down to having crumbs stuck in your beard, be prepared for the STRUGGLE! And if yah eat something that stinks...like...tuna or hot sauce...prepare to be friggen gross! Wet wipes and piles of napkins are you friends. I always keep my radar on for a bathroom or sink to clean up if need be.
If you're in the process of growing a beard and haven't yet experienced this lovely madness, strap on your seatbelts my friends because the struggle is very real. If you're a fellow beardsman, I know you're smiling and shaking your head "yes" right now because you're already enlightened to the eating and drinking beard struggles!
2. Bearded Sleeping and Cuddle Time
I am lumping these two together because...well, they kinda go together and I didn't want to make two different sections for em'. But I am guessing y'all already know where this one is heading. I never thought my beard would impact my beauty sleep, but I was very wrong!
If you sleep on your back, you likely don't deal with this as much. But, if you're a side or stomach sleeper, things can get pretty complicated. From getting the ol' stache whiskers up the nose and having to constantly itch and adjust them, to getting your beard pulled from laying on it, to having your fan blow your beard around, sleeping can be a challenge some nights! And best of all, after your evening of random itching and beard getting yanked from laying on it, you get to wake up to BED BEARD! Yes, bed beard is definitely a very real thing and I normally look like a disaster in the morning. The beard is matted down and pointing in 10 different directions and it doesn't just fall back into place. It needs to be watered down and brushed into a respectable form to even remotely look acceptable.
Then there is cuddle time, yea I said it. If you have ever had your sexy lady lay her head on your chest, she is probably laying on your beard too. Then when her hair gets in your nose, mouth, and face and you try to turn your head, your beard gets ripped out. Good times! Also be ready for kissy time if you have a burley mustache. You gotta find the right lady that's ok kissing your lip bush, because there is no way around it fellas! They won't know what your upper lip looks or feels like.
3. Beard Expectations
Let's be real, when we decided to grow our beards out we didn't think everything through.
We imagined this glorious, full, sexy ass beard that made the ladies fall to their knees and beg to run their hands through it. But, what we didn't imagine was that we would end up getting more compliments from dudes than we do the ladies! It's true and you know it!
We imagined having a nice coat of fur over our mugs during the winter that kept us nice and warm. Talk about outsmarting all these baby faces! BUT, what we didn't imagine was how hot, itchy, irritating, and out of control these things would be in the summer time with a little humidity tossed in. And to take it one step further, how ridiculous we would look after jumping in a pool or lake...yeah...
We imagined having a full, burly, mean, tough looking beard that makes ancient spartan gods envious. What we didn't know is that beards have a mind of their own and grow in many different colors and shapes. White hairs, red hairs, grey hairs, split ends, patches, thin spots, uneven growth, and the list goes on and on. Every day is certainly not a good beard day and growing your beard out can be a long, frustrating, somewhat painful process depending on the day. No one ever warned us about these things so embrace the struggles!
4. Beard Trimming
This one is friggen YYYYUUUUGGGEEEE! And it is friggen FRRRUUSSTTRRAAAATTTIIINNGGG! To trim or not to trim, that is the question!
You thought trimming your beard was going to be easy...until you were staring at your beard in the mirror while holding your weapon of choice. One wrong move, one slip of the wrist, one little moment of distraction and BOOM, your precious beard is ruined! Welcome to the struggle. What do I do? Do I attempt this myself? Do I rely on a barber who may or may not trim my beard how I want it, or even know how to trim a beard properly for that matter?
Well boys, if you choose to trim yourself the good news is you should get better with practice, but it will never be easy. And you will always run the risk of messing your beard up, especially when trimming the back of the jaw line which is very hard to see. BUT, at least if you hack it up you have no one to blame but yourself!
Barbers are a whole different story. IF you find a great beard barber who understands how to properly trim a beard, consider yourself a VERY lucky man and cherish your barber with all of your heart. But...a couple bad experiences in the barber chair will leave you pissed off and frustrated. Trust me, I speak from experience. Having someone else royally f$%k up your beard is maddening and I rarely trust many barbers to trim my beard any longer.
5. Bearded Stereotypes
And last, but certainly not least, we have the infamous beard stereotypes! This one is my personal favorite because I love it when people inaccurately judge a book by it's cover. Everyone gimme a hell yea if you've ever heard this bullshit...
"Bro, you look homeless." Yes, because having a beard automatically means you must live on the streets. And beyond that, what is wrong with being bearded and homeless anyways? I am not one to judge.
"Are you a terrorist now dude? You look like a Taliban member!" Yep, I grew out my beard and joined the Taliban. You got me! My kids joined too...
- "So, what do you do for work?..." People are surprised when you tell them you actually have a job, and a pretty good one at that. For some odd reason it is assumed because you have a big beard that you can't possibly hold a professional or successful position at a company. WRONG! It took a while for the suits to accept tattoos, but it shouldn't take long for beards to do the same. We gotta earn the respect.
- "Oh nice beard, I know they are a popular trend now." WTF?!!! Easily more insulting than anything mentioned above. We true beardsmen had beards long before the hipster beard revolution took place, and we will have them long after the hipsters move on to the next fashion trend. This one royally pisses me off.
6. Beard Products
And last but not least, the topic that hits close to home for us here at Live Bearded...the beard product struggle!
At this point, there are literally hundreds of companies in the beard game. You've got beard oils, beard balms, beard butters, beard washes, beard conditioners, beard friggen jellies, sea salt sprays, mustache waxes with different holds, natural products vs non-natural products, beard combs, beard brushes, beard straighteners, holy shit...the list grows by the day and is completely outta control. The struggle is real and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what you really need and what companies sell the best products.
This article is not about telling you which beard products to buy or what beard companies to go with. Everyone has different needs and preferences, so we will leave the choices up to you...BUT, most of certainly didn't expect it to be this overwhelming.
Well boys, I think that about sums it up. At the end of the day, we will all encounter some, or all of the beard struggles listed above. But having a glorious, god damn friggen beard and living your life on earth looking like a Viking god is worth every single one of them! With that being said, Live Bearded Brothers!