My second experiment with facial hair…

4 minute read

January 5, 2020, 8:53 AM

Friday, January 3 concluded my second experiment in growing facial hair.  You may recall my first in October 2009, when I let my whiskers grow during a two-week vacation (16 days’ total growth), and then shaved it off at the end.  This time around, Elyse and I made a deal that I wouldn’t shave while I was at home recovering from my recent surgery, with the day of surgery’s being my last shave.  The agreement was that I wouldn’t shave again until either I couldn’t stand it anymore, or I went back to work, whichever came first.  As it turned out, I was able to go with it for the full period that I was out, which meant that I had 29 days’ worth of facial hair by the time that I shaved.  This is what a month’s worth of facial hair growth looks like on me:

The final beard, after 29 days of growth

The final beard, after 29 days of growth

The final beard, after 29 days of growth

The final beard, after 29 days of growth

Then Elyse got some photos of me sporting the beard while we were out planespotting at BWI on the 31st:

I suppose that if I were to describe my beard in a word, I would say “neckbeard”.  The sides come in pretty decently, and there’s a decent mustache that is a distinctly different shape than Dad’s mustache but doesn’t connect, but then there’s a lot of clear space on the front of my chin and around my mouth.  My neck, meanwhile, has lots of hair, which goes all the way down to the base of my neck.

When I went to shave it, Elyse wanted me to leave the mustache for some photos before finishing the shave.  Here’s what that looked like:

It’s an interesting look, but totally not me.  I thought it looked kind of early 1900s, and so I added my hat to see what I thought:

In any case, I sported this look for all of about ten minutes.  I think that if I wanted to, I could totally grow that out and make an Edwardian-style mustache out of that.  But I don’t, so… yeah.

And then I shaved that off, too:

Clean-shaven and smiling

I was happy to have my normal look back, despite many people’s suggestions on Facebook to keep the beard for a while longer (after a little prompting from Elyse).  Thing about it is that beards itch, plus I kept seeing the mustache in the corner of my eye and thinking that I had something on my nose.  That happened multiple times a day once it got some thickness, and that was annoying.

Meanwhile, in looking back at the way I shaved it, getting rid of the beard and then the mustache afterward, I’m reminded of what my mother has said many times about facial hair.  She says, if she could grow facial hair, “I would grow a beard, and then shave it off.  I would grow a mustache, and then shave it off.  I would grow long sideburns, and then shave them off.”  And then what did I do?  I had the beard, and then shaved it off.  I had the mustache, and then shaved it off.  I suppose that I am my parents’ child.

In any case, I suppose that this was a fun experiment, but I like the clean-shaven look.  Perhaps I’ll try this again one day, though I imagine that it won’t be any time soon.

Categories: Myself