I’ve never, ever participated in Movember, or No Shave November, whichever you want to call it, but not because I’m not sympathetic to the causes either of the two is trying to push. It’s more due to the fact that I have my own thing when it comes to growing facial hair. I can’t, for the life of me, stand my facial hair for very, very long; there will always come a point wherein my beard meets a pair of scissors somewhere down the line, and suddenly the true depth of my double chin is made visible.
I do have a couple of habits—or seasons, if you like—when it comes to trimming my ‘stache and beard, though. Right off the bat, I can name three: The Fruits of Patience, The Threat of Balance, and The Good Man.
The Good Man
As the name suggests, this phase is that phase wherein I decide to go beardless. This happens about three months out of the year, and is usually accompanied by a face filled with the many telltale bumps of a very close shave with a disposable razor.
I don’t normally like how my face looks like without facial hair. I can’t rock a five o’clock shadow as much as most people, because my facial hair, while not sparse, is spaced far from each other. So instead of my stubble looking like a shadow, I look like somebody splashed some pepper on my face.
The Threat of Balance
This phase is normally where I am for most of the year. This is where I try to grow facial hair, but go on extreme lengths to keep it all balanced. I don’t have an electric razor yet, so I do all of my trimming old-school, with a mirror, a comb, and a pair of scissors.
This phase is abominable, since it pits my OCD tendencies against my (rather limited) patience. A steady hand, I am not, and I often end up mangling my facial hair. It doesn’t help that being monocular only gives me a limited view of my face’s angles—this can be a real bitch to the process of sculpting a beard, and often frustrates me to the point that I just shave it all off (thereby leading to The Good Man phase).
The Fruits of Patience
And finally, we have this phase. This doesn’t always happen, mostly because I’m not a very patient man. But the fruits of patience is just that: the reward of having a luxurious mane of facial hair after letting the whole shebang grow untamed for at least a month.
This is not without its cons. You can’t grow facial hair from all over your face and expect to look like a man who’s out to conquer the world. In fact, you’d probably look like a caveman. Or a jihadist. Or a drunk. Either way, it’s not a very pretty picture, up until you achieve your target length.
After that, it’s just glorious. You get to trim and fix your beard and ‘stache in any style you wish. Plus you look cool. Take a look at George R.R. Martin, for example. Nobody’s going to take him seriously without that mane around his chin.
But the whole point of this post is that I’m going to try Movember this month. And NaNoWriMo, but that’s another story altogether. The point is, I’m not going to shave at all. For a month. Which should be pretty awkward, since I’ve got two conventions scheduled, but well, that’s the way it is.