Grow a Manly Beard in Five Easy Steps

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For many years it was said that Man held dominion over Women: men did the hunting, men initiated fornication, men built great cities, and men slaughtered other men with big swords. But this little fabrication didn’t last forever, and as it ultimately turned out, Women pretty much had Men by the proverbial jewels. However, though men have been reduced to the lowest common denominator, there is still one thing -one mighty act, one could say- that a man can do that women can not (unless you’re Chaz Bono -but that’s an entirely different set of circumstances) and that’s to Grow a Manly Beard!

For reasons only known to the strongest and burliest of all ancient Gods (namely, Zeus), men are readily able to sprout forth impressive thatches of hair from their faces, thick as shrubbery and as macho as Father Time himself. And, the best part: it doesn’t take a lot of extra time or effort. All one has to do is NOT shave for a few days -that’s right, I said NOT subject ourselves to the scathing brutality that is sheering our tender cheeks and jowls with miniature deadly weapons- and SHAZAM! BEARD! But, there are a few simple rules and stipulations for cultivating and maintaining your brawny hedge that every man must adhere to lest one turn into some kind of Neanderthal. So follow along, won’t you, and let’s learn together how to grow a proper beard!

Abraham Lincoln

1

Initiating The Growth Sequence
Or: Give Up The Bic

The first step is by far the easiest, mostly because it requires us men to quit doing something we’d really rather quit doing anyway: Shaving. The only reason Men began to shave in the first place was to both impress the ladies, who now, more than ever, had choices in their smelly fellows, and to land decent jobs that preferred we not spend hours digging chiggers out of our unkempt facial hair. But now the Beard has made a dramatic come back and is even looked at as a kind of right of passage for the Man who has been carving his sore jaw-line since adolescence. So I say set aside that overly expensive 5-bladed micro-saber and join in the revolution to once and for all reclaim the Man Mask as one true God-given right for manly manhood!

Um, but as a small caveat… you might want to make sure it’s kosher with your woman first. After all, they’re the ones who provide the sex.

getty rf photo of man shaving no rush

2

Week 2
Or: Damn My Face ITCHES!

What’s that incessant itching? Once you’ve ditched the razor, it’s only a matter of a few days to a week when you’ll really see some serious sprout action taking place. Now this is the time when you, as a Man, have a major choice ahead of you: do you go rugged and all Lumberjack-ian, or do you go more the path of the well-manicured Topiary? If you choose the left fork in the road, all you need to do is sit back and admire your studly prowess as bristly stumps turn into saplings. However, if you make the more refined decision to traverse the right fork, you’ll need to decide into which shape you’d like to rearrange your Man-Bonsai. In this instance, we move along to step 3… come with me, won’t you?

brian wilson

3

Maintenance
Or: My Beard Looks Like a Lightning Bolt!

There really is no right or wrong way to shape the outcome of your newly developed Man Garden, except to say that, unless your profession falls under the following categories: Rapper, there is no need to make extravagant designs. Stars, snakes, unicorns… these are pieces of artwork best left to professionals who most often occupy salons and barbers way out of a standard Man’s jurisdiction. Like I said, unless your name is preceded by MC, we’ll just stick to very simple carvings. The most simple of which we’ll call the Chin Stirrup. Stirrups are Manly because they are part of a saddle which we all know is the perching point for a cowboy on his horse, and, as we all understand: cowboys and their horses are supremely manly. The Chin Stirrup is basically just a U-Shaped beard that doesn’t typically extend as far as the neck and is fastidiously maintained by daily trimmings and edging. Just because we put the razor away for a while doesn’t mean we needn’t require it again. I sure hope you didn’t throw it away. What’s wrong with you, that thing was like 10 bucks! Anyway, simply carve away the pieces you don’t want (much like a Jack O’ Lantern) and, SHAZAM! Chin Stirrup!

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4

I Am Gandalf!
Or: Possibly Gimli

Let’s say for a minute you chose to take the left path back at number 2 and decided to eschew any further need for a razor the rest of your natural born life. Now what? Well, after sitting back and wincing past the constant itching and sarcastic eye-rollings from your Lady, you might now have the serious beginnings of a very manly, yet very bushy, Wilderness Beard! Huzzah to you, my woodland friend! I have a very Manly friend named Doug who has been the proud owner of a superb lawn-gnome-like beard for the past 10 years or so and I have to say: as waist-length, fire-red chin cones go, his is the most worship-worthy for anyone seeking out the ultimate in Beard Heroes. But this kind of achievement took years of patience and constant watering and feeding. If you don’t have that kind of time to dedicate to something that you could just as easily burn off in an errant grill fire or lose in some piece of dangerous machinery, might I suggest backing up a step and reevaluating your Manliness. It’s okay, we all understand.

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5

Thou Has a Very Manly Beard, Indeed!
Or: I Like Attracting Lint!

Well look at you now, Mr. Manly Man! I must say that, sir, is one tidy and well-kept slice of facial awesomeness! Sure, it took a little bit of time and effort, but what thing of value doesn’t, right? I see you went with a more broad Chin Stirrup that shows off your jaw-line, very nice indeed! Oh, but wait just a sec… looks like you might have a chunk of… what is that, toast? Well that’s okay, it’s just the price you pay for advertising your rugged Manliness via your face. So what new doors does wearing a beard open for you? Well, it can make you look older so fewer pre-pubescent twerps are likely to I.D. you when you buy your Manly alcohol or Manly tobacco. Also, when purchasing, say, an ax from Handy Andy you will more often get the, “Are you really a Lumberjack?” question and you can, with newly found confidence say, “Do those guys even exist any– I mean YES! Yes I am!”. Or perhaps, with your rich and thick facial nest, you will be called into active duty by some heroic Super-guy who wants give you tons of Super Powers with which to thwart Evil and crush crime with the Bearded Hand of JUSTICE! Hey, it could happen. But, most likely, you’ll be able to become what all bearded Men eventually strive to become: a professional Wrestler! Congratulations!

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