The Evolution of Man – Facial Hair Edition

Yesterday was a very long day for me. The highlight, however, was dinner with my SBF at the home of our friends Joe and Scott, two of our dearest friends in the world. They are two of the greatest guys I know, and are AMAZING hosts and cooks – more on that another time. Anyhow, over the course of the evening, conversation wandered over a variety of topics. One of the topics we touched on was men and facial hair.

Joe and Scott both sport manly swaths of facial hair, as do I. The fact is that I recently broke my Gillette Atra Razor, a razor I loved and have quite literally owned/used for probably two decades. So we joked about re-learning to use a new razor and laughed about techniques and grooming tips. See, the thing is, I have had a “well-manicured beard” for all of my adult life. I pride myself on its (I like to think) impeccable appearance and hairy perfection as it is parked on my face. And then, for whatever reason, this image popped into my head:

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Actor Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane from “The Hunger Games”

My mind left the conversation at hand for a moment and a bunch of fragmented thoughts floated through my head: The line from GQ or Details Magazine that said, “The over-groomed and hyper-detailed beard of the 80’s is dead” and the article in Instinct Magazine stating that “Men like beards that are more natural in appearance.” Heck, the List of The Seven Deadly Sins even flashed through my mind – PRIDE. Oops. I pride myself on my beard. YIKES!!!

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My head got back into the conversation, rejoining the guys as we discussed the merits of three, four and five blade razors and floating heads versus pivoting heads. Then – just for a second – I thought of my friend Per and his recommendation that I switch to a straight razor. O.M.G. Like, yeah, right… The only people I have ever even seen with straight razors are serial killers in slasher films and convicts breaking out of prison in old black and white movies…

Anyway, soon the conversation shifted and we were off and discussing Mob Wives and American Idol. But that moment did make me realize that women really are no more vain than me – they are maybe just a little more vocal about it. To hear the four of us discuss razor blades and shaving products, well, you would have thought we were discussing the merits of Creme de le Mer Moisturizing Cream. It made me laugh and it made me realize I am blessed to have such close friends I can share anything with…

As for my own facial hair, I have resolved to begin “…naturalizing the top edges, trimming only my throat and lower neck” (meaning my beard will grow as it grows on my face and I will shave my neck so I don’t look like Lon Chaney in the old Wolf-man movies). It is always hard for me to make a change, and I am still not sure it will stick. It may turn out that I will always be an overly-manicured type of guy but, hey, at least I am willing to try something new.

Plus, I still have six other “deadly sins” to work with…

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