It really shouldn’t be this hard to just stay inside. For a lot of us it wasn’t much of a switch from our usual lifestyle, but I know there are others out there who are a little more social and are really struggling. Regardless of your outlook it’s definitely stressful to have your routine turned on it’s head. The kids are home, you strangely miss going to work, and you’re starting to regret some of those lame excuses you made for not going out (how was your Grandma’s dog’s funeral by the way? Is she doing alright?).
I’m sure most us are rotting away on the couch eating all of our panic purchased isolation snacks while being proud of ourselves for switching from our daytime sweatpants to our more formal evening-wear sweatpants. Being quarantined isn’t all bad though. It’s a time to make some risky fashion decisions free of judgement. Maybe you’ve watched too much Tiger King and are participating in the #mulletchallenge to spite that bitch Carole Baskin. Maybe you’ve made a commitment to fitness and are getting prison-jacked and have started removing all the sleeves from your shirts. Or maybe you found that shirt your partner hates and have really decided to test your relationship.
Beards can be super helpful if you’re kind of goofy looking (hence why i grew one)
All of these examples are certainly bold and daring, but I’m here to talk beards. I’m sure a lot of dudes out there probably gave up the razor on day 1 and haven’t looked back. Who knows how long you’ll have to grow that badboy out before facing the outside world, sure it’s a bit scraggely now but here’s some tips for when it’s time to tame the beast.
The first thing you’ll need is a strong mental will, I know that sounds cheesy but hear me out. Friends can be jerks sometimes and you will be subject to some ridicule, believe me I’ve heard them all, I’ve been called, amish, homeless, a wizard, a lumberjack , caveman, and I’m sure plenty of others. But is that the best they have? The amish are some of the hardest working people on the planet, I would be far more likely to take advice on a hustle from a homeless person than I would some “rise & grind” twitter dink, and wizards are friggin awesome!
Another thing to keep in mind is that everyone is different, some folks will look like werewolves and others will have shorter baby-beards but don’t be discouraged. Beards can be super helpful if you’re kind of goofy looking (hence why I grew one). Seriously though remember how goofy Dave Grohl looked in the Nirvana days? Google NHL star Zdeno Chara, or the NBA’s James Harden if you need further proof.
KEEP IT CLEAN! “Do you wash a beard?” Well duh, do you wash the rest of your hair and body? Get that thing wet and slam some beard shampoo into it ASAP. There’s plenty of arguments to be made about if there’s a difference between regular shampoo and ones made for beards but you’re best to stick with something that actually says “beard wash” or “beard shampoo”, these products will be less likely to dry out your face and strip away natural oils. Everyone is a bit different but washing your beard 2-3 times a week will leave it looking and more importantly, smelling great.
It’s finally time to get groomed, but first you’ll need the right tools for the job. The first thing you’ll need is a boar bristle hair brush, these brushes do a great job of gliding through without pulling and help to distribute natural oils. I’m not sure if there’s any kind of vegan alternative but a wooden comb is another great tool to have on hand as well.
The next thing you’ll need is some beard oil. Since the popularization of beards in the mainstream has been booming over the last few years it’s now easy to walk into the haircare section of your local pharmacy and pick up everything you need. Beard oil will help you with the initial growth process by helping to soothe any itch and irritation. A little goes a long way, rub some between your palms and massage from root to tip and you’ll have a healthy, shiny-looking beard, keep this up through all stages and you’ll be on your way in no time.
After realizing that everything I ate came with with a side of moustache for a few years I realized something very important…moustache wax is your friend! I know what you’re thinking, “What am I some sort of circus ringmaster or a silent film badguy?”. While wax will help you achieve that look if that’s what you’re into, it’s also great for keeping things under control while still maintaining a natural look.
Speaking of keeping things under control, you’ll want to grab a decent pair of scissors. No, not something you found in the kitchen or some crappy thing you found in your kid’s pencil case, but a good set, again available at your local pharmacy. A good pair of scissors will be great for trimming split ends and keeping thing under control. If you’ve managed to grow attached to your new beard and are worried about ruining it, Strop & Stone, John’s Barbershop, and The Admiral’s Barbershop all in Owen Sound can certainly help you out.
Hopefully you now have all the advice you need and won’t be looking back anytime soon, and if you do there’s plenty of options from grooming from a full beard to plenty of facial hair options. The world of moustaches, sideburns, muttonchops and others await, or you can always go back to being baldfaced, but hey at least you tried your best and had some fun. So there you have it, hopefully these tips will have you well on your way to being a bearded Adonis in no time. The only thing left to do is get your partner’s approval… unfortunately that’s something you’ll have to tackle on your own.
Written by Russ Walsh
Photos by Megan Walsh