All my life, I have wanted a beard.
It’s just been one of those things, I don’t even think my Dad had one… he did have a moustache years ago… maybe it made sense at the time?
Either way, I wanted one. As soon as I started growing any signs of facial hair, I shaved it off because I heard it made it grow back thicker and faster. That is a barefaced lie (ha! puns!). I went through a phase of having massive sideburns because it was all I could grow.
No, there are no pictures and I wouldn’t share them anyway. It was a bad time.
Around the age that most men start to grow stubble, I started to get alopecia in my beard. There probably are pictures of that time somewhere, once again the answer is no.
I would grow thick, lustrous chin fluff and there would be these circular patches of bald/baby hair just all up in the middle of it. The doctors had no idea. They didn’t really try that hard, truth be told, but they could not give me the hirsute peace I so desperately craved.
Then, I went through a delightful phase of what is known as Sycosis barbae. Don’t Google it, it’s gross. It’s basically where your hair follicles get infected, like a normal spot, but it goes further down under the skin. It basically feels like your face is on fire and you end up with massive red patches on your face. It… it is not a good look.
I eventually found a doctor who did more than look at it and go “Hmm, that is quite the affliction”. I got some sort of cream for it and it’s all better.
So now I am able to grow a beard and I am going to do so with Goddamn impunity! Say goodbye to my chin folks because he is going into hibernation. There’s going to be 6 more weeks of winter! (I don’t know which part of my face is the Groundhog in that little story there, my entire jawline?)
What’s more, I’m not going to just grow a damn beard, I am going to care for it like my firstborn. It will not want for the finest things in life…
And we finally get to the point…
One of the finest things a person can put on their beard, in my opinion, has to be Rick Hall Booze & Baccy by Captain Fawcett. Just read that name out aloud. I don’t care if you’re on the train or sat at work. I’m pretty sure that if you say that out loud 3 times, with the right intonation, Burt Reynolds will appear from nowhere, give you a thumbs up and then disappear, to approve of another man’s life choices.
From there on out, it only gets better. It smells like… imagine Don Draper (I need to stop urging people to do that). Imagine the actual character as a real person.
Just imagine him going about his day, getting up in the morning and having his breakfast with a whiskey on the side. He puts on his suit and he’s out the door.
He has a late start at the office so he decides to get a haircut and a shave, so he goes to the barbers. The classic type of barber that everyone thinks of from that era. He goes into work, the temperature is perfect, he doesn’t sweat all day (that will make sense in a moment). He has another whiskey..
They finish their meetings and head to a bar, more whiskey and now they’re on cigars, but they’re not smoking them. For some absurd reason, they’re just taking them apart and rubbing them on their suits. No one bats an eye.
He gets home, eats a steak dinner and tells Betty about his day. He has another whiskey.
Once he’s finished, he goes upstairs and takes his jacket off.
Imagine what that jacket smells like. Like leather seats in a barbershop, whiskey and old fashioned newspapers, unsmoked tobacco, more whiskey, a good warm cooked meal and the love of a good woman (or man, whatever you’re into… that’s not the point right now! I just told you to smell Don Draper’s imaginary jacket, this is not a lesson we need to be learning).
There is no better feeling than getting out of the shower, patting your face dry, applying a few drops of beard oil to your palms and rubbing it in your hands to warm it up. Then just pawing at your beard like a bear trying to get a popcorn kernel out of its teeth. Going with the grain, against the grain, getting it all up in there and making sure every follicle gets to feel the beauty of the beard oil.
It also works wonders. I have never had the dreaded beard dandruff, my beard feels fairly soft and the skin underneath still feels supple and moisturised.
And you don’t even need a full on Grizzly Adams/ZZ Top looking beard either. It works on even a little bit of stubble. Not on clean shaven faces though, it needs something to be absorbed into or you’re just going to have a bit of an oily face.
While it is a little bit pricier than a beard oil you can find in Boots or something like that, you really are paying for quality. Not only that but the smell of it really lasts.
I have put it on at 7am, walked to work in the rain for 9am and had people tell me I smell nice at 10am… I think that was because of this. I don’t use aftershave because of this stuff… God, I hope it’s because of the beard oil.
You deserve it, the people around you deserve it and, what’s more, your beard deserves it.