My Beard - and Happy For It

December 29, 2008

When I was half my current age, say 25, my beard was mostly dark brown with black and freak red and blonde hairs thrown in. Nowadays, pushing 50, my beard color runs what I call the full spectrum of gray — from dark brown to blonde and frosty red to silvery white, more dark hair than light still, in a facial hair pattern that some call a vanDude, with sideburns cut on the diagonal.

Let’s call it a van Dyke. Goatee works too. It’s thick along my chin in the places it’s not shaved, as of this writing about an inch long off the chin. Nowadays I don’t shave but every few days though I sometimes go for weeks without trimming anything. I enjoy being scruffy, and it’s a sexy look, but I still shave and trim my facial hair, though my work doesn’t require it, for various personal reasons.

The main reason I shave the sides of my chin is to keep the two sides symmetrical. I have a smooth triangular patch along my left jawline where hair won’t ever grow back. The hair follicles were burned out from radiation treatment for cancer five years ago, and the skin is bare but clean and healthy. I miss growing a full beard but I gratefully sacrificed it for being cancer-free.

So the vanDude style suits me, because I can shave enough of the right side of my face to even it out, and the section on my left side that doesn’t even need shaving also saves time and Barbasol shave cream.

Still, there’s fine, short hair peppered across my entire lower face, between and below my eyes, ears, nose. It’s all draining south from the crown of my head, down to my Adam’s apple, down my nape, across the shoulders, and down the back to my ass. Pretty much wall-to-wall carpeting.

My pattern baldness, or tonsure, as it were, is the product of my testosterone, and I guess I should be proud of the genetic strength of my hormones, though it’s not fun to be the guy with really bad hair. But you do what you can with what you have, and there are always ballcaps and bandana wraps for the times when I need to cover.

Often enough, for at least part of the year, I shave my head. This look works for me mostly because my head’s a decent shape and not too bumpy. Though not for everyone, the bald/ing/shaved is another great masculine Daddyish look.

Whether I’m trimming my chin and cheek parts or mowing clean the northern regions, I use a six-bladed hand razor (the blue and orange brand), designed for hirsute guys. I love the single trimming blade at the top, which is great for nicking those follicles sprouting from most of the pores and openings on my head.

Back in the days of the double-edged razor and shaving-cream brush, when my father found me shaving my pubescent fuzz one day, he warned that if I started early, my facial hair would grow much thicker faster. Before long, he told me, I’d be shaving daily. I sighed, “Dad, I know that. That’s exactly why I’m doing it!”

Three decades later, in 2001, while clearing my father’s house after he died, I packed his can of Barbasol. Eventually my dad’s shaving cream will run out, and sometimes I think when that happens, I’ll just stop shaving completely and let my beard grow long enough so that the follicle-challenged patch along my left chin will be unnoticeable.

And yet, even then, I think that I’ll miss shaving.

Tags: Beard
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share this
View all posts by R. Jackson

Comments

I gave up shaving most of my face in High School as soon as I had enough beard to look decent. Kept up the cheek and neck lines for a while but eventually just went for the full on, terminal length shaggy biker/ZZ Top look since I always had trouble with ingrown hairs. I haven't seen my upper lip or my chin since the early '80s and I'm perfectly happy about that! *grin* I can't imagine missing shaving ... of course I haven't done it in so long if I ever did, I've long gotten over it.

But any beard is better than none, in my opinion. It's actually scandalizing to think there are men out there who have NEVER taken the opportunity to grow a beard in their lives. I can sort of understand someone trying it and deciding for whatever reason it's not for him - but to never even TRY something so basic and primally male?

For anyone interested in celebrating bearded fellowship, there's http://www.BeardCommunity.com - a site where all men (i.e., it's not a gay only site) can talk beards (and every other style of face fur).

Hey, I try to go with the attitude of "To Each His Own", but I personally hate facial hair, whether on myself or another guy. Almost every man who is lacking hair on the top seems to feel the need to grow it on his face. I keep wondering when the tide will turn and gays will get over the fad of growing facial hair.

Now, before you all come down on me (no pun intended), I will agree that facial hair looks good on a few guys. But SERIOUSLY, what looks worse than a poorly managed beard...or feels worse than kissing someone and getting a mouthful of bristley hair? And I sure as hell hate getting my skin scoured by stubble. I won't even go into issues of hygiene...head colds, allergies, etc.

Back to looks...it is my opinion that the average beard wearer adds about 10-15 years to his apparent age. In our gay culture, which is notoriously youth-oriented and where so many guys lie about their ages, why would one want to make himself look older?

I realize I'm in the minority on this and I'd have never brought up the subject on my own. But as long as the topic is out there, I couldn't resist speaking my piece. Give me a guy with a face as smooth as a baby's bum anytime.

not trying to sound like a dick, but here goes...

you don't state your age. i would have to guess, you aren't anywhere near forty. most of what you've said just rings of the twenty something circuit party crowd. or the bar crowd. the gay community is youth oriented- for those who are young. or just coming out. and as the hair on your head thins, the hair everywhere else grows with more fury...

i just have to wonder why you are on a daddy site...a lot of the guys here are thinning and furry. and stubbly. and i don't think you'd be calling it a fad if you watched a little vintage porn. bearded queers have been around a lot longer than the waxed twinkie look. clean shaven, waxed back, trimmed pubes have only been around since the mid eighties. and the look is going out...

ciao.

jimbo

jimnob covered a few points - here's some more.

What looks worse than a "poorly managed" beard? Razor burn, cuts, ingrown hairs. Especially ingrown hairs. <em>Pseudofolliculitis barbae</em> - to give it the medical term - is about the ONLY thing that will persuade the US Military to allow a soldier to have a beard.

Frankly - I like the way a beard feels; your complaint about stubble is more applicable to someone who shaves than a man who has a properly grown-in beard. It's the short stubble that scrapes, not the longer hairs.

As far as apparent age - I'll echo jimnob's remarks on this point and add that some men with a "baby face" find that they get taken more seriously with a beard. Some men don't give a flying fuck what "gay culture" thinks and just prefers the way they look with a beard - and thank goodness for MEN who aren't fashion lemmings!

For myself, I can't understand the attraction of men who look like pre-pubescents on steroids; you're welcome to the men you find attractive - leaves more hot hairy hunks for me!

You're entitled to your opinion and all, but in my opinion, there aren't many feelings that are better than the feeling of a mans beard moving over your skin :D
I will agree with you on the whole beards adding age thing, but I dont think that's necessarily a bad thing,although it is funny sometimes with me and my partner because he's muscular and wears a beard and im skinny and have no facial hair....people think we're father and son quite a bit and he's actually only 4 years older than me, I love it !!

Ever since I saw "Built to Last" a DADDYHUNT porn film. with him in it, I have had a huge crush on him.I likes the bottom scene he did in that and have wanted to TOP HIM myself, ever since! Very hot and sexy nips and mouth!

Jimnob, I respect your right to your opinion & I don't feel your were being a dick to speak up. I will answer you, however, that I was born before 1950, so I'm not the "under 40 something" you suspect. I believe I was in my 40's before I saw many gay guys wearing beards.

As I recall, in the 40's, 50's, & early 60's, beards were usually found on the occasional granddad or eccentric. Younger men might sport a moustache, although most schools wouldn't allow facial hair...nor would many employers. When the hippy movement began, long hair and facial hair became part of the cultural revolution...the rebellion against "accepted societal norms". There was a negative connotation assigned to that look.

After the hippy era, some otherwise cleancut guys sported trim moustaches...but not very frequently were they bearded. Somewhere along the line, the moustache became almost an emblem of being gay (not unlike jewelry, color-coded handkerchiefs, leather, rainbow flags, piercings, tattoos, etc.) And yet, I wouldn't say the majority of gay guys were wearing moustaches. Sometime around 1990 they became considerably more common. The haven't-shaved-in-2-days look has more recently caught on.

Beards....yes, go back far enough when men had only wicked razors to shave with and there was a pretty good reason to forego shaving. Go back to the 50's and move forward in time...before long it was mostly the old geezers who didn't care what they looked like, derelicts & brain-fried psychos who stood on the streets pounding the Bible and telling you what a sinner you are....who were found in beards.

As for what I'm doing on DaddyHunt...I'm here for the few under-40 guys who like older men, as well as for guys older than that with whom I might have enough in common to lay a good foundations for a meaningful relationship. "Daddy" and "Bearded" are not synonymous.

Furr, your agrument about razor burn, cuts & ingrown hairs doesn't really apply to the majority. If you get razor burn or cuts, you're usually not shaving correctly. As for ingrown hairs, what percentage of men face that if they shave? If that is your personal issue, then you may well have a good reason for wearing a beard. But I don't believe the majority of beard wearers share your problem. You said you echoed Jimnob's comments on the topic of apparent age.....I stated my opinion that beards on many guys make them look 10-15 years older than they actually are - I don't see that Jimnob actually addressed that. My comments on disliking facial hair were not pointed exclusively at full-grown beards. I include those guys who like to sport the scruffly look...just skip shaving for a few days...and you're right - therein lies the whisker burn issue. A clean-shaven man who "has trouble getting taken seriously" probably has more problems than are going to be solved by hiding behind a beard.

In my post, I pointed out that my comments were my opinions and I acknowledged I'm in the minority on this topic. I've enjoyed comparing opinions with you guys.

I would like to address the point about looking older with a beard. I look older with a beard (not anything like 15 years older than I am, but let's not cavil). I recently shaved it off and was so unimplressed with my own clean-shaven face that I chose the older look over the uglier. Surely we ought to be addressing our society's youth culture. I am 60 years old and proud of it and I am damned if I am going to pretend to be less. It has taken me 60 years to get to be this wise and this sexy and this free. When we start embracing our old age instead of cringeing in shame the confidence is empowering. Some young people think I am a fossil and past it and completely irrelevant. Fine. I can live with that. The important thing is that I don't think that. Roll on grey power.

As for what I'm doing on DaddyHunt...I'm here for the few under-40 guys who like older men, as well as for guys older than that with whom I might have enough in common to lay a good foundations for a meaningful relationship. "Daddy" and "Bearded" are not <a href=http://www.dornfall.com>synonymous.</a>

Long live beards and fur! I've been attracted to bearded and furry men since I was in early elementary school, long before I was aware of what two men could do together. It was clearly inborn and not a chosen trait. Invariably, if I see pictures of a man with and without a beard, I prefer his look with a "fuzzy face." I've always equated beards and fur with virility and masculinity, since long before I could sprout my own. I won't condemn others who feel differently, as it's a large world and the possible realms of eroticism and attraction are wide. But for those hirsute men and their admirers, there's another site to behold with many sights to behold at: http://www.mybeard.org It's also for gay and straight men, like the beard community site. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

I completely agree! I've been attracted to guys with face-fur ever since I was in my teens. Unfortunately, I can't grow a proper beard myself--too many damn bare spots! I could do the Abe Lincoln/Amish look, but I'm not into that. A full beard without a mustache is blasphemous, I say!

Well, here's a thumbs up to all of you hot guys with full beards and goatees. I love the feel of a guys fur on me--anywhere!

LOL...Maxine says it like it is!

"I don't really wanna know what that is frozen into guys' mustaches this time of year!"

History of my facial hair: I grew my first decent beard senior year of high school (1970) & kept it full but trimmed (not sculpted) through college. In my east coast city this was not a gay look. Old pics show a baby face with a major ruff. Not being a leather bar type, I NEVER met any gay guys with beards, except my first lover, though nearly all my straight guy friends had beards. I think it wasn't a look that many gay guys liked. After grad school, professional life intruded & I started trimming the beard down, but only shaved it off in the early 90's when it started going gray. Now I'm retired, live in the country, & shave whenever: at least once a week! I like the stubble on me & think it looks hot on guys my age (or any age), esp a scratchy stubble (think Harrison Ford). To be honest, untrimmed beards gross me out, but those wildly sculpted & detailed beards put me off too. Clean shaven is fine, but give me a stubble any day! Any decent looking young guy will likely look good no matter his beard status, but for us older gents, I'm squarely in favor of the stubble!