Growing up, facial hair was never a problem for me. Or was it? I was sporting a light mustache in the 7th grade because my parents wouldn’t let me shave. They had reservations about me becoming a “man” so early in life. I went to an academy that didn’t allow facial hair, so they made me remove my tiny ‘stache with a rusty, single-blade razor. I knew ever since then that I would hate shaving, so I sported some pretty sick sideburns throughout the rest of high school since sideburns sidestepped the rules.
Throughout my early twenties, I kept fairly short facial hair. I even tried a few variations of a beard (chin curtain, friendly muttonchops, chin strap, old Dutch, etc). I was always told that the ladies didn’t like big beards, so I walked a “razor’s edge” of having yet-not-having a bearded face. I can’t stand the way I look without a beard, though. I look like a chubby-cheeked child. Every summer, I would take some sort of backpacking trip to get away for a while, and on these trips, I would let my facial hair grow as much as it wanted. I would come back home from my trips looking very rugged and outdoorsy albeit probably very unkempt, too, but it still hurt my heart to trim what was with me all of those days out in nature.
Onward to my late twenties, I began to gradually grow out my beard despite what other people thought about me, especially my mother. Every time I saw her, she would ask when I was going to cut my beard. My own mother, the very one who didn’t want me to shave way back in high school, would run her hands through my beard and yank it, begging me to cut it off! Despite the constant discouragement, I pressed onward in my beard growing efforts, and this was around the time I discovered beardcare.