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January 13, 2006

Growing a Beard

I've been having trouble with in-grown whiskers after shaving my face for a while so I went to see a dermatologist. I was diagnosed with folliculitis. I have about 40 years to live. It is inflamation of the hair folicules on my face. She gave me some antibiotic cream and told me not to shave with a razor with more than one blade. The Gillette Mach III I've been using for my head and face have three blades. Good luck looking for a half decent single bladed razor at Walgreen's that won't mutilate your face.

The doctor gave me two options. First, I could use a razor called the Bump Fighter, that is popular with African-American men with curly in-grown hair problems. Secondly, I could grow a beard. Letting all the hair on your face grow out solves the in-grown hair problem. It will also give your skin time to heal from the folliculitis. I read on the web that it takes about six weeks to grow a beard. After two weeks I realized I did not inherit any beard-growing genes like the ones Grizzly Adams did. I think I'm closer to a Gil Grissom.

My wife doesn't mind the beard and she thinks I look fine. I never intended to grow a beard for fashion sake or to look cool. I did it to heal my skin. It's also kind of odd to have a shaved head and a beard. If Shel Silverstein could pull it off then so can I.

The funniest part of growing a beard is the reaction I get from co-workers and friends. I never thought I could offend someone by growing it. One guy at work who wears purple shirts with cowboy boots and doesn't own a horse, keeps telling me I look terrible. I guess he yearns for clean shaven Stephen! Others just look at me funny but are too kind to say the truth. I know exactly what they are thinking. Others say, "You're growing a beard, cool!"

The itching has subsided and I'm going to grow it right out until mid February. And when my skin heals up, I'll start shaving again, probably with the Bump Fighter blades.

Posted by stephen at January 13, 2006 11:18 PM


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