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Between the Lines: Beard month is torture for smooth-faced lads

For years, I have waited in anticipation of being able to grow the holy grail of human hair.

No, I’m not talking about pubic hair, but many such as myself are unable to grow much more than a sparse version of that on once-barren cheeks.

I’m talking about that hair that spans from ear to ear, below what I call the equator of the face, the nose. I’m talking about beards, in layman’s terms.

As I have matured in age, I have seen those around me, one by one, slowly begin to enter “manhood” — the age when their beard fully sprouts.

Naturally, I want to be a part of this club. I want to grow facial hair. I want to be able to pass as a 25-year-old for … the weekends.

So as the onset of No-Shave November came racing towards me, I was faced with a thought I had confronted at the beginning of razor-less events prior.

Will this be the time it happens? Will I finally grow the beard I feel so entitled to?

Well I didn’t have the answers. I couldn’t. There was no way to know, other than to attempt it yet again.

Previously, I couldn’t make it past the second week. The pedophile-esque whiskers hanging from random points on my face were too unbearable. The shame of only being able to grow a half-assed beard was too extreme.

Knowing this, I acknowledged that, while I retired my razor for a month, pursuing any women with this potential downfall would prove to be unsuccessful. Girls don’t seem to like a thin, patchy array of hairs on a guy’s face. I was okay with that. I understood. I wouldn’t like the same on a girl’s face, to be honest.

Finally accepting the potential downsides of growing out my quasi-beard, I began my quest for beard-dom.

The first week was rough. Actually, I would call it grueling. I kept waiting for that day where I would wake up and my beard would be noticeable, let alone impressive. Yet, this day kept evading me.

As I progressed through the second week, I began to gain some confidence. My hair was coming in fuller then it ever had before, and I was about to reach unchartered waters, abstaining from shaving for a third week.

It was around this time that I began interviewing men with beards at the complete opposite end of the spectrum of myself. These men — if growing impressive facial hair were a sport — would be in the major leagues. I began to feel inferior yet again.

Chris Wolf, the owner of the Smiling Skull Saloon who has been growing his beard out for nearly 40 years, even told me that beard length is directly correlated to penis length.

Having a man with a beard that is measured in feet tell me that was disheartening, to say the least, but it provided more motivation to grow. Into the third week I went.

Turns out, all I needed to regain my confidence was a holiday break.

My parents, the great supporters that they are, looked at my “beard” in awe for the entire week as if I hadn’t shaved in three years rather then three weeks, and that was just the kind of emotional support I needed to continue on to week four — the final week.

That brings me to the present day, where I can look back on my quest and decide whether the journey proved fruitful as well as reflect on what I learned.

While my beard didn’t grow to the epic proportions I had planned, it was respectable enough to garner me some attention, and that was good enough for me. I’m torn on whether or not to shave it, but like anything else in life, there is always a time to go.

I realized, however, that girls don’t mind a few whiskers covering the cheeks and chin. Some even consider the look to be “rugged” and “mature.”

Guess they must have been in on that nugget of info Wolf gave me.

Allan Smith is a staff writer for The Post. Send him your best beard photos at

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