BTW, you don't have to read all this **** if you don't want to, just say what you want about beards.
1 WELCOME TO THE BEARD THREAD!!!!
The nature of the beard contributes in an incredible degree to distinguish the maturity of bodies, or to distinguish the sex, or to contribute to the beauty of manliness and strength." Lactantius (c. 304-314, W), 7.288
1.1 what's this?
Beards are cool. They have a long history of cultural significance. Often viewed as a sign of wisdom and virility, it is an unmistakable symbol of manliness
1.2 Why grow a beard?
Beards can be sexy, intimidating and can hide weak facial structure. If you live up north, it insulates your face making you warmer. Depending on your culture it shows status or liberation. Beards are another way to personalize your looks, like hair and clothes are.
1.2 Why do we have beards?
Men have beards due to sexual selection, but why it became a secondary sex characteristic is unknown. It's theorized that facial hair showed high testosterone and therefor fertility. Androgenic hair even has it's name from a class of male hormones called androgen, which testosterone is a part of.
1.3 I can't grow a beard. Does that mean I'm not manly?
Nope. Beards didn't evolve in all cultures, therefor genes have a lot to say about whether you can grow a beard or not, and is not necessarily an indication of abnormal hormone levels. Some get them late in life, some not at all.
Beard growth usually starts at the sides of the upper lip, then forms a mustache. Next to appear is sideburns which eventually extends to the bottom of the lip, until it finally covers your entire face.
2 beard styles
Above is an extended beard chart showing of different styles. Styles that are still considered fashionable in the west include the goatee, Van Dyck, chin curtain, and the short boxed style.
3 Shaving: The lost art
"Shaving was a custom of the Macedonian military, taken over by Hellenic and Roman society. From then on the beard becomes a philosophical status symbol, a sign of non-conformism." - Peter Sloterdijk
Shaving has become somewhat of a lost art. Today disposable safety razors has turned shaving into a chore, instead of the fun relaxing activity it should be.
You've no doubt dealt with dull razors, burns and all that follows, but it doesn't have to be like that. What you are about to read may surprise you.
If you own a gillette catridge razor, you've been ripped of. That's right. The Gillete catridge razors are nowhere near the quality of the double-edged razors your granddad used. And if you think you can't afford a high quality razor, it may actually SAVE YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN. Here is a comparison between a Gillette M3Power Nitro Razor, and Merkur HD Long Handle Barber Pole 38C razor:
3.1 Shaving with a DE razor
3.1.1 How is it different from a cartridge razor?
This section is very important as it contains safety tips
With a cartridge razor, you always shave against the grain, but with a DE razor you can shave any direction you want. You also have to shave at an angle as the head of a DE isn't flexible, but it's quickly learned.. And most importantly DO NOT PUSH IT, but hold it gently against your face, you'll be surprised how smooth it works. It also requires skin to be somewhat firm and, coupled with the lack of flexibility, makes it somewhat difficult to shave your balls with.
3.1.2 What you need to get started
You need four things
- a DE razor
- A badger brush
- shaving soap
- Stand for the badger brush and razor
for A razor. I recommend the Merkur 38C, because it has a long handle and good grip. For shaving soap, I love Col. Conk. It feels so good against the skin. For brush, I guess any badger brush would do, if it's above your budget, you can try the omega/target proraso boar brush, which is great, but beware that most other boar brushes don't work as good as badger brushes. Stands... Obviously something that fits.
3.1.3 How to shave
The best time to shave is after a shower, be sure to keep your face wet with warm water. Wet the brush with warm water as well, not scolding, but warm enough to 'feel it', now use the brush to scrub the shaving soap a few times. lather it in your hands or in a bowl until it becomes creamy.brush it gently on your face. Take the DE razor at an angle (will take a little experimenting perhaps) and drag GENTLY, it will almost go automatically. and that's the basic gist of it. When done, hang the brush on a stand so the water doesn't go down to the glue and shorten it's lifespan.
Mantic59 has a great series that should answer any questions you have.
here is a basic tutorial
more will be added later.... hopefully___________________________________
Damn, does that cover everything? Phew, I sure hope SOMEONE replies, so I didn't waste the time it took to write all that. Please add your comments and opinions on beards
Edited by gabe, 12 October 2009 - 07:39 PM.