Thursday, January 5, 2012

Before and After

What a Beard Did for Me
The Most Interesting Man in the World
I don't always pick tomatoes; but, when I did, I looked like this:
But, wanting a single feature that would experience more than a lesser man's body, I grew a beard. Perhaps you'll recognize me?
Stay bearded, my friends.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Great Beards of History: Alfred the Great

Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, Anglo-Saxon defender, leader in education and culture, and bearer of a mighty beard.

King Alfred is one of England's most beloved heroes, standing among King Arthur and Richard the Lionheart. He staved off the Vikings from overtaking his land, through much struggle and ingenuity. A well learned man himself, he initiated a renaissance of education and culture during his days of peace. The English Navy had its beginnings with King Alfred. Alfred the Great was a man of might, courage, wisdom, and intellect. He wielded his sword as well as his mind with a strong arm.

It is on this basis, therefore, that we look to Alfred as a model of a responsible and worthy bearer of the beard. Notice in the 19th century portrait below the full and forked style.

Behold, King Alfred the Great. Behold, a spectacular beard.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Strap on Your Chastity Masks

I'm waiting for an Amish Antoine to chime in, telling us to "Hide thy wife, hide thy kids, and hide thy beards to0, for they be violating everybody out here..."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Great Beards of Walmart

Walmart can be a great place to get your feet wet in the increasingly popular sport of competitive beard-watching:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Upcoming Beard Events

Beard Team USA has posted this Fall's events:

Austin Facial Hair Club benefit show
October 18th, 2010
Beauty Bar, 617 E. 7th St. – Austin, Texas 78701
Proceeds will help Austin Facial Hair Club get to Norway and represent Austin!

Third Annual Western Pennsylvania Beard and Moustache Competition
Billy’s Bar and Grill
Oil City, Pennsylvania
October 23, 2010
6 pm

Aarne Bielefeldt
2010 National Champion
Full Beard Division

Austin Facial Hair Club’s Halloween River Boat Party
October 29th, 2010
Austin, TX
All aboard @ 9 pm

Ohio’s First Beard and Moustache Competition and Festival
Polen Farm
Dayton, Ohio
November 13, 2010
A charity event supporting a local home called the Stillwater Center.
If you want to compete, just show up. Info:

Krewe de Croix Beard and Moustache Contest
Christiansted, US Virgin Islands
February 5, 2011
Krewe de Croix, the Virgin Islands’ local chapter of Beard Team USA, presents the annual beard and moustache contest. This time the theme is “Rock and Roll is here to stay!”

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Beard Salute: The Roaming Gnome

"Hello, chaps! Welcome to my spiffy new digs. Can I put the kettle on for you? I’m the Travelocity Roaming Gnome. You’ve probably seen me on the telly, actually, upholding the Travelocity Guarantee. You should know that the camera adds ten pounds. Things I like include finding smashing travel deals, buttered crumpets, combing my lustrous beard, and Photoshopping my passport picture so I look just a smidge taller. Things I don’t like include tan lines, the last day of vacation, people who scream “freebird!”, and getting stuck in the middle seat between two Chatty Cathys."

The Roaming Gnome--whose real name remains undisclosed for obvious reasons--escaped oppressive gardening back in 2003, assisted by the Garden Gnome Liberation Front (a little known subset of the Facial Follicle Freedom Front). After spending several months reconnecting with family at the Bavarian Black Forest refugee camp, he finally found employment with Travelocity's marketing group in 2004, where he's happily served ever since.

When asked to comment on gnomish beard cultivation, he only said,

"Bullhonkery! We gnomes are born with lustrous beards. Anyway, you wouldn't happen to have a bit of stinky cheese about, would you, eh?"
In any case, this beard salute goes out to the Roaming Gnome. Sir, we salute you!

Travelocity, Tourguide from Baldwin& on Vimeo.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cranium to Face: a Tenuous Transition

Head hair and face fur are two different animals, and the experienced barber does not take the tenuous transition lightly. Although the occasional chap revels in marked cranial/facial distinction, most of us prefer that some attempt at blending is made.

But how?

One method I've tried:
Make all hairs stand up perpendicular to the skin, starting from the the place where your sideburn transitions to cheek-line (the Elvis hook) and going up to about where the side of your head transitions to dome. Having stood these hairs up, you can (theoretically) look into a mirror head on, see the incongruence in length between the sideburn hairs and side-of-your-head hairs, and use a buzzer to create a gradient from the top of your sideburn to the top of the side of your head.

Suffice it to say that this technique will work when cycling naked is an acceptable alternative to air conditioning.

No, the simplest way to accomplish the blend is this:
Wet your hair and comb all your sideburn and side-of-head hair straight forward, like you're trying to comb it into your eye. You'll notice a leap in length as sideburn hair meets side-of-head hair. Simply create a smooth arc in hair length, from sideburn to bangs.
Now, reverse the process-- comb all hair backward at the same angle, like you're trying to comb it back into your ear. If you can trim around the front of your ear in a seamless arc from sideburn to head hair, while your hair is firmly in this position, you will have come close to blending beard and skull sufficiently.

Alternately, you could just grow both so long that transition becomes a non-issue.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Manterview: Brandon Dyer

SC: Brandon, thanks for being with us today.

BD: Thanks for having me, Scott.

SC: Brandon, many of our readers know that you recently converted to Presbyterianism. I'd like to explore the relationship between Reformed theology and beards. What role did your facial manliness play in this? Is there anything you'd like to say to your clean shaven Reformed brethren? Talk to us.

BD: Great question. Let me answer with an encounter I had last night (October 3, 2010):

I needed to take the trip to Hanover Park, Illinois, to be presented before the session for membership in the Presbyterian church. As I sat at the round table with them, I began to notice something. I looked to my left, and there sat an elder with a full beard. I looked across the table at the preaching pastor and noticed his beard filling in quite nicely. I looked at yet another elder and noticed his burns and chin goatee filling in. I began to be distracted by this phenomenon as I qualified my supralapsarian position to them. As I thought about it later, I began to realize why I was so distracted. The distraction happened at the moment I realized the strong link that Reformed theology has with beards.

As I left that room I felt confident in my imminent acceptance into membership. Was it because I could wax eloquently (Robert Reymond style) about supralapsarianism? No. Was it because one of the elders said my girlfriend seemed like she would be a "suitable helpmeet"? No. It was because I decided over a month ago to have a full man's beard for the meeting I would be having with the session. This decision-- to grow, groom, and keep my beard--proved to be monumental in my acceptance into the Presbyterian church.

I would certainly implore my brethren in other Reformed camps to consider the beard. Not only does it provide security in your manhood, but it allows others to feel secure in you. Growing a beard isn't only about yourself, it's about others--your congregation, your significant other, your children. How long will you wallow in your nakedness? Clothe your face, brothers.

SC: Some have said that Reymond's modified supra position is essentially infra. It's like infra that doesn't want to be. I mention this because it finds parallel with that elder who wore only burns and a chin goat-- like a beard that doesn't want to be.
Leaving aside the question of God's decree, do you agree with my sentiments toward goatees and their ilk? Or do you consider them legitimate expressions of masculinity in their own right?

BD: I do agree. However, this man obviously lacks BGP (Beard Growing Potential). So, in compassion, I think it necessary to give him an "A for effort". In most cases, I wouldn't consider them a legitimate expression of masculinity, but in his case I'm thankful for his attempt.

SC: Of course. Of course. As I always say, "grow what you've got." One's manliness does not consist in his growth potential, but in his use of whatever growth potential he has.
Moving on, Brandon, I'm sure that our readers would like to know how your beard has treated you. What's it done for winter warmth? Relational warmth? What else?

BD: Some "men" buy scarves to cover their face. I say, "Why not let your God-given hair cover your face?!" Is there any synthetic material that can keep you warmer than your own hair? Did God really intend for anything but facial hair to cover your face?

Relationally, I can't say my beard has been well received by the women in my life: sisters, mother, girlfriend, etc. My suspicion when it comes to women's lack of love for the beard, is that they lack the biblical undergirding concerning beards. This epidemic is sweeping through our churches.



SC: Hm. I feel for you Brandon, and respect your perseverance. Bear in mind that your woman does not yet know what benefits your beard will bring to marriage. After tying the knot, she'll have ample reason to rejoice in her hubby's face fur.
I'd like to wrap this up by asking you to address those readers who are teetering on the fence of indecision. Some fear that their growth will be sparse. Others that employers will not approve. For some others, the fear of the unknown, of silliness, of failure, inhibits their manliness. Reach your arm through their monitor, right now, put it a
round them, and speak a word of encouragement.

BD: Brothers, I want you to understand something. This interview is explicitly toward brothers. This is not a sexist issue! But it is a man-only issue. Only men (well...mainly men) can make the decision to let their beards grow freely or to put the blade to the face. Gentlemen, is pseudofolliculitis really worth it to you? Is spending money on blades, shaving cream, and talc powder really being a good steward of your money?
Consider beard growth--for yourself, for your church, for you family.

SC: A good word, Brandon; a good word. Thanks for giving us a few minutes of your time! Stay bearded, my friend.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The intentions are usually the best. A beard is slightly overgrown, a quick touch up will make it look better. That's the motivation. But other considerations enter into the equation. A steamed up mirror. An over zealous gesture of the wrist. A dull razor blade.

But undoubtedly the most precarious factor is the human eye. A hypothetical situation:

A man enters into the bathroom intending on trimming his full beard. The hair has grown too high onto his cheeks, and it looks unkempt and half-cocked. The tool of choice: a three-bladed Gillette razor. The initial debate: does he start high and work low, or start low and go up?

The shaving cream is applied, and whether he starts high or low, the same thing seems to happen: after shaving and washing the cream away, one side is a little askew compared to the other. More shaving cream is needed... and then the follicular formation is lopsided in the other direction. Repeat. Same problem.

Before the victim knows it, their beard is all but gone. Very little reason to keep the goofy-looking stray loners poking out all over the face. And so, the fateful, heavy decision is made: the facial hair must go altogether. The departure takes place with the hope that a new dawn will see the beginnings of stubble. With each subsequent dawn, hope will swell. The newly shorn man comforts himself with that knowledge, that God has worked into his DNA the automatic capability for hairy growth.

Until the beard returns... don't overdo it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When Hollywood Outdoes the Church

What do Aragorn, Wallace, Spiderman, and Brad Pitt (who's played no part I feel like honoring in any sense) have in common?

They have the good sense to wear appreciable beards in real life.

Well, to the degree they...have...a real life.

This is an Imago Dei thing, obviously.

Thick in front and sparse on the sides, but a man is never to be judged on biological factors. The degree of freedom one grants what follicles he has is the test of his masculinity (besides, mine grows the same way!) Full mustache development, accentuated by slicked hair.
Score: 7

Lumberjack with nicely patterned white streak under the lower lip.
Score: 9

Boxy. Compliments the babyface in a way that communicates youthful, masculine vitality. Rookie lumberjack with lots of potential.
Score: 8

" is not to take his patterns from nature; but neither is he to waste himself in seeking to change her face."
--Richard Weaver
Although some struggle with the latter indictment, Brad Pitt struggles with the former.
Score: 5

So why do I--he who does not own a TV and no longer watches movies--give these beards a mention? To shame the Church into reform.

Brethren, we are outdone by the world. These things ought not to be.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Beard in King Arthur's Court

"Consequently, when the Pevensie children had returned to Narnia last time for their second visit, it was (for the Narnians) as if King Arthur came back to Britain, as some people say he will. And I say the sooner the better."

--C.S. Lewis

Well, Jack, looks like you got your wish:

(click pic)

This dude believes he's King Arthur. And he wants to represent Salisbury in Westminster.

Um... FAIL.

When King Arthur rides in, he won't be wearing a suit OR a pink scarf, and he won't be asking for votes and he won't be representing Salisbury. He'll be sitting his behind in Buckingham palace.

So, why does he deserve a mention on our blog?

Dude, nice beard.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Beard Salute: Doug Wilson

Since the publication of his most recent book, Goateed Is Not Enough, Doug has received alot of attention from the bearded community. And with good cause. Doug wears appreciable facial fur, and he wears it well.

Some have questioned his orthodoxy (as is repped by the above pic), but even this photoslopper could not erase the beard. Need we say more?

Doug Wilson, we salute you!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Delilah 2.0

"Submit a friend or loved one with facial hair abuse issues for a personal hydrovention today! If your case is selected Doc Hydro's team of nurses will set up a surprise appointment at the patient's home, office, or favorite hang out. Your personal hydrovention will be filmed and aired on our website, facebook, and youtube page. The patient will be cleaned up and hydrated just in time to send yourself, the patient and two friends on a SPRING BREAK TRIP."

Want to undermine the legitimacy of corporal punishment? Refer to it as "hitting your kids."

Want to undermine the conservation of marriage? Refer to it as "hate speech."

Want to undermine the manliness of beardedness? Refer to it as "facial hair abuse issues."

Oh the damnable subtlety with which phrases are turned!

This beast--Weaver's "Great Stereopticon" (that's "mass media" for the rest of us)--would turn roommate against roommate, wife against husband, and man against follicle.
Have we forgotten how to blush? Would we expose said blush bare-cheeked? For shame.

To that supposed example of "facial hair abuse" in the upper right-hand corner, I say,
"Sir, do not be taken in: Delilah 2.0 stands below you, casting her pseudo-seductive gaze; but, she is a pawn of Schick, and does not want you, but your demise."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Yes, we're back. And one of us is probably moving to a place where the above contest is taking place...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Theology Month (ha!) - Augustine

While we don't really know if this is what he looked like, I thought this neo-Renaissance mane could earn some points. Here's to Augustine, defender of orthodoxy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Theology Week(s) (2)

Today, John Calvin turns 500. Villified and exulted by many, his Institutes of the Christian Religion was the first systematic theology of Protestant Christianity. We don't think he would have finished it at the age of 26 if he wasn't bearded.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Theology Week (1)

We're officially kicking off theology week here at Better Beards. We believe some of the best beards ever grown have been attached to theologians the world over. So, this week we'll be showcasing those beards for our undoubtedly enormous readership.

Today, Charles Spurgeon is our man. His beard was known to strike fear in the hearts of liberal Christians throughout England, and indeed throughout the world. For from the midst of that beard thundered forth words that were published throughout the world in several thousand papers and journals.

I doubt he would have been as effective were he clean-shaven.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Shield Beard

When you enter a fist-fight, the popular myth is that having a beard puts its wearer at a distinct disadvantage. It's a liability that can be yanked on and used to throw one to the ground. This, however, is not the case for those in the know. A beard is, in fact, an excellent defensive mechanism against a potential attacker. 

Imagine with me, a beard just at the bristly stage. As an incoming punch approaches the face, one thinks that definite damage would occur. Instead, the punch is not only cushioned by the beard, but the beard acts to do damage to the hand of the attacker. If honed just right, the attacker's hand will come away bloody. 

Of course, the problem with such a finely sharpened beard is that less loving from one's wife is likely to occur. Say goodbye to kisses, and hugs are certainly in jeopardy as well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chins: part deux

The relationship between chins and beards is complex and often finely nuanced.
Those with very prominent man-chins may do well to balance their face with a mustache. Those whose chins are alive should not cover them with facial hair, out of respect. Those with butt-chins, such as my colleague (see previous post) have their own demons.

But some of us grow beards precisely because we have receded chins. It happens--don't judge.

According to the 2004 ed. Chinology Diagnostic Manual,

[a chin] is said to be receded if it meets at least two of the following three criteria:
(a) the distance between the lower lip and the bottom of the chin is less than 100th the length of the bridge of the nose.
(b) a profile of the face in question, as acquired by shadow tracing in a kindergarten class, shows that the chin is more that 3 ft. back from the tip of the nose, so long as the distance between said tip and the upper lip is not more than 1 ft.
(c) the person in question embarrassingly "misses" his target at least 50% of the times that he attempts to scratch his chin.

Well, it's time to come out of the closet: although you can't tell because of my beard, I have a receded chin.
In a bad enough case, you may want to consider wearing only a goatee--no mustache or beard... you'll have some serious compensation going on.
But, in a mild case, such as mine, facial hair of any sort (except Friendly Mutton Chops) should do the trick.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Split Chins

I, like my Polish forebears, have a split chin. A cleft chin, if you like. This facial architecture allows for interesting dynamics when growing and trimming beards. 

First, the growth. As my hair grows, it seems to want to grow with a small indentation directly in the middle of my chin. Much like Lazar Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof, I find myself stroking the two protruding tuffs of hair. Grabbing the two offshoots and twisting them outward, I find myself wishing to cackle. Like an evil Hollywood archnemesis. Or something.

Second, the trimming involves a navigation skills of Luke Skywalker in the Death Star Trench. Failure to trim successfully will leave an uneven beard, which no doubt will result in the whole beard coming off. The ultimate defeat. As such, the cleft chin beard must be handled with utmost care. Nimbly do my hands go over the crevice in my face... preventing the ultimate in humiliation. Others, however, do not have the same issues. Thus, I give it to SBC, who has the opposite kind of chin... the more prominant kind. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sparse Cheeks

Have you ever noticed a lawn, some patches of which grow thicker, or longer, than the rest? I thought so. Does it bother you? Me neither. Would it bother you if such was the case with your face? If you're like most guys, this is precisely the predicament in which you find yourself. Buck up! There's hope! Read on.

For several years, I lamented the imbalanced distribution of hair across my face: the goatee area is markedly thicker than the cheeks! Then I noticed that I was not the only one. This is the case with most men. For the first couple months of a beard's life, the goatee/mustache area can be several shades darker than the rest, resulting in a two-tone effect. Two-tone patterns can be aesthetically pleasing if Bibles are in view, but on your face?

Although there's little that can be done for those first couple months, there is a long term solution: trim the goatee area shorter than the rest. I call this "manual face balancing."

For me, for instance, a #2 over the goatee and #4 over the cheeks works very well, if I'm keeping my beard shorter. For a fuller look, I've kept the goatee at a #5 and the cheeks at #7. You see, the proportions can close in as the beard gets longer.

I've never grown a very long beard. If I ever do, I suspect that all such balancing will be unnecessary.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Neck Hair

Imagine sand paper. Now imagine sand paper on your skin. Now, imagine sand paper being rubbed over your skin with the force of fifty-thousand horses pulling a half-mile long concrete slab. You're only beginning to understand the pure, immistakable pain that is neck hair.

It's insidious. To leave the neck hair there is to invite wanton damage to one's neck. Few tell the tale, but an old Scotsman was said to have decapitated himself by turning his head too quick. His neck hair rubbed all the way through, and his head rolled. It was rumored that in the Inquisition one of their methods to keep the cost of execution down was to have men grow stubbly neck hair and then to make them look down too quickly. Their heads came off naturally.

Fellow men, remember to shave the neck hair. Unless you're going terminal with the whole beard. If that's the case, ignore my sage advice. Instead, grow it out. It'll only be a wonderous danger to others.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


There are few things that I get Monkish about, but facial hair is among them. An unsymmetrical goatee or neckline is absolutely unacceptable. Don't even talk to me about it.

Don't pretend that you don't know what I'm talking about, either. I recently screwed up, dinking around with a cheek-line (inadvisable and unnecessary for most of us), and by the time I tried correcting it, the inevitable was obvious: it was time to start over. I shaved. Fascinatingly, about 4 different guys who beheld the nakedness of my face the next day said, "ah, a tragic trimming accident?" They knew! All guys know.

Goatees are among the toughest. I mean, you've got to keep both sides perfectly parallel. If one turns an awkward angle, the other must be made to mirror it precisely. Or what about the angle at which the sides turn under the chin? Getting those to match is well-nigh impossible. For these and other reasons, I don't even bother with goats anymore.

Necklines can be almost as tough. If one side moves up toward the back of the jaw at a steeper angle than the other... I'll lose sleep.
Cheeklines are even more visible than necklines...I advise against them, except for picking off the occasional renegade making a break for the eye socket.

So, next time your wife asks you what the heck you're doing for so long in the bathroom, ask her if she'd like you to look like this guy, or this guy, or these guys.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Follicide by Yank

It's a rare and brutal form of follicide when the hairs of the beard are actually pulled out from their moorings. The pain that accompanies this is akin to having your eyeballs skewered with toothpicks, but with a more lingering sensation.

Take this for instance: last night, we were at Scott's house, watching a movie. I had a rare moment of silliness swell up within my soul, and was acting baboonish while trying to kiss my wife. She began to laugh, and as I came in for the kiss, she (not paying attention and with her head thrown back in laughter) closed her mouth. Around my beard. Only a couple casualities resulted, but the effect was severe. After rubbing, jumping, and bashing my face into the wall (perhaps not that last one), the damage was still felt to the core of my face. Alas, men... let me warn you. Avoid the yanking death of a follicle, known as follicide by yank.

Friday, April 10, 2009

This Week's Beard Salute: Midguardians

Middle Earth (Midguard in Norse mythology) has some great beards.

Take Gandalf, for instance:

Or Aragorn, whose pre-king beard...

 not to be compared with his post-king beard:

Gimli has an exceptional beard:

Although he'd rather plummet with the Balrog than have it pulled.

In Middle Earth, even the trees have beards:

Which all leads to my totally legitimate question:


Oh well, at least he makes the attempt when not in Middle Earth--


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bib Beard

New discoveries abound when you're growing a beard for the first time. Little things, like how annoying it can be to have a head cold with a beard. You can imagine. Or how much more seriously people take you. Doubt it? Grow a man-beard, you'll see.

Moments ago, I had another such discovery. My wife handed me a cup of water, and I rapidly downed it. Quite thirsty was I. And of course, as I tilted my head up, I realized I hadn't quite shaped my lips to the cup. I felt the water trickle down onto my lower lip and no doubt onto my shirt. That's what's happened every other time I've drank too fast. All over my nice Spurgeon hoodie. But not this time. To my amazement, when I looked down at my hoodie, there wasn't a drop of water on it. Like a sponge, my now-somewhat-thick beard soaked up the rebel liquid, squashing its insurgency against my rule over my hoodie. With one hand, I stroked the beard, and the water came off like a wet bear twisting in the wind. Pretty much awesome.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nazarite Vow...Only... Not...

Some guy vowed to go unshaven until Metallica produces another album. I'd give him a beard salute if his motives weren't so impure.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Great Beards of History

Hans Nilsen Langseth, 17.6ft

Zachariah Taylor Wilcox, 14ft

Valentine Tapley, 12ft

Alistair MacWilkie, 11ft

Louis Coulon, 10.11ft

Edwin Smith, 8ft

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Follicide: n. the act of killing a follicle. 

Yesterday evening, I took my razor and my Barbasol and began to splash water on my face. Then, liberally applying the Barbasol to my face, I began the work. The key is to start where the beard ends, and move away from it with the razor. Not towards the beard. 

Moving the razor slowly and carefully, I shaped and shaved the stubble, cleaning my face up. This was not by edict, but by choice. Please, don't be alarmed. The beard, in all its out-of-control glory, will remain. For now. When the work was done, the beard was nicely trimmed, still long. But then, the mirror revealed another abnormality: on my chin, a tuff of hair considerably longer then the rest. I will likely be commiting follicide again soon...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

When Will the Carnage End?

For our purposes today, I'll classify three sorts of people: Non-Christians, Christians who enjoy bearded bliss, and Christians involved in the institutional emasculation of men.

The latter category, which as of this post includes the administration of certain universities, has prompted today's lament:

I have seen a great evil under the sun. Men--grown men--walking into a bathroom with masculinity fully intact, leaving clean shaven--shame faced--unable to look you in the eye as they mutter, "I feel like a 12 year old."

Christian institutions are wielding Hanun's razor, ignoring nature's lesson concerning gender-distinctive hair dynamics.

Why is this? Lewis offers a suggestion through the demon Screwtape, who says to his nephew Wormwood,
“It is the business of these great masters to produce in every age a general misdirection of what may be called sexual ‘taste’...Thus we have now for many centuries triumphed over nature to the extent of making certain secondary characteristics of the male (such as the beard) disagreeable to nearly all the females — and there is more in that than you might suppose…"
Of course, Lewis was not alone in this. 1,800 years before him, St. Clement of Alexandria said,

“How womanly it is for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, and to arrange his hair at the mirror, shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them!…For God wished women to be smooth and to rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane. But He adorned man like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him as an attribute of manhood, with a hairy chest—a sign of strength and rule.”

What if the question is not, "are men permitted to grow beards," but rather, "are men permitted to shave?"

Every Scriptural reference to the shaving of beards involves disease, idolatry, judgment, or mourning.

Indeed, it is with mourning that our beards go down to Sheol.

I ask you, when will the carnage end?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Great Beards of Fiddler on the Roof

Tevye's beard pretty much rocked.

Motel's beard grew bigger by the time the movie was over. Quite the baller for his lady.

Even the town people's beards obviously contributed to the overall amazingness of the movie.

Lazar Wolf has the best beard in the movie, honestly. Too bad he didn't get the girl; 'twas the only fluke in the movie.

Perchik also did what was necessary to get his lady. Crazy socialist that he was, he was still pretty cool. I think he should've had a random beard pop out of his face when he did this. The stubble semi-suffices.


Examining my facial hair tonight, I discovered an abnormally long hair. Well over twice the size of the remainder of my follicles. The debate began: snip it? Let it grow in all its resplendence? Or yank it out? I finally decided to let it stay, so that its brethren might see it as an example and grow to a similar stature.

So my Brent Belford folicle will stay, and hopefully by osmosis the other hairs will grow. Tonight, we're doing a special blog post: the Fiddler on the Roof Edition!

Mazel tov!

Facial Hair Types

Thursday, April 2, 2009

This week's beard-salute: Jon Dyer

Men gather around things. Football. BBQ. Trucks.
Of course, the moment that attention is drawn to the gathering part--which is to say, the moment that focus shifts from football, bbq, or trucks to being together--men quickly disband with a grunt and a swagger. (Sort of like when two guys are walking and accidentally bump hands and both say "Wo..." in uncharacteristically deep voices.)
Well, at the risk of undermining my aim, I'd like mention that men gather around beards, too. I hasten to add that they do not gather around beards, they gather around beards.

Not only do men do so, they do so online. Yes, there is a thriving online beard community, and we'd like to introduce you to it. In that spirit, I plan to post links on a regular basis...the first of which involves a man that I respect more than most in the beard community.

By way of introduction...Have you ever heard of Africa's "big five"? If not, it's probably because, like me, you don't have enough money for your 69 cent morning java, let alone a rocking awesome african safari. Nonetheless, the "big five" is the holy grail of african big game hunting-- taking lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and cape buffalo. One who has done so is said to have accomplished "the big five."
Well, the world of beards (sometimes known as beard-world) has a holy grail of its own: the big 25. Wanna see? I bet you do. This week's beard-salute goes out to Jon Dyer:

Welcome: part deux

During my two years in the Israeli foreign legion--during which time I was made to wear a beard, of course--the unique luster of my beard secured my involvement with an elite special ops group, known then as the Facial Follicle Freedom Front. F4 operated undercover in Western society, dulling razor blades, filling Barbasol canisters with Rogain, and spreading pro-beard propaganda via subliminal messages in Cosmopolitan. Although our efforts produced something of a renaissance of goatees, and other half-hearted attempts at masculinity, full-orbed beardity was never realized en masse.
The Front has since been disbanded and my term with the Legion is up. But the spirit of F4 lives the Better Beards Blog. Gentlemen, our cause is no light thing. Will you join us?
This is nothing less than a call to beards...whatever. Ditch your razor, despise the kisslessness of your misguided wife, and hold your head up high: you're a man--a bearded man--and I salute you. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


The world of beards is vast and ancient. I myself have only recently ventured into this unknown territory, and I have only a few guides. My Father, who has gone before me, had a beard. Now, I venture out on my own experiment with my frothy forest of folicules; what becomes of it will be the annuls of this blog.

In addition, my friend Scott will be joining me. He has more experience in the ancient lands than I do, and his insights and posts will no doubt be helpful for those of us who are exercising our new found freedom, or discovering the freedom they enjoyed all along.