Reading: Diary of a Beard

Diary of a Beard

I’ve had a beard now for almost 3 years straight (except for a brief 2 weeks when I felt the urge to get rid of my facial hair – revealing that underneath it all I was in fact a childlike school boy and not the handsome lumberjack that people had come to know and love).   At this point, I’m pretty good at knowing how long I can leave it and when I’m 1 mm (or one full moon) away from transforming into wolverine.

Day 01 – Had a few too many drinks last night and decided that a full day on the couch with Chinese takeway takes precedence over literally everything else. I don’t shave today. I consider this a personal growth day, in more ways than one.

Day 02 – I notice the space between my shirt collar and my beard is filling it and if I leave it another day the hair on my face and my chest might meet and rally against me. The neck beard has to go.   Trimming this can be tricky – your hand gets in the way of imagining and imaginary line – and really overall, necks aren’t that exciting, not enough to warrant a design or a logo. If your neckline is unbalanced then your face looks off. Symmetry is important if you don’t want to look like a Dali painting. I ditch my foam and grab my Philips 9000 beard trimmer and use the laser guidance system to literally line everything up.   I’m a visual person so this direction helps. It can be so easy to trim a little too much here and there and end up with nothing.

With a clean neck I instantly look more handsome, which is a drastic change from yesterday. I use my favourite beard oil for an extra pick me up and go about my day.   The wife notices the scent, which I’m hoping will make up for my couch potato status.


Day 04 – Working in hospitality there are three levels of facial hair: clean-shaven, full-beard and fired. There have even been studies conducted that facial hair effects the perceived level of service so today is probably not the time to experiment with mutton-chops. I don’t like reading instructions and decide to learn the Philips beard trimmer settings using my chest. I’m glad I did since I didn’t put the guard on a shaved a part right down the middle of my ribcage. I use 3.5 on the sides and 4.5 on the moustache. I put on a freshly steamed shirt and grab a coffee on my way to work. I try to avoid stroking my beard in public, no matter how smart it makes me feel.

Day 05 – I like having a beard because it is so much less maintenance than shaving every day.   It also helps to have a solid beard trimmer in your kit. With a wet shave you have to get wet, and foamy.   It’s a hassle and it irritates my skin, especially in the winter. Scraping four titanium samurai against dry skin never ends up being a good look.   That being said, my face still looks neat and tidy from yesterday so I’m in the clear.

Day 07 – The remnants of my chest experiment are still quite visible. I tell my wife it’s a racing stripe designed to make me go faster but her face leads me to believe this is not, in fact, an acceptable answer.   I hand the trimmer over and she finishes what I started. It’s one of those rituals you really enjoy as a married man. She goes a little nuts with the laser at first, tracing lines in every direction but in the end does an impeccable job. I no longer look like I’m sporting a rug for a shirt, which makes me feel lighter. Cleaning the beard trimmer is a breeze and actually make it a part of my routine.   A good beard is defined by your style, by your face and (more literally) by the tools you use to keep it trimmed.

This post and an extremely precise shave are brought to you by Philips.