Blog posts & pages

View all results (0)
So, Chin, We Meet Again.

It's been I-don't-know-how-long since I had a clean shaven face. I have toyed with the idea of shaving my beard, most notably 2 autumns ago, but would either chicken out or some natural disaster (e.g. Hurricane Sandy) would come along and change my mind every time. 

But as 2014 is among us, and the whole new-year-new-you attitude abounds, I threw caution to the (icy, arctic, polar-vortex) wind and just did it. And I almost threw up.

The last few years my beard became a calling card: an integral part of my identity. People would notice it, comment on it, compliment it, identify me by it. The idea of shaving it seemed terrifying because the beard was--for me--a built-in accessory.


Here I am last summer, hair under-done, necklaces tangled, unlaundered shirt unbuttoned just enough to seem a bit flagrant. But the look worked. Why? Because that mammoth fur-mask brought it all together and said, "This guy knows the what's what."

It's true. My beard actually spoke for me. Well-groomed and perfectly shaped, it murmured, "This guys gives a shit." Out-of-control and in need of a trim, it still said, "Notice me."

The last words it whispered before being scooped from the sink and tossed into the garbage were something to the effect of, "This is the thanks I get?"

But as I refamiliarize myself with my facial structure, seeing at last what I once believed to be a poorly proportioned chin, I embrace the newness of it all. I feel exposed, naked and vulnerable (and cold!) and I can't get out of the mirror. It feels at once as if I've suddenly taken off all my clothes and just had bandages removed after reconstructive surgery. New-Year-New-Me: literally.

At work they're calling me "new guy," and I can't keep my hands off my "baby" face. I had grown so accustomed to slurping excess booze directly from my mustache after a sip from a cocktail, that even now as I drink this martini, I habitually try to slurp out the remaining drops from a mustache that's no longer there.

To say the least this is going to take some getting used to. But I'm glad I did it because I realize now that my beard had, in a way, become a crutch. I found a look that worked, and I stuck to it. For a long time.

What I learned most about shaving was the importance of getting out of your comfort zone. We groom ourselves for a purpose. What is yours? Go ahead and overgroom yourself. Wax your eyebrows. Shave your arms. Grow a beard. Laser your chest hair down to a small spade in between your pecs. Wax your 'stache. But ask yourself why. And remember what you're doing it for.

I had come to rely on my beard for more than I thought. What started years ago as a natural way of saving time shaving had turned into a mask I was proud to hide behind on a daily basis.

Now that I'm forced to see myself, my bare flesh, my reflection is a little more honest. It's that satisfied feeling you get after rearranging the furniture in your living room. Everything is still there, nothing has really changed. But the way you get around, and the angles from which you experience those same four walls take on new, refreshing perspectives. I think it's healthy to see yourself from different angles. And continuing to "get used to" new things is what keeps us young. 

So I say, this year, do something daring and shake things up. Re-invent yourself. And take a fresh look at the world around you.

(Incidentally, I'm growing it back later this year and documenting the growth process for all those first-time beard-growers with all those questions.)

Happy New Year!



Leave a comment

★ Reviews

Let customers speak for us

287 reviews
Pilgrim's Blue Cyprus and Coconut Deodorant is amazing

This stuff smells good, and lasts all day. I have had skin irritation from most other commercially available deodorant and have tried everything from the alum crystals to "natural" products. They don't work and contribute to bad smelling underarms. I thought I was just stuck living with it, until a small boutique in Astoria, OR recommended the product. I love it!!!

Clay Pomade

This stuff is great! Finally a pomade that can hold my hair style that’s unscented. I have a lot of sensitivity that doesn’t let me use many products so this is a real win for me. Plus the art on the product is dynamite! So happy

Grooming Oil 2 Pack Full Size
william leverenz jt

Grooming Oil 2 Pack Full Size

Excellent Product

I bought this a few years ago almost as a joke - Machine Oil?! Had to try some. It's now a regular part of my morning ritual, Don't leave home without it!

Great Product

Grew my hair out during quarantine and wanted to change up my hair product. Love the natural feeling and hold of this product. Great smell like all of the other products offered by Brooklyn Grooming.