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Since there is a thread about that promotes the art of shaving with the use of the straight razor, I thought that a thread about beards, as I am a bearded  :grandpa: (old grandpa, in fact) man, may be of interest. This article seemed quite apropos as an opener for such a topic:


http://www.theimaginativeconservative.or...ecker.html

On the Benefits of Beards - The Imaginative Conservative
Dwight Longenecker

    In a society which is increasingly feminized, a beard makes a statement about masculinity. It is a sign of masculinity to the world, and a sign of proper masculinity to the man himself…

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This month there is a campaign called “No Shave November” in which men are encouraged to grow facial hair. This is to raise awareness of prostate cancer. No doubt this is a worthy cause, but my friends at Barbatus Catholic Beard Balm are amplifying the worthy cause with a parallel campaign called “The Nazarite Challenge.”

The Nazarite vow was a temporary religious commitment adopted by Jewish men. John the Baptist took the Nazarite vow, and many scholars think Jesus Christ also took the vow. Those who took the vow committed themselves to baptism, purity, prayer… and not shaving. For some reason they believed that holiness is next to hairiness. It’s an intriguing idea and one that ought to prompt more prayer and self-discipline. It also prompts some thought on the benefits of beards.

I first grew a beard when I was an Anglican priest. The Church of England was going through its interminable round of debates concerning the ordination of women, and when a female parishioner asked why I was growing a  beard I retorted, “To show that there are certain things a woman cannot do.” It was meant as a jocular jest, but the woman was inclined toward the feminist ideology, and she stomped off in a harrumph.

Since then I have had facial hair of one sort or another. Recently, I have adopted a full beard trimmed in the style of the tragic Tsar Nicholas. Such a beard takes some grooming and I have found two products that affirm both my ancestry and new-found faith. Honest Amish beard balm reminds me of my Mennonite and Amish heritage, while Barbatus Catholic Beard Balm sustains my Catholic identity.

What are the benefits of a beard? Firstly, it is common knowledge that to be “successful” in the establishment a man should be clean-shaven. Men of power do not grow beards. Therefore, to grow a beard is to display a sign of contradiction. A beard says, “I am not so ambitious and eager to succeed that I will shave my face every morning.” A beard is a sign of defiance which says silently, “You quislings may shave your face to conform to society’s expectations. But I march to a different drum.”

In a society that is increasingly feminized, a beard also makes a statement about masculinity. Without being aggressive or overly assertive, a beard still makes a positive statement about sex. I was semi-serious when I joked that my beard reminds people that there are some things a woman cannot do. This is not to be misogynistic. To state that there are some things a woman cannot do is to also affirm all the things that women do that men cannot do. Women can have babies. How amazing is that?

Women cannot grow beards, and neither can boys. It is arguable that to grow a beard is to grow up. Speaking of women and boys, all the surveys show that women prefer unshaven men. They not only want a man, they want a bearded man.

If a beard is a sign of masculinity to the world, it is also a sign of proper masculinity to the man himself. What I mean is that when you look in the mirror you see a man, and this man makes you think again of the ideal man. That ideal man is one who is strong but tender. He is pure but not puritanical. He is prayerful without being pious, chaste without being scrupulous, and virtuous without being self-righteous.

They say manners make the man, but I contend that the beard makes the manners which make the man. This applies most urgently at mealtime. Any man with a full beard begins to realize that maneuvering food into the mouth past the beard and mustache requires good table manners. A decent napkin must be handy to attend to detritus.

Most of all, food that is eaten with the hands is usually juicy and drippy and messy. Try eating a sloppy cheeseburger, a hot sub sandwich, fried chicken, a burrito or an ice-cream cone with a full beard and mustache. You will soon opt for the more civilized manners of choosing food you can eat with a knife, fork, and spoon. This benefit will make you slow down your mealtime, aid digestion, nurture conversation and make your consumption of comestibles more courteous.

The saints declared the glory of a beard. St Augustine wrote, ““The beard signifies the courageous; the beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigorous. So that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man.” Clement of Alexandria expounded at some length on the virtue of a fine beard: “Let the head of men be shaven, unless it has curly hair. But let the chin have the hair. But let not twisted locks hang far down from the head, gliding into womanish ringlets. For an ample beard suffices for men. And if one, too, shave a part of his beard, it must not be made entirely bare, for this is a disgraceful sight. The shaving of the chin to the skin is reprehensible, approaching to plucking out the hair and smoothing. For instance, thus the Psalmist, delighted with the hair of the beard, says, ‘As the ointment that descends on the beard, the beard of Aaron.’ Having celebrated the beauty of the beard by a repetition, he made the face to shine with the ointment of the Lord.”

So why not join in the spirit of No Shave November. If someone asks why you are not shaving, be cryptic and reply, “Because I have accepted the Nazarite Challenge.”

Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

I love being bearded!  My only complaint, such as it is, is the beardruff which beard oil does not seem to address satisfactorily enough.  Any suggestions about quality beard oils or another solution short of shaving would be appreciated. :)
Personally, I suffer from a number of skin problems, including Psoriasis. However, no dandruff nor beardruff. The only thing that I can put a connection to that has spared me of these itch and flakes phenomena is the fact that I use Head and Shoulders shampoo on my entire head and have done so for many years. I keep my beard somewhat short as I do my head hair, so perhaps somewhere in all of that is a 'cure'.

:)
(11-21-2016, 04:09 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]Personally, I suffer from a number of skin problems, including Psoriasis. However, no dandruff nor beardruff. The only thing that I can put a connection to that has spared me of these itch and flakes phenomena is the fact that I use Head and Shoulders shampoo on my entire head and have done so for many years. I keep my beard somewhat short as I do my head hair, so perhaps somewhere in all of that is a 'cure'.

:)

Maybe I'll try the Head and Shoulders for a while and see what happens.  Do you use it every day on your beard?  I, too, tend to keep my beard short-ish.  Mrs. JM doesn't like it long and scraggly  :).
(11-21-2016, 04:39 PM)J Michael Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-21-2016, 04:09 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]Personally, I suffer from a number of skin problems, including Psoriasis. However, no dandruff nor beardruff. The only thing that I can put a connection to that has spared me of these itch and flakes phenomena is the fact that I use Head and Shoulders shampoo on my entire head and have done so for many years. I keep my beard somewhat short as I do my head hair, so perhaps somewhere in all of that is a 'cure'.

:)

Maybe I'll try the Head and Shoulders for a while and see what happens.  Do you use it every day on your beard?  I, too, tend to keep my beard short-ish.  Mrs. JM doesn't like it long and scraggly  :).

At least every other day, since some days I don't need a shower. I also shave in the shower and use the suds from the shampoo on my neck before I apply the razor. Neat and simple and I really don't need a mirror to get this little task done.
(11-21-2016, 04:41 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-21-2016, 04:39 PM)J Michael Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-21-2016, 04:09 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]Personally, I suffer from a number of skin problems, including Psoriasis. However, no dandruff nor beardruff. The only thing that I can put a connection to that has spared me of these itch and flakes phenomena is the fact that I use Head and Shoulders shampoo on my entire head and have done so for many years. I keep my beard somewhat short as I do my head hair, so perhaps somewhere in all of that is a 'cure'.

:)

Maybe I'll try the Head and Shoulders for a while and see what happens.  Do you use it every day on your beard?  I, too, tend to keep my beard short-ish.  Mrs. JM doesn't like it long and scraggly  :).

At least every other day, since some days I don't need a shower. I also shave in the shower and use the suds from the shampoo on my neck before I apply the razor. Neat and simple and I really don't need a mirror to get this little task done.

Wow!  I shower every day, whether I need it or not  :O :grin:!  But I only shave (the little bit on my neck that needs shaving, that is) only once a week or so.  I trim my beard also about once a week.

(11-21-2016, 04:51 PM)J Michael Wrote: [ -> ]Wow!  I shower every day, whether I need it or not  :O :grin:! 

When I worked in a hospital, I showered daily as well. Now I am retired and my activity level is much lower and my exposure to 'soiling' all but eliminated. So, when I do shower it is after activities, but in the cooler days of late fall and winter< when I may spend the day relaxing and reading, like today, I may not shower before bed. Morning showers are my preference. Perhaps in the AM. :)
(11-21-2016, 04:51 PM)J Michael Wrote: [ -> ]Wow!  I shower every day, whether I need it or not  :O :grin:! 

When I worked in a hospital, I showered daily as well, sometimes multiple times a day. Too much showering, especially with those 'medicated' soaps, like dial antiperspirant, have chemicals in them that can kill advantageous bacteria on one's skin and allow bad bacteria to get a foothold, since most of the are resistant to the Triclosan  used in many of these soaps.

Now I am retired and my activity level is much lower and my exposure to 'soiling' all but eliminated. So, when I do shower it is after activities, but in the cooler days of late fall and winter, when I may spend the day relaxing and reading, like today, I may not shower before bed. Morning showers are my preference. Perhaps in the AM. :)
(11-21-2016, 05:03 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-21-2016, 04:51 PM)J Michael Wrote: [ -> ]Wow!  I shower every day, whether I need it or not  :O :grin:! 

When I worked in a hospital, I showered daily as well, sometimes multiple times a day. Too much showering, especially with those 'medicated' soaps, like dial antiperspirant, have chemicals in them that can kill advantageous bacteria on one's skin and allow bad bacteria to get a foothold, since most of the are resistant to the Triclosan  used in many of these soaps.

Now I am retired and my activity level is much lower and my exposure to 'soiling' all but eliminated. So, when I do shower it is after activities, but in the cooler days of late fall and winter, when I may spend the day relaxing and reading, like today, I may not shower before bed. Morning showers are my preference. Perhaps in the AM. :)

My activity level is much lower than when I was working, too.  But...I love my evening showers, brief as they may be!  Besides, Mrs. JM has a VERY keen sense of smell, so.... :LOL:

We're off to Walgreen's now, so I'll pick up some H & S and use it for a while and see if it works.  I'll use it daily for a few days and then maybe every other day or so.  Wish me luck, Grandpa  :grin: !

I felt obliged to chime in, oh beardly brothers.  :LOL: My beard's roughly like the bobblehead picture I use, from chin, not quite two inches long. The only shaving I do for it would be a bit of trimming on the cheeks. I'm a shower-every-day man, but Im' still far, far from thoughts of retirement. But I know what you mean about beardruff and such. Lately, I've been using Beardguyz beard balm. It's not too bad. Picked it up at a semi-local CVS. May the beards be with you!  :)
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