Glasgow, Scotland, UK • September 2014 • Length of Read: 1 Minute
My fascination with beards probably started whilst watching the late Ryan Dunn pulling pranks on the MTV show Viva La Bam, and seeing Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl shredding his guitar live on stage. I remember thinking in a no-homo way, how cool, effortless, and rugged both of these dude’s facial hair appeared. ‘I want to have a beard like that,’ I mused in a complete fanboy moment.
Unfortunately, however, I was a bit late to the party in the old facial hair department, and don’t remember having to even pick up a razor before my sixteenth birthday. Even then, my subsequent teenage years and early twenties were to be spent in a smooth baby-faced fashion, with the bodyguards at clubs and bars scoffing at my I.D. when realizing that, despite my childish appearance, I was actually old enough to be entering their establishments.
It was only when I turned twenty-two that I started getting a bit of stubble that could pass as something other than bum-fluff and the babyface look slowly began to fade. To this day, my chest hair is still comparable to that of an Olympic swimmer, even though my physique may not be, but the facial hair now seems to grow in waves. I kept it under control for the purposes of appearing professional and well-groomed at work, until, in the summer of 2014, when Glasgow played host to the Commonwealth Games during a heat wave that turned the entire city into a party, I instead found myself trapped inside a grey and gloomy building studying for my professional exams. ‘Regardless of whether I end up passing these or not,’ I said to myself, ‘when the time comes to sit them I want to be taking a full- ginger monstrosity of a beard into the exam hall with me’.
Fast forward, and not only did I manage to achieve this but I also managed to pass the exams in the process. Well, beards are synonymous with wisdom, I suppose, so there should be little surprise there.
I still wouldn't describe myself as wise in any capacity, but I’ve not been clean-shaven since.