Some things I've learned....

(1) An Engineer can do with 10 cent what a fool can do with a Euro.

(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time

(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!

(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....

(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!

Tuesday 28 April 2009

Facial Hair

I figured, since I have now harvested a successful goatee for 2 years, that I should perhaps write a blog about managing facial hair, and how to achieve the best results. As such, I've divided this piece into 3 main segments:
  • Making the choice

  • Cultivating your choice

  • Managing your choice

Making the Choice

The decision to embark in the world of facial hair is not easy one, until you've successfully completed step two in this guide, you will most likely face abuse from your peers as you attempt to change your image. Unlike, say a tatoo, facial hair isn't permanent, so you can alter your choice as I will illustrate later on. I've attached a picture which to my knowledge shows most variations on facial hair. There is of course nothing to stop you coming up with your own, but if you're new to this I suggest making a selection based on the below diagram. (You need to click HERE to enlarge).

After you've made your choice, I would suggesting consulting with a friend or loved one for their opinion. It IS a big step, and ridicule is a certain biproduct if you fail to succeed in your attempt. Facial hair is afterall a staple of your intent to stand out from the crowd. There are so many more clean shaven people out there and this is you making a change. I personally had the idea of growing a goatee for a Halloween costume, only later to find that people actually liked it and hence I kept it (also I found that it was great for stroking when I was in a pensieve mood). You, on the other hand, may not be so lucky. So think carefully before you proceed to the next step.


Perhaps the most important of all the steps, everything can go wrong with cultivating your choice. To make it clearer, I'm talking about actually GROWING your facial hair. All men after they reach that age realise that shaving can become a bit of a pain in the arse at times. We, unlike women, are fortunate enough to only have to shave above our necks on a regular basis.

The first, and certainly easiest step, is to simply not shave. How long you ask? Well I would suggest anywhere in the region of two-three weeks, depending on what you're going for. If say you're going for a tache of some sort I would wait until it is well grown in, shaving too early can make it look scrawny and will entice laughter and ridicule. If you're going for something around the chin, you don't need to wait as long. The main problem with not shaving however is that you can look like a right scruffy bastard, so sacrifices may need to be made on socialising fronts if necessary. If prompted, state that you intend to grow a (insert facial hair) rather than say you're just not shaving.

Once your face has reached maturity, it's time to slice and swipe. If you happen to be unfamiliar with the art of shaving, I will direct you now to a blog I wrote some time ago: The_Perfect_Shave

This stage is key. One slip here and all you're work will be for NOTHING. At this stage, you should have been day dreaming long and hard about your new facial hair, so you should have some idea of how to proceed in crafting it. When shaving at this point, a general word of advice is to start high on the cheeks. No one actually lets hair grow their so its good location to line-up your first motion. From there I can only advise that you keep a steady hand whilst you swing your razor. If you feel a little unsure, it might be helpful to perhaps draw a sketch, or jot down each movement you're going to make. Think of it like a game of chess, each stroke of your blade is setting up the check-mate, i.e. your finished product.

I would strongly recommend a blade that can be adjusted or has a single blade at the rear for any particular fine motions.


If you've got this far, you've done well. By now you've likely braved the public opinion on your new facial enhancement and are now faced with the task of keeping it up to scratch. From her I would recommend some key purchases; a trimmer (I have a Philips one) and also an electric razor is a good investment, one with an accuracy enhancer (or in English, a flat head). If these aren't available, you'll have to make do with a scissors.

On the technology side of it, a good idea is to start at the maximum depth with the trimmer, and then work your way down the settings until you reach the desired substance of depth. Remember that the fullness and strength of your facial hair is highly important to its social success, so make sure that you don't trim it down too much. This is of course facial hair dependent. Having the electric razor flat head can help control those hard to reach areas, and help define the curves if there are any - which there usually are. Additionally, if you're going a bit bushy with your choice, regular combing is a must if you want to avoid unwanted outward growing and just general untidyness.

Using a scissors is quite an undertaking, and one slip up with the dual blades could ruin all your hard work up to this point. My advice is to take it one snip at a time, being careful not to take too much off. You really should strive to own a trimmer as soon as possible. Controlled shaving with a regular blade should be undertaken at your own preferred intervals, and should only be used to manage large areas of your face that are to remain clean shaven.

Ultimately, if it all goes wrong, all the damage to your face can be rectified with a few swipes of a razor. What can't be repaired so easily is the damage that will be done to your image in the public domain. FAILING at facial hair is one of the worst things any man can experience, almost as bad as being left at the altar and just worse that drinking a warm beer. Remember, the success of your facial hair is directly proportional to your the care and attention you give it, and inversely proportional to your looks on a bad day, i.e. if you can still look smashing on a bad day, then facial hair is not for you, but with facial hair, you can still look great if you look like shit on a bad day. Trust me, that's how it is.

~The Damo

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