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I grew a beard for No-Shave November. Me and my friends at work raised some money. I learned, at age 43, my beard grows and looks more like a beard than my last attempt in my late 20s.
I also learned I hate having a beard. At no point was I ever not aware of hair on my face. I felt like I had always just-walked-through a cob web. It was . . . just . . . . there. I don’t know how bearded men do it.
I couldn’t wait for December and to shave it. Having never been a hairy guy, I’d never gotten a shave at a barber shop. Plus, long gone are the days where a shave and a haircut cost two bits. Nowadays, looking at the chalkboard of prices at my local barber shop, a shave is $36. A shave at a barber shop has become the equivalent of a facial or pedicure …something you do for a special occasion.
My barber shop is The Barber Pole in Birmingham and this past Saturday I treated myself to a shave and a haircut and as the title of this post proclaims – it was life changing. I expected them to lather on some hot shave cream, break out the straight razor, and shave me. But ooooooooh no. It’s much more than that. It’s a hot towel. It’s hot shaving cream for starters, then that’s wiped away. Then another hot towel, followed by this pine and woodsy scented oil massaged into my face and another hot towel. Then more hot shave cream and then the straight razor and the most careful, accurate, and exact shaving I’ve ever seen. It made me realize my daily shaving routine is a violent attack on my face. It’s no wonder I always have irritated skin and acne breakouts. I assault myself almost daily.
The shave is followed by more hot towels. Then some cold cream, a cold towel, and finally after shave balm.
This was a man’s facial. I felt like a new man. I might make this an annual tradition. One thing I know for sure …I’m going to treat my face better.
Every man should do this at least once in his life.