Ah, the beard. It's cool going natural and letting your man flag fly. But we noticed something not so cool at an Apple festival in Warwick, New York this past weekend. Let's set the scene: 25-30,000 people are walking around on a beautiful autumn day, visiting over 300 venders in their tents. Almost all the tents were offering free samples food with apples being the core ingredient (we did say apple festival, and not the kind you can download new operating systems for). Apples were everywhere: in jam, in pies, in ice cream, even in honey.
Cue the arrival of Beard Man. Now Beard Man is not one person, nor is he a super hero with Samson-like strength. He is any man who proudly sports a beard greater than 4 inches in length. And let us tell you, in this little artsy town in upstate New York, there were a lot of them. Okay, yes, these are not leftovers from Woodstock. These are guys who are otherwise clean and well groomed—except for the part covering their faces. Most guys we saw were taking two samples from each vender; the one they tried at the tent, and the one they carried in their beard to share at home later. Let's not even get into guys trying Apple Hot Sauces that made them sneeze. Use your imagination.
To all the guys going Abe Lincoln, Grizzly Adams, or Chuck Norris: Please understand that there’s more to keeping your beard clean than adding it to the lengthy list of things to clean in your 3-5 minute morning shower. Consider cleaning your beard of any residue that might fall prey to the Velcro-like qualities of your face-nest.
Here’s a suggestion: Get a pair of general purpose grooming scissors and keep your beard trimmed around your mouth. Yeah, that’s right. A good quality scissors dedicated to trimming your beard. This way food will have a greater chance staying clear of your pride and joy. As a general “rule of thumb” trim your beard enough around your mouth so your lips are visible.
Still can’t be bothered to believe in the basic grooming for all the hair on your head? Here’s another thought, consider the handkerchief. Simple problem, solved simply, with an easy-to-carry, cost-effective accessory nobody needs to see until they start making handkerchiefs that match your black-rim glasses and button-down shirts. And then, just do what your mama told you, and wipe your mouth after every bite of sweet apple pie. Or apple ice cream. Or apple cake.