A Gentleman’s Guide To Proper Beard Maintenance

It’s ironic. I get that, now.

Yesterday, I asked for hot fresh blog topics. And Andrea said that she wanted me to write about beard grooming techniques. As extensively as I can.

Somewhere, the universe is giggling so hard it’s peeing its cosmic corduroys.

For beard grooming purposes, I use a beard trimmer. Most beard trimmers are assy pants — I like one that’s adjustable on the razor, not on the “comb” attachment, and I like one that gives you a wide range of lengths. Some give you nonsense for length options — no, silly beard trimmer, 6mm is not a goddamn beard. That’s just stubble with a God complex is all. I’m a man. I need a manly cutter.

This isn’t Bonsai. I need a hedge trimmer, goddamnit.

Yesterday, I noted that my beard was getting a little out of control. It was like a wild jungle. It was like the floor of a hair salon. It was like a 1970s era porn spread.

So, I fired up the ol’ beard trimmer, I clicked the setting into place — I go top of the pops, somewhere between an 8 and a 9 — and I pressed the shaver up against by chin — brrrrrbbbbbbt

And the trimmer broke.

What’s critical is the way it broke.

The whoosit-majigger holding the comb in place went south. Which means the comb collapsed all the way back to the trimmer. Which means that the razor was suddenly at the tippity-toppity of the device.

Which means I shaved a ditch into my chin beard.

I mean, right to the damn skin.


Dug a trench.

Clear-cut the forest.

Shaved the cat.

So, I stood there, oddly fascinated by the sudden dip in Beard Power suffered (Systems Operating at… 80% Beard Power… Facial Hair Capacity Damaged… Alert, Alert, Awoooga, Awooga, Powering… Doooooowwwwwnnn…). And my first and most moronic instinct was, “Holy shit. I guess I have to just shave the whole thing.”

Which is ridiculous.

And that’s why I didn’t engage that ridiculous course of action. I instead reevaluated and thought, “Okay, I’ve never rocked the so-called ‘Friendly Mutton Chops‘ look before, so that’s what I’m going to do.” I finished buzzing the chin and left the rest of my beard on my face. And now I look like some kind of mad pirate hobo, some froth-mouthed Meth King of the High Hobo Seas. Which is fine.

I mean, it’s not fine for my wife, who in our many years together has never once glimpsed my chin. Hell, I haven’t seen my chin in… well, damn, since college. I think it’s been 14-15 years since my chin has been exposed to the air. (For the record, it was pale like an untanned ass — a creepy, almost purple pale. Adds more weight to the meth mystique I’m rocking. Yeah. Who wants to get a piece of this sexy hobo?)

The wife is looking at me like I’m some kind of escaped criminal all of the sudden.

And not in a, “Ohh, what a sexy rogue” way, but in the, “My husband is going to murder me and eat my corpse. Probably after having sex with it. I’m married to Sawney Bean all of the damn sudden.”

Now what?

Well, I’ll grow the chin whiskers back in and try to slowly reclaim my power. The hair on the top of my head slowly fritters away, but I believe that this is due to the incredible energy drain it takes for me to grow my beard at the speed it grows, which is way too fast. I was shaving every day in seventh grade. I’ve got more testosterone than I have blood. It’s why I punch elk and kick down trees.

It’s why my heart is going to explode soon.

In the meantime, I’ll slowly hem in the rampant beard jungle growing on the rest of my face, bringing it to balance with the burgeoning and returning chin magic.

Beards are all about balance, y’see.

Balance and improvisation.

Oh, and if you care to see the terrifying face of the Meth King of the Hobo High Seas…

Thar she blows:

The Reincarnation Of Captain Mutton Chops


  • I’m sorry. I’m sorry I laughed at your misfortune.

    Look at it this way, that section had to leave to make way for mondo, asskicking, silvery beardface that will give you distinction and lend you an air of wisdom. Whether it’s BS or not.

    Because you KNOW that’s what’s gonna happen. It’s gonna come in silver.

    • @Julie:

      Already coming in silver-white — not in patches, but in individual threads. Soon enough, I shall be a Distinguished Gentleman.

      But right now, I’m the Meth King of the Hobo High Seas.

      — c.

  • First I laughed at your misfortune, I feel I should apologize for that. So here goes: sorry for laughing at your misfortune.

    Then I saw Rick’s comment and nearly fell out of my chair laughing. I won’t apologize for that one.

    So what are we going to like most about Chuck now? He’s become beardless. He can no longer do laser.

    • Man, and here I thought people might be nice to me. You think, “I’ll get ahead of the humiliation. It’ll be all in good fun.” And then the fun stops. And somewhere, a Girl Scout cries into her ice cream.

      Fine. Fiiiine. You bastards want to play rough —

      Even with the chin shorn, my beard could kick your beards’ asses. Hell, my beard could karate-chop all parts of you.

      My beard came so fat, I had to do laser just to carve that piece free. If I didn’t make my beard come slow, my beard would’ve gotten into the water supply. Into the agriculture. It would’ve choked you all and stolen your children.

      That piece I cut off crawled under the desk and is now growing a second beard.

      Soon, that beard will be a second me.

      And that second me will come and put a foot in your ass. And that foot will grow a beard while it’s up inside your chest cavity, and that beard will wrap around your heart and eat it for a midnight snack.



      *drops laser, walks off stage*


      — c.

  • The application of a furry animal makes sense.

    I recommend a teddybear hamster, actually. Then you can stick your whole head in a plastic ball and roll around the floor upside down.

  • You ungrateful bastard. Your accident led you to what is my long-cherished arrangement of facial hair.

    I am, in virtually every way, a highly-evolved specimen of humanity. Among my Eloi-like characteristics is a virtual absence of facial hair. I can go two days without a shave and not draw much attention. Despite my evolutionary superiority, I sometimes with I could grow magnificent facial hair in exactly the configuration you now disdain.

    I salute your adoption of the Platonic ideal of Manly Facial Hair and curse your ungrateful soul.

    If you need any confirmation that you have the Manliest of all Facial Hair Configurations, do a Google image search for Sean Connery in a movie called “The Man Who Would Be King”.

  • Since your beard was so out of line when you had the trimming mishap anyway, couldn’t you have just left it as a comb-over ? Ot comb-under, probably in this case…

  • Since your beard was so out of line when you had the trimming mishap anyway, couldn’t you have just left it as a comb-over ? Or comb-under, probably in this case…

  • You’ve gone from Hepcool Game Designer Wordmonkey Penshill to That Guy Who Looks Like He Has A Tattoo On His Bicep And Snorts Lines of Crack From the Stretch-Marked Stomachs Of Really Cheap Hookers.

    You need to get your ass into some leather POST-FUCKIN-HASTE and hop on a Harley to ride off into the drug-addled sunset.

    • @Andrea:

      We do what we must.

      Because we can.

      For the good of all of us.


      Except the ones who are dead.

      There’s no sense crying over every mistake.

      And so forth.


      — c.

  • I’m in the minority here, but I think it looks kind of bad ass. Get a workshirt and hit a rockabilly show – those polka-dot clad, tattooed, Lucky Strike smoking chicks would be all over that.

    Or grab your Doc Martens and a patched up leather jacket and get thee hence to the most metal place you can find. They might make you their god.

    Just sayin’.

  • While others might laugh at your plight, I too have been victim of such trimmer mishaps even, yea, having a period of thinking that shaving every day might be a lifestyle choice for me. (It isn’t. After getting a barber-shop shave once the barber said, “If I had whiskers like yours, I’d grow a beard.” Those little bastards are tough!)

    So I think the only thing we, your humble readers, can do here is the same thing that happens when other tragedies strike. Katrina, Haiti earthquake, tsunamis. Shit like that. That’s right people, it’s time to reach deep and donate your hard-earned cash to the “Get Chuch Some New Trimmers” fund!

  • Alas, poor beard! I knew him, Wendigo: a beard
    of infinite fat, of most excellent laser: you hath
    borne him on your chin a thousand years; and now, how
    shaven in my imagination it is!

  • My wife beat me to the punch so completely and with such epic aplomb that I am bereft of anything clever to add save for the fact that this is a very long sentence you’ve wasted some time to read and it has ultimately meant nothing.

  • Man, the Wendig going around with his chin smooth and glistening like Paris Hilton’s snatch. I am drunk with power, my own chin whiskers soaking in the sudden surge in the universal beard force. Mutton chops indeed. Until your nob is reforested, you are BEARDLESS! You are merely the owner of a fancy-pants mustache! You are no better than TOM SELLECK for christ’s sake! You have joined the fearful legions of the cowering nudie jaws! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Apparently, where the universe is giggling is right here, and I am its avatar.

    See, here I was all thinking horrible things had happened yesterday, and it’s just your silly facial hair. *ducks*

    Keep in mind, it takes five days for me to grow something worth shaving.

  • Not a lot of people can pull off the muttonchops, my friend. I mean stylistically, not like yanking out of your face. That part’s actually pretty easy. See, you grab on either side and stick your boot in the face and, well, I’m sure you get the idea.

    You might want to avoid the leather, though. Might be a little too Village People and not enough Hell’s Angels.

    • Wait. Whatcher saying is assless chaps aren’t manly?

      What about this sequined cowboy hat? I mean, that’s manly, right? Cowboys are manly. So manly, they sometimes go up on mountains together. And lay together in sleeping bags.

      — c.

  • @ Chuck –

    I’m used to spreading compassion to the beardless of the world. See, once upon a time my ancestors royally pissed off the Cosmic Beard Gods and are now cursed to be completely devoid of any hair that doesn’t grow from their scalp or above their eyes. We’re as barren as a woman born without a uterus when it comes to hair. (Which probably explains why we all have really long manes. Hmmm.)

    I know a good support group, a little schadenfreude if you will, full of fifty year old men with the smooth faces of three year olds.

  • When the large trimmings hit the sink did they melt into mercury, find each other, morph into the T-1000, and then kick your ass for losing them? If they didn’t…they should have.

    I feel your pain having gone through it nor so long ago. It will return stronger than ever.

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