Last night, the staff from 101.5 The Wolf, 100.5 Fresh Radio and CHEX Television all got together for our annual late-Christmas party (yes, we celebrate in April – what of it?). I was chatting with our morning guy Brian Ellis‘s wife Crystal and Promotions Director Carey Walker‘s wife Angel when they asked me what the deal is with young men and growing large beards. I didn’t really know what to tell them. I guess maybe beards are a little more prevalent than they were at times in the recent past, but I can’t really answer that question – or at least not for everyone.
For me, I’ve been growing facial hair since I was in high school, and I never really thought about why. Part of it is that it’s just what my body does naturally. It also saves me from shaving regularly, so it enables me to be lazy – at least in that part of my life. I’ve also just kind of always thought beards were cool – well, once I stopped being scared of the angry bearded neighbour from my childhood.
I’ve always just been kinda hairy though. I grew the hair on my head out a few times – in public school, again in high school (then I shaved my head after raising $1,600 for the Terry Fox Foundation), again in college (during which I was forced to shave and cut my hair if I wished to appear on the college TV show), and yet again as an adult in real life. Through all of that, very little time was spent clean shaven. In fact, I would probably say being clean shaven is one of my least favourite things. So why did I shave now? There’s a few different reasons.
The final photo of this beard? pic.twitter.com/eEnpNf9aIb
— Ken Elrick II (@DrPatchbeard) March 30, 2017
That’s what I was working with before I decided to finally take the blade to my face.
Over the last 3+ years of having that beard on my face, I definitely did not treat it very well. It all started off well enough, but once it got to a certain length, I found it tough to keep my hands away from it. It just feels good on the beard to run your fingers through it. Eventually, however, it developed into a sort of nervous tic where I would run my fingers through and pull on my beard when under stress. It eventually became a sort of compulsive behaviour where often I wouldn’t notice I was doing it until I’d already been doing it for a few minutes and had ripped a few beard hairs off my face. Thanks to that, I think my beard actually started to shrink after a certain amount of time. It got to the point where I actually straight up asked my girlfriend if she had been trimming my beard while I slept. She hadn’t. So trying to break that habit was part of the motivation. The desire for a bit of a change and the memories of the positive reactions I got last time I did a handlebar moustache were also motivators for me. The prospect of not having to wear a beard net at my other job also helped.
The LAST time I tried out the ol’ handlebar ‘stache.
Now if you’ve been watching nearly as much sports as I have on TV, you’ve probably been bombarded with ads for the Philips OneBlade trimmer like I have. It looked pretty interesting based one what the commercials showed, and I figured it might be a good tool to have if I’m looking to get creative with my facial hair, so I went and bought one. It sat for a week before I finally decided that it was time to use it. Would’ve been a waste of money if I bought it just to look at it. So… Wednesday night, I decided it was time.
I took a video of the process for any of you who might be interested. For the record, Philips didn’t pay me for any of this – but they probably should have. Be warned, it’s a little lengthy, and pretty self-serving if you ask me, but there is at least a document of the death of this beard.
As you can see, it’s a bit of a time-consuming process, and when I stopped the video, I wasn’t even quite done yet. I had done most of the trimming, which I guess was the most important part, but I hadn’t done any styling. If I’d kept the video going for that, it would’ve likely been upward of 30 minutes of me just standing in front of a mirror trying to get things just right. Oh, and also, I could hear my girlfriend coming into the apartment and I didn’t really feel like explaining to her what was going on or why I was in the bathroom talking to myself.
If you don’t feel like wasting 13 minutes watching my face re-appear, I don’t blame you. For that reason, I also created a timelapse of the whole process of shaving and then working to shape my new ‘stache:
And what was left after I finally finished up fiddling around with it was this:
Now 90% more patchy! pic.twitter.com/H3ngMhF1FB
— Ken Elrick II (@DrPatchbeard) March 30, 2017
There was still a little work to be done to even things out at that point (which I did shortly after I took this photo), but you get the idea.
Already I feel like a slave to my moustache, constantly checking to make sure it looks okay – something I never had to do with my beard. For that reason, I don’t know how long it’ll stick around, but in the meantime, it’s kinda fun to constantly look like I’m planning something evil.