#875 Facial hair experiments

From this angle you can't see the toilet paper bits

I used to be The Wolf Man.

At least, that’s what a big guy named Fletch used to call me in tenth grade homeroom. He said it with a hearty, bug-eyed giggle while pinching and tugging the soft patches of thin, black hair extending from my ears to my collar bones.

Now, I wasn’t just born The Wolf Man. No, I had to create the identity by first building up the guts to trim my thin, soft mustache and sideburns for the first time. That first shave was a nerve-wracking ordeal, with a fresh razor, a steamy mirror, too much lather, and too much blood.

And I guess being around fifteen years old and new to this whole slicing the hair off your face with a knife thing, I didn’t realize that you were supposed to get the whole neck area, too. So I didn’t get the neck area. I completely missed the neck area. So for a good couple of weeks, I walked around high school with a smooth, freshly shorn face, and an untamed, hairy neck area.

Ar-ar-aroooooooo!

But you know, looking back, I really do miss it. I certainly couldn’t pull off the Gratuitously Hairy Neck look these days, unless I wanted to leave Cubicle City to become a mountain guide, longshore fisherman, or professional scarf warmer-upper.

And it’s not just the Hairy Neck look that deserves mention. There are so many other classic facial hair experiments:

Try combing these suckers

6. Mutton Chops. Although it seems obvious, mutton chops are so named because they look just like big lamb chops. The thicker, the hairier, the better, as you can tell from the photo of famous 19th century Norwegian playright Henrik Ibsen. His closest rival for the Muttonchop Crown was probably Elvis, but really it couldn’t have been that close. I mean, just look at those beautifully shaggy chops.

Strap it on

5. The Chin Strap. This chin strip is the result of a deep study in the art of making perfect lines with a sharp razor. It shows form, style, and patience, because nobody can really nail it without messing it up a few times first and shaving the whole thing off in frustration.

Nothing wrong with a few patches

4. Weird beards. Ever seen someone who couldn’t grow a beard grow a beard anyway? And it sort of looks like a splotchy brown mess of assorted band aids and bread crumbs? Yeah, that’s a weird beard. Most guys have a few secret weird beards buried deep in their past.

Howie knows the score

3. Soul Patches. Apparently, the soul patch became popular with jazz trumpeters in the 50s and 60s because it provided a nice, comfortable place to rest their trumpet. Yeah, for real.

Running wild all over your chin

2. Handle Bar Stache. Also known as The Hulk Hogan or the Fu Man Chu, this classic moustache just screams business. You can’t have a Fu Man Chu and be a local politician, elementary school teacher, or birthday party clown. No, you have to either be a bartender at a dive bar, a cowboy, or in college.

too-much-time-on-your-hands1. Too Much Time On Your Hands. This is any intricate and detailed facial hair involving lightning bolts or abstract images that look like they’re from Spirograph.

spirograph

So yeah, I miss that youthful freedom of bizarre, anything goes facial hair. Because there’s something liberating, creatively satisfying, and fiercely expressive about experimenting with a dull razor in a steamy bathroom mirror.

And remember: no matter how crooked your chin strap, how tiny your mutton chops, or how splotchy your weird beard, whatever facial experiment you’ve got going on is always just a little bit

AWESOME!

An experiment in action

Photos from: here, here, here, here, here, here, and here

37 Comments

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37 responses to “#875 Facial hair experiments

  1. Chris

    I can grow a full circle beard, but nothing on my cheeks. I can’t even really grow sideburns at 24 years old.

    *fingers crossed for onset of puberty

  2. I’m still waiting for them to bring back mutton chops.

    And by them I mean me.

  3. Gieg

    I definitely read #4 “weird beards” as “wizard beards” and was trying to figure out what made the guy in the picture look like a wizard… Consequently, I think that “wizard beards” should have made it onto your top 6.

  4. why_in_the_heck

    I’m still mourning the end of Mo-vember. All those guys out there trying bravely to grow moustaches to raise money for prostate cancer research but succeeding only in looking like they’re carrying balding caterpillars around on their faces. Classic.

  5. Freddo

    While I normally don’t sport any facial hair, I still get to participate in some of this fun from time to time.

    If I go on a long vacation (any prolonged period away from work, actually), I’ll usually avoid shaving for my entire trip. Then, when I get home, and have a bit of a beard, I love to shave just parts of it at a time, to see what I’d look like sportin’ various moustache/beard combos.

    The straight-up moustache is always the most sketchy… and having seen pictures of the author with a moustache, I can confirm this is true for him as well!

  6. I feel as though “Savor the Flavor” is the more accurately descriptive word for “Soul Patch.”

  7. Melanie

    Hahahaha wizard beards. I agree, sir! Wizard beards are just a touch awesome.

    Can someone clarify, please, what a wizard beard would be, exactly? I’m thinking long, flowing, wispy white beard. Am I correct?

  8. It tends to vary from wizard to wizard.

  9. A. I had a big fat porno ‘stache when I met my wife.

    B. Spirographs were awesome. Make them one of the 1000!!

  10. Dan

    I’d have to say that Schuyler Vaughn White of the band Foxy Shazam is another contender for the Muttonchop Crown.

  11. sawalski

    I have to agree with “daughter” and say the Flavour Saver/savour is a better term for it… it is also the only thing I maintain seeing as my mustache, flavour saver and chin come in blonde, almost white (F.S. IS white!) and everything else comes in a weird browny-red (if it comes in at all!)…
    The last time I grew the full thing out was a couple summers ago for over a month… I was called “wolfman” on the construction site and no one knew my actual name :)

  12. Page

    I love spirograph

  13. Courtney

    Do I know the Weird Beard guy #4, I think I do, If I do you probably know me.

  14. samjams

    Best idea my school ever had: Last year we had ‘Stache For Cash. Students bid on teachers to grow a stache- just a stache- for a whole month. Raised a lot of money for charity & got a good laugh! My photography teacher grew mean handlebars!

  15. Rich

    For what it’s worth (nothing, of course) a Fu Man Chu and Handlebar mustache are not the same thing. Hulk’s is a handlebar, but a Fu Man Chu is when you grow a regular mustache but then each side of it is really long, like this crazy looking guy:

    http://leino-online.com/pics/fu-manchu-Pappa.jpg

  16. Hey guys. If you are horror figure collectors such as myself, you’ll want to check out all of the pics from this past weekends Toy Fair event. Though I am always disapointed that my favorite lesser known slasher films get little representation, I am happy to see the Universal Monsters get some new releases. I really want the Wolf Man and Frankenstein. The 2010 Wolf Man will get some attention as well.

  17. jonathan

    i think the lemmy stache should be on here. that is where you grow your mustache on to your chin line, but without the chin hair itself.

  18. I’ve become a devoted lover of your site for a while but not really given something back, I really hope to change that in the future with an increase of chat.Thanks for another new inclusion for the site.

  19. My brother and I can grow ridiculous amounts of facial hair, and every so often we’ll both grow handlebar moustaches that grow off the end of our chins for a few inches. Coupled with awesome ‘chops, this is a winning combination!

  20. Narissa

    Sideburns. Nuff said.

  21. AwesomeNinja

    I know a guy-well, not personally. I don’t even know his name, as a matter of fact. But he’s like in 7th grade, and he has a moustache and a unibrow. Sorry if you feel bad, Unibrow Dude. But I just had to mention you here. And no, you don’t know me. Because I’m an awesome ninja.

  22. wendywithaurora

    Hippity hop to the barber shop unless you’re Grizzly Adam’s.

    • wendywithaurora

      although I have seen them…hair experiments don’t look so pretty on women. I usually pretend I didn’t notice anything, ever-so-slightly smile” and pick up my pace just enough…to GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!!

  23. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject.

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  25. Troy

    Having spent last year on the quest for every beard type, I think it’s only fair that I link here to Jon Dyer who inspired my own quest. He is certainly a folk hero in my family.
    http://www.dyers.org/blog/beards/beard-types/

  26. Tori

    I sent this link to a kid in my French class who always sports huge sideburns, and something very similar to the “Weird Beard” guy whenever he can manage it. I’m hoping that upon seeing this, he’ll realize that Weird Beards are generally not something to be proud of.

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  28. JBourne

    The last two days have not been that awesome… Just sayin

    • Florence

      then you best get round some people or places or things make you see and feel awesome again…just saying…a walk in the park. playtime with a pet or at a, animal shelter if you don’t have as pet and call someone you know will lift you up!!! If you can’t think of one, go to a family resource center or church…there are people who will hear you and want to help heal your heart:)

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  32. Wow, this article is good, my sister is analyzing such things, thus I am going to inform her.

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