As an elementary school teacher in New Mexico, Nick Mischel had to keep a certain appearance.
“In teaching, you have to be relatively conservative,” Mischel said. “I was able to have a goatee, but not a full-on beard.”
Three years ago, …
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In addition to being mayor of Parker, Mike Waid is founder of Extraordinary Beards, a local company that makes facial hair-care products.
He started the company after making his own beard oils at home for himself and friends.
“What I found, and it was a little disheartening, is that most products were either based on brand or smell,” Waid said. “There was Viking-brand oil and pirate oil and zombie baseball player. I’m not kidding you.”
Waid said his oils are made with all-natural ingredients and are focused on hair health.
Beard oils add shine, reduce dryness and moisturize skin and hair, the beardsmen say. A small amount can be brushed into a beard as part of a daily routine.
Eric Lough, who started Denver-based The Famous Beard Oil Co. six years ago, said beard oils are right for anyone with any type of skin. But it’s important to wait until your beard is dry before applying.
Don’t wash your beard every day:
“You still want to be clean,” Mike Waid said. “You can let the water run over it in the shower, but don’t get in there and scrub it with a bar of soap or shampoo or anything like that. It dries the heck out of the skin under your beard and beard hair itself.”
A nice beard takes time:
“You don’t want to look dirty. You don’t want to look unkempt and you don’t want to look like you just fell into a beard,” Waid said. “We get our hair cut for a reason. We trim our nails for a reason. You take vitamins and keep healthy for a reason. That should absolutely apply to your beard.”
“Trimming is a delicate subject because people will get frustrated and go at it,” barber Nick Mischel said. “Really, what they need to do is just take bread crumbs off. If they ever come at you with a full-on clipper, that is probably not the person who should trim your beard.”
For a long beard, let sideburns grow:
“For people who really want to grow it long, it’s important not to trim too high up into the sideburns because as it grows, it falls down,” Mischel said.
Know the shape of your face:
“People should know the shape of their face when they are growing out a beard,” said Eric Lough of The Famous Beard Oil Co. “They should know how it should look. Some men look great with, say, a medium-sized beard. But if they grow it out, it just doesn’t look right on them.”
• The last president to wear a beard in office was Benjamin Harrison, who served from 1889-1893.
• The beard of Norway’s Hans N. Langseth measured 17 feet 6 inches at the time of his death in 1927. Langseth holds the Guinness world record for longest beard, which was presented to the Smithsonian Institution in 1967.
• 55 percent of males worldwide have some kind of facial hair, according to the History Channel.
• A thick beard can help prevent skin cancer by providing 50 percent to 95 percent protection from harmful ultraviolet rays, according to a study by researchers at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia and published in the journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry.
• People with pogonophobia have an abnormal and persistent fear of beards.
As an elementary school teacher in New Mexico, Nick Mischel had to keep a certain appearance.“In teaching, you have to be relatively conservative,” Mischel said. “I was able to have a goatee, but not a full-on beard.”Three years ago, he quit teaching and pursued his dream of being a barber — a traditional barber who performs straight-razor shaves and does it while looking the part.“I’ve changed my whole identity looking like this with the long beard,” said Mischel, who works at Freddy’s Barber Shop in Arvada. “If I could barber in the 1800s, I would be right there.”Parker Mayor Mike Waid said he’s had facial hair since fifth grade and doesn’t like the way he looks without it.“If you think about it, societally, beards are one of the few masculine accessories that a man has to work with,” Waid said. “It’s fun.”Eric Lough, founder of Denver-based The Famous Beard Oil Co., said while beards have become more common in recent years, especially in Colorado, they are far from a new trend.“Of course, there is an influx of beard-growing over the past few years, but to me, personally, beards are always around and they’re never going to go away,” Lough said. “If you look throughout history, in every old picture you see, there is a man with a beard.”Attention grabberMischel said his beard attracts business as well as attention.“Since I have this look, and I’m interested in having the same look as my clients, it kind of advertises for me,” he said. “Lots of times, I’ll be at the store and someone will ask me about my beard and I’ll tell them I’m a barber.”Tyler Johnson, of Lone Tree, said he’s grown facial hair for the majority of his adult life. He has been working on his current beard for four years.He routinely gets asked about his look.“You don’t normally go and randomly compliment people as they walk down the street, but people randomly stop and compliment me on my beard as I’m walking,” Johnson said.” I’m used to it now, but when I’m with someone who isn’t used to the attention they’ll say to me, ‘Does this happen all the time?’ And I’m like, ‘pretty much.’ ”Brad Wann, of Highlands Ranch, has worn a beard for more than 20 years and advises if you go down the path of looking different, you should always expect the unexpected.“Just this year, I was in a crowded coliseum, when two women walking by just had to feel my beard,” Wann said. “One actually reached out and touched it without asking. I’ve had total strangers ask to take photos with me.”Lough, a self-described beardsman, said people treat him differently because of his facial hair.“I get called sir a lot,” Lough said. “There’s more respect.”A lifestyleIn Colorado, full beards are a common occurrence.“It fits with the lifestyle,” Waid said. “When I’m out in the elements in the winter time, it absolutely makes a difference and keeps your face warmer.”Waid notices an unspoken bond with many of the men with beards he comes across.“Sometimes,” he said, “it’s just a look.”Wann agreed that beards and the outdoor lifestyle go hand in hand.“The more I did mountain-themed events, the more I wanted to look the part,” Wann said. “From being a pack burro racer to reindeer wrangler, it just fit well.”In addition to being a good fit for the climate and character of the state, Lough said Colorado also offers a number of barbershops that know how to maintain and trim your beards because of their popularity.“I really don’t think I’ll shave it off completely,” Lough said. “There were times throughout the years that I trimmed it down pretty short, but I felt bad about it and grew it back.”
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