Rarely do I grow facial hair. This is partly a function of possessing fair hair, but primarily due to the amount of attention it requires and how itchy it becomes.
The only time I feel like growing facial hair is during winter. Maybe this is a reaction to the weather, an attempt to keep the cheeks protected from the biting North Easterly winds.
When Movember comes round each year I am often a keen supporter/participant, and proudly so. The trouble is that my facial hair is a mix of all the colours that nature provides – black, brown, grey, red, blond and white – but most importantly, although the hair on my cheeks is fairly dark, my moustache is blond and does not display as well as it might.
For most of the month I receive derogatory comments about the feebleness of my moustache, until I grow tired of the abuse, dye the hair brown and immediately start receiving compliments about my rather dashing World War II fighter pilot look (see photo).
On the odd occasion, when the mood strikes, I have been known to grow a moustache and goatee, which is what remains when the hair of the cheeks and neck have been shaved due to ingrowing hairs and constant itching. The ladies’ reactions to this facial hair could be said to be “Marmite”. They either love it or hate it, and are not at all bashful about voicing their views. More than this, if it is to their liking I am told I “must keep it” and if it is not to their liking I am told in no uncertain terms that “it must go!”. Apparently I have no say in the matter.
Currently in the world of strongmen beards are very fashionable, with competitors claiming a kind of Samson-like power derived from their facial hair; the larger and fuller the beard the better. As someone who still follows the sport and occasionally lifts heavy objects, there is a certain appeal to growing a full beard. Maybe it will increase my strength. However, the endless scratching and the lack of interest on the part of a potential kisser in making me the kissee, will keep me clean-shaven for the time being.