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A Delicate Balance Of Clean And Serene
Perhaps the second most important aspect of beard growing, besides of course the whole not-shaving-and-waiting-patiently-for-majesty-to-present-itself-on-your-face part, has got to be the process of beard cleaning in which we all partake to a greater or lesser degree. Now, I submit for your consideration that this is a far graver and more implication-ridden duty than most are able to realize, let alone willing to admit. While, for some, a beard is a beard as they’ve always existed in nature, and exactly no extra effort beyond its growth is required of the grower in order to maintain, or not, such a facial adornment. Folks belonging to this school of thought must be somehow unaware of the dread locking propensity that unkempt hairs, especially those of the facial variety, possess. Alternatively, we have some gentlemen in the scrub-as-hard-and-thoroughly-as-humanly-possible-with-a-concoction-on-par-to-ammonia-and-bleach philosophy, which bodes similarly badly for the beard of such a wearer, and, in turn, for the wearer of such a beard.
What Plato once prophesized in The Republic was a need for moderation. And, do you happen to know what else Plato was good at, besides thinking forwardly about the nature of mankind and human society? He was good at growing and, lest we ignore, cleaning a miraculously erudite beard! How might he have managed to keep clean such a glorious beard in a time so long before the advent of Garnier Fructis and the other exceptionally overpriced and underperforming hair products? It was, and still is today, a simple matter of cleaning and exfoliating the skin beneath your beard (you mustn’t ever forget that that flesh remains, though beard hath obscured it from your sight) while also replenishing the moisture and hydration that has run from your beard hairs like water from an arid desert. The process of beard cleaning, when done correctly, is a balancing act like spinning plates or tightrope walking, though with a slightly less circus-oriented emphasis.
So, in a certain sense, we can say that both of the aforementioned parties have some credibility to their notion of beard care, though it is when the two are seated together or, better yet, fused in such a way that the best aspects of each remain, while the shortcomings fall to the wayside, it is then that the truest, purest idea of beard cleaning comes to light. For we must wash, but without drying out or damaging the skin and hair follicles that lay therein, and so to must we moisturize and hydrate, but not by way of natural oils produced through the process of utter neglect. Wash, but not too hard, and replenish, but only after having tended to the plain beneath the forest. Beard does not come without much heavy obligation, and the cleaning of beard is the surest way to keep beard from turning on you and rebelling. So, my friends, do not make simple, easily avoidable mistakes, when there is so much potential for good and promising virtue all around us.
- Jacob Smith