On Cancer and Beard Loss

On Cancer and Beard Loss

One of my (Brett's) best friends was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. The resulting chemo has caused hair loss and, of course, beard loss. I have not been beardless for longer than 1 week since I was 16 (and even then only twice), I LOVE my beard. I mean, I even own a beard oil company!

So I wanted to hear from Kyle and asked him to write about his journey and the many things that come with it. And for the next week (Today, Nov. 10th through Saturday Nov. 18) 10% of all sales will go to a cancer research charity picked by Kyle. If you would like to support Kyle's cancer fight, you can purchase an awesome shirt from here.

This is a snippet of Kyle's story:

This isn’t the first time I’ve lost my beard. The last time was in early 2013, when a bad trim (come on, we’ve all been there) led to a fresh start. I have the pics to prove it, and no, I won’t share them. See, I love my beard. I can grow a dang good one, too—one that I can be proud of. My wife loves my beard (when it’s properly tamed and maintained, of course; Hat tip to UBIQUITY).
I like it so much that I braved the DMV one year instead of renewing my driver’s license online just so I could get a new picture with my beard. This one does have proof.
I think it would be safe to say that my beard had become a part of my identity.
So when my oncologist told me that the type of chemo I needed to be on for my testicular cancer would make it fall out, I was initially disappointed. My mom tried to reassure me (as moms do) that some people she knew went through chemo treatments and didn’t lose any hair, but I didn’t get my hopes up. In fact, when my beard hairs did start coming out upon the slightest brush, I felt something I hadn’t quite anticipated:
Relief.
Click the picture to buy this shirt and support Kyle!

Click the picture to buy this shirt and support Kyle!

That meant the chemo was doing what it was supposed to do. Sure, I’d had some of the standard side effects before the hair loss (nausea, fatigue, and the like), but nothing had yet signaled to me that the types of cells that were supposed to be affected were actually being affected. Don’t get me wrong—treatment for testicular cancer is extremely well-established and I trust my doctors, but there’s just something about having some good old-fashioned empirical evidence right in front of you that tends to put your mind at ease. It’s worth all of the well-natured babyface comments from friends, the “but you’re so handsome with no facial hair!” remarks from grandparents, and yes, even the 10 minutes of belly laughter from my wife when I walked into the room after shaving. And you know what? I laughed right along with her.
Yes, my beard had become part of my identity, but it was not who I am. It did not, nor will it ever, define me. Cancer sucks, but it will not define me either. I am a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, a co-worker, a citizen, a teacher, and a child of God. Soon, I will get to add survivor to that list. To allow myself even a minute of lament over the loss of something as superficial as my beard would be to hand this disease a small victory over all of that, and that’s just something I am not willing to do.
I loved my beard, but my beard will grow back. This cancer, God-willing, will not.

If you would like to send an encouraging message to Kyle, shoot me an email at info@ubiquitybeards.com and I'll make sure he gets it.

5 Best Facial Hair Grooming Tips

5 Best Facial Hair Grooming Tips

Facial hair grooming seems like such a daunting task, one wrong move and you have ruined weeks, months, or years of growing work. It feels overly difficult but wit the proper approach you can mitigate most of those fears, at least enough to keep yourself neat in-between barber trips. These 5 tips will help you brave those shortening shears and come forth triumphant.

1)YOUR FACIAL HAIR SHOULD BE APPROXIMATELY THE SAME LENGTH

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Have you ever heard someone claim they have a patchy beard? Sometimes, sure the facial hair may be a little sparse, but most of the time this is because facial hair grows at different speeds. Keeping hair trimmed to approximately equal lengths will make your beard look, and feel, more full.

2) DON'T BE SCARED TO TRIM SIDEBURNS

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We've all been there, the beard starts getting a bit long and luxurious but the sides flare out at the sideburns. Most men get frustrated and trim their beard all the way back, but you don't have to. Use clippers or scissors to fade those sideburns into the beard to clean up your look and give your beard a proper shape.

3) YOUR MUSTACHE DOESN'T HAVE TO COVER YOUR LIPS

When facial hair practitioners feel that they need a glorious mustache, they tend to just let the entire upper lip grow, but the most important portion to a flared or curled mustache is the ends. By leaving the corner of your mouth long and trimming over your lip, you can achieve that envied stache without making soup a nightmare.

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4) COMB YOUR BEARD

This sound simple but the number of people who simply don't comb their beard is honestly astonishing. They tell me their beard is out of control, but go on to explain how they've tried exactly nothing. Combing your beard will tame strays, detangle, and remove hairs that have decided to shed themselves.

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5) YOUR BEARD SHOULD BE TRIMMED LIKE A BUSH NOT CUT LIKE A SCULPTURE

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With a sculpture each cut is hard and cannot be changed. We often approach beards like this, but they're more like a bush, you can use other areas to fill in. If you have a patch of stray hairs that refuse to lay flat, chop them off the same way you would remove a stubborn branch in a bush. Your beard is a lot more forgiving to small mishaps than you realize, use that to your advantage during your trimming journey.

10 Best Costumes for Men with Beards

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10 Best Costumes for Men with Beards

On year my wife suggested for Halloween that we could go as each other. She started explaining to me on how she could put on my clothes and paint a big beard on her face and that I could.... then she stopped when she realized the 15 inch beard on my face would ruin the illusion. So we started looking together, and there are SO MANY CLICHES. ZZ Top, Alan from the Hangover, and Abe Lincoln.

So we compiled a list of our favorites.

1) Gandalf

Okay, fine, we're giving into a cliche right off the bat but like we said in our recent Instagram post, it's one of the greatest and most classic beards in literature and cinema.

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2) Viking

We're not talking about some sort of fat-lady-singing operat viking, and of course, Ragnar Lothbrok is a given, but there are so many incredible possibilities as a viking, studded leather, burly beard beads, and swords, what's better?

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3) Thor

If a viking is a bit too mundane and mortal for you, how about the god of a viking? You don't even have to be Chris Hemsworth, you just need that manly scruff and big ol' hammer.

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4) Zeus

If one pantheon doesn't work, you can always try another. No need to swear by the beard of Zeus, if you are the king of the gods. Full disclosure, that's a drawing a friend did of me, not Zeus, but I guess we're splitting hairs at this point.

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5) Aquaman

Formerly the laughing stock of the Super Friends, this image has turned around with Jason Momoa bringing this character to a whole new level.

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6) Bob Ross

Probably the greatest super hero of all, Bob Ross. Teach others zen and the art of the happy little tree.

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7) Obi Wan Kenobi

Everyone is too busy going as Luke Skywalker form the Last Jedi. Show them you're an original fan by going as old Ben Kenobi.

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8) Lumberjack

Hate to include this cliche as well, but if you're single, this one's for you. Did you even know Lumbersexual is a thing?! Yes this is a photo of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, but you don't get much more Lumbersexual than that.

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9) Geralt

We can't let mythology and cinema have all the fun and neglect the gaming world. Put that grey beard to use (or you know, use a temporary dye).

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10) Jon Snow

There is no way we can make a list of bearded costumes and leave out the world's favorite show.

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