I woke up this morning to find snow on the ground. Let me just say that snow sucks. Oh, it’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong. When virgin snow is knee deep in lovely wooded areas I get choked up with Robert Frost-y emotion, too*. But on a day-to-day basis, it just sucks. It’s just wet and cold and it makes driving more challenging. And it turns into disgusting gray slush. And it leads to salt stains on your slacks. And it’s slippery. And it has to be scraped off of your car! And it just sucks! Particularly when you don’t see it coming. The snow last night was sneaky. I didn’t even know there was the POTENTIAL for snow in our forecast, and I woke up to feel like I was betrayed by winter.
I felt this same sense of betrayal by my beard. I wore a black shirt a few days ago. Throughout the day, I would occasionally scratch or lovingly stroke my beard (your beard, much like a dog, is better behaved when it is shown attention and affection). Little did I know, but my beard was snowing. When I happened to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror, I noticed that my facial dandruff was nearly coating my sweater in a flaky white nightmare like the slopes of an Olympic ski run. That is hyperbole, but truthfully, there were some flakes on my shirt from my beard! Not cool. A beard should be a delightful addition to your fashion, not a detraction.
I got lazy with basic beard maintenance. Never again. Let’s get proactive! Several people (not really, but they should) have asked me how to best maintain a beard and prevent dry skin from developing. First, make sure you are doing a good job of conditioning it right along with the hair on your head. But here is another important tip, and it seems gross:
Put lotion on your beard. Yeah, really lather that thing up. Be liberal with it. Like, uncomfortably liberal with it. Facial lotion is preferable, but body lotion will do the job. Really knead it into your beard like it is dough. It feels weird the first time, but the results will speak for themselves. This serves the double purpose of keeping your beard shiny and supple while ALSO preventing a dry, flaking face.
Just remember the simple fact that whether they come from the sky or your face, flakes suck big time.
* My roommate and I came up with this list: people, olive oil, snow, and forests. Can anyone think of anything else that ever gets described as “virgin”? Comment on here, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or facebook it up and I will include your submissions (if appropriate) in a future post