Your Beard is Your Protection


By Rodney Grozdanoff

Hello, my name's Rodney and I am Bulgarian with a bit of Scandinavian blood. I have had some sort of facial hair since I was 14 years old, be it goatee, sideburns and etc. Recently (4/5 months ago) I decided to grown a full beard and to be honest this was my greatest decision!

Though sadly it's not all bells and whistles, a lot of people do not accept my choices, but I don't mind them. I simply turn it into a joke saying something like "Planning a revolution" and I just let them be. Sadly decades of brainwashing and beauty standards have given beards a bad name. People tend to think that bearded men are lazy, cheap, unhygienic and etc. This is as far from the truth as something can be!

I've got a special shampoo, special conditioner, once out of the bathroom I apply beard oil and seal everything with beard balm. Regular checkups with the barber are also needed! I'd go as far as saying that clean shaven men choose the easy and cheap road, but that's just how it is. Bottom line is beards cost more, there's no debating that fact but hey! Nobody said being classy will come cheaply!

If you're a retail worker and you have a lot of face time with customers, beware! Your work will increase! When a human being is in distress, they seek guidance. Beards makes a person appear older thus wiser. I realized this when I was working retail and I started seeing how customers pass fellow colleagues just to get to me! Its basic human instinct really, can’t argue with the facts.

This job was temporary; I never even considered staying there for more than a few months before I could get ready for my passion. It was simply a means to get by for a short period of time before I am fully ready for my dream job.

Safe to say I wasn't ready by the time I quit, I had no machinery, no proper tools, not enough money to start off but that's how things go. There's never a perfect beginning! And alas I was finally able to focus mainly on the one thing I love the most, knife making.

After a year and a half of self tutoring I decided to take the risk and become a full time Knife maker. My passion is now bringing food to the table. I found many good features a beard can have while working in such harsh environments. One benefit is that it can be a face shield, I was working on a blade, setting bevels with an angle grinder (Yes I know, it does sound insane but at that time I didn't have money for a belt grinder) and the flap disc decided to explode at 3000 RPM throwing pieces of 40 grit sandpaper all across the shop! I got hit on a couple of places, mainly on the face. Though I got a few bruises on the exposed parts of my body. However I didn't get as much as a scratch on the skin under my beard! It pretty much acted as a shield by protecting my face from something that could have potentially made a deep cut.

Another cool (literally) feature is that it acts as a heat shield. I realized that when I figured I now can stand in front of the forge for prolonged periods of time without feeling much of the burning sensation coming from the flames. In addition where I'm from temps tend to go down a lot sometimes. Last year and the year before we had temperatures of minus 25 C which is quite chilly! Cold as it may be outside, a beard can and will provide a natural scarf protecting your otherwise naked skin. I found out the hard way when I was sharpening my knives in the cold. I recommend taking my word for it. Don’t try this at home without a beard it won’t be a pleasant experience.

 To sum it all up. Beards are here to stay! They provide warmth, they keep you cool (literally) they help protect your skin from numerous threats but most importantly, they are one of the manliest features a self respecting gentleman can ever have on his face. And this concludes my blog. Stay Classy, Stay bearded!


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