Hairy Tales: Facial Hair on Campus

By Annika Gordon | April 4, 2017 5:24pm

by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Growing facial hair is an alien practice to most people on campus. We just do not understand how such a luscious beard or mustache is maintained or what inspires one to grow facial hair in the first place. But we asked around and found a few brave souls on campus who were willing to get up close and personal with a camera and provide the rest of us hairless faces with some answers.

So here are the how's and the why's brought to you by people whose facial hair you may have been admiring on campus. The how's: beard oils, mustache waxes and good barbers. The why's: a grand extension of No-Shave November to raise awareness for men’s health, an Air Force tradition carried on by ROTC students known as Mustache March honoring Air Force fighter pilot Brigadier General Robin Olds and more!

Trace Webster, senior

"Mustache March is an unofficial air force tradition where men grow mustaches in March and it’s tradition for the women to kind of ridicule them because a military regulation mustache is between the lips—not the best looking mustache. It started kind of as a nod to a very famous fighter pilot who had this very, very big, boisterous mustache. It’s just a fun tradition

Is our facial hair the best on campus? Most certainly not. Is it the most meaningful? We like to think so."

Tyler Hale, Hall Director in Tyson and Haggerty 

"You know, razors are outrageously expensive. They’re really expensive! So I just thought that I would save so much money over a lifetime of having a beard. Also, you get taken more seriously if you have a beard. Like, you get seated first in a restaurant or people buy you things…I don’t know, I don’t know! I’ve had a beard for ten years. I only shaved one time—true story—well, in the last ten years, I shaved one time. It was New Year’s Day 2011 and I got bored. I just wasn’t doing anything so I just shaved and I cleaned off the mirror, and I looked at myself, and I remember being horrified because I was a dead ringer for Melissa Etheridge. Like 100% dead ringer for her and I made a promise to myself then, 'I will never shave again fully until Melissa Etheridge dies because there can’t be two of us around that are that good looking in the world.'"

Niko Strom, junior

"My freshman year of college, I had just gotten the news that my grandpa was diagnosed with prostate cancer and a buddy of mine told me about this group called the Movember Club—they’re just the “No Shave November” guys—and the month of November is for men’s health awareness. So I grew out facial hair for that month and then at the end of it, I kept it because you grow facial hair and then at the end they say, 'Cool. Now wear it every day with pride and whenever people ask why you wear a mustache, say that reason.' So for me, my grandpa has facial hair so I did it to honor him and now it’s just a part of who I am so I have to keep it.

I trim it to make sure it’s not all over the place and crazy. I also make my own beard oil. I go to Whole Foods and I get almond oil and jojoba oil, just different essential oils and mix them. It becomes a type of conditioner at this point. You can use it as head conditioner as well. I have a barber that I go to for all of my advice and I ask him like 'So how would I do this?' and he’d be like 'Oh, well, I have a recipe. Oh, I’ll show you how to do it.'"

Collin Whitney, senior, ROTC

"In the air force, you fly, fight, and win, and, uh, mustaches."

Tristan Simons, junior

One day I was hanging out with my brother and the idea just kind of popped into his head and he just thinks that my personality would really complement a mustache. We both wondered if it was possible. So, then it became a personal challenge to see if I could even grow one. This started second semester of my freshman year and within three months it was going slow, but steady and eventually it was at full strength. It was at a kind of in-between stage for a while where it was awkward and it looked kind of creepy for a while, you know, it’s not quite a mustache, just kind of some weird peach fuzz-looking stuff on your face. So, I got made fun of for a while, but then I had it for a whole year and I shaved it in March and it was this big event when I shaved it. Then, I went to Africa, and I started growing facial hair while I was there just because I didn’t bring a razor. I decided to bring it back because it was already half way grown in.

Niko has helped me in the past and there’s this German Mustache Wax that I use from time to time when I’m feeling fancy. Straight from Germany. My mom got it for me for my birthday like two years ago. I don’t think it was as a joke, but it ended up being really good beard wax. 

Brandon Zambrano Lopez, junior

"Ever since I was little, my dad had a beard and a mustache and I was like “I want a beard and a mustache.” I wanted to be like my dad. I thought it would be awesome."

William Gleason, senior, ROTC

"I’m a comedy masochist and I like people making fun of my mustache."