Just when colleagues published research suggesting that beards may be on the way out, I have been experimenting with facial hair.
The recent field trip to Finland turned out to be a good opportunity to ditch the razor (ahem... I was just too lazy to shave). Given that I was (1) on the other side of the world, (2) in a remote field station in the woods, and (3) there was a shortage of mirrors, I figured I might as well give it a shot.
I had been scouring the web for Asian beard inspiration. I read online somewhere that a bearded Asian man is as rare as a unicorn but the few images I found online suggest that it isn't impossible. Here is the proof...
It has also been interesting stumbling across the beard forums where guys (mostly straight, I think) offer each other support as they try to transition from clean shaven to bearded.
I am now 9 weeks and I have to admit the 'beard' isn't looking too bad (no pictures yet...still a bit too self-conscious).
Sure, the coverage isn't as dense as, say, my Greek friend Pete (who has a perpetual 5 o'clock shadow) but it isn't too bad...and certainly the follicles on my face seem to be much more accommodating that those on top of my head.
So far the response from friends and family haven't been too bad either....probably because I was hidden from the world during the really ugly 'mangy' phase.