11 things you learn only by growing a beard
1. The itchiness eventually stops. No, really.
This is the major hurdle for the fresh faced. It separates the bearded from the non-bearded.
But the hell that comes with your beard finally beginning to cover your face - the feeling of a red-raw rash consuming your face - it passes.
That is when you know you have passed the test, kemosabe.
2. Wives and girlfriends love beards, they just don't know it yet
Win their support by saying you'll "see how it looks" because once full, they will sing a different tune.
And that tune is: There's Just Nothing Better Than A Beard, by The Beards.
3. The objects of your affection will look at you differently.
Whether these will be 'come hither' or 'Help! Somebody help!', there's really no knowing.
With any luck, your quarry will suffer the symptoms of beardomania. Shortness of breath, knocking knees, stumbling over their words etc.
But treat your beard as a dustbin, collecting a buffet of meal scraps and crumbs, expect only horror.
4. But who cares about women anyway, it's your fellow man you want to impress.
Few things are as satisfying as having a respectful nod from a gent with a super-excellent beard.
You will beam behind your face forest any time a man compliments your beard
5. What's more: expect to become friendlier with bearded colleagues.
Your new face is now an ready-grown topic of conversation.
They will notice if it's longer, shorter, darker, redder - yes, sometimes they redden - and be handy with advice.
Expert tip: Giving or receiving praise about a beard is the fastest way to friendship.
Unless it's on a woman, of course.
7. You are guaranteed to completely wreck your beard while trying to "neaten it up".
The more you try to "fix" it, the more damage you do.
Continue down this path if you want a face like a chessboard.
Check out Beards.org for help, but be prepared to learn by doing. Or more accurately, learn by stuffing up.
8. Your beard requires grooming, not just a splash of shampoo, conditioner.
That stuff will dry it out and suddenly your new chin mop will leave a thin dusting of skin over your new black shirt.
You don't want that.
Your fans deserve more than that.
9. There is a secret beard world out there that you have no idea about.
There are beard oils, beard balms, moisturisers, combs and an unending range of electric machinery designed to keep hairs under control.
Beard oil is a world all of its own.
Ever given your girlfriend/boyfriend a questioning look after they dropped a fat stack of cash on a facial scrub?
You'll pay at least $30 for 30mL of beard oil or one dollar per millilitre.
To compare, iconic perfume Chanel #5 is 72c per mL.
Don't be sucked into the hype, but know that it's not all hot air.
10. You would think stroking your beard while thinking looks ridiculous. It doesn't.
This alone may be the best reason to put down the hedge trimmer and let your face-garden bear fruit.
11. It is treated as an achievement.
Sure you just went about your day-to-day life and this forest sprouted on your face, but friends, family and colleagues will talk about it as though you lovingly planted and cared for each follicle yourself.
You are no better than the man beside you whose face is cursed to be a desolate wasteland for all time, despite your beard being adored by all and sundry.
Be humble about your beard - your chin should fight for the weak, the hairless and the beautiful.
With a great beard comes great responsibility.