This spring I decided to try out a new look. Don’t worry I didn’t decide to bleach my hair like Wiz Khalifa or Chris Brown (reminds me too much of Sisqo which should be self-explanatory). Towards the end of my junior year of college I embarked on a beard growing journey. My inspiration for the beard came from my barber in Chicago (Demario Mitchell, Owner of Total Eclipse Barber Shop) who rocks a long, thick beard traditionally associated with the Nation of Islam. Seeing his “face fro” as he calls it, in all of its glory made me want to try. The first 3 weeks I contemplated cutting it every single day. The stubble and uneveness made me question if the look was for me. However, my barber continued to stress patience and as the days turned to months I finally began to see the fruits of my labor. And believe me, maintaining a beard is labor. Growing a beard is a commitment. Each day I shampoo, condition, and comb it out.  

I originally planned to cut it once it got to be a couple inches, but thus far I haven’t taken off one inch. As long as you keep it lined up and trimmed I don’t see anything wrong with rocking the “face fro”. Keep in mind there a few rules to rocking that dope beard.
1. Invest in a quality beard trimmer with different length settings to keep your beard properly shaped and trimmed
2. Always use clean, sharp razors or trimmer blades to avoid pulling hairs or spreading bacteria that can cause painful infections or even hair loss.
3. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner to clean your beard – regular soap may dry the hair and skin out too much. Specialized beard cleansers are also available.
4. Be sure to keep the beard clean and free from food crumbs between washings
5. Shape your beard regularly and trim the edges neatly for a crisp, fresh look. Regular trims at the barber shop can also help keep the style properly shaped.

If you have no problem with people making endless Rick Ross and Baron Davis references and don’t get offended when people ask if you have the Final Call newspaper you should try out the bearded look.




Black men in Philadelphia discuss the “Philly Beard”














My barber and his wife at my 21st birthday party.












Ohio Rapper Stalley











My beard a few months ago.














Ouigi Theodore,  founder and owner of Brooklyn Circus.