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I'm Hoping for “Wizard”
365 Days of Unkempt Beauty

So, I have spent most of the last year bald. Wicked bald. I enjoyed it, but, as will all things, I got bored—so I decided to grow my hair out. Wicked out.

Right about when I decided to do this, I also decided to appear in a drag show at Penguicon. Not one to do things half-assed, I committed, and shaved down thoroughly to play the role of Sharon McKandy (some might say, too thoroughly, but I digress), so that seemed like a good time to start my little experiment; exactly how long will my hair get in a year?

And that, basically, is the crux of it…I will not cut, trim, or shave any of the hair from my neck up* for one year starting on the 1st of May, 2010 with an entirely clean face and head (of which I forgot to take a picture, so you'll just have to trust me on that one), and ending the morning of the 1st of May, 2011.

* There are two and one-half exceptions to this…I will trim my nose hairs, I will shave just the neck part of my facial hair (as it becomes ingrown-hair central, and neck beards are gross, and soon it will be hidden). Also, I might trim my ear hair—not the hair around my ears, the hair from in my ears. Those are the only exceptions though.

So, you might ask, where does the wizard come in? Well, when first asked what I thought it would look like, I responded, “I'm hoping for ‘wizard’” with visions of that crazy, fuzzy, psychotic looking hair-beard combo that just screams “I play a wizard on TV!” From this, an idea was born. Once my hair gets a bit of length, I am going to start wearing conical hats adorned with stars and moons to represent my new role. In the beginning, these hats will be small—wicked small—to illustrate the novice status of my craft. I will begin to refer to myself by my wizarding name. I will be insufferable. It should be a good time. At that point, I'm just going to enjoy being a wizard and see what happens. If anything, it should make for some good stories.

So, that's basically all there is to it. Check back here for photos of my progress! (Photos are in reverse order so newest is up top. Click the photo to go to it full-sized, or click here for the album.)

Oh, and here's a link to an RSS feed of the photos!

Week 42 photo Week 42

Monday, February 14th, in the morning

This is the last photo of hair growth! I have decided that as a Valentine's Day present for my beleaguered, long-suffering wife, I will surprise her by being the clean-shaven me after today. More on that in a new post.

Week 41 photo Week 41

Monday, February 7th, in the afternoon

It is interesting, to me, how age has affected my hair. I had long hair about a decade ago, and it was soft and smooth and curled slightly at the ends. Now it is rough and thick and wavy (and completely unmanageable, as a result). That said, it does look pretty awesome in full wizard form!

Week 40 photo Week 40

Tuesday, February 1st, in the morning

Whoops, grad school started and picture taking stopped, apparently. Three missed weeks, that's just terrible! As I glance at the picture queue, I can visibly see that my hair growth has slowed. This depresses me.

Week 37 photo Week 37

Monday, January 10, in the afternoon

Only about 15 weeks left. In general, I barely notice the extra hair. It takes some extra grooming time in the morning, and I go through a lot more shampoo and conditioner, but in general, it has become normal to me. ConFusion is coming, though, and things are going to get hot and sweaty in the head-ular area during that time, I think.

Week 35 photo Week 35

Tuesday, December 28th, midday

Merry Christmas. The holiday and travel season caused a skip week, as did my college graduation. At some point, I have to post—as a bonus, of course—the photo from my graduation ceremony. It is nothing but class. That my mother didn't pin me down and shave me prior to the event is a testament to her tolerance (or just to how much she has given up on having any normal children.)

Week 33 photo Week 33

Wednesday, December 15th, in the morning

After a certain amount of time, say, for example, 33 weeks, it is genuinely difficult to find something pithy and interesting to say about a subject so pedestrian as ones immense thicket of bushy hair. Insert snark here.

Week 32 photo Week 32

Monday, December 6th, in the morning

Lotsa hair. Lots of fucking hair. I am pretty sure that a significant portion of my diet is the tips of my mustache. I resemble a werewolf. I go to nice restaurants and I can literally see the trepidation as the host or hostess assesses whether or not I'm homeless before offering to seat me. It is, however, super warm.

Week 31 photo Week 31

Wednesday, December 1st, in the morning

I found, due to a quirk in my numbering added to my utter inability to count, that I was off by like 4 weeks in my beard week count. This week marks the 31st week of beard growth…so I've surpassed the midpoint and I'm nearly the 35th week (which will be the 2/3 point). I wanted to get some half-way point numbers up here, but since I missed it, I'll wait until the next real measure point, 66% of the way through. (Although, I'm at 7.5cm beard and hair, 7.0cm mustache, informally).

Week 30 photo Week 30

Monday, November 22, in the morning

Happy almost turkey day! I should go hunting, since I'm already warm and camouflaged behind my thicket of hair. I hate my mustache. Seriously, it is long, it annoys me when waxed, and when not waxed, it lives in my mouth and up my nose. I cannot wait to trim this thing. Yesterday, I had something with cheese on it. Later, I found some leftover cheese melted into the corner of my mustache. It was delicious; it tasted of shame and preservatives.

Week 28 photo Week 28

Wednesday, November 10, in the morning

I have about half a mullet…there's a party in the back, but there's no business up front. It is party everywhere on my head. At this point I'm at the half way point and hating life. I need snow to fall soon to mitigate this massive hair coverage. That and I wish the hair on my head would get just a bit longer; right now it's at an unmanageable length where it won't stay anywhere.

Week 27 photo Week 27

Wednesday, November 3, in the morning

Earlier this week I found that if I feather my hair, I look like Kenny Loggins from an alternate universe in which Mr. Loggins might have lost his beard trimmer. It feels like my hair has stopped growing entirely and that only my beard continues to progress. I feel like this should be my new photo mode: all hair combed straight down, beard combed straight forward to a “point” in front. That will give the most even view of my growth progress…of course, that's not nearly as much fun.

Week 26 photo Week 26

Tuesday, October 26, in the morning

Rough, rough morning. The kind of rough that says I can't even focus a camera, open my right eye, or comb my hair in a way that represents normalcy even slightly. I imagine that if you cleaned up a bum and gave him a comb, this is roughly what you would get until the Mad Dog 20/20 and Thunderbird wore off.

Week 25 photo Week 25

Wednesday, October 20, in the morning

I have kind of a to-the-side, Flock of Seagulls sort of thing going on here. I feel like I should put a highlight in the front and call it a crazy, crazy day.

Week 24 photo Week 24

Tuesday, October 12, in the morning

Brushed, my lustrous mane of beard looks must less exciting than last week's unbrushed version. You do, however, get a better feel for its length. I'm slowly progressing from “sea captain” to “grandpa”…the last step before “wizard!”

Week 23 photo Week 23

Wednesday, October 6, in the morning.

It occurs to me that I've been showing pictures from right after I get out of the shower and after I have combed my hair and beard. Today's pic is post-hair-combing but prior to the beard combing. I think it gives a more full picture of what the mess looks like relatively untamed.

Week 21 photo Week 21

Monday, September 20, in the morning.

Earlier this week, I started a brief foray into the world of Lord of the Rings Online. I made a dwarf. This morning, I awoke to find facial hair that is oddly reminiscent of my dwarven alter ego. Couple that with the fact that my scalp-hair gets a very Wolverine-like curl at the top, and I have a hairstyle straight out of adolescent fantasy.

Which is great, if your adolescent fantasy doesn't include employment, meetings, or “being taken seriously” by grown-ups. Thankfully, mine doesn't.

Week 20 photo Week 20

Monday, September 13, in the morning.

It is becoming almost entirely impossible to reign in the beard. It is just a bird's nest of increasingly more out-of-control hair. This shot is immediately post-shower, and after a good, thorough brushing. I really need to include an end-of-day shot for one of these, because things get crazy as humidity, movement, and my natural frizz get a grip on my facial hair.

Week 19 photo Week 19

Tuesday, Sep 7th in the morning

We are at the 18 week point; 1/3 of the way through. My hair is about two inches long, currently (which is a depressingly average 1/2 inch per month of growth)…but my beard is out of control with just over 2.5 inches of curly, thicketed growth. It is madness. My mustache, when pulled straight, hangs to my chin. When not straightened, it goes beyond my bottom lip. Eating is a messy disaster.

At this pace, I envision a nice half-foot of thick, more-salt-than-pepper hair on my head, and a fantastically wizardly half-foot of beard hanging down my face. Oh, I also envision having trouble getting through airport security lanes.

Week 18 photo Week 18

Wednesday, Sep 1st in the morning

Too hot to be witty. I'm just going to be sullen and miserable today. I am ready for you, winter. Please come quickly.

Week 17 photo Week 17

Monday, August 23rd in the morning

Ooops, missed a week. The hair is finally obtaining that “there is no way in hell you are taming me for more than 5 minutes” quality that screams “Wizard.” Thankfully, this hasn't been the hottest summer in the world, because camping over the weekend with this rat's nest would have been unbearable. As it is, there was much mockery over the tendency my hair has to curl at the edges like an owl's head.

Week 15 photo Week 15

Tuesday, Aug 10th in the morning

I have a calico beard. Seriously, it's hard to make out in the photo, but it is so many different colors: all designed to make the hair atop my head look all the more gray. I am a bit disappointed in the lack of white.

Next up, I need to find or make sleeveless wizard robes to wear around.

Week 14 photo Week 14

Tuesday, Aug 3rd in the morning

Now things are getting hot and heavy. There is enough hair that at temperatures exceeding 60 degrees Fahrenheit, my scalp and jaw-line develop sweat. I need a headband to keep the sweat from running into my face. I can constantly smell the last thing I ate or drank from the remains left in my mustache. This is un-fun at the moment. I assume it gets better. Side-note: no magical powers to speak of, yet.

Week 13 photo Week 13

Tuesday, Jul 27th in the morning

When combed, it doesn't look terrible. When not combed (or, apparently, fresh out of the pool, it looks crazy. I need some pictures of me looking all crazy.

Week 12 photo Week 12

Tuesday, Jul 19th in the afternoon

Oops, I missed a week while I was on vacation…but that's okay, because it makes this new “half-way through the transformation to werewolf” shot all the more impressive and shocking. Rawr! Sorry ladies, this isn't available!

I still hate the mustache, though.

Week 10 photo Week 10

Monday, Jul 6th in the morning

Seriously, the mustache hanging into my mouth is going to be the thing that breaks me…not the heat, not the frizziness, not the itchiness…no, it's going to be this bushy-assed mustache that pushes me over the edge.

Week 9 photo Week 9

Monday, Jun 28th in the morning

Two full months. That is how long it will have been at week's end. At this point I have a barely-grippable-in-the-fist quantity of hair atop my head and beneath my chin. I have about an inch of overall growth. I expected more at this point. I was really banking on closer to an inch per month rather than a puny half inch (pshaw to averages). At this rate, my hair will be a mop rather than a wizardly mane at year's end. I wonder how much Rogaine costs…

Week 8 photo Week 8

Monday, Jun 21st in the morning

I officially have a quantity of hair that can be referred to as "ridiculously hot"; hot as in "traps heat against my head" not as in "dead sexy" (although, c'mon, that is one sexy beard.

Week 7 photo Week 7

Monday, Jun 14th in the morning

Now I'm just getting shaggy. My beard looks really nice and full, but at this stage my head looks mostly like a Q-Tip. I don't think this will feel like real progress until I have enough hair to comb, which seems like a long way away.

Week 6 photo Week 6

Monday, Jun 7th in the morning

It is definitely coming along. I am excited by the prospect of doing a faux-hawk! I am unexcited about the fact that my moustache is already getting into my mouth a bit...I forgot about that side issue. I suspect that I have long weeks of annoyance ahead until my 'stache is long enough to wax out of the way.

Week 5 photo Week 5

Tuesday, Jun 1st in the morning

To quote Lucy, whose wedding I attended on Sunday the 31st, "Thank god our wedding was at the start of your hair growth." It still looks fairly normal—in fact, it gives me a more normal appearance than I've had in a while. It was especially nice to sunburn my forehead on Saturday and not have my entire skull be a mass of peeling, painful, itching burn…but it is getting warm under this hair.

Week 4 photo Week 4

Monday, May 24th in the evening

I almost forgot today's photo! As you can see, things are actually coming in…fuzzy. Very, very fuzzy. I am conditioning daily to try to keep things soft and shiny. Oh, and I am noticing that there is a TON more salt mixed in with the pepper than I recall. That's okay, the white will just add to the ‘wizard’ effect!!

Week 3 photo Week 3

Monday, May 17th in the morning

Wow, one week and the beard is almost beard-like already. It still doesn't cover Pyle (my name for the bonus chin), but it is working on it. For bonus points, you get to peek at the shaven chest and arms a bit here. Oh how I take care of you guys.

Week 2 photo Week 2

Tuesday, May 11th in the morning

Where the hell did this extra chin come from. Seriously, when I started growing a goatee, I don't recall it being there. You are seriously unwelcome, extra chin flap!