So… sometime this summer I did a new hairstyle thing. One day I shaved my face and then I shaved my head, and then I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just never cut or trim any of this again.’ Let it all grow out even, the way it wants to, unfettered and un-harassed.
From where (sic) came the inspiration for this fantastic idea, you say? Partly, it was inspired by laziness. Partly, it was inspired by love of nature. Partly it was inspired by skepticism. But the larger truth is: it was inspired by babies! You know, babies whose hair is allowed to grow out all wild before they get their first haircut? Sometimes that actually looks pretty cool!
I’m not saying it hasn’t been done before, but I am saying I’ve never met anyone who rocks this style before; so I decided to give myself the license to call it the ‘Never’ Cut.
And the ‘Never’ Cut has some major advantages: low maintenance; no trips to the barber/salon (save money + time + anxiety); an organic, down to earth look; it intimidates people (an unexpected benefit, but double edged sword); and it’s a style that makes you feel really, deeply, true to yourself.
But it does also have some disadvantages, the main one being that you’re pretty much stuck with what God gave you. That means there is an average or better chance you’ll wind up looking like a damn fool. Not everyone was made to rock the ‘Never’ Cut. Some can, some can’t; some got it, some don’t; some have the oozing confidence necessary to pull it off, and some are going to be seen tentatively raising their hand like those sweat-cadets in a 1990s Sure/Unsure commercial.
But if you got it, flaunt it — or so people say on tv.
I flaunted it. I flaunted it hard. I flaunted at the river, I flaunted it at the lake, I flaunted it at the beach. I flaunted it with sand all over my face. Yeah, for eight or ten weeks I flaunted it real good.
That’s when I learned something about the human moustache. [yes, ‘moustache’ is a legitimate spelling of the word, and the spelling preferred by all the coolest people in the world]
See, my plan was that as my moustache grew out over my lips, teeth, and mouth, I would pull it and train it to the side, mostly out of my way, until it grew long enough to weave into braids, and then I would braid it up where it was totally out of the way and bind it with cool little rock beads on the hanging braid-ends, like pirate style. It turns out this is impossible.
Many men don’t know that it’s impossible, including myself until recently. And I assume nearly all women don’t know that it is. But it is.
What I discovered as my moustache grew out was that the moustache hairs in the very middle didn’t grow out very long. The ones on the outer 2/3 of the moustache grew out long, first a half inch, then a whole inch, then an inch and a half — they’re still growing today! But a lot of the hairs in the very middle of my moustache just kind of grew really slow, and seemed to peter out when they reached about the half inch length.
Half-inch ain’t braidable, man!!!
After eight or ten weeks of rocking the ‘Never’ Cut, while slurping soup delicately through my moustache hairs and then rinsing the moustache off by slurping water, I started to realize that the whole plan might not be completely tenable. I had this idea in my head that you could braid a long moustache, but when I thought about it, I couldn’t say I ever saw anyone with their whole moustache braided before. Not even into a corn row.
I took my problem to Google, because – duh. And I googled me up some ‘long moustaches’ and ‘unclipped beards’. Safe Search was firmly switched to the – ON – category, of course! And with Google holding my hand, I found lots of pictures of guys with moustaches a foot or more long, and with beards grown out like — totally crazy style. And NONE of them had a braided moustache, at least not the Hitler part of the ‘stache that grows out underneath your nose. I dug deep and searched for at least two hours.
It was apparently impossible! Some of the guys did have braided moustaches, but it was only braided up to about the corner of their mouth, or at most a little bit father — even those extreme beard/moustache guys couldn’t get it any farther than that! A close examination of several high resolution images revealed why, and it was exactly as I had suspected: Those hairs in the center of your moustache just don’t grow long.
It’s like trying to grow out your eyebrows!
At this point in the process, I already had moustache hairs in my mouth on a constant basis, which isn’t that fun.
If you grow your moustache out wild like that without any trimming, it’s amazing what you become comfortable with. At first it starts poking up into your nose, tickling your upper lip, and likes to drive you crazy. But pretty soon, you don’t even notice that anymore. When you first start getting food and drink in your moustache you’re like, “Ugh, that’s annoying!” Then, soon enough, it’s an integral part of every meal. Water cleans it all out when you take a drink. The age-old premise rings true: ‘Nature cleans up itself.’
My disappointment registered barely — and I stress ‘barely’ — short of the Richter scale. I even checked for sure with the USGS, but they said they didn’t notice it. They might have been lying.
No braided moustache? I just gotta, have it all in my mouth? That’s not the ‘Never’ Cut that I had in mind! It’s a damn disappointment.
And so… The rest of the story:
I finally let my wife trim my ‘stache. Annndddd it’s ok. Once the moustache grows out from the trim enough to look a little wild like the rest of the un-clipped (formerly ‘Never’ Cut) beard it still looks pretty cool.
Yeah, I’m probably going to have to do something about my hair soon, too. It goes through a stage of ‘eh’, then ‘cool’, then ‘cool-crazy’, then ‘wild-crazy’, then just ‘crazy’, and after that it starts to get into the homeless category…
Funny fact that I literally just realized: in the past 10 years, I’ve only had a professional haircut once. There’s a story behind that too. For another day.
Footnote: There was one image on Google of a man with a fully braided moustache. It was an actor in one of those The Hobbit movies. But I looked very close, and I’m 99.5% certain his moustache was a fake!