Caring for a healthy Beard

Caring for a healthy beard

By Dr. Carlos Rosales

Click aqui para español->El Cuidado de la Barba

In an effort to change the trend of “metrosexuality” which originated in the 1990’s, where men overly cared for their appearances while trying to keep lean bodies, publicly admitted the need for skin and hair care products, and donned form fitting clothing, men’s care in our decade focuses on highlighting masculine traits, explaining the recent proliferation of the use of beards.

 “Uber-sexuality” is the term used to describe this new, contemporary trend encompassing men who exhibit traditional masculine qualities and accentuate the caring nature of the new man. The term comes from the German word Über, which means “above”, translating to mean “above sexuality”, reminding us of Nietzsche’s “Superman” (Übermensch): The Alpha male of the pack.

Uber-sexuality labels a man who is undoubtedly masculine but meticulously well-kept. Although the uber-sexual male does not conform to the extreme nature of metro sexuality, he is keenly aware of his image. Another fresh, trendy look that has frequented contemporary mainstream fashion is “lumber-sexuality.” Men adherent to this label maintain a long beard and exhibit their chest hair.

Lumber-sexual men outfit themselves in plaid shirts and work boots, closely mimicking the appearance of a lumberjack. These men aim to achieve that masculine look with the long beard, but they also otherwise take care of themselves. These overly “manly” tendencies have made barber shops a worldwide trend. Beard care and grooming requires expert intervention. Whether long or short, beards must be cut, washed, moisturized, and styled to maintain a “clean” look.

A beard not properly cared for can become a messy source of bacteria. Some advice for a great beard: You should have enough facial hair to avoid the scruffy-beard look. To accomplish this, you must let your beard grow for two to three months without trimming to achieve a thick appearance. Visiting a grooming expert your first few times is highly recommended, so that said expert may shape your beard correctly, as this can be quite a challenging do-it-yourself for first-timers and beginners. Remember to wash your face in the morning and at night, focusing on the skin under your beard.

Additionally, using a facial wash or scrub carefully exfoliate the skin under your beard once a week to remove the dead skin cells from underneath your beard and to avoid beard dandruff. Use special products for your beard such as conditioners and styling creams. Your beard should always look impeccable, so that it garners the right kind of attention. Brush your beard after you eat and wash it if necessary to prevent infections. Avoid handling your beard unnecessarily as bacteria is often found on your hands.

An attractive, healthy, well-kept beard is impossible to attain without resolute cleanliness being at the epicenter of your beard-grooming routine. If you are unwilling to dedicate the needed time to care for your beard, you’d be better served avoiding one altogether.

 If you are considering growing a beard, grow yours a few millimeters at a time and ask others’ opinions. Their commentary may range from ecstatic approval to unflattering rejection as beards are not for everyone, but always remember: if you like it and it feels right to you, grow it proudly and enjoy every lasting moment cultivating your beard and paving your road towards unrivaled übermensch status.

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Publisher's Note

Mixing Traditions

It is no cliché. New Orleans has a wonderful mix of traditions that add to the charm of this amazing city. With the holidays in full-swing, we can enjoy holiday-centered, free events like simple walks around traditional neighborhoods to see the elaborate Christmas decorations, Caroling in Jackson Square, attending the gospel and jazz concerts at St. Louis Cathedral and St. Augustine Church, watching the technological light display during Luna Fête, and visiting the beautifully decorated hotel lobbies in town, among others.

 There is one tradition in Louisiana that is so unique and that I hope to experience this year: The Bonfires on the Levee. Just thinking about seeing the pyres, the fireworks display and its reflection on the river during a cold night and having a warm drink while learning about this tradition from our River Parishes' neighbors sounds like an amazing way to soak in some of the culture around us.

Though the original purpose of the bonfires is unconfirmed, fitting the storyline of Papa Noel following the lights on a pirogue being pulled down river by alligators to deliver presents is such a tale. It involves a mix of many elements that are unique to the culture that has shaped the city of New Orleans.

I just love being able to experience different traditions and learning about the ways diverse groups of people who have made New Orleans their home, celebrate the holidays

Happy Holidays!