As a dad, Beard Care 101 is more than just something for me, it's teaching my sons through example how to care about themselves. A moment to reflect on how they carry themselves, project themselves, and how they feel about themselves. I'm working with Dollar Shave Club to shed light – and hair – on how my personal grooming is a teachable part of life.
A father's take on beard care 101
As I've grown older, I've learned to simplify most things in my life. I love to compete naturally and to search out adventures and challenges, but now, for the bulk of my life…it's about pacing myself. Not ‘grinding' on everything I do. I've learned that making everything a struggle doesn't just tax me, but my boys. It's all part of growing and gaining wisdom. Like the wisdom of convenience.
First things first – stay home
While a quick outing into town to re-up on razors used to sound like a non issue before kids, now, it's a whole other story. To be clear, my kids aren't a burden at all. Frankly, I just don't want to spend time away from them after they get home from school and at the same time, packing them up to run menial errands sounds like a waste of their time with me. Whatever shall I do?
Big things in small packages
I, without a doubt, fell in love with Dollar Shave Club the first time I saw their irreverently toned gauntlet throwdown style commercial about seven years ago. This was a fantastic game changer in the grooming game. After a few years, it wasn't just about razors. It was the whole Beard Care 101 game. Facial cleansers, shave butter, tooth paste, shampoo…the works.
Bring on the war face
Grooming, in the animal kingdom, is often a social affair. Chimpanzees do it to demonstrate a sort of care for one another and maintain social interaction. I am not a chimp. I'm a dad. And, as a a dad, I use grooming as a way of teaching my four sons what is important. If I walked around like a slob, they would eventually assume it was ok and in turn take on that mindset. Do as I do, not just as I say! Of course, I enjoy starting off by just making faces in the mirror and of course our favorite face is our ‘war face.' I love pointing out our facial similarities and talking with Olin about how he and I, his brothers and his grandfather even, all share the same rippled nose lines when we make our fighting faces.
One of the best things about Dollar Shave Club is that I can stay at home and the supplies come to me. But whats more, ever since that first ad that made me love their company, they've added to their supply line. I can get pretty much whatever I want…except when I need more underwear. But that's a different story.
Let them give you a hand
I can shave in front of my son but that really wouldn't maximize his experience. Olin, like me, is a kinesthetic learner which means going hands on is one of the best ways for his brain to absorb what he's learning. Now, that being said, I'm not quite ready to hand him a razor and let him go to town on my face. But a simple step is letting him use the shave butter. I hand him the bottle and tell him to pull out a quarter size dollop on his finger tips. I show him how to hold his hand and how to rub it in. You would be surprised how much of an impact it has on a young mind just showing them how to form their hands in order to apply something like that. Patiently teaching fine motor skills to a child takes patience but it is very valuable.
Show and tell
Don't rush it. Once you start grooming or shaving, take moments to stop and show them what is going on. Understandably, my oldest wanted to know how I could rub so many razors on my face and, well, still have a face. This subject of something as simple as a ‘safety razor' is so taken for granted that it takes a moment to explain. But, it's at this stage Olin, and even Ahren, is fascinated with engineering and that something so simple and so “every day” can have such a scientific approach.
Teach them to deal with disappointment
The onlooking of two little boys waiting for bloodshed was very amusing. I have to say, this is one of the few times I didn't mind disappointing their imagination. They were still entertained though. I even got to explain why I needed to rinse the razor every few strokes. Just another simple but important aspect of Beard Care 101. Mouth still agape, they responded with, “uhh huh.” It's great being a dad when you realize that slowing down and sharing the little things means just as much as the “big things.”
Of course, you have to let them get a feel of the aftermath. The scratchy scruff that has given way to silky smooth skin. Oh what a world we live in. “Your face is just like mine now dada!”
It's important to share
It's not theft if everything you own belongs to her too! At least that's what Chelsea tells me. And, frankly, I don't really mind when Chelsea uses my razor for her own…lady grooming. I mean, I would be an idiot if I took away any chance for her to make herself as smooth as she wants to be. It's a win win, honestly. AND, with Dollar Shave Club, there's no ‘pink tax.' A razor is a razor is a razor. And a good one at that. If I want another razor head, I know where to get more. Plus, I don't want to ruin any chance I might have to show Chelsea just how smooth my face is after we put the kids to bed.
It's all part of Beard Care 101. Know when to slow down, know when to explain, know when to take the time to demonstrate, and most importantly known when to share. It's all a family affair.