Teri Vance: I won’t have a bad hair day when I judge
I have the distinct honor of being a judge in this year’s Nevada Day Beard Contest — except I don’t really know anything about beards.
Dana Lee Fruend, marketing director for Nevada Day, cited my copious amounts of hair as my claim to expertise. I’m not sure my lack of personal grooming qualifies me.
But it just might. According to Jeff Moser — who is as well known for his cycling and hiking as for his guitar playing and facial hair — it’s as simple as, “Just quit shaving.”
He said, “You know you and your beard are ready for the beard contest when: You begin to repulse the opposite sex, are shooed away as a vagrant from public places, your beard floats in your soup, or you become accustomed to a dozen or more ZZ Top comments per day.”
As a serious journalist, however, I had to dig deeper into the beard culture before the big event on Oct. 31.
So I turned to social media for help. And I found some differing points of view, particularly when it comes to the women who love men with beards.
“This is one wife who doesn’t enjoy the October preparation for the beard contest,” said Ruth Gordon, whose husband, Dave, starts growing his beard out in September to participate in the Virginia City vs. Carson City rivalry for most-bearded community. “I can do the mustache but the beard is a bit scruffy.”
My friend from college, Chris Solorio, is dating a guy with a beard. She even let’s him use her conditioner on it — that must be true love.
“My sweetheart uses conditioner on his to keep it softer and not tangled,” she said. “I love his beard.”
Grooming is its own beast, I’ve come to find out.
My childhood friend Enoch Dahl from Starr Valley has a showstopper of a beard.
“I use a couple of different beard oils to keep it healthy,” he said. “Regular soap and shampoo dry it out so the oils replenish the moisture and keep it from getting frizzy or out of control. It’s not greasy or oily, just healthy and magnificent!”
Randy Gaa, who uses his beard to better the community through organizing trash mobs (go to musclepowered.org to learn more about that), uses Grandpa’s Wonder Pine Tar Soap.
“The pine tar is supposed to be good for beards,” he explained. “As the beard has gotten longer, it’s getting harder to take care of it. The Pine Tar soap seems to make it a little softer and easier to run a comb through. It’s good for your skin too, so I’ve just replaced my regular soap with it.”
As a connoisseur of weird soaps myself, he piqued my interest.
Until he added, “Grandpa’s Wonder Pine Tar Soap has a strong smokey scent, which can smell like you’re standing next to a campfire. You can smell the bar of soap even before you open the package.”
No, thanks. My cousin Peter Vance offered up the antidote.
“Shaving oil — a few drops of jasmine, lavender, clary sage and cinnamon in 2 ounces of grape seed oil,” he said. “Smooth as glass and smells sweet.”
I really hope that’s a moot issue though. I don’t want to be smelling beards on Nevada Day.
When it comes to judging, however, I think my friend Ryan Jerz relayed the most important criteria.