Tag Archives: barbershop

To beard or not to beard: My Beard Adventures experience

“You should let your beard grow out,” she cupped my chin with one of her hands. For almost ten years, I’d kept my beard maintained with weekly trips to my neighborhood barber shop. In my head, there were two options: a close trim or looking homeless. It never occurred to me that there was another way.

I turned my head on my pillow to face her. “You think so? Don’t you think it would look disheveled and awful?”

She dragged her naked leg slowly up my body and pulled me closer to her. Along her journey, she discovered, not-so-subtly, that I might be ready for round two. “I think it would look sexy,” she whispered in my ear, and the might bes turned into definitelys.

So, I grew my beard out. Didn’t take long. Now it’s been over a year.

The full beard of comedian Adam Heath Avitable

It’s a fine line, however, between looking like a boy who doesn’t know how to use a razor and a man who’s breaking in the wild horse on his face. My barber visits each week became focused on shaping and edging instead of trimming. Keep the neck clean, keep the head clean, tame the sides, let nature do what she will with the front. The wiry hairs were coarse, and I worried about the pain it might inflict on the women who would deem me worthy of their time. I worried about chafing their cheeks, scraping their thighs, breaking their hearts.

That’s when I learned about the world of beard care. Beard oils and treatments. Products designed purely for softening and taming. Smelling nice and feeling good. Things every man can get behind.

Preferring to support local business as much as I can, I reached out to a company based out of Orlando called Beard Adventures. They provided me with a set of three beard oils to try for free: Lumberjack, Outback, and Black Pepper. I chose those three out of a bevy of beard care scents including spiced rum, bourbon, whiskey smash, mojito, black coffee, and more. I went home, and each day, after a hot shower, I’d choose one and rub the oil thoroughly throughout this monstrosity that has taken over my face, taming it down.

Set of beard oils from beard care company Beard Adventure

I’d travel to my daily haunts – my local restaurants, my local strip clubs, my local comedy club – supporting my local vendors, servers, and single mothers. I’d approach my friends. And strangers, because I felt emboldened.

“Smell my beard,” I’d say. Some were equally bold, planting their nose firmly in and inhaling deeply. Others required convincing. “It’s not a trick, I just want your opinion.” Some still weren’t convinced. “I’ll give you a dollar.” The last resort always worked.

And the responses were unanimous:

“Wow, that smells sexy.”
“I like that!”
“Where did you get that from?”
“Can I smell you again?”
“Amazing!”
“Now do you want a lap dance?”

Beard care can turn you from a sweaty neckbearded child into a sultry badass with a dark past. From an unhygienic nerdblaster to the savvy king of the geeks. From Hagrid to Gandalf. And I wholeheartedly recommend Beard Adventures for all of your beard care needs. And in fact, if you or a loved one has a beard that needs some tender loving care, how about an opportunity to win a free set of three beard oils with beard comb?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and I received the products for free from Beard Adventures. I also got three lap dances, but they were free, mostly because my beard smelled so fucking awesome.

The Weekly Barber

On February 21, 2007, I ventured into a little barbershop close to my house for a haircut and a shave, since I hadn’t had either for close to six months. Two hours later, I emerged, feeling like a new man, and I’ve been going to that same shop every single week since that date.

The evolution of Adam Avitable's beard

I was a 450 pound man who didn’t drink alcohol or do drugs, had only had sex with one person, his wife of 6 years, and hadn’t stepped on a stage since he was in high school. My weekly visits to Capp’s Barbers were an indulgence, but one that provided a nice relaxing break in the day. As a (giant woodland) creature of habit, I would only allow the owner, Cori, to take care of me, and as a result of sitting in her chair week after week for years, we became friends. She and her significant other would come to parties that my wife and I would throw, we would talk for an hour each week about life and work and all the responsibilities of owning a business, and she would yell at me for not getting my eyebrows (and nose and ears and everything else) waxed enough.

She and I both ended our long relationships within a year of each other. She moved out of her house and I moved out of mine. I lost almost 200 pounds, and she started doing those tough mudder mud runs that stupid people and crazy people do. She started booking more and more makeup and effects work for movies and commercials on the side and I started performing stand-up. We both started dating, swapping stories of bad experiences or great sex. Every week, as long as one or the other of us wasn’t out of town, I’d sit in that chair and we’d talk about our new lives. And then we started going out and getting drinks and getting drunk and hanging out and going to strip clubs and having fun when it wasn’t my time in the chair.

And when her best friend in the world passed away in her sleep, she asked me to preside over the memorial service. Her daughter is getting married, and if I hadn’t been booked for another friend’s wedding the same day, I would have been officiating the wedding. I invite her to my parties, and she came to the very first comedy show I ever produced. Last night was her birthday, and she invited me to join her, her boyfriend, her son, and her daughters and their boyfriends, out for dinner to celebrate. For a few hours, we ate fondue, laughed and talked, and everything else in the world just sat this inning out.

Makeup artist Cori Adkins and family with comedian Adam Avitable

You never know who the important people are going to be in your life. They can come from any situation – a failed date, a chance encounter, a weekly barber appointment, an ad hoc office set up at a strip club, or even just a random conversation with a former stranger. They’re all around you. Your future friends. Your new tribe. Your found family.

So, basically, put your fucking phone down sometime and talk to the people around you. Yeah. That’s the moral of the story. Had I never spoken to Cori at the barbershop or Chana at Tijuana Flats or Sylvana and Lanie at Walgreens or Lisa at Dancer’s Royale or Claire at The Other Bar or a hundred other people at a hundred other locations, I would have missed out on some of the best friendships, greatest adventures, and coolest times I’ve ever had.

So, maybe the moral is actually that you should add me on Facebook so you and I can be friends too. Yeah, I like that one better. Because I’m on my phone a lot, so it might be a little hypocritical to judge others for that shit.

The More You Know


This is part of a series in which I will attempt to write something every single day of 2016 here on Avitable.com. Will I be able to do it? You’ll only know if you subscribe using the form below!

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If Avitable loses his beard and nobody’s there, is he still Avitable?

I started growing facial hair when I was 13 years old. By 14, I was able to grow a passable beard that my parents detested. When I left for college at 17, I grew a goatee and for the last 15 years, my face has been covered in a beard or a goatee.

Three years ago, I looked like this:

Picture 17

In February 2007, I got a membership at a barbershop. Every week, I go in for a shave and a haircut. And sometimes eyebrow, forehead, cheek, ear, and nose waxing. It kept me from looking like a homeless psycho on the run from the law.

And each week, when I go into the barber, I usually look like this:

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And when I’m done, I look like this (or some bearded variation):

CIMG0804

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But this week, when I left, I looked like this (picture behind the fold):
Continue reading If Avitable loses his beard and nobody’s there, is he still Avitable?