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18 Stages Of Not Being Able To Grow A Beard

If at first you fail, get up and try again! But know that you might (probably) fail again, and you'll need a Schick Hydro razor to clean things up.

Stage 1: Dreaming the impossible

Denis Dervisevic / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: denisdervisevic

Duration: approx. 1 week

You consider the possibility that maybe — just maybe — you're ready this time. As your friends from RENT say, "No day but today."

Stage 2: Scouting out your idols

JD Harvill / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: hotlantavoyeur
BrittReneePhotography / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: brittreneephotography
Mr Seb / CC BY-ND http://2.0 / Flickr: seeminglee

Duration: approx. 1 week

You look for inspiration everywhere. "I'm thinking about growing one," you warn your skeptical friends. "Not a beard beard. More like Dan — that beardy guy from marketing."

Stage 3: Committing to the new you

Xiaojun Deng / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: hktang

Duration: an instant

It's the moment you abandon your old, sour attitude and (secretly) exclaim (to yourself) that you are going to grow a beard (as long as nothing weird happens).

Stage 4: Touchin' on it

istolethetv / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: istolethetv

Duration: approx. 1-2 days

Your newfound optimism heightens your facial awareness. Lol JK, but it feels fun to touch. You're proud to see the fruits of your labor.

Stage 5: Showin' off

Andres Rodriguez / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Via Flickr: symic

Duration: approx. 1 party

For a brief and glorious evening, the beard venture has you looking downright sexy. "I see you're doing the stubble thing," your kissing partner comments, and you feel like quite the man.

Stage 6: Plateau

istolethetv / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: istolethetv

Duration: approx. 2-5 days

This long stage separates the commited from the commitment-weary. Turn back and admit defeat? Or wait it out and possibly CHANGE LIVES?

Stage 7: Questioning your age

Juhan Sonin / (CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: juhansonin

Duration: 1-2 days

At a certain point, it becomes less about you and more about your age. "Perhaps this just isn't meant to happen right now," you think. Perhaps you're Mr. Right, just not Mr. Right Now.

Stage 8: Making it seem like an accident

Taber Andrew Bain / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: andrewbain

Duration: 2 days

When you realize that things aren't going as well as expected, you feel the need to tell everyone. Worse than being wrong is being ignorant.

Stage 9: Hyperlocalized growth (aka patchy)

Gavid Bowy / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Via Flickr: 2493

Duration: probably a few days... but maybe forever(?)

This can be a very frustrating stage. When things take off in one arena and slow down in others, you might feel helpless.

Stage 10: Acceptance and ownership over "patchy"

Robert Agthe / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: polarity

Duration: 1 day

For a brief time, you accept the disarray on your face. Beardless men from the '90s called it "grunge."

Stage 11: Scary dream about accidentally growing huge beard

Aaron Brinker / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: sahdblunders

Duration: 2-3 hours

Although your conscious mind is frustrated with slow growth, your subconscious fears the opposite scenario.

Stage 12: Friends saying it looks good but you know they're making it up

D. Sinclair Terrasidius / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: 24258698@N04

Duration: 2-3 days

Especially if they were the ones who convinced you to do it in the first place, your friends start voicing unfounded support. Their forced approval can push you to commit for another day, or push you over the edge.

Stage 13: Pushing

David Reber / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Via Flickr: davidreber

Duration: 10 minutes

Although it makes no sense, it kind of makes sense. If you've made it to this stage, you're in deep.

Stage 14: Playing with props

Elise Dicharry / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: 93574830@N00

Duration: 30-45 minutes

Whether or not you pull out the full-fledged beaver skin, you start thinking about ways to highlight your growth. This lapse in logic often features baseball caps, non-prescription glasses, and extra-high collars.

Stage 15: Near surrender

Gregg O'Connell / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: greggoconnell

Duration: 1 lonely hour

Things are bleak. Nothing's grown in a few days, and you wonder if it all has something to do with your upbringing(?). You lather up and almost do the unthinkable, but then you remember — this is when it all fell apart the last time.

Stage 16: Asking the internet for help

William Brawley / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: williambrawley

Duration: every morning for 3-5 days

The internet provides the answers to most of life's most difficult questions, so why not? Each bout of searching ends at the word "crustache."

Stage 17: Chin strap of concession

Jose Pesavento / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: pezz

Duration: 1 day

So as not to admit complete defeat, you try a day with a chin strap. It's a safe way to back away from the beard dream, and it gives people a day to get used to seeing your fresh face once again.

Stage 18: Returning to your roots

Joshua Rothhaas / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: joshuarothhaas

Duration: Until the next go-around

At a certain point, you realize that you might just look better clean-shaven. But for your journey, you are humbled.