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Westminster Whiskers

From peach fuzz to full lumberjack—how to tame your facial hair

by Arikka Von (MSC ’15)

Beards—a symbol of manliness, strength, and even honor throughout the ages. In modern times, facial hair has become a symbol for men’s health awareness during November. Westminster held its first-ever Movember (a marriage of mustache and November) contest last fall. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni were invited to share their best beard and mustache photos on Instagram with the hashtags #WestminsterSLC and #Movember.

Cat with fake mustache

Competitors included men, women, cats, and dogs. Their facial tresses ranged from wickedly waxed to stubborn stubble, purple polka-dotted pooch-staches, and faux Charlie Chaplin-esque fuzz.

The best whisker award went to Chris Weed, a BBA and MBA/TM alumnus who sports what he calls a business beard. Weed says he’s always had some sort of facial hair, but his style has evolved over the years by simply getting longer and longer.

“The one thing that hasn’t changed is I always try to keep it clean, so I always trim the sides, but I’ve only trimmed the length twice in the past two years,” said Weed. “I wear a suit most of the time to work, so I have to look professional. As long as I can get away with it, I’ll keep growing it.”

As the Business Development Director for HZO Inc., Weed travels the world meeting powerful CEOs and negotiating big-dollar deals. At first he thought his prominent facial hair might be a hindrance, but a beard has actually been good for business, especially overseas.

four girls/women with fake mustaches

“I was worried it would be a deterrent, that people would think I was a weird mountain man from America,” said Weed. “But I’ve been told multiple times it makes me more welcoming. I tend to have a natural scowl, so the beard is just more inviting.”

Weed’s beard has served him well worldwide as an icebreaker with new clients. It’s garnered him free beers at music festivals and complimentary desserts from beard-envying waiters. The well-coiffed whiskers have become Weed’s personal brand.

“A couple years ago I shaved before meeting a new client. When we met, he said, ‘I heard you had a great beard. Why’d you shave!?’ Now when I trim it too much, it feels like I’ve lost part of myself,” said Weed.

Weed’s beard has such a life of its own that he named it: Steve. Steve is an alter ego of mine from many years ago. I had shaved and taken off my glasses. My friend’s girlfriend thought I was a twin. So for about a year I told her I was Steve, Chris’ twin,” laughed Weed.

Keeping a business beard business-ready takes time and dedication. Chris Weed shares his maintenance tips:

Chris Weed
  • Blow dry. When I travel, I aways check to make sure the hotel has a blow dryer.
  • Keep it dry. If water sits on it, it can get really itchy.
  • Moisturize. You need to moisturize with a beard oil, or it gets itchy.
  • Comb it. A whale-tooth comb is best because the teeth are bigger and farther apart. A finer comb will pull and cause knots and split ends.
  • Stay tidy. Keep the sides trimmed and clean. A good rule for me is if I smile and you can’t see my teeth, it’s time for a mustache trim.
  • Eat wisely. Avoid Buffalo wings. And ice-cream is an absolute no.



About the Westminster Review

The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.