It is rare that I have the privilege to interview someone who has never had a beard in their entire life. I was excited to see the fire in Jamal’s eyes and the fire in his beard when I asked him to talk about his maiden beard venture. After I asked him for an interview, I threw a blanket over his head and rolled him around on the floor in an attempt to snuff the flames from his new beard.
Me: I am interviewing Jamal Quattlebaum who is new to the beard world. Jamal, let’s first of all establish something. What is your name, because “Jamal” is not officially your first name, true?
Jamal: True. Brunson is my first name and Jamal is the middle.
Me: Brunson — is that a family name?
Jamal: Uh, no. It’s not actually.
Me: It’s just a completely made up name?
Me: May I call you Brunson?
Jamal: Yes, yes you may.
Me: I’m just going to stick with Jamal. You are new to the beard world, is that true?
Jamal: That’s very true actually.
Me: So the hair that I am seeing right now is completely new to everyone in your world – all of your friends, your family members, but in particular…myself.
Jamal: It is very new. I get comments about it all the time (proudly puffs up his chest).
Me: Now Jamal, you are an African American is that true?
Jamal: That’s very true.
Me: It is true. (Looking at Jamal) I am looking at you right now. What has been your trouble with beards?
Jamal: It gets kind of tangled at times and there is always something in it. Those are the main 2 things I am finding lately.
Me: Jamal, you are also a good dresser — you dress well. Do you find that you keep your beard more in check in relation to what you are wearing or do you let it go crazy and it just works?
Jamal: Definitely more in check with what I am wearing rather than just letting it go. It has to be combed out and straight looking as much as possible.
Me: Because you dress so nicely, quite sharp at times, have you ever noticed that your beard hairs get stuck in the zipper of your [fancy] jackets? Has that ever happened?
Jamal: Yes, recently it has. It felt like it pulled out 10 of them, but they are all still there. It just hurt really bad.
Me: Is that something that you make known to everyone around you or do you quietly jerk your head away from the source of the pain?
Jamal: I just quietly jerk my head away from it because it is slightly embarrassing to me, I don’t know why. I just handle the situation and move on.
Me: It is a little known fact that people with beards have to deal with that Their beard hairs get caught in their jackets and they just have to pull them out.
Jamal: That’s very true.
Me: Jamal, do you have any advice for new Beardies?
Jamal: Make it past the itching phase and you’re good. It just grows naturally and it’s pretty great. Stick through it.
Me: Jamal, because you are such a stylish fellow, do you find that the shape of your beard matters? Are you looking at ways to craft it or are you just letting it grow wherever the hair is?
Jamal: The shape of my beard does matter. I want to keep it trimmed and neat as well as keeping it established as a beard and not a ridiculous moustache.
Me: I can tell that you take very good care of your beard. Welcome to the beard world. (Proudly shaking his hand) Thanks Jamal or Brunson or Quattlebaum.
Jamal: Thank you.
To get to all of the nuggets out of this conversation with Jamal, double-click below for the full interview.