1. Can you tell our readers about yourself?
2. How long have you had your beard?
I've had my beard since I was in the 10th grade (circa 2002)
3. What was your motivation to grow a beard? Was it a matter of appearance? Religious belief? A combination of both? Or any other reason?
As much as I would have liked it to be for religious reasons, at that time it was more so due to appearance and because I felt it was a sign of growing into manhood. Later on, it became solely for religious beliefs.
4. Do you recall encountering obstacles to grow your beard?
Patching was and still is an issue, though I have the fullest beard out of my two brothers and I (and I'm also the youngest!).
5. How did your friends, relatives and coworkers react to your new look?
I became known as Ali, the guy with the beard. My beard and I became inseparable and there was not one without the other. That's how people saw me and identified me as and ever since my beard grew in, they couldn't imagine me without it.
6. Have you ever faced any negativity, discrimination or odd comments in regards to your beard?
Not so much that I'm aware of. I mostly receive positive comments regarding my beard. There were a few times I was told by others that I should shave or trim prior to a job interview to increase my chances, but I didn't pay attention to those comments.
7. Do you have a funny or positive anecdote in relation to your beard?
Actually, when I first begun using Elegance Beard products (beard oil and beard balm), my eldest daughter walked by me after I had used the beard oil and she stopped in her tracks and said "Daddy, your face smells so good!" That definitely put a smile on my face and allowed me to score some major dad points.
8. How do you care for your beard? Do you have a daily or weekly routine? Do you go to a barbershop? If so, how often? Are you loyal to one barbershop or do you try different places?
I wash, oil, and comb my beard daily. This helps keep my beard from getting tangled and knotted.
I do go to a barbershop and my barber treats my beard at that time also. As of right now, I go to the barbershop about once a month. I am very loyal so I go to the same barbershop and barber. A big shout out to Starting Five Barbershop
in Pleasantville, NJ and also to my barber Cj (aka Yasir aka @TalentedMrCj
), you're the man!
9. How important is fashion in your life? Do you style and shop for yourself? Where do you usually buy your clothes and why? What was the last fashion item you purchased?
I'm definitely the wrong person to ask about fashion. I keep it as simple as possible. A polo shirt or button up and some khakis is my usual style. I shop at wherever is the most affordable. The last fashion item I purchased was a pair of slacks (again, I'm the wrong person to ask about fashion).
10. What is your advice to those who would like to grow their beards? Do you have any beard tips or tricks?
Don't cut it or trim it. Let it grow in naturally and keep it maintained. Even if you have patches in your beard, don't believe the whole "If I shave it, it will grow back in quicker and thicker" theory. Just let it fill in and grow on its own and if it doesn't, just accept it.
11. Have you ever encountered anyone who thinks beards are dirty and thus needs to be shaved "clean"? What would be your answer to them?
I've heard of people who believe that, but no one has ever said that directly to me. Just as women have their own methods of beautifying themselves, I think a beard (for those who can grow one) for men is the equivalent of that.
12. Is there anything else you would like to share with our bearded audience?
For more information about Ali's works please visit his website AI Grafiqhs
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