By Erin Way
Connor Fitzpatrick let his five-o-clock shadow become a four-month shadow. Kyle McKenna has let his hair do its own thing for the past four years. Both of these men had a ‘why not’ moment and let nature do the rest.
Back in November, Fitzpatrick grew a moustache to raise money for Movember. After the month was up, he decided to stop shaving altogether.
“It’s definitely the biggest,” says Fitzpatrick of his current beard. “I’ve done Movember for the past three years and I’ve grown a beard for maybe a month before, but not this long.”
Although Fitzpatrick has committed to his gingery beard for the past five months, he does not think he will keep it for the long haul.
“It’s not really summer compatible,” he says, laughing.
Fitzpatrick says he gets one of two reactions from strangers about his beard.
“People either say nothing or they are very obsessed with it — like, ‘Can I touch it?’ and stuff like that.”
Although Fitzpatrick has avoided the tedious task of shaving every morning, maintaining lustrous facial hair is no cakewalk.
“You don’t shampoo because, unlike your scalp, your face doesn’t produce the oils you need for your hair,” he says.
“I condition it, then I rinse it out, then I use Moroccan Argan oil to keep it shiny and nice, and I trim it a little bit.”
Fitzpatrick’s hair care routine is the opposite of McKenna’s. In fact, all his dreadlocks require is a daily shampoo.
Similar to growing-out one’s facial hair, McKenna’s transition into dreads was passive.
“My hair is so curly it just dreads together on its own. I didn’t do anything to get them.”
McKenna has had his current dreadlocks for four years, but this is the third time he has had dreadlocks.
“(The first time) was the first year of high school I started growing the ‘fro, says McKenna. “Then I evolved.”
As with Fitzpatrick’s beard, no stranger has ever commented negatively on McKenna’s unique ‘do. His co-workers, however, have been known to jokingly tell him to ‘shave and cut your hair.’
“I kind of keep it just in spite,” says McKenna, laughing, “But I look good with short hair, and I’m alright with long hair, too, so either way.”
Once his dreadlocks grow and become heavier and more annoying, McKenna says he will take the scissors to them. After all, he has before.
“The first couple times I cut them off it was like I lost a bit of my identity,” says McKenna. “Like ‘Oh shit, I’m not the guy with the dreads.’ But you know, it’s all good.”
McKenna already stands taller than the average man and his dreads make him even more distinctive.
Regardless of how much time they have had their respective hairstyles, neither man seems worried about cutting it all off.
As McKenna says, “You’re never your hair. So if it goes, it goes, you’re still the same person.”