I am trying to grow a soul patch. But even though I can grow a beard and a mustache, the area from my chin to my bottom lip is stubbornly hairless. Would Rogaine or some similar product stimulate facial-hair growth?
D. M., Chicago, Ill.
Dear D. M.,
Rogaine is not approved by the FDA for use anywhere other than the top of your head. That said, it could indeed work on your bare patch, but be warned: Rogaine (which is the brand name for Minoxidil) could cause acne, or cause un-beard-like hair to grow where coarser beard hair normally would. And the Minoxidil might spread to other parts of your face, causing hair to grow where no man wants hair to grow, including just beneath the eyes. Also, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after applying Rogaine. Numerous fake studies suggest it will cause hair to grow on your palms, leading your family and friends to believe you suffer from another male-specific syndrome. Your deeper problem, if I may be so bold, is that you desire a soul patch. Unless you are a John Coltrane–quality saxophonist, a soul patch will telegraph to the public not that you are “hip,” but that you might be the sort of man who would contemplate wearing a thumb ring.
I’m a typical liberal, but I have a soft spot for patriotic songs. In particular, I love “Proud to Be an American,” by Lee Greenwood, even though portions of it are grammatically incorrect. I am definitely proud to be an American. So why am I so self-conscious about enjoying this song?
G. B., New York, N.Y.