Frog Twissell is clean cut for the first time since he last shaved off the beard in the late 1980s. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

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In the late 1980s, while travelling in France, Frog Twissell had his car broken into and his beloved razor stolen.

The Nelson man has not shaved since that fateful day.

Over the years, Frog kept his fantastic facial hair growing and, by the time he walked through the doors of Stormy’s Man Cave on Saturday, his beard had grown down to his chest. But even before then he has always sported some pretty impressive facial hair.

However, spurred on by his wife Hazel, Frog is now set to join the Nelson Volunteer Fire Brigade.

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“It sounded like an interesting challenge so I thought I would give [volunteering] a go.”
So that beard has become a safety hazard.

To avoid a painful singeing of his beloved beard, Frog was faced with the difficult decision to shave it all off.

Frog farewelled his luscious beard, which grew down to a ‘professor’ on his ‘beardometer’ in front of friends and family.

Barber Shawn Stormann did the honours, working Frog’s beard down to a manageable size with a pair of clippers before opening up his long forgotten pores with a hot towel.

Then came the razor. Frog didn’t seem surprised to see the blade that had eluded him for almost 30 years.

He hid any emotion as the folicles hit the floor.

However, after the process had been completed Frog’s family were indeed shocked to see their loved one had a face, after being hidden for years beneath the dense scrub.

The 53-year-old says he had his moments of sadness leading up to the big shave.

“They came and went.”

However, he had the bigger vision of the volunteer fire fighters on this mind.

Instead of grieving for his lost fluff, Frog says that the biggest change will be getting comfortable with a razor again.

“Having to shave every day will be a big adjustment,” Frog says.

“That will be the only difference on the inside.”