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Facial hair has been "in" for the last few years, with both men and women favoring the distinguished-yet-slightly-unkempt hipster vibe. But some people have been totally left out of the trend due to their inability to grow luscious locks on their chinny-chin-chins. That is, until now. According to reports, thousands of British men are finally able to achieve the beastly beards of their dreams after using a popular balding medicine on their faces, rather than on the tops of their heads.

We often discuss the media messages women receive relating to physical appearance, but it seems that lots of men are also self-conscious about not being able to live up to certain ideals. Clean-shaven faces aren't necessarily "out," but there's certainly something special about a gentleman who can grow a beard. Men aren't the only ones embracing hairier crazes, either. Bold brows have been en vogue for a number of years, while many of the most popular 75 million pet dogs that reside in the U.S. are renowned for their thick coats. So it stands to reason that men who are physically unable to grow much more than peach fuzz might be a bit envious.

Their solution? A medication called minoxidil. It's used for hair loss, which is a condition that affects nearly 35 million men in the U.S. alone. Usually, it's applied to the head and is typically marketed as Regine; it stimulates blood flow to the hair follicles and widens the follicle itself to allow hair to grow longer and thicker than before. Originally, the medication was used to treat high blood pressure, but the unexpected side effect of hair growth prompted the company to market the drug as the answer to male pattern baldness. Since about 47% of hair loss sufferers reported they'd spend their life savings to have a full head of hair again, Regine was definitely in demand. Now, thousands of men in the UK are using it to grow fuller, more beautiful beards.

Adam Siddals, who co-founded a Facebook group dedicated to this very cause, began using the medication in 2016.

As he explained to the Daily Mail: "I had a very patchy jaw-strap, a bit more hair on the chin, a tiny bit under my neck and a very weak, straggly mustache... It really bothered me, I was insecure about my lack of facial hair. My friends always used to tease me for having no facial hair... It sounds silly but I felt I had to prove them wrong. I remind them all the time that they are the reason I started using minoxidil."

Siddals used the medication for two years before stopping in July of 2018. He experienced no undesirable side effects, but he cautions others to do their research and to discontinue use if they experience some of the more serious health concerns associated with the medication's use (such as dizziness, drowsiness, and heart palpitations). Although other users have experienced minor reactions like itchiness and redness, which might be worth being able to grow facial hair -- especially since the global skin care market, which will be worth $180 billion in 2024, likely has products that can alleviate any dry skin that occurs as a result.

Experts do point out that hairs will stop growing once use is discontinued, but Siddals says he hasn't noticed any change in the nine months since he stopped. And in his Facebook group, thousands of members have shared their before and after photos while providing ongoing encouragement for others.

While the medication won't work for those who simply have bare patches with no hair follicles to stimulate, Siddals's story has given thousands of Brits hope for their own facial hair. And even though reactions to the medication may differ from person to person, it's given a new lease on life to many men who might otherwise be destined for a lifetime of being referred to as "baby face."

Orangetheory Fitness is the new official fitness partner of the Chicago Cubs, one of the most historic franchises in Major League Baseball. As part of the partnership, Orangetheory Fitness will host the World’s Largest HIIT (high-intensity interval training) Workout at Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison St., Saturday, May 18, inviting thousands of participants to raise funds for the ALS Association and the chance to beat the World Record for World’s Largest HIIT Workout.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Chicago Cubs,” said Brad Ehrlich, Owner and Chief Executive Officer, Orangetheory Fitness Illinois. “With now more than 50 Illinois locations, serving individuals from Wrigleyville to Springfield, we feel that our partnership will elevate the Orangetheory Fitness Illinois experience for our more than 40,000 members across the state. We are excited to work hand in hand with the Cubs to create engaging, experiential fitness events for Cubs fans everywhere and meet our goal to raise more than $500,000 for ALS.”

Planned activations and events for Orangetheory Fitness and the Chicago Cubs will include:

World’s Largest HIIT Workout at Wrigley Field – Saturday, May 18

On Saturday, May 18, Orangetheory Fitness and the Chicago Cubs will host the World’s Largest High-Intensity Interval Training Workout, with thousands of participants, comprised of Orangetheory Fitness members and coaches and members of the community at Wrigley Field. In an effort to raise funds for the ALS Association and break the World Record, guests will be invited to participate in a complimentary workout by providing a donation of their choosing.

ALS Awareness Night Presented by Orangetheory Fitness – Sunday, May 5

On Sunday, May 5, the Cubs and Orangetheory Fitness are teaming up to join the fight against ALS by offering fans a Special Ticket Offer for the Cubs-Cardinals game at Wrigley Field. In addition to a ticket to the game, fans who purchase a ticket through this offer will receive a Cubs and Orangetheory Fitness water bottle. A portion of net proceeds from the ALS Awareness ticket offer also will be donated to Augie's Quest, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for ALS.

Orangetheory Fitness-Style HIIT Classes at Gallagher Way

As the exclusive programming partner for HIIT workouts at Gallagher Way, Orangetheory Fitness will host outdoor classes at 7 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday, beginning May 13 and running through September 25. Guests of the classes will be able to get a full-body strength and cardiovascular workout with coaches in the heart of Wrigleyville.

Orangetheory Fitness to Team Up with Cubs Charities

Beginning in summer 2019, Orangetheory Fitness will partner with Cubs Charities in support of the Cubs Jr. All-Star program, which is designed to encourage kids be active and healthy while having fun playing baseball and softball.

Top Photo: Orangetheory Fitness Illinois via Instagram

When it comes to taking care of your family, one of the main things you want to do the right way is handling their medical needs. Most people recognize the importance of having a trustworthy doctor, but what about your dentist? Believe it or not, one in five U.S. children go without dental care. Dental care can be regularly looked over when it comes to maintaining overall health, but it's essential for keeping your kids as healthy as they can be.

So how do you find a dentist you can trust to provide the best care possible for your family? Dentistry is considered one of the ten most trusted and ethical professions in the United States, but you want the absolute best for your kids and loved ones; how do you sort through them all? Here are a few things you should consider when selecting a new family dentist.

Miracle cure, urban myth, or placebo effect? Here's what you need to know about these popular hangover cures.

For many Americans, alcohol plays a role in most major social events. But what might start off as a fun-filled evening can quickly turn into a morning full of regret. Despite all your best efforts, you wake up with a pounding headache and feel as if you've been run over by a truck. Now what?

Space is an unforgiving environment. Anyone who has ever seen The Martian or read up on the health hazards of weightlessness knows the risks astronauts take when they sign up for an extended stay on the International Space Station: from bone density and muscle loss to exposure to space radiation, the time spent on the massive station (its solar array wingspan is around 240 feet long) -- exciting though it may be -- is not without risk. But what about germs?

When Immune Systems And Solar Systems Collide

A great and many studies have been performed on how the human body reacts to extended time spent in the near-weightlessness of space, including how gravity impacts and distorts cellular fluids. For example, earlier experimentation found that spaceflight boosts the virulence (the disease-causing potential) of the food-borne germ Salmonella; since space travel already weakens astronaut immunity, this places significantly more risk on the health of the astronauts.

"By studying the effect of spaceflight on the disease-causing potential of major pathogens like Salmonella, we may be able to provide insight into infectious disease mechanisms that cannot be attained using traditional experimental approaches on Earth, where gravity can mask key cellular responses," explained Cheryl Nickerson, who made the discovery with her colleagues.

Vaccines In Space

Vaccines operate by pre-activating T-cells; they are able to react faster to block development of the disease because these killer cells are already geared up to protect us from invaders. Our immune systems are bolstered as a result, and -- as Nickerson proved -- are still a necessity even on the ISS, where astronauts are exposed to fewer pathogens.

The most common (and one of the most important) is the influenza vaccine: it's estimated that as many as 710,000 flu-related hospitalizations have been prevented since 2010 due to the efficacy of inoculations, and since there are no hospitals on the ISS, their administering is vital to its residents' health. By studying how the human body, living in zero gravity, responds to immunizations, further developments can be made regarding long-term space travel; the better we can safeguard the immune systems of astronauts, the longer they'll be able to stay in space.

Advancements That Could Take Us To Mars

Compounding on this immunology finding is the work of Dr. John Campbell, a lecturer at the University of Bath, and his team: they've discovered that living in space does not alter an astronaut's levels of B-cell immunity, the white blood cells that create antibodies to fight off infections. B-cells are companions to T-cells, so their unaltered state offers extra protection from outside invaders.

"Our results are good news for current astronauts aboard the ISS … and for all future astronauts who will attempt long-duration space missions," said Dr. Campbell, hinting at the possibility of a trip to Mars; since the flight takes three years to complete (around three times longer than the U.S. current record set by astronaut Scott Kelly), this kind of knowledge could take us one step closer.

New Year's resolutions are a staple to starting your new year off right. But when it comes to actually keeping your resolutions, it's common for your resolve to dissolve.

In fact, most people will break their New Year's resolution as early as January 12. That means that if you start on the first of January, you won't even make it two weeks before your resolve begins to crack.

And the numbers only get worse.

Garmin International and Disney are collaborating again, announcing the vívofit jr. 2 kid’s fitness tracker with Disney Princess-themed bands and mobile app. Aiming to be more than a fitness device, the vívofit jr. 2 provides kids with an interactive experience where activity unlocks adventure, helping to shape habits for lifelong health and fitness. The app provides goals which kids will want to tackle in order to unlock app adventures, games and step icons featuring Disney Princess characters Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan and Rapunzel. There's two Disney Princess-inspired design options available that are swim-friendly, feature a customizable color screen, and boast a battery life of over a year. Check it out in action via the just-released teaser below...

Six years ago, I celebrated one-year tobacco-free with a journal entry about my personal journey. Then, in 2013, I posted again, celebrating the two-year anniversary of coming clean (indeed, cigarettes are a drug), followed by another post in 2014 documenting year three, and how I couldn't get Philip Morris/Altria to leave me alone (they since have, but only after I threatened legal action). In 2015, I posted again, noting that little bits had changed, like Cracker Barrel restaurants playing into the hands of Big Tobacco (presumably) not knowing it, and the rise of the e-cig and vape crowd. This was followed by updates in 2016 & 2017, and today I am posting once again, as it's the seven-year anniversary of kicking the habit. As I've done previously, I am re-posting much of my original entry here on THE ROCK FATHER, along with a few alterations and timely updates. Philip Morris/Altria and R.J Reynolds: As I've warned before, with each passing year, the targets on the backs of your companies and leadership continue to grow...

March 14, 2011 is the day that I officially quit smoking. At some point on the night of March 13, I quietly took the last puff of the last cigarette in the last pack that I ever owned. Upon telling my wife that I was officially ''done,'' she took it upon herself to clean-up some of the ''smoker's mess'' that I'd created. The ashtrays of both cars were scoured. The sand-filled flowerpots that I'd strategically placed on my front porch and near my gardening shed were disposed of, along with a ton of stray butts that had made their way into the surrounding landscape over the winter months. The cleansing had begun.

Zicam Cold ConnectionsTHE ROCK FATHER™ has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; #ZicamCrowd

As we reach the end of one year and turn the calendar to another, we make our way through the crowded holiday season and into the open waters of what lies ahead. It's a time to show appreciation for those who do for us, but also a great reminder that it's worth showing appreciation throughout the year - not just during the festive season. The Zicam Card Creator at Card Isle is an easy way to send a digital greeting card to provide a message of thanks, some get well wishes or to simply let someone know that you're thinking of them. Here's one that I made for Santa. Yes, the Mighty Santa Claus!

Wednesday, November 08 2017 09:06

Taking Care of Others? Take Care of Yourself First...

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THE ROCK FATHER™ has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; #ZicamCrowd

Over the past few years, I've written at length about attempting to stay well, especially when juggling multiple plates. My wife and I are always on-the-go, and we, like millions of other parents, are constantly trying to balance our work commitments with our family schedules. My wife works in an office that's 40 miles from home. That means time on the road each day, and that in itself can add to getting run-down, especially as colder months arrive. I work from home, but travel a few times a month means early mornings, late nights (which can become early mornings) and interacting with a ton of people that we can call "variables" (who knows what germs they harbor!). Put everything together with getting our girls to-and-from school, along with Girl Scouts (Daisies and Brownies), karate, sometimes gymnastics, ballet/tap plus all of their off-shoot playdates, and there's a lot of people we're crossing paths with. Being sick puts a damper on all of that, and making connections with others can be a tricky thing when a cold comes on. It's uncomfortable on so many levels, but a reminder that as we spend most of our lives looking out for the care of others, you can't do that when you're not taking care of yourself. It's no secret that I reach for the Zicam® at the first sign of a cold, but now there's a new tool in my arsenal: Zicam® Cold Remedy Medicated Fruit Drops.

Sunday, May 07 2017 21:49

Why Do You Sleep? I Sleep to Rock and Play

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Presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Beautyrest with Life of Dad…

Sleep is a mysterious thing. Sometimes just can’t get enough of it, while other times you can feel like you’ve done too much. There have been times in my life where I managed to function on very little of it. In fact, I can even remember my first day on a new job, walking in to start a 5am shift when the guy training me said something to the effect of “Did you sleep well last night?” My response surprised him: “Actually, I haven’t slept yet. I will when I get off work.” It was a lifetime ago, but the reason for my lack of rest was that I’d played a gig with my band just hours before. As a parent, the whole “rock and roll lifestyle” just doesn’t cut it anymore, and I’ve become aware of my sleep habits, and have been trying to make the most of having proper rest. Lately, the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor has been a part of that.

Thursday, April 13 2017 13:33

Gearing-up for Spring Allergy Season...

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THE ROCK FATHER™ has created this post as part of a #sponsored series with Socialstars and Zicam®; all opinions are that of James Zahn. #ZicamCrowd

Now that we've pretty much finished fighting that pesky groundhog, sending him to retreat back to his hidden underground bunker (more on that here), spring is legitimately here, and that brings with it some new issues. Spending time outside when the seasons change is a favorite thing for me, especially since Spring means getting back into working on my yard and getting the gardening started. It can also mean more travel for me (I was just out in California again a few weeks ago), and on top of always attempting to keep the common cold at bay, now we have allergies in the mix. Spring allergies. In fact, I think of all the allergies, spring ones just might be the worst.

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