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Beards are back and making impressions once again

Dear Readers: Beards are back. Maybe it’s a result of being at home for over a year, but beards are here! Let’s look at this facial hair phenomenon.

Growing a beard can free up time. Experts tabulated that the average clean-shaven man spends the equivalent of almost 140 days of his life shaving!

A partner may find a man more attractive with a full beard, or a little stubble. Again, with those experts doing their research! Bearded men are perceived as more dominant and masculine, more responsible, more mature and more fatherly, too.

Beards can help prevent sunburn, and having a beard can protect the skin underneath from aging. A beard can filter out harmful ultraviolet light. (Sunscreen is necessary, though, on the nose, cheeks and forehead.)

The theory that beards are dirty and germ-ridden? Not so much, as long as the beard is washed in the shower.

The beard is back; scruffy is the new yuppie! — Heloise

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Dear Heloise: What do your readers think about the new trend of open shelving, especially popular in kitchens? My thought is, you better be super-organized and matchy-matchy, or your kitchen can look junky! It’s not only a bad look, but that can drain the energy out of you in a heartbeat. — Melissa C. in New York

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Dear Heloise: I need your advice regarding showerhead cleaning. — Jerry P. in California, via email

Jerry, happy to help. Minerals from hard water can clog the holes of your showerhead, leading to reduced water pressure. If you can remove the showerhead, cover it in a bowl of hot vinegar. After the vinegar has dissolved the buildup (1-2 hours), use an old toothbrush or toothpick to loosen any remaining debris.

If you can’t remove the showerhead, secure a sturdy plastic bag filled with vinegar over the showerhead with the holes submerged. Leave overnight, then loosen any bits with a toothpick.

Caveat Corner: Your showerhead may have a finish on it that vinegar can damage (remember, vinegar is an acid). Check with the manufacturer.

Vinegar is a workhorse in the home. Safe, cheap, and readily available, I’ve reached for it time and time again. I’ve compiled my favorite vinegar hints, helps and hacks into a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? It’s easy! Visit www.Heloise.com to order, or send a long, stamped (75 cents), self-addressed envelope together with $5 to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Look for cleaning vinegar in the laundry aisle. Its acid content is higher, for a more powerful clean. — Heloise

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Dear Heloise: I enjoy frozen chicken pot pies, but the 10 oz. size doesn’t quite fill me up. While the pie is baking, I cook extra vegetables (carrots, squash, broccoli).

When the pie is done, I break open the top crust and add the extra vegetables plus some parmesan cheese, and the pie is then the right amount for me. — Thomas L., Long Beach, Calif.

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