Dig Baton Rouge

Bye, Bye, Beard

By Cody Worsham

The autumn air feels cooler on Logan Leger’s face than it has in some time. That’s because the Baton Rouge engineer/entrepreneur is beardless – for the first time in six falls.

Leger, the founder and CEO of local web development and branding company New Aperio, decided a few weeks ago to wish his whiskers goodbye for love’s sake.

“My girlfriend has never seen me without facial hair,” he said. “She told me, ‘Before we get married, I want to see what you look like without facial hair.’ She wanted to know what she was getting herself into.”

As a result, Leger prepared a face fuzz farewell. But saying goodbye to six years of beard would prove to be no small task for Leger, who described his beard as “the kind of beard that makes friends, scares small children, and gets me profiled by the TSA for ‘secondary screening.’”

So, of course, Leger – “in a moment of mind-beard melding” – ­decided to make a grand gesture of the great shave.

“The beard has a personality,” he said. “It’s as well known as I am. It’s part of who I am, part of my brand. So I decided to shave my beard for charity.”

Leger’s charity of choice was Triumph Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by Chris and Sommer Wadsworth that trains at-risk teens in restaurant skills and helps place them in jobs upon graduation from the program. Leger set a goal of $2,500 on a GoFundMe.com page – enough money to put one student through one semester at Triumph – offering incentives ranging from Twitter shoutouts to beard-naming rights.

“Chris is a personal friend of mine,” he said. “I’ve gotten to know the charity really well. I’ve seen firsthand the impact they’ve had and how impactful their program really is.”

The triumphant trimming was to take place in Town Square Downtown, with a large celebration featuring food from Triumph Kitchen, but fate had other plans. A week or so after Leger launched his GoFundMe page, he received a call from the producers of “The Steve Harvey Show.” They were seeking couples for a weeklong series called “Makeover My Man” – in particular, women who had never seen their male significant others without facial hair – and a quick Google search brought them to Leger’s page.

And the rest – like Leger’s beard – is history. Friday, friends will gather for a watch party at Doe’s to see Leger’s crumb-catcher make its cable curtain call, and if Leger is seen eating one of the restaurant’s famous steaks with a big smile on his bald face, don’t judge.

“Before, with the beard, eating is a big deal,” he said. “You have to clean your face off. I’m excited about eating food again without having to totally wash my face afterwards.”



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