Bigen. Pronounced “Beijing.” Sounds almost magical.
“Bigen Blackout.” That’s what the hood calls it. A mystical mix of chemicals whipped up and applied to hair, and like magic—or Magic Marker, as it were—beards look blacker, more asymmetrical, and hair looks thicker and fully restored.
In a layman’s hands, Bigen is nothing more than semipermanent hair dye. But in the hands of a master barber, Bigen becomes a fountain of inky youth applied in such a way that a razor-sharp hairline can be shaped and manipulated, or tufts of hair sprouted on the face look like a full mass of beard. Hairlines are sculpted tightly back into their starting blocks; beards become so sharply angled that pro skiers would be wary of those slopes.
The roots of Bigen are thick. Some would argue that its use as a hair alternative started in Atlanta. Others would say that the trend of using Bigen to enhance a beard became popular in Philly. And, as with most things related to blackness, there are those who believe that New York is responsible for Bigen’s new growth.
Merely mentioning this could have me outed from the Black Men’s Club, but the truth is that people have been aware for some time that Jamie Foxx’s hairline didn’t just return to its 14-year-old glory by itself. And people have wondered why at one point Carlos Boozer’s hair and beard curiously looked like a 7-year-old girl’s Sunday church shoes.