All About BEARDS for 24 years: featured image

All About BEARDS for twenty-four years

Welcome to the home of excellent beards!

The above greeting was the headline on the home page of All About BEARDS when the site made its debut on the worldwide web on January 17, 1996. I started the site to take a stand:

  • to proclaim that beards are okay, that beards are actually way more than okay
  • to declare that beards are natural and worthy and should be embraced rather than shunned
  • to stress that beards merit respect, appreciation, and even admiration
  • to state that it’s all right to have questions about beards and how to grow a beard and to seek out information about beards
  • to provide much-needed information on the right way to grow a beard as well as helpful information on beard styles and beard grooming
  • to encourage and inspire men all over the world to grow their beards

Ever since that first day twenty-four years ago, the site has steadfastly remained true to the bearded cause. That was the start of All About BEARDS’ efforts to increase beard acceptance. The goal has always been to enable men to be free to grow their beards as they see fit.

Beard progress

Yes, beards have come a long way since 1996. In recent years and still today, beards are seen in far greater numbers and enjoy a lot more acceptance. Today beards are seen much more frequently in popular media than probably ever before. A notable indicator is the number of beards seen in television commercials. Back when All About BEARDS first started, it was highly unlikely to ever see a beard in a television commercial. Nowadays it seems that nearly every man appearing in a television commercial has a beard, usually even a full beard. That’s some beard progress.

In the years since All About BEARDS started, many more companies have eased or lifted restrictions on employee beards. Men in a variety of professions are growing beards and finding that their beards are not a detriment to a professional appearance. This represents great progress. However, plenty of employers still maintain outdated restrictions on beards.

Today beards are seen less like an oddity and more like an accepted, everyday thing. And beards these days regularly summon plenty of compliments from both women and men. Many a time I’ve had people go out of their way to compliment me on my beard.

That pesky anti-beard bias

Despite all the gains in acceptance and the increased goodwill toward beards, there remains a surprising amount of anti-beard sentiment. Lots of people still voice strong criticisms of beards with great conviction. They may claim that all beards are unsightly and unkempt. They may say that beards are unclean. They may say that beards are offensive or disgraceful.

Others may allow for beards, but impose their own restrictions, especially with respect to size or length. Some state that beards that exceed a certain length, sometimes as little as a quarter of an inch, are absolutely unacceptable and must not be tolerated. In most of these cases, they appoint themselves to decide whether others may grow their beards or to what extent these beards may be permitted to grow. They are also quick to insist that new beard growers stop that beard-growing nonsense immediately and shave. They can be unrelenting in their demands that new beard growers obey their wishes. All of this serves as a reminder that much more progress is needed to counter anti-beard bias.

All About BEARDS: 24 years -- Chris' beard
All About BEARDS: Growing strong for twenty-four years!

Do your part and grow your beard

When it comes to beards, I continue to stress that there is strength in numbers. This works in many ways. Overall, the more beards there are, the more common they become. As beards become more common, greater numbers of people become accustomed to them. With increased familiarity with beards, more acceptance follows.

Each bearded man has the opportunity to be a positive role model, improving the image of bearded men in general. Bearded men and beard fans should actively encourage other men to grow their beards. And those new beard growers should do the same. This increases the number of beards in the world and helps grow more acceptance of beards. Now do your part and grow your beard! Also share this post and encourage others to grow.

Many thanks go to all of the wonderful friends who have supported and grown with All About BEARDS during the last twenty-four years!

13 thoughts on “All About BEARDS for twenty-four years”

  1. Very good analytical post for the period of 24 years of the site. Great work has been done over the years thanks to your inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm, Steven. The site is made with great love for the cause, therefore it enjoys well-deserved popularity and respect. You summed up and outlined new prospects. It is good that, despite all the difficulties, you remain with us!

    1. Thank you, Valentin! Your kind and detailed comments are much appreciated! Of course, I always value your contributions to the site.

  2. I think what we’re seeing is the end of fad: shaving. Shaving was one of the longest fashion fads in modern history.

    In my experience being bearded, sometimes with chest or belly length beards, bald-faced strangers will frequently approach and tell me their beard story. Sometimes it’s a guy screwed with bad genetic who literally can’t, but overwhelmingly it’s a guy saying they once had a beard like mine but their girl or boss told them to shave or that they’ve never had one at all because someone won’t “let” them. Rarely do I ever get comments from a guy who actually dislikes facial hair.

    My anecdotal experience shows me that shaving is the real fad because people adopt fads to fit in and comply with expectations of others. That’s exactly what these stories I hear say. I believe we’re genetically built to want our beards, and these shaving demands are rarely made for the reasons cited (they’re usually highly vague, subjective, and unable to be proven). They’re made to exert dominance. If a man can’t make a decision this mundane in his life then what can he decide about his life?

    I’m glad to see this fad end, amusingly with Gillette’s hateful ad from 2019 putting an end to their reign of beard destruction too.

    1. Great points, Steve! I agree that shaving appears to be in decline. Too many men are realizing that they need not be prisoners of the razor. It’s about time!

      1. Very interesting articles about beards. I am a black man with a dominant full grey/gray beard. I live in the Washington DC area where it’s very political. I get the stares and I hear comments about my possible nationality and stuff like that.

        I am so grateful for this site and those of us that have enough character to grow a beard, having full beard doesn’t mean we’re not attractive!

        1. Thank you, Gregory. We stand with you! Congrats on your full beard! Thanks for growing it and staying with it.

          1. Hello Steven,

            Thanks for your vote of confidence very grateful to know we are now being excepted more than ever!

  3. Beards are a form of self expression and as such, a very personal thing. I don’t believe any man should ever use the excuse “my girl friend won’t LET ME grow one”! If it were a new convertible sportscar and you could afford it I bet you wouldn’t let her talk you out of getting that. We are men. And for those who can’t grow a beard or it seems a little patchy or sparse, find you a good barber to teach you how to accentuate what you DO have. Embrace the beard and be proud….but please keep it trimmed as to not be unruly. All it takes is one bad apple to spoil the bunch!

    1. Keith,
      Yup, you are spot on and I think those fellas should pull their bootstraps up and let the chips fly. With or without a beard you will be the very same person no matter what and depending on the style of beard one would choose to wear, can draw more attention to yourself. I get questions all time now about my nationality (smh).

    2. Great points, Keith! Similarly, after growing a new beard, don’t post a selfie on social media and ask whether you should keep the beard or get rid of it. Why leave that decision up to others? Instead, if a guy wants to post a selfie and get some feedback on his new beard, I’d recommend that he ask, “How do you like my great new beard?”

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