All posts by Steven

From teen beard to year beard!

Michael was just a youngster when he first appeared on All About BEARDS as a teenage beard grower. Over the years, Michael has remained firmly committed to the beard, especially the full beard. Throughout the bearded period of his life, Michael has regularly supplied photo updates, documenting his beard journey here on All About BEARDS.

In 2021, Michael achieved two significant beard milestones. First, he started off the year by hitting the mark of being bearded for half of his life. Today he’s been bearded longer than he was beardless. Now his “beard time” keeps getting longer while his beardless time remains fixed.

In the months leading up to this first 2021 milestone, Michael had another beard achievement in the works. Starting on July first of 2020, Michael began to let his full beard grow freely without trimming for the first time ever. His goal was to achieve a year’s worth of unrestrained beard growth, informally known as a “yeard”. Michael reached his “yeard” goal on July 1, 2021.

Scroll down to read more about Michael’s beard story and his two major beard-growing achievements in 2021. All photos appear courtesy of Michael.

Michael: from teen beard to year beard!
Michael started out as a teenage beard grower. He’s remained a dedicated full-time beard grower ever since. And this month he has completed his first year-beard or “yeard” growing achievement.

Early this year your birthday marked a milestone of being bearded now for half your life. How do you feel about achieving such a long time of being bearded?

Yes, this year is a true milestone in my beard growing “career”. Though I rarely think of it as one, I suppose that it is somewhat of an achievement to stay persistent and consistent for such a time period, never giving up, and staying on the chosen path. All in all, it feels great and I will definitely keep going.

Did you have a special celebration to mark the occasion?

No, I did not. Not being the extroverted type, I rarely celebrate personal events. And with the recent year being quite rough, I did not have any special celebrations of the occasion.

When you started growing your beard as a teenager did you ever expect that you would stay bearded for such a long time?

I never thought of it that long term, or to be frank, at all. But I am quite glad it came out like this.

What was it that kept you choosing to stay bearded all along the way?

Since day one, the beard felt as I believe it should feel for a man — as a natural and integral part of me, of one’s look, feel, and essence as a man. This, what has always kept me going, is that authentic feeling of my bearded self. I cannot imagine myself in any other way.

Michael's beard in August 2020
Michael started his “year beard” or “yeard” with his pre-existing beard. He simply decided to let the existing beard grow unrestrained and untrimmed for at least one year. Here you see his beard in late August 2020, nearly two months into the process.

What prompted you to go for the year beard, aka “yeard”?

Firstly, the name is awesome, I must say. And I was not aware of it being a “formal” thing in our community. Secondly, regarding the yeard itself, it came naturally along the way. I used to trim the beard a little, once every few weeks. But last summer and autumn were quite busy for me with various occurrences. So I just missed one trim, then another, and then one more… And I saw that it was good. So about three-to-four months in, I just kept going until making a conscious decision to continue doing so.

Michael's beard in late September 2020.
By late September 2020, Michael’s beard had reached this size.

Your year-beard policy has been to let your beard grow unrestrained, without any trimming whatsoever, except for the mustache. How do you like having your beard so much bigger and longer now?

I like it very much! Having the beard fuller, longer, thicker, and pretty much unrestrained gives one a great sense of freedom. I love both how it feels and looks.

Michael's beard in early October 2020.
This is was the state of Michael’s growing beard in early October 2020.

Has anything surprised you about the bigger beard experience?

I never thought a beard could get that tangled and intertwined, ha ha. Sometimes it feels like a dense, yet very soft, little forest or maybe a plant of sorts. Regardless of how one describes it, the realization that it is a living “thing” is quite nice. Another thing which I knew before but haven’t experienced much earlier in my beard growing career is how soft it gets when growing this big. The thought of it resembling a small pillow crossed my mind before, but after adopting a cat it has been proven correct.

Michael's beard at the end of October 2020.
Here is a look at Michael’s beard’s growth progress at the end of October 2020.

Have you been pressured by any others to trim back the bigger beard?

No, I have not been pressured. Though here and there I did (and occasionally do) hear a few questions such as, “Are you going to trim / shorten it back?” But all in all, reactions mostly range from obliviousness to support and even amazement.

Michael's beard at the end of November 2020.
Michael’s beard had reached this size by the end of November 2020. The size of his beard is accentuated here by the flared shape achieved by styling.

Has this new growing experience changed your view of bigger and longer beards?

This wonderful, ongoing experience has not changed my view on big and mighty beards, which has always been strictly positive. What was added is a personal perspective on the matter — now it is no longer just an aspiration but my daily reality.

A closer look at Michael's beard at the end of November 2020.
Here is a closer look at Michael’s bigger beard by the end of November 2020.

What’s the best thing about the year-beard journey so far?

I think that the process itself, the coming of the beard, rejoices as much as the result, which is by far not even final. Seeing the beard getting fuller and more voluminous by the month warms a man’s heart…

This angle gives an appreciation of the new size of Michael's beard.
From this angle, the bigger volume of Michael’s beard is readily apparent. This view also shows off the height of his beard’s natural cheek line.

What are your beard plans now that you’ve reached your year-beard goal?

Keep growing it! I probably will trim a bit once in a while to keep things symmetrical, but nothing drastic, definitely.

Year-beard achievement day: Michael on July 1, 2021.
Year-beard achievement day: Here is Michael on July 1, 2021 with a full year’s worth of unrestrained growth added to his original beard.

Do you recommend that other men give the year beard a go?

Yes, very much so! I believe that every bearded man should give it a go, and see the full potential of their beard revealed before their own eyes.

Wider yeard: Michael's year-beard groomed for a wider appearance.
Here is Michael’s year-beard groomed to present a wider appearance.

How do you feel about having achieved your yeard?

It feels wonderful to achieve this important landmark, which I believe every dedicated beard grower should try at least once during their lives.I think such a trial of sorts is a real test of disciple, dedication, and firmness of character. It teaches calmness of mind and the ability to do what you wish, despite what anybody else might consider “right”. You should definitely give it a try!

Closer view of Michael's new yeard.
This is a closer look at Michael’s newly-achieved “year beard” or “yeard”. It’s been quite a journey from his original start as a young teenage beard grower.

Be sure to also see:

Beards on ice: Stanley Cup 2021

Ice hockey’s tradition of growing playoff beards is in full force right now as this year’s battle for the Stanley Cup nears the end. It’s a great, pro-beard tradition that always sparks a lot of interest in and enthusiasm for beard growing. Over the years, professional hockey has been a showcase of some fierce and legendary beards.

Whether the playoff beards help their teams achieve victory remains a subject of debate. What effect do the beards have on the players? A scientific answer to that question ought to be fascinating. After watching game four of the 2021 Stanley Cup finals, a friend commented via email, “…’the fierce beard look’ is in full force.  I have a feeling it matters and the players feel more fierce and intimidating on the ice.”

For the players, the camaraderie that comes from growing their beards can give the team a boost. However, it can be a little rough on players who are beard-growth challenged. They deserve a lot of credit and respect for putting up with some ribbing. And I don’t condone ribbing them at all.

For hockey fans, the playoff beard tradition is a can’t-miss part of the fun. It’s a great opportunity for fans to grow their own playoff beards to show support for their favorite teams. This phenomenon has been successfully used to raise money for charities on multiple occasions.

Bud Light, an official sponsor of the National Hockey League, put out this cool video tribute to playoff beards as part of the company’s “playoff beerds” promotion. Video: Bud Light.

This year Bud Light, an official sponsor of the NHL, has come out in support of playoff beards with a promotion to cut beer prices in US cities that are home to NHL teams. In a clever play on the spelling, the promotion is for “playoff beerds“. The longer a team’s playoff beards grow by advancing in the playoffs, the more money is “shaved” off the price of Bud Light in that team’s hometown. Fans in the US city of the ultimate winner of the Stanley Cup in 2021 will be eligible for a free twelve-pack. That means Tampa, Florida if the Tampa Bay Lightning prevail. However, if the Montreal Canadiens pull off a win, our Canadian friends will have to pay for their own beer.

Regardless of who comes home with the Stanley Cup, playoff beards are definitely a win for the bearded cause.

UPDATE: With a victory in Game 5, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup for the second time in a row. Congrats to the Lightning and their fans!

Healthy Man, Healthy Beard: Men’s Health Month

Men’s Health Month is June. It’s true! In addition, Men’s Health Week happens during June in the United States over the seven days up to and including Father’s Day. Men’s Health Week was signed into U.S. law on May 31, 1994, designating June 12 through 19, 1994, as National Men’s Health Week. Men’s Health Week has been observed ever since while expanding internationally and growing to encompass all of June as Men’s Health Month. According to the Men’s Health Network: “Men’s Health Month (June) is an annual awareness period designed to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems (mental and physical) and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.”

As this June comes to a close, it’s a good time to stop and and take stock of your physical and mental well-being. Strongly consider following up with your healthcare provider on any questions or concerns you may have or just to get an overdue checkup. Whether you are in the northern hemisphere heading into summer or in the southern hemisphere proceeding with winter, be sure to continue to make your health a top priority.

Whatever the season, if you’re a healthy man your beard should be healthy, too. Let’s look at a few ways to take care of yourself, including your beard and hair, no matter what kind of weather is headed your way.

Start up a hair routine

Healthy man, healthy beard: start up a hair routine to make your hair and beard look their best
Start up a hair routine to keep your hair and beard looking their best. Beard: Vincent.

Establishing a hair routine can help make hair care a familiar process that becomes a habit. You know that men need to give their hair and beards proper care and attention to look their best. Ranging from beard grooming and choosing the right beard style to finding the best hairstyle to go with your face’s shape, you have nearly unlimited options for creating your greatest masculine look. Keep your hair looking its best by using a good quality shampoo and conditioner. And maintain your beard in top condition by keeping it clean with regular washing while using an appropriate shampoo and conditioner as needed. Brushing or combing your sparkling clean beard will have it looking neat and sharp. Optionally apply some beard oil for a finishing touch. These simple steps are a great start for your hair care routine.

If you are among the many men who experience male pattern baldness, your hair routine may include using treatments to slow, halt, or even reverse the loss of hair. Called androgenic alopecia, male pattern baldness is hereditary and progresses with age. However it can be treated with the use of hair loss products. Early intervention and consistent treatment typically offer the best opportunity for positive results.

Improve your diet

Healthy man, healthy beard: improve your diet and improve your health, hair and beard
Improve your diet and improve your overall health and that of your hair and beard, too. Beard: Richard.

If your current diet isn’t the greatest, this is a good time to look into making some improvements. Set yourself up for success with a plan to keep healthier foods on hand and leave more of the unhealthy choices back on the supermarket shelves. A healthy diet is a key component of an overall strategy to make you a healthy man with a healthy beard. Making better food choices brings a number of health benefits, including having more energy, feeling better, and even improving the quality of your hair.

You can start improving your diet by minimizing the amount of processed foods you eat. Eliminate or greatly reduce other unhealthy food choices by replacing them with healthy foods that you like. Don’t forget to include food choices that improve the health of your hair. Be sure that your diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. These are familiar healthy options. Improving your diet is an important part of improving your overall health. You’ll feel better and look better. And you will feel better about yourself, which can give your mental health a boost as well.

Embrace exercise

Healthy man, healthy beard: Add exercise to your daily routine to improve your overall well-being.
Add exercise to your daily routine to improve your overall health and well-being. Cycling is a great choice for exercise. Beard: Brian.

Like improving your diet, adding physical exercise to your daily routine can provide you with a lot of health benefits. Yes, you should check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. It’s important to select an exercise program that’s appropriate for your age and current physical condition. Options include gentle activities such as yoga, cardiovascular training to get your heart pumping and blood flowing, and weight training to build strength. Walking, cycling, and swimming are great exercise choices that are easier on your joints than higher-impact activities such as running. Examples of age-appropriate options include exercise programs for middle-aged men.

Exercise can even lead to healthier hair growth. Get moving with cardiovascular exercise to keep your heart and veins in great shape. In turn, this improves your blood circulation which benefits your skin and hair.

Healthy man, healthy beard: Start up a hair routine, improve your diet, and add exercise to each day.
Healthy man, healthy beard: Start up a hair routine, improve your diet, and add exercise to each day and you’ll be on your way to being a healthy man with a healthy beard. Beard: Brian.

Now is a great time to act on Men’s Health Month’s message to pay attention to your health and take steps to improve it. Starting up a proper hair routine will get your hair and beard looking their best. Improving your diet brings great health benefits, physical and mental, and can improve the health of your hair. Making exercise a part of your everyday life provides even more health benefits and can indirectly improve the health of your hair. Take these steps and you can be well on your way to being a healthy man with a healthy beard!

Kellen’s big beard book success!

Four years after its release, Kellen Roggenbuck has sold more than 10,000 copies of his beard book for children, My Dad Has a Beard. That’s a great achievement!

Bearded dad Roggenbuck reports that his son Levi was the reason why he wrote this fun little book that came out in 2017. It turns out that Roggenbuck’s son isn’t the only youngster who is a fan of My Dad has a Beard. Building on the first book’s success, Roggenbuck has authored and illustrated another beard book and a number of non-beard books for children. Read on to learn more about his success in children’s publishing that all started with his beard!

Kellen's big beard book success: Kellen and son read My Dad Has a Beard
Kellen and his son Levi enjoy reading My Dad Has a Beard. Here they are seen together with the hardcopy edition of the book.

How do you feel about achieving sales of 10,000 beard books?

Selling 10,000 books is unreal. I had no idea this was going to be as popular as it has been, and it leaves me in awe, really.

Is 10,000 the combined total for both beard books?

My Dad Has a Beard, has sold 10,000 copies. The follow-up Great Beards of History hasn’t sold nearly as many. They are both about a bearded dad, but the original just caught on like wildfire!

How many books do you have out now?

  • My Dad Has a Beard: This was my first book, originally created as a gift for my son. It’s my most popular and well-known book. It’s a baby explaining about his father’s beard and why it’s so great.
  • Great Beards of History: A follow-up to My Dad Has a Beard, this is a collection of historical and pop culture icons with beards, listing silly facts and pictures. Sprinkled in between are facts about the narrator’s bearded dad and how he’s great, too.
  • The Awkward Dinosaurs: This is a colorful, super-silly book about made-up dinosaur species that are odd and awkward, but totally secure in who they are. The lesson is to be who you are and own it!
  • My Mom is Always Right: Meant to be a loose companion book to My Dad Has a Beard, this story is about a mom and daughter where the daughter is highlighting all the funny and meaningful lessons her mom has taught her over the years.
  • Off To Be Pirates: An Owl Story: This is a story of some baby owls in the Midwest who dream about being pirates, even though they are nowhere near an ocean, and learn about thinking things through and being satisfied being owls, which is actually pretty great.
  • Hard Working Mermaids: This, my newest book, is about mermaids who have traditionally non-feminine jobs under the sea. Filled with fun illustrations and ocean puns, this book’s lesson is you can be whatever you want and do whatever you want, regardless of gender.

Kellen's big beard book success: Author Kellen Roggenbuck proudly shows off his books
Proud author Kellen shows off the current set of children’s books he has written and illustrated.

Did the non-beard books come out after the beard books?

My first book was My Dad Has a Beard. The non-beard books came later. They are for those beardless parents and children to enjoy, too!

What was your inspiration for the non-beard books?

I write books to be funny enough to read every night for a week or two, since that’s what we do in my house with my son, and to have a positive message I wish more people taught their children. The inspiration for my non-beard books are self-love, being proud of who you are, and not letting people limit your potential.

Back to the beard books, what kind of feedback have you gotten from kids, moms, dads, and anyone else?

Parents seem to love the books because they are silly and offbeat, quirky enough to enjoy reading multiple times. Kids like the colorful pictures and the silliness, too. The beard books make great gifts, so many of the sales actually come from non-bearded people, and often non-parents.

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened as a result of writing your beard books?

My son still is funny about reading his “dad book”, even though I don’t look like the cover as much these days. I cut much of my beard off to wear a mask during Covid, and my son asked me if I had to make a new book now. That seems like a lot of work, to write a new version with every new beard style I wear…

How did you learn to create the illustrations for your book? Did you have prior experience as an artist or designer?

I illustrate my books on the computer. I’m 100% self-taught. Fifteen years ago, a friend and I had this notion we were going to get rich making t-shirts and one of us had to learn how to use this program my friend bought on eBay. That never really panned out, but I use my graphic skills in my everyday work and doing the odd graphic design job for friends. Illustrating is a different process for sure, but was a blast to figure out!

Can we expect any more beard books from you?

This truly is the question! Someday I may finish out a trilogy with something like The ABCs of Beards or something, but I haven’t started anything just yet. I hope the beard style stays strong enough to make it worth doing since I think that book would be pretty silly and fun to put together.

Is there anything else we should know about?

If you are thinking about picking up a book for Father’s Day or Christmas for your bearded friend, husband, dad, brother, or celebrity crush, I’d suggest getting both on a leap of faith — Great Beards of History is my favorite beard book and is often overlooked. The two make a great pair. They both celebrate bearded dads and are fun to read.


All of Kellen’s books are available for sale on Amazon. Click or tap on the following image to buy My Dad Has a Beard:

Click or tap on the following image to buy Great Beards of History! on Amazon:

While on Amazon’s pages for his beard books, click on Kellen’s name to see links to his non-beard books.

All About BEARDS is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Also see these reviews here on All About BEARDS:
Book: My Dad Has a Beard, featured image
My dad has a beard!

Book: Great Beards of History featured image
Great beards of history!

Photo appear courtesy of Kellen Roggenbuck.


His Biggest Beard Yet: William

How big will he grow? Attorney William’s beard story is one of perseverance and dedication. He resisted onslaught after onslaught of criticism against his beard. Yet he never gave up his beard to please his critics. For years now, William has been a proud and unapologetic beard grower. You will have a hard time finding a stronger supporter of the bearded cause.

Over the years, William has kept his beard modest in size. A look back through his previous photos here on All About BEARDS, reveals that as time passed, William has slowly increased the size of his beard.

Recently, the pandemic and its restrictions provided William with the opportunity to let his beard grow out bigger than ever before. We asked William to tell us all about his newest beard adventure. Read on to learn all about William’s biggest beard yet. Click or tap on any of the photos in William’s interview to view a larger version.

William's beard in 2019 and in April 2021
Left: William’s beard in 2019. Right: William’s beard in April 2021. The size difference is significant.

In 2020, with the onset of the pandemic and the many accompanying restrictions, what did that mean for your regular beard care and maintenance routine?

It didn’t change a lot in the beginning. I’d just had my regular barbershop visit when the “partial lockdown” started on March 16, 2020 in The Netherlands. I had a full beard, but much longer than from the year before. It grew longer and longer until June when the lockdown was “lifted”. In the meantime, I didn’t trim it a lot myself but chose to let it grow naturally. By June my beard had become a bit longer but not as long as it is now.

Under these new circumstances, how did you choose between maintaining your beard as usual versus growing your beard bigger?

I always wanted to grow it out, but never did. Because of work circumstances, I would keep the beard neat and well taken care of. For example, I have to deal with going to the tribunal for my work. So I wanted my beard always to be well taken care of. Meanwhile,  the longing and desire to grow it out longer had been my wish for a few years already. For quite some time, I felt a little checkmate in my choice and my feelings versus my state of showing myself to the “outside”. But I always chose the neatest yet strongest beard variant. And that was not the bigger length I have today.

William's beard in January 2021.
Here is William’s beard in January 2021.

Was it easier for you to let your beard grow bigger than to keep it the same as usual?

It was easier in the second half of the year. In The Netherlands the longest period of the lockdown (e.g. cafés, restaurants) started mid October 2020. In December 2020 it expanded by including the barbers and normal shopping. The start of the expanded lockdown was on December, 16th, the day of my new appointment for my beard maintenance at my barbershop. My prior visit had been six weeks earlier on November 4th. I thought again to give a try to grow it out a bit because it shouldn’t take long before I could have a new appointment when the barbers would be allowed to open. However, the government remained in their opinion to leave the barbers and hairdressers closed. So the opening in January never came. Then the opening never came in February. Finally the government announced that the barbers could open. I went to the barber on March 3rd, 2021 . Four full months had passed since my last visit. During that time, I cautiously took care of the most “wild” things of my beard. But when I looked in the mirror, the thickness and length pleased me. So I didn’t change a lot of that.

Eventually, did the decision to let your beard keep growing bigger result more from your preference for a bigger beard instead of the pandemic circumstances?

At first it was the combination…the fact of a fait accompli. I couldn’t go to the barber. So I had to wait for the next time. But later on, the delayed ending of the lockdown encouraged my curiosity and desire to let it further grow out. So the combination was still there but it was changing into my own desire to let it grow. The pics with the snow are from that time. My bigger beard felt awesome in those cold periods!

William's big snow beard is keeping him warm!
William’s big snow beard is keeping him warm!

Prior to the pandemic did you ever envision your beard reaching its current size?

It was a hidden desire. But I never did. I did not dare to do it because of my working situation, like I mentioned above.

Do you think you would have ever grown your beard this big without the pandemic happening?

It would have been maybe after my working period. That would be fifteen or twenty years later in life, but not now.

William's beard is appreciably bigger by April 2021.
By April 2021, William’s beard had become much larger.

What was the physical and visual experience like for you to have your beard gradually become bigger and bigger? Does the experience of having a bigger beard differ much from that of having a shorter and smaller beard?

Oh yes, the feeling of having a beard and being bearded is much more intense. The wind going through your beard, the look in the mirror, I feel myself as really more male. Of course, I felt this way it with my smaller beard, to a lesser extent. And I was happy with it then. A smaller beard is also a beard style that I still like. But this new big one is really awesome. And I have to mention, I have the beard genes to grow it out, and I am very grateful to have them. So I never doubted my “situation”. In fact ,I became more and more curious to grow out my beard even more. 

William's bigger beard. Be sure to see the volume of beard from an alternate angle in the mirror.
William’s bigger beard is seen close up from the front. The mirror view shows the volume of his beard from another angle.

Have you encountered resistance from others to you new beard size? If so, how have you responded?

So far there has been only one rare reaction. There has been nothing like what I encountered eight or nine years ago after I first decided to grow my beard. In fact, I noticed that people are now used to my choice to be bearded and growing it out more doesn’t make any difference to them. That’s very remarkable!

How do you like having your beard at this new size?

A lot! I want it to keep it this way and still a bit longer… Although I don’t want to be a Father Christmas. Hahaha…

You can appreciate the increasing size of William's beard in this photo.
You can appreciate the increasing size of William’s beard in this photo.

Do you plan to keep your beard at its new size, grow it even bigger, or go back to a shorter and smaller beard?

For the time being and that will be certainly this year, I plan to keep my beard in its new size. That means also in the summer period. My experience with hot summer weather is that being bearded gives me more the protection of coolness than of heat. And the length of the beard makes more people notice my choice, including men without a beard. One beardless man even indicated, “It seems as if you have a carpet under your chin. And actually I’m quite jealous of you. It really suits you.” A nice response, isn’t it?

William's beard here is definitely bigger.
William’s beard here is definitely bigger.

You recently visited your barber for some specialized care for your bigger beard. What did the barber do? How often do you see the barber to work on your beard?

I visit my barber once about every six weeks. Mostly he has taken care of my beard in its shorter forms. But now he is caring for my beard in its new, bigger form. I requested that he leave my beard longer. After viewing pictures of other men with big beards, my barber takes a lot of care to work on my beard with the size I now have. Another barber who was in the shop and not working observed his colleague’s work on my beard and said, “Man, you could go to some sort of magazine. It is growing into an iconic style with the thickness and the length. It really is awesome…” My barber then acknowledged the other barber’s words and confirmed my beard is now very stylish. At that moment I realized that my decision to give it a try and to grow it out was a very good one. I felt proud for my choice!

William's bigger beard: lookin' stylish.
William’s beard is looking bigger and stylish.

Has your big beard experience changed your opinion on bigger and longer beards?

No, I always thought of men with longer beards men as having courage and dedication to choose to have those beards. A big beard is a beautiful possibility to show your human way of being male. I always find men with beards are great examples; they are men who have a powerful, and above all, distinguished face and appearance. The inaccessible radiance of masculinity reaches its peak with a fantastic full, thick beard, when you have the opportunity to grow one. Then you are blessed, I think! And I am. I see that I really am.

William's bigger beard is seen here shortly after his barber performed some skillful work on it.
William’s bigger beard is seen here shortly after his barber performed some skillful work on it.

Do you think that more men should feel confident and grow their beards bigger?

Yes, but I also realize that circumstances may make it difficult for many to have the freedom to grow the beard of their choice. Partners may not like it. Relatives may not always be positive. There may be difficulty to grow it out when you have to face the different stages of less neat outgrowth. But where you have to go through it and above all is when men in your environment envy the bigger beard and do not want to allow yours because they cannot grow one themselves.

When I look again at my choice of being bearded,  and staying with this choice after a short ten years now, the negative comments no longer affect me and have disappeared more and more. Most people these days react with approval and admiration. So, I am happy with my choice and my style!  Overall, an excellent choice for then and for NOW!


Also see:

William’s beard feature: William’s winning beard

William's winning beard, feature photo 002
William’s winning beard

And see:

William: Today’s Beard

William, today's beard, 2017/03/14, featured photos
William, today’s beard, 2017/03/14

All About BEARDS For Twenty-five Years

Growing better beards, worldwide, since 1996!

All About BEARDS was launched on the worldwide web twenty-five years ago today. The mission has always been to promote beards and beard acceptance as well as to provide men with information, support, encouragement, and inspiration to grow the best beards possible.

All About BEARDS, a steadfast advocate for beards, is the world’s longest-running beard website. The site has never wavered in supporting beards regardless of the degree of popularity beards may have at any given time. A core principle promoted by All About BEARDS is that the decision to grow a beard should not depend upon the whims of fashions or trends. Each individual man always should have the right to grow his beard as he sees fit.

When All About BEARDS started in January 1996, beards were far less common than they are today in 2021. I’ve been promoting beards for the long haul, including long stretches during which beards were not exactly viewed as being cool. I’m proud that All About BEARDS was standing up to promote beards during times when not many others were.

In my twenty-fourth anniversary post last year, I shared some reflections on how far we’ve come in advancing the prevalence and acceptance of beards. Here at the beginning of 2021, beards are seen in numbers similar to those of one year ago.

While the bearded cause has come a long way, there is still a long way to go. Casual, everyday observation reveals that there are far more shavers than beard growers. It is heartening to see beards represented in large numbers in television commercials and in other media. However, it seems that in real life I don’t see so many beards out and about. I’d like to see a lot more growth in the number of beard growers. And the need to reduce anti-beard bias still remains.

Celebrating our past and a better bearded future

For All About BEARDS‘ tenth anniversary I created the following graphic to showcase some of the site’s highlights back then.

All About BEARDS tenth anniversary beard showcase image
All About BEARDS tenth anniversary beard showcase image from 2006.

You can still view any of the tenth anniversary highlights seen above by following these links.

Top row:

Middle row:

Bottom row:

During 2021 watch for upcoming special twenty-fifth anniversary content that you won’t want to miss.

Stay strong and grow your beard

All About BEARDS twenty-fifth anniversary image featuring Mike and John
Mike and John during a frigid, winter All About BEARDS photo shoot in Kansas City, Missouri

A better bearded future depends on you. Grow your beard. Encourage others to grow their beards. When possible, respectfully speak out against anti-beard bias.

This site is All About BEARDS and it’s all about adding more beards to the world. Grow your beard!

Happy New Beard Year 2021

One year ago today I was full of optimism for the new year and new decade. Before long, however, nothing turned out how I expected for 2020. I am not alone in experiencing the year that way.

Sometimes I wonder if I should not express optimism at the start of a new year. Too many times, years that started out brimming with optimism and new hope seemingly turned out all wrong. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s important to hold on to optimism no matter what. That’s what keeps us moving onward toward better days.

Look with favor upon a bold beginning.

Virgil

This quote from Virgil came to mind when I sat down to write this post. Every day can be a bold new beginning. New Year’s Day is always a good time for a new bold beginning. While the first day of 2021 may not be a complete reset from the final days of 2020, we can choose to approach it as a bold new beginning.

Look with favor upon a bold beginning: Chris and his beard

For 2021, let’s boldly grow our beards and encourage others to join us. Growing a new beard is a wonderful bold beginning. Don’t hold back. Grow your beard.

Throughout 2021, let’s always strive to do our best. Be kind to each other. Be helpful to one another. Go forward with a heart full of compassion, optimism, hope, and courage.

Today and every day I will “look with favor upon a bold beginning”. I urge you to do the same. Now I wish all beard-growers, beard fans, and their families, friends, and colleagues a happy and prosperous 2021!

Gentlemen, start your beards: It’s Not Too Late for No-Shave November 2020

What if you are still shaving this late into No-Shave November? All right then: Gentlemen, start your beards.

It’s not too late! You can still start growing. Sure, any time is a good time to start growing your beard. But No-Shave November is a great time to start a new beard. If you are a hesitant potential beard grower, No-Shave November gives you some cover along with justification and support for growing a new beard.

Even this late into No-Shave November you can still explain that you’re growing your beard to support the cause of men’s health, especially the fight against prostate cancer and suicide. To learn more about No-Shave November’s focus on men’s health issues, see No-Shave November: More Than An Opportunity To Grow Your Beard.

First-time beard growers during No-Shave November benefit from the strength in numbers provided by all the other new beard growers. New beard growers see that they are not alone in their beard-growing adventure. You feel less isolated when you see others growing new beards at the same time. You feel the strength that comes from growing as part of a group. This boosts new beard growers’ confidence and helps you stay the course.

John, full beard
Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate. Grow your beard.

All you new beard growers can become permanent beard growers. And you should! You will add to the ranks of established beard growers, increasing our strength in numbers. The more bearded men there are, the more common beards are. As beards become more common, people become more accustomed to seeing beards and being around them. With the increasing familiarity of beards, beards naturally become more accepted. As acceptance of beards grows, more men feel empowered to grow their beards. Remember, strength in numbers. Join us.

You don’t need No-Shave November as an excuse for starting to grow your beard. You should start growing your beard whenever you like. However, if you could use a boost of courage to get growing, No-Shave November is one of the best times to start a new beard. Go to our expert guide to growing your beard and start growing today! Then, be sure to keep growing through December and into the next year. Consider becoming a permanent beard grower. That would be GREAT.

Valentin: Continuously Bearded For More Than Ten Years

What’s it like to have a beard for more than ten years? Could you do it? Would you do it? Some guys give up on growing a beard after only a few days! Having a beard for ten years shows some serious beard dedication.

Valentin is a seriously-dedicated beard man.  Up until 2009, he gained beard-growing experience by going through phases with and without his beard.  Starting in August of 2009 with a completely shaved faced, Valentin grew his beard once again and has kept it ever since.

After Valentin reached the milestone of being bearded for a full decade, he reflected on his experience with us.  We proudly salute Valentin for being continuously bearded since 2009 and for his tremendous dedication to the beard!

How do you feel about your current beard reaching its tenth anniversary?

These ten years passed very quickly. I have a stable feeling about the correctness of my choice. There was never a desire to shave off the beard. With the beard I feel very free and natural. I’m so used to it that being bearded is completely normal for me. I do not notice my beard in everyday life. It is as familiar as the hair on the head. I even forget that I have a beard, while someone, most often preschool children, will express their thoughts out loud about my beard. Men, with all their restraint, mostly express themselves emotionally, appreciating and admiring my beard. I always ask them why they don’t wear a beard.

Valentin: ten years of beard!
Here we see how Valentin went from a shaved face to a big beard and achieved a full decade of being bearded.

Have you kept your beard about the same length and size for these ten years?

If you look at the photographs of this decade, you can see that for the first year or two, I wore a rather short beard. My barber once told me: “Why do you shave the lower part of the beard around your neck?  Let the beard grow naturally. Then it will look more voluminous.  The upper part of the beard hair will lean on the lower, and the beard will look bigger and more natural.” Then I looked at the photos, read the materials on your site, and realized that a full beard may not need a cheek line and neck line at all.

Following the advice of my barber, I stopped using scissors and a razor and decided to see what opportunities nature gave me, what a full beard would look like, and whether it suited me. I watched with interest the length of the hair of the beard and I liked it more and more. I discovered that I have a pretty good beard; it suits me. I don’t need to cut and shave it regularly. I just need to keep it clean and tidy.

I liked the full, big beard and realized that this beard is for me. At the same time I thought that I needed to determine my maximum size, the maximum size which would suit me. When the beard grew longer than twenty centimeters (7.9 inches), it seemed to me that the bottom of the beard became rarer, not clear, and not contrasting. I shortened my beard by six centimeters (2.4 inches) and went on a return trip:  I allowed my beard to grow again freely without touching it with scissors or a trimmer. I called it “a return trip” or “a journey back through the world of beard”.

Has your beard gotten any thicker over the ten years?

Probably not. The unhindered and free growth of all the hair produces a larger volume for the size and shape of the beard.  And the regular use of beard oil helps me to shape the larger volume of the beard.  It seems bigger and bushier, which I like.

What have you learned about being bearded during this time?

I, myself, and people I know are so used to my bearded appearance that it does not raise questions. Being bearded has become an everyday state for me. I have no problems with it. Instead of daily morning shaving, I have a standard daily set of beard treatments that are very simple. Definitely I have learned that I will never shave my beard again.

Valentin with his granddaughter: more than ten years of beard!
Valentin’s lovely granddaughter is a talented photographer. She happily serves as her grandfather’s official beard photographer!

Would you describe your beard grooming and maintenance routines?

To this question I have a very standard answer. It can be found both in your beard care tips and in other recommendations. Every one of us knows what kind of hair and skin he has. Depending on this, he selects shampoo or soap and the frequency of washing the beard. I wash my beard once a week with special beard soap. On the other days of the week I rinse my beard only with water during my morning shower. However, because the beard’s hair absorbs odors of the street very much, it becomes necessary to use soap again. In this case I use a neutral soap that is recommended for children. This soap doesn’t contain various additives that make hair dry, fragile, unruly. I tried various sorts of soap, but chose this kind.

After washing my beard, I usually wipe it with a towel, making light and slow movements from top to bottom. After that I put oil on my palms, rub it in my hair, and massage my skin. I comb the beard with a wide tooth comb from the top to the bottom. Gradually I use combs with smaller teeth. Combing is accompanied by stroking the hair with my hand. I give the desired shape to the beard and allow some time to dry the hair naturally. Sometimes when going out, I use hair wax for better fixation. However, when it is windy, it is impossible to keep my long beard in good order.

In your area, are beards seen more favorably now than ten years ago?

Yes, that’s for sure. The beard has become a fashion now in our country. Until 1700, all Russian men of different classes wore beards. Russian Tsar Peter I forcibly introduced beard shaving in Russia. Those who refused had to pay a large tax for the beard. And now the beard has returned to Russia again. In big cities, barbershops are opening one after another. Young guys, students, try to grow beards, which, due to their young age, are still growing poorly in the majority. But they want to have a big, full beard right away.  So they ask with a melancholy voice how to grow a big beard. Some of them rub some ointments into their skin or take medications hoping to accelerate hair growth. I think that many guys from the younger generation will become bearded men for life.

Are beards now more common in the area where you live than they were ten years ago?

Probably in all countries, small towns remain more conservative, and are more adherents of old habits and traditions. But with the current means of communication, when television, the Internet, and mobile communications are available everywhere, it is difficult to isolate oneself from the world. In advertising, in television programs, we now see men with different types of beards. The men of our small town try to keep up with the times. On the streets I can see more and more bearded men. Maybe these are their first timid attempts, but over time they will wear beautiful beards.

Have you encouraged or inspired other men to grow their beards during this time?

Over the years, a lot of guys talked with me about beards, asked questions of interest to them, and asked me to be photographed with them. I think it did not go in vain. Even my grandson, two years ago, after leaving school and entering university, began to wear a beard. Now our family has two beards.

What is the best thing about being bearded for ten years?

Joyfully and gladly I have worn my beard all these ten years.  It is a good feeling to be a bearded man. One man said after talking with me about beards that this is already my disease. I don’t know. Maybe it is.  But it’s just a sweet illness.

How has the world of beards changed over this ten-year period?

In recent years, the situation with beard materials has dramatically changed. This is due to the fact that the beard has become a real fashion among the male population. There was a need for more information. As a response to this need, many new websites about beards have appeared on the Internet. The advantage of  the beards.org site is its carefulness, deep insight into the problem, and a versatile approach. A lot of interesting and necessary material has been accumulated here.

There was a lack of good, high-quality beard photos before.  But now, with the development of photographic equipment, the possibilities have become different, and people can take pictures everywhere. The quality of the photos is different, of course, but there are plenty of them to choose from. And most importantly, there are many men with handsome and diverse beards. What a variety of faces and beards: one is better than the other.

Probably the most acute hunger for inspirational beard visuals and information has already been satisfied.  Now some other stage has come. Beards.org has accumulated a large amount of material here. On your site there are so many interviews in which the invaluable experience of different people is collected. They share their thoughts and problems, among which anyone can find answers to questions of interest. I remain a fan of your site. So I am happy to share with you the tenth anniversary of my beard.

Valentin: more than ten years of beard!

All About BEARDS is pleased to count on Valentin as a long-term, loyal friend of the site. Be sure to also see Valentin’s beard feature.

Now it’s your turn to grow your beard for ten years and more!

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!