All posts by Steven

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!

2020: Happy new beard year and new beard decade!

Every year should be the year of the beard. And every decade should be the decade of the beard. So let’s make it official. From here on out, every year is the Year of the Beard and every decade is the the Decade of the Beard: each one stronger than the one before. Let’s keep it that way by continuing to grow our beards and encouraging all others to grow their beards. There is strength in numbers. The more beard growers there are, the better it is for all beard growers. While beards are more commonly seen these days than they have been for a long time, we still have a long way to go and grow!

Beard acceptance and even beard appreciation are on the rise. But the old anti-beard bias still persists, often more than you might think. Anti-beard bias may pop up unexpectedly at any time and anywhere. One way to fight anti-beard bias is simply for more men to grow their beards. As beards become increasingly more common, increased acceptance generally follows. More and more people see beards as something normal. And as beards are viewed more and more as something normal, they arouse less suspicion or negative thoughts.

Vincent: grow your beard.
Take a stand for the bearded brotherhood and grow your beard!

Another way to deter anti-beard bias is to politely and respectfully challenge it whenever it arises. View this as an opportunity to maybe change someone’s negative opinion of beards or at least to get them to re-examine their perspective on beards. If someone makes a negative remark about your beard, the beards of others, or just beards in general, ask them why they hold such negative views towards beards. See if you can engage them in a constructive conversation and get them to reconsider their bias against beards.

Meanwhile, let’s continue to grow, grow, grow our beards and encourage as many others as we can to grow theirs. Keep this up and every year will be an even better year of the beard and every decade will be a better decade of the beard than the one before.

If you started growing your beard for No-Shave November and shaved already, start growing again! If you haven’t yet started growing your beard, start today! The beginning of a new year is always a great time to start growing your beard. Really, any day is a great day to start growing your beard. Just make the decision and commitment and start growing.

All about beards has been helping men all over the world grow better beards since 1996. Be sure to grow your new beard the right way by following our tried-and-true guide on how to grow a beard.

Happy beard-growing and best wishes to all for a wonderful new year 2020!

The mysterious disappearance of Jimmy’s beard

Jimmy, our favorite avid beard-growing attorney on a Mediterranean island, is famously dedicated to his full beard. Jimmy’s full beard is a hallmark of his appearance. So when one day it suddenly was gone, what could have happened? I had to investigate this baffling mystery. To get answers, I directed my questions to the source, Jimmy himself.  Read below to learn what happened and see a series of progress photos in Jimmy’s new beard growth photo album.

Abundantly bearded: Jimmy.
Attorney Jimmy is normally fully bearded in abundance.

I thought you were clearly happy with and proud of your beard. What led you to rid yourself of your illustrious beard?

It was more a necessity than a choice because of minor issues with dry skin. I felt I needed the skin on my face to re-balance and, although products do help, I have been raised on an island that believes in fresh air and sunlight and that idea is too ingrained in my personality to ignore.

Jimmy is seen here with his usual luxuriant full beard.
Jimmy’s usual appearance features his luxuriant full beard.

Did you reduce your beard in size before the shave?

I took it down gradually, starting the shortening process about three weeks before the actual shave down to a stubble. The reason was for me to transition slowly into the drastic change since when I did the same some years ago, I had gone straight down from a full beard to stubble and the change was shocking to the point where I could not enjoy the re-growth; I was just anxious about it.

What was the process you used for the beard shave-off?

The fact that the beard was considerably long demanded that the shave-down take place in stages. This was to avoid the pain of pulling hairs, mostly, but also to secure the stubble look I was after. I didn’t want to go full clean face with a traditional blade shave. Henceforth, I started trimming off the length over some weeks.  Also this was for me to get used to the shortening, until it was short enough that I could go right in and trim it off to a stubble, always using a trimmer. The trim-down also gave me the opportunity to treat the skin on my face with some good skin products and to assess the situation. I am happy to report that the skin was, and is, in very good shape, hence the re-growth commenced the day of the shave-down!

How did you see yourself when the beard was gone? How did you feel about suddenly being beardless?

Shocking! And way too young! I must be one of a handful of people in the world who actually prefer to look older than their years. Perhaps this is also because in my profession experience is still attributed to age. So the shave down brought about a drastic change in appearance which I cannot say I liked, or like, but which I knew was necessary. The fact I trimmed the length down in stages did, however, help in reducing the shock factor I had experienced in the past and helped me enjoy the short-beard look while it lasted!

Jimmy's beard after a few days of re-growth.
Here’s Jimmy’s beard in the early stages of re-growth. Be sure to scroll down for the full set of beard re-growth progress photos.

You are growing the beard back soon, correct?

The re-growth process started the day of the shave-down. I shaved down intending to re-grow straight away. So it was a matter of necessity and responsibility towards my facial skin, too. I do use skin products while I am fully bearded but I do feel that the application thereof is not as easy with a beard as long as mine was.  So I know my skin appreciated the effort.

Are you eager to resume your full-bearded status?

I am! And always will be! The full beard is my aesthetic and I cannot quite see myself without any sort of facial hair any time soon.

Do you have any specific plans for your new beard?

I am aiming at a tapered-at-the-chin look which I have had before and which I feel suits my face and gives me added character. What I do wish is for my beard to go whiter at the same fast rate as my hair is.  But it seems to be taking its sweet time!

How long did you have your beard prior to your recent shave?

I am actually not entirely sure since I’ve had some form of facial hair for a very long time. But I think I’ve become more aware of my “bearded-man” status in the last six years. This does not mean I would not be trimming my beard and experimenting with styles.  But it’s been a time when I certainly had a full face beard rather than just a goatee or ‘stache and also an actual beard, never having gone down to a stubble in said period of time prior to the recent shave.

What was the biggest or longest you let your previous beard grow before the recent shave?

The longest my beard has ever been is five inches on the chin but shorter on the sides of my face (about two inches on the sides). The reason I’d have the sides shorter is to decrease volume and take the full beard from a spherical shape beard to a more tapered look. I loved the length and I am thinking I might go that long again with this current growth. In fact, since the last shave down to a stubble I’ve not touched my beard in any way, no trim, no shaping; just pure growth into a spherical shape until I feel there is enough length to taper it at the chin in the look I wish to achieve.

Jimmy's bigger beard.
Here is Jimmy’s beard at one of its bigger sizes.

How did you like your beard at its biggest or longest?

Better! The only reason I shaved down (and to a stubble no less!) is because I felt I needed my facial skin to be exposed to sunlight and also more air. I was having some minor issues with dry skin on my chin and shaving down helped. But I much prefer the full beard and I feel it is such a big part of my aesthetic now that I feel a lack in my identity without it; no matter what anyone else has to say about it.

Jimmy’s new beard growth photo album

From day one to eight weeks and a day, here are photos of Jimmy’s new beard growth progress.  Click on or tap any photo below to view a larger version and for the number of days of growth.

Jimmy’s beard mystery solved

Jimmy reminds us that taking care of one’s facial skin is important. A healthy beard grows out from healthy skin. By trimming his beard down to the stubble, Jimmy could give his face’s skin all the best care it was needing. With his dry skin issues quickly addressed and his facial skin fully refreshed, Jimmy was well prepared to take on his next big beard-growing adventure.

The disappearance of Jimmy’s beard came as a shock, especially because he is known to be fiercely dedicated to carefully maintaining his full-bearded appearance. But he had a good reason for taking such drastic action. Jimmy shows us just one example of why a dedicated beard man might need to temporarily shave off his beard.

Shaving off a well-established beard sounds unthinkable. However, it doesn’t have to be permanent. It just opens up the opportunity to grow out the beard again. And if you ever find yourself needing to shave off your beard for whatever reason, follow our expert guide to shaving off your beard. Just be sure to grow your beard right back again — like Jimmy!


Be sure to also see Jimmy’s beard feature interview and photos:

Jimmy's excellent, strong beard, featured image
Jimmy’s excellent, strong beard

No-Shave November: more than an opportunity to grow your beard

It’s November. Make that No-Shave November.  In the United States, Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  No matter where you are, 2019 is nearing its end.  The next couple of months are a favorite time of year for many thanks to the holidays and traditions of time spent with family, surrounded by laughter and good food. It’s also when No-Shave November rolls around.

Now is the time when we can all get on board to help raise awareness for men’s health, including men who are battling cancer along with the common side effect of hair loss associated with their treatments. No-Shave November is a great way for us to join together, similar to American Heart Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in February and October, to support those living with illness.

What is No-Shave November?

A lot of guys may not be aware of what No-Shave November is really about. Some see it as an opportunity to save time each day by not shaving and maybe gaining a little extra sleep every morning. Others  just think November is a month to let their beards grow because the weather might be getting colder.  Or they might see it now as the traditional month to start growing a new beard.

Of course No-Shave November offers the perfect excuse for growing a new beard.  But the real purpose of No-Shave November is to support men fighting prostate and testicular cancer and to prevent men’s suicide.  No-Shave November means raising awareness about men’s health and the importance of early detection and prevention. To do this, men are encouraged to grow out their facial hair as a symbol of support and donate the regular costs of grooming to the cause.

No-Shave November: more than a beard, featured image 2 -- Chris

Why is it important?

Men’s health is often brushed aside. But the causes that No-Shave November support are important concerns for all men.

Prostate cancer begins in the prostate gland where it may grow slowly or it may grow aggressively and spread quickly to other organs and tissues. About one in nine men will be diagnosed with this disease in their lifetimes, making it one of the most common cancers for men. Early detection is key for the best treatment outcomes.

The Mayo Clinic classifies testicular cancer as being relatively rare. Yet it is the most common cancer for American men between the ages of 15 and 35. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor to see if you should give yourself regular testicular self-exams to aid in early detection.

No-shave November men's suicide prevention: crisis counseling sign
Never let suicidal thoughts overtake you. There is always hope and there is always help, even if you feel that there is none. Resources are available. Please reach out to someone for help.

Men’s suicide rates are alarmingly high.  It’s a disturbing crisis that is difficult for many to acknowledge. Reports indicate that women are more likely to think about suicide while men are more likely to carry it out.  Recent data revealed that men died by suicide 3.5 times more often than women. If someone you know is in crisis, reach out to help connect them with resources to prevent a potential tragedy.  In the United States if you are in crisis, or know someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime, 24/7, at 1-800-273-8255. In other countries, please seek out appropriate suicide-prevention resources.

What if you can’t grow a beard?

Growing a beard fit for a lumberjack isn’t always realistic. Some guys have never been able to grow one. If that’s you, don’t worry. The lack of ability to grow a beard is genetic and you just can’t help it.

One way you might participate in No-Shave November is by letting the rest of your hair grow for the month.  For some, that option presents its own challenge.  As we get older, it can get harder to grow our hair like when we were younger.  And even young guys may experience male pattern baldness much earlier than they might have ever expected. Unlike the inability to improve beard thickness, you can treat hair loss, if it’s right for you, with a doctor’s prescription for male pattern baldness. This could help you show your support for the No-Shave November movement without having to stress about lacking the genetics for beard-growing.

Another way to participate in No-Shave November if you cannot grow your own beard is to suggest to beard-capable men that they grow their beards.  Encourage them to grow and support No-Shave November themselves.

What if you already have a beard?

If you’ve already got a beard and are a pro at beard growing, don’t scoff at No-Shave November as “amateur beard month”.  Encourage all the first-time beard growers out there and welcome them as newcomers to the bearded brotherhood.

Not a necessity, but a way to make a big statement would be to shave your beard and start growing again.  You can think of it like that old saying which states that the only reason to shave off your beard is to experience the pleasure of growing it out again.

No-Shave November: more than a beard - photo of John's beard
Bearded already? Give encouragement to the rookie beard growers and recruit others to grow their beards for No-Shave November!

Even if you’re already fully bearded and opt not to shave and regrow, you can participate in No-Shave November by reminding everyone that it’s all about raising awareness about men’s health issues.  Amplify your participation by recruiting others to participate  as well.

How can you support the cause?

Be a leader. Don’t be afraid to keep the conversation going around these significant men’s health issues. Keeping the focus on men’s health issues helps to press  for needed research to improve treatments and prevention.

Taking part in No-Shave November is a great way to show that you stand for something. People will follow you. People will want to hear your story and know what you represent.

Relevant charities

Two relevant No-Shave November charities are:

You can check them out on Charity Navigator to learn about how they rate as charities:

When the month ends

Although No-Shave November ends at the month’s close, your support doesn’t have to end. Spreading your message, beliefs, and support for those fighting prostate and testicular cancer as well as men’s suicide can be a year-round effort.  And the end of No-Shave November does NOT mean that you automatically should resume shaving.  Keep growing your new beard!

To continue the mission of No-Shave November, consider volunteering at your local hospital or participating in races or walks that support men who continue to fight these awful diseases.

If you feel that a month off from shaving is enough for you, then you might think about getting rid of your new beard growth.  If so, stop.  Think again.  Don’t make a hasty, automatic decision that your new beard growth must go. If after careful consideration you decide that your new beard absolutely cannot remain, do the deed the right way by following our expert guide to shaving off your beard.  Then make a commitment to grow again during the next No-Shave November.

Grow your beard! It’s No-Shave November 2019.

Welcome, new beard growers! Don’t be shy. If you’ve never grown your beard, now is the time to boldly grow where you’ve never grown before.

Although, any time is a good time to start growing out your beard, there’s no better time to start than during No-Shave November. There is strength in numbers. You won’t be alone in your beard-growing effort. And if your beard-growing confidence gets a little shaky when confronted with objections or criticisms by others, you can justify your new beard growth by pointing out that it’s No-Shave November.

You can grow your new beard with confidence and success by following our proven guide on how to grow a beard. So don’t delay. Start growing out your beard today!

Chris shows off his new beard growth as an example for No-Shave November.
Grow your beard for No-Shave November…and beyond!

And when November ends, don’t stop there. Keep growing! We hope that once you go beard, you’ll never go back.

Be sure to go here and grow your beard:

How to grow a beard
How to grow a beard