I’ve promoted beards on this site for twenty-six years now. Somebody had to do it.
Why create a website in 1996 to promote beards?
Twenty-six years ago today, All About BEARDS appeared on the web for the first time. I created the site to spread the word that beards are all right. And I wanted to encourage and help men everywhere to grow their beards. It had to be done. I’m glad that I did it.
Beards are more than all right. Beards are great. Beards can be awesome. There is something special about beards. And men should be free to grow their beards as they please. Short or long, big or small, you should be able to grow the beard that you want without fear.
Well-maintained beards are worthy of respect, appreciation, and even admiration. I wrote “well-maintained” to exclude sloppy, dirty, unkempt beards because many may argue that it’s a stretch to respect beards kept in lousy condition. That’s a justifiable point to make. Take pride in your beard and its grooming. That’s a beard worthy of respect!
You are not alone.
Interested in learning about beards and how to grow a beard? Could you use some inspiration to help with your decision to grow your beard? There are plenty of resources for you today. In 1996, it was a different world. Those interested in growing beards were much more isolated and had only scarce beard resources available to them online.
I created All About BEARDS to say that it’s all right to be interested in beard growing and how to do it. I wanted to educate you about beards and growing a beard. I wanted to inspire you to grow your beard and encourage other men to grow their beards. I wanted to support your beard-growing efforts with helpful information.
There are people who are against beards.
There was also a need to speak out against widespread, well-established anti-beard bias. So the fledgling site included that as part of the pro-beard mission. Taking on anti-beard bias required more than just talk. I had to challenge people to rethink their automatic bias against beards. I wanted to persuade them to give beards a chance and stop rejecting them. I did this in the hope of putting them on a path to stop hating beards and towards eventually liking them.
Another way to combat anti-beard bias was to encourage beard-growers to reject it. Beard growers should not silently accept outright anti-beard bias. They should reject it, politely. Stand up for your beard!
Thoughtful engagement could help erode someone’s anti-beard bias. Question the legitimacy of the anti-beard complaint. Explain why you should have the freedom to grow your beard. Having a respectful conversation may not win them over to the pro-beard side immediately. But it could plant the seed that may lead to their eventually coming around.
There is still anti-beard bias out there. Let’s keep it on the decline.
We need more beard growers!
The more beards there are, the more people get used to seeing them around. The more people see beards commonly around, the more they get used to seeing beards. And as they get more used to seeing beards all around, the more they accept beards. They see that beards are a normal and natural part of life. They see that beards are not going away.
Beard acceptance diminishes anti-beard bias.
Grow your beard. Now.
Do your part to advance beard freedom. Join the bearded brotherhood.
All About BEARDS continues its original mission today:
to promote beards
to educate about all aspects of beards
to reduce anti-beard bias
to increase beard acceptance
to support, encourage, and inspire men around the world to grow their best beards ever
I’ve always had a calling to promote beards. In 1996, I had to create All About BEARDS to promote beards and help other beard growers and would-be beard growers. I am happy that I did it. The friends, supporters, beard growers, and beard fans I’ve met along the way have been a blessing. I thank you all.
Now keep growing your beards and encouraging others to grow theirs!
Is optimism for each new year overrated? It can get discouraging to start out each year with high hopes and enthusiasm only to end those years in disappointment. Our optimism for all the great possibilities of a new year can get steamrolled by heavy doses of real life as the year goes along. It’s not surprising that the abundant optimism present on the first of January wanes as we proceed through the year.
Yet, at the start of each new year we are accustomed to being full of optimism, even if the previous year or two or even more fell far short of what we had hoped. But that doesn’t mean that we may as well give up or lose hope.
Every day of the year is an opportunity to improve, to step up and do better. Don’t abandon your optimism. Hold on to it. Keep it in mind as you start each day. Make it a habit to do something positive every day. That includes doing something for others. Even small positive things performed regularly throughout the year can produce big changes for the better.
And everything’s better if you’re growing a beard that makes you happy, a beard that makes you feel good about yourself. That’s something to appreciate every day of the year.
Yes, 2020 and 2021 were tough and disappointing for too many people all over the world. But don’t lose hope. Believe in a brighter future. Doing something positive every day moves you along the path to a better future.
Did you start growing a new beard for No-Shave November? Today’s the last day of November. Now what are you going to do? Will you be all set to shave off your new beard growth at the stroke of midnight at the end of November 30th? There are men who do that. Don’t be one of them!
Whether it’s at the end of No-Shave November or any other time of year when you’ve freshly produced three or four weeks of new beard growth, it’s a great time to contemplate what you’ve achieved.
Look back on what your new beard-growing experience has been like. Recall the times when you may have doubted your beard-growing commitment and almost ran for the razor, but didn’t. Consider the change in your appearance and how you feel about it. Think about how differently you see yourself now. And think about how differently others now see you. Think about the comments, compliments, and criticisms your new beard provoked and how you dealt with them. Think about the whole experience and how you’ve changed.
You’ve been through a lot in a short time, you and your beard. Why even think of stopping now? Keep your beard-growing going and the best is yet to come. Make a commitment to stay with your beard.
At three or four weeks, some will have beards that already look well established. Others will need more time for their beards to fill in better. Whatever the case, keeping the growing going will help you realize the full potential of your beard.
Now is the time to press onward and continue your new beard growth. If you give up now after three or four weeks of growing, all your beard progress will be wiped out. It will take you another three or four weeks just to get back to where you are now if you were to decide to start a new beard again. Take advantage of what you’ve already achieved to grow your beard to new levels. Don’t deny yourself this opportunity.
As November begins, it’s that time of year to remind men to participate in No-Shave November. This movement brings the importance of men’s health to the forefront as men are encouraged to grow out their facial hair in support of men struggling with cancer.
No-Shave November serves as a platform for men to drop their razors and let their hair grow. The movement aims to trigger conversations and raise cancer awareness. Does it sound like a movement you can get behind? Join No-Shave November to officially be a part of it and raise money for men’s health charities. However, you can participate in a number of ways! Read on for your definitive guide on all things you need to make the most of this hairy month!
Let Your Beard and Hair Go and Grow
Let it go and grow. Seriously. Close your bathroom drawer, leave it that way for the month, even toss out those razor blades! (Why go back to shaving after November?!) No-Shave November is meant to be a month in which you fully embrace hair growth for a cause. Nearly 65% of cancer patients lose hair while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Your longer hair and budding facial hair is a sign that you stand with those men struggling with cancer-related hair loss. However, never fear, it’s okay to trim your hair or tame your new beard if you have to for your job. Maybe see how far you can push the envelope.
You may be wondering how you can participate if you’re a man who struggles with natural hair loss, thinning, or balding. No need to fear! Applying a topical hair loss treatment can help you grow back head hair over time and give you a stronger head of hair. While the hair on your head grows back, don’t forget to also focus on growing your beard by following our guide on how to do it right! Even in the early stages of growth, using a beard oil will help maintain hygiene, soothe your skin, and give your beard a lush look along with a fresh scent.
Start a Conversation
A major part of No-Shave November is being an advocate for the cause. Be sure to know your stuff and read up on statistics surrounding men’s cancer. Being able to participate by growing out your hair is a great start. But when people ask you why and you’re able to share some valuable stats, your role becomes that much bigger.
You may wonder why there aren’t ongoing conversations already on the topic of men’s health. A major reason for this is that men traditionally talk less about their health than women. By growing out your hair, you naturally make people curious as to what you’re doing. A primary goal of No-Shave November is not only to raise money for treatment, but also to get people talking on the topic.
Finally, one of the biggest impacts you can make is to donate. Get a team of men together to participate in the month-long journey. Donate at least the amount of money you would normally spend in November on shaving products or trips to the barbershop. The funds you raise go directly to cancer research and to help educate men as they navigate their personal battles. No-Shave November benefits a number of foundations that specialize in men’s cancer issues.
As the month comes to a close, you may consider shaving your new beard or longer hairdo. Well, don’t consider shaving the beard! But whether you decide to cut back on your new quantity of hair or let it continue to grow, you’ve made an impact either way! Despite November coming to an end, everything you’ve worked to promote and advocate for does not. Men’s health and cancer-related health issues are a year-round cause you should continue supporting. Keep up on health statistics, lend an ear to friends who want to talk and visit a healthcare professional for screenings.
Make 2021’s No-Shave November a No-Shave November to remember.
2020 and 2021 have been rough, or worse, for nearly everyone. They haven’t been full of the best times and happiest memories. Maybe we’d like to just forget about these two years altogether.
When times are bad we just have to do our best and make the most of it.
So why not use the opportunity of No-Shave November to get your beard-growing going and grow your beard? This especially applies to you guys who have never grown your beards before. Wait no more. Make your move and start growing.
Even if the rest of 2021 so far hasn’t been the greatest, you can finish it off with a beard-growing adventure starting right now in November and continuing through December and beyond.
At the very least, you can still experience the joy of growing a new beard in 2021. And that will definitely be something to remember…and to keep and cherish for years to come! Come on now, let’s grow!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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?
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!
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.
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!