Why advocate for beards? I’ve been making the case in favor of beards online since launching All About BEARDS on January 17, 1996. It might be considered an unusual cause to support. But it’s a worthy cause, an important cause. That’s because beards mean a great deal to men who grow them. Beards also mean a lot to men who are unable to grow a beard and wish with all their might that they could grow a beard.
What about the beardless and broken hearted?
Beards mean a lot more than people realize. One’s feelings about beards can run inexplicably deep. Beards are an important part of being a man. Yet, not every man is physically capable of growing a beard. It doesn’t seem to make sense. Beards are an important part of being a man, but not every man is included. Seems unfair!
A man incapable of growing a beard is no less a man than one who sprouts an abundance of hair from his face. The man who desperately yearns to be able to grow his own beard and experience this aspect of manhood for himself often suffers in silence. Pain and frustration can run deep. Many feel sadness and depression with nowhere to turn for support. They may believe that others would view their fervent desire to be able to grow a beard as frivolous or silly. So they keep it to themselves, suffering in silence.
From the start, All About BEARDS has respected and empathized with those men who physically are unable to grow a beard. I wish I had an easy solution for them. Many long for a special cream or pill that would bring beard growth to their faces. At this time, there’s nothing quite like that available. I always recommend that you consult with your doctor if you feel that you might have a medical condition that inhibits your potential beard growth. Apart from that, you might look into methods for stimulating beard growth, keeping in mind that there are no sure “cures” for the lack of beard growth. Proceed with caution.
My best advice to all is that you make the best with what you have. Your beard growth pattern is yours and yours alone. Emphasize the strengths you have and make the most of them.
Grow your beard for those who can’t
Those can grow their beards should. Those who cannot grow a beard will appreciate it. Does this sound stupid? There is a lot of truth to it.
If you’re blessed with good beard genes, why not grow that glorious beard for all to see and admire? In a way, not growing that great beard is something of an insult to those who would give anything to have your beard-growing ability. I’ve not come across anyone who can’t grow his own beard being against beard-capable men growing their beards. I’ve only heard them express respect and admiration for those who can grow their beards. Those bearded guys even provide inspiration for those who cannot grow beards.
Be a source of inspiration. Grow your beard for those who can’t.
All About BEARDS: still on a mission
After twenty-seven years, beards have come a long way. I’m happy to see greater acceptance of beards and a greater prevalence of beards in the world. However, much work remains to be done. All About BEARDS will always continue its mission to advocate for beards:
Promote acceptance of and appreciation for beards.
Provide solid, helpful information on how to grow and care for your beard.
Work to reduce anti-beard bias.
Encourage and inspire men to grow their beards as they like.
All About BEARDS: selected beard photo shoot memories
On this twenty-seventh anniversary I’d like to share a look back at a sample of memories from the beards.org official photo shoots. Documenting beards through photography is an important component of the site. Scroll down for a photographic trip down memory lane. Click on any image to view larger.
The first: Paulie
Michael and John
It’s been twenty-seven years. Grow your beard!
I wish to thank all of the friends, fans, and site contributors that I’ve met over the years. You have been a blessing. Thank you.
Think beards are bad for that “professional” look? Think again as you read on.
All About BEARDS proudly welcomes Tom to our featured beards section! Sometimes unlikely beard growers become the strongest beard supporters and beard role models. Tom is a great example. Learn how a serious injury sent Tom on an incredible beard journey.
Tom’s introduction in his own words:
I am a pediatrician living in Georgia with my wife and two children. I’ve had a beard since November of 2016 when I decided not to shave during my time off for Thanksgiving holiday break. Having shaved off previous beards during that itchy awkward phase around four weeks of growth, this beard was protected and nurtured by an ankle fracture I sustained shortly after I started growing it. This injury left me unable to stand for over a month. It’s nearly impossible to shave lying flat. So when I finally recovered from surgery and was able to stand, I looked in the mirror and saw a full beard that I did not know I was capable of growing. My wife and children thought I should maintain it. So I’ve been bearded ever since.
I discovered All About BEARDS while looking for information about trimming my neck and cheek lines. I must say I was inspired by the “featured beards” and “beard success stories” I read about and this served to reinforce my commitment to remaining bearded. When you have a beard you never look quite the same from day to day or week to week. I photographed my beard journey regularly as I tried to figure out my style and now I’m flattered to be asked to share these pics on the site I found so inspirational.
Guys just look better with a beard than they do without. We’ve all seen those before-and-after pics on the Internet or had friends and colleagues who have grown a beard. I can’t think of any who did not improve their looks. Having a beard is the natural state for an adult male. What I was not expecting after growing my beard was how it would change the way others perceived me in terms of my intelligence, leadership ability, and attractiveness. There’s something primal about it. It sounds farfetched but bearded men know its true.
Intelligence? Leadership ability? Yes, after growing my beard many people told me I looked scholarly, like a professor. And about that time I started advancing in the leadership ranks of my organization much more quickly. I’ve accomplished much more in my five bearded years than the seventeen years prior. Coincidence? I think one’s looks do play a role in his success. I mention this only because a lot of men seem to think having a beard may be detrimental somehow to their career.
Has your opinion about beards changed over time?
Yes, in a sense that I did not think much about beards or having a beard until I grew my own. We’ve all experienced the phenomenon of buying a new car and then noticing there are many cars just like our own on the road. Prior to driving it you never noticed them. My beard has been a positive change in my life and I feel privileged to contribute to beards.org, which is such an important resource and source of inspiration for others considering doing the same.
What do you think about your own beard?
I think my views have been shaped by the comments people share with me on a regular basis. I’m happy to have a beard that is quite thick, dense, and full. I like the fact that it grows quite fast because it looks a little different every morning when I look in the mirror. Due to my rate of growth, I don’t think I could maintain the trendy ultra short stubble beard because I’d have to shave more than once every day. I don’t seem to have any areas of light growth that I need hair to cover – it’s everywhere!
How does having such a great beard make you feel?
It’s a great boost to one’s ego to receive a compliment from a perfect stranger. That happens to me on a regular basis but it never happened before I grew a beard. Beards seem to be the one thing guys allow themselves to compliment each other about.
Did anyone in your family have a beard before you?
No, my father and uncles were clean shaven. Since I’ve grown a beard, however, my younger brothers have also grown a beard.
When did you grow your first beard?
I grew a beard briefly in college. It was your typical late adolescent, early twenties beard -– a little less full and dense than what I have now, but appropriate for age. I ended up caving in to the negative feedback one inevitably receives when first growing a beard.
As mentioned above, I started growing the beard I have now during a week off at Thanksgiving in 2016. Shortly after starting my beard growth I fractured my ankle and had two surgeries. I was not able to stand upright for weeks after these surgeries. Its pretty hard to shave lying down, so I was really forced, in a sense, to grow my beard out in full. Once I was able to stand again I looked in the mirror and I had a nice, full, thick beard.
Had you ever thought about growing a beard long before growing your first beard?
I remember thinking about it in elementary school. One of my teachers was bearded and I wondered what it must feel like to have hair growing on your cheeks. That’s about the extent of it.
What led you to grow your current beard?
It started with the Thanksgiving week break from shaving that was unexpectedly extended. Thinking back on it, the ankle surgery recovery period meant that I didn’t have to work or be around friends and family much during those “transitional” awkward beard growth phases. Once I was able to stand again I looked in the mirror and I had a nice, full, thick beard. My wife told me she liked it and I haven’t shaved since then.
How did the beard affect you?
I remember thinking “this is how I’m supposed to look” after growing my beard. Your self perception or how you define yourself changes with time after growing your beard. I now think of myself as a “bearded man” rather than man who “has a beard.” What I mean is that this is now part of who I am, not just how I choose to groom myself at the moment.
What happened to your first beard?
My first beard, which I grew in college, succumbed to my lack of will power. My mother wanted me to shave and I did. I think there are very few mothers who love their son’s first beard. It must make them feel older or something.
Do you plan to keep your beard permanently now?
Yes, if my beard can survive COVID, it is here to stay. As a healthcare worker I nearly had to shave my beard off for the N95 mask. Luckily I was able to make alternative arrangements and was able to keep my beard.
How do people react to your beard?
I’ve already discussed the comments I get from strangers, so I’m going to answer this question from the perspective of a pediatrician. When I’m caring for an infant or toddler I can see it in their eyes when they haven’t seen a bearded man before. They seem just a bit confused and fearful. I can tell when their dad has a beard because they seem much more comfortable and interactive. Their mothers are usually surprised when I say “Her daddy has a beard doesn’t he?” I don’t think I’ve been wrong about this yet.
Do people ever tell you to trim or shave your beard? If so, how do you respond?
Only my mother. I tell her that she is the only one telling me to do this. But I understand because all mothers seem to have a similar view.
Do you know if your beard has inspired others to grow their beards?
Not that anyone has told me. However, I have known a few co-workers and, as I’ve mentioned, my brothers who have grown a beard subsequent to mine.
Do you encourage others to grow their beards?
I make a special effort to compliment adolescents and young men who are going through that transitional phase with a new beard. It’s so important to conform at that age and they are very sensitive to both positive and negative feedback. A random compliment could be all they need to have the willpower to grow out their beard.
Why have you chosen the classic full beard?
My beard grows so fast and thick I think the full beard chose me. I don’t really have the time or the skills to cut or to shape it any other way. That being said, I think the classic full beard looks best once your beard is fully mature. I see some other styles like the chinstrap as a means of transitioning into a full beard while your beard matures.
Recently your full beard has been trending a bit bigger and longer. How do you like this? Will it continue?
Yes, but there are some limitations to how I can wear my beard because of my career. Since my beard is hidden under a mask, for the most part, I’ve been able to “push the limits” in a sense and grow it longer. I now like to keep the “goatee area” around my mustache and chin longer and fuller, the cheeks slightly more trimmed (or they get quite wavy), and the sideburns faded into my haircut.
Do you shape and trim your beard yourself? If so, how did you learn to do it right?
I really enjoy the pampering that comes with a hot towel wrap, warm shaving cream and a straight razor. A barber shop that caters to bearded men really makes for a nice place to visit on a Saturday morning. I have tried to trim my beard myself and it never comes out quite as nice and it is definitely not as relaxing.
How do you care for your beard? What’s your beard-care routine?
I wash my beard one day and condition it the next day on an alternate basis. I apply a beard oil daily and, when my beard is longer, will use a beard balm to keep the stray hairs down. I like the lightly scented beard products, particularly those with a woodsy scent.
What is your opinion of beards.org? Did the site affect your beard journey in any way?
Beards.org is the premier website for everything related to the topic of growing and maintaining a beard, encouraging beard growth, or admiring other beards. The site reinforced my commitment to beard growth and gave me examples of beards I could make my “beard goal.” These gentlemen can still be found on the site today. I never would have expected to be featured on beards.org as well.
What do you think about being featured on beards.org?
I hope my feature and comments on beards.org will help to inspire or motivate others thinking about growing a beard to give it a try. I came to this site during my first month of beard growth and found it so inspirational I’ve been coming back ever since. Its really an honor to be recognized as worthy to be on the site.
Tom’s Beard Gallery
Click on any image below to view a larger version and, optionally, a slide show.
Fashion, however, influences your wardrobe, which further defines your personal style. Your footwear choices are a key part of enhancing your masculine image. Men’s boots are rugged and made for men. The right boots add a manly accent to your overall appearance. Let’s look at some of the major types of men’s boots and even consider how your beard and your boots may complement one another.
Chelsea boots are a popular type that straddle the line between casual and formal. They are a good choice for any man’s footwear collection. These slip-on boots are easy to put on and take off. There’s no fumbling around with laces.
Chelseas are sleek and stylish. And they are known for being comfortable. With elastic sides and no laces, Chelseas put your feet under less pressure. With respect to style, some Chelseas have a more formal look while other offerings are more casual. Chelsea boots are perfect for the “business casual” look.
While leaning a bit towards the casual, Chelsea boots may be considered to be a little on the dressy side. A short, neatly-groomed beard would definitely work well with Chelsea boots. You could also pull off a classy look with a bigger beard that’s immaculately groomed.
Chukka boots are beautiful and simple in their design. They’re often called “desert boots”, which are a type of chukka with crepe soles and suede uppers. Other types of classic chukka boots are sturdier than the desert variety.
If you’re just starting to build your boot collection, chukkas are a great first choice. Options you’ll find will likely include classy, black leather chukkas. A better first choice, however, might be a more flexible casual gray or light brown suede chukka.
When you’re ready to move up to a more formal chukka, a good choice might be a light brown leather boot. It’s bright and elegant without being too formal.
Which beard choices work best with chukka boots? Pretty much whichever beard style works well for you should go well with chukkas. As always, make sure that you keep your beard maintained and styled in top condition.
Oxfords are instantly recognizable classics. You can’t go wrong by adding a pair of Oxford boots to your collection. Oxford boots, especially black leather Oxfords, have a classy appearance that will serve you well for any formal occasion.
Black leather Oxfords are a top choice for versatile formal footwear. They go well with just about any suit that you might have. When you expand your boot collection, you might consider adding a pair of brown Oxford boots, which work well with a variety of men’s suits. The brown Oxfords even pair really well with a ginger beard.
When you wear Oxford boots for formal occasions, you’re going for that classy, elegant look. That means that your beard should look classy and elegant as well. Keep your beard in top form by having it neatly trimmed and perfectly groomed without even a hair out of place!
Work boots are intended for safety, comfort, and durability. Quality work boots will have a sturdy build. This ensures that the work boots will be long lasting. When men are putting in long hours of hard work, a comfortable pair of well-constructed work boots can’t be beat.
Their tough, masculine look makes work boots a perfect choice outside of work when you’re going casual and want to present a confident, rugged appearance. Work boots look great with jeans and casual shirts. What kind of beard works well with work boots? Just about any beard that you can bring!
As a bearded man, you’ve probably got your adventurous side. When you want to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, some good hiking boots are just what you need.
Depending on just how adventurous your hiking may be, you’ll have your choice between boots designed for day hiking or backpacking. Day hiking boots are better for more casual hiking or even just ordinary walking. Backpacking boots are heavier duty and are intended for use on longer, more challenging, and strenuous hikes.
Hiking boots should provide good traction and have sturdy soles for foot comfort. Ankle support is important as is water resistance. And hiking boots should be lightweight to make it easier for you to cover long distances. Any good-quality day hiking boot should incorporate all these features and more. You want the traction to avoid slips and falls. And the water resistance always comes in handy because you’ll inevitably have to trek through wet zones such as mud, puddles, and streams. Or you may get caught in an unexpected downpour.
Pick up a good pair of hiking boots and get yourself and your beard outdoors exploring nature. I mean, what could be more natural than a man growing his beard? Hiking boots go well with any type of beard, from the shortest to the biggest and bushiest. Grow your beard and take a hike!
Cowboy boots are a great choice whether you’re putting in long hours of hard work on the farm or ranch, going horseback riding, or stepping out for a night on the town. These versatile boots are comfortable, practical, and stylish. Cowboy boots can be plain and simple or spectacular works of art. There’s a cowboy boot to suit just about any bearded man’s style preferences.
You can choose a cowboy boot that’s tough enough for work or one that makes a masculine fashion statement to fit your image. You can even find cowboy boots that are great for work and are stylish as well. There are so many choices, you may find it hard to pick out a pair. Browse around and see what catches your eye. And don’t hesitate to consult your retailer for assistance with choosing a cowboy boot and making sure that you get a pair that fits properly.
Any beard from the full range of beard styles will work well with cowboy boots. And don’t forget your cowboy hat, pardner!
Boots for the bearded
Boots are an important part of any bearded man’s wardrobe. Key points to remember when buying boots include:
Be sure that the boot type is right for your intended purpose.
Invest in well-built boots that will serve you well for a long time.
Make sure that the boots fit you properly.
Your feet will thank you for choosing quality boots that fit well and are comfortable.
Ranging from casual to formal, you can find great boots that enhance your masculine image and go well with your beard. Start building your boot collection today!
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!