great day for beard photography

Salvatore: the goatee supremacy

Yesterday, Salvatore kindly posed for another set of original photographs for all about beards. This is part of all about beards’ ongoing effort to produce more and more original, high-quality beard photography. Look for Salvatore’s photos in a site update coming soon.

advising Andy

Andy has grown a lot of beard and is wondering now what to do with it.

Andy's beard!

Andy’s grown his beard fairly long, as seen in the first two views. Then he trimmed it down to the length seen in the third view. He’s thinking about changing up his beard style some more and is looking for some suggestions. If you think you know what beard style would be best for Andy, please comment. (Comments are held in moderation to keep out the automated spam comments. I’ll approve your real comments as soon as I see them. Your patience is appreciated!)

great beards are for everyone!

Great beards are for everyone! It’s true. While it’s also true that not everyone can grow a great beard, everyone can enjoy the sight of a great beard. A great beard rarely fails to command attention and impress. What’s more is that great beards serve as great inspiration to others to grow their beards, too. For those with less abundant beard growth, great beards frequently still inspire them to grow what they can and to make the most of their facial hair potential. If you’ve grown a great beard, congratulations and thanks! If you can grow a great beard but haven’t, start growing now! Others will benefit from the inspiration of your example.

Have a happy, bearded new year!

happy bearded new year!

Happy New Year to all from all about beards!

Later this month, the site will mark its eleventh anniversary on the web. That’s eleven years of helping and encouraging men all over the world to grow their beards. And we’re just getting started.

Beards have been gaining momentum in recent years. Let’s keep it up! The start of a new year is a great time to start growing a new beard. If you’ve got a beard to grow, head over to the growing a beard page and start growing! Know someone else who has a beard to grow? Send him to the growing a beard page, too, with lots of encouragement. May 2007 be the best year for beards yet! Happy bearded new year!

the hardest thing about growing a beard

The most difficult thing about growing a beard is dealing with the comments of others. Okay, that may not be THE hardest thing, but it is definitely among the most difficult. Depending on your situation, you may find that the comments on your new beard are all supportive. That would be the best-case scenario. And that scenario does happen. In the worst-case scenario, however, people may declare all-out psychological warfare in an attempt to defeat your beard-growing efforts.

People are resistant to change and they all have opinions. When you grow a beard, you are changing the image that they have of you and they often would prefer that you not do that. They usually also have an opinion on beards that they feel compelled to share with you, like it or not. It’s often surprising how free people feel to criticize a new beard when similar criticisms of other physical features would generally be considered off limits. What should you do? Be prepared to stand your ground. When growing a new beard, make a commitment to yourself to see it through for at least six weeks. Make it a steadfast rule that you will not cave in, no matter what kinds of remarks or complaints are lobbed at you. You must psychologically prepare yourself for an onslaught of comments. Stand firm. Grow your beard!

Far too many newly-grown beards get hacked off in fits of self-doubt after receiving some insensitive, negative comments. Don’t let this happen to you. After people learn that you are not spineless and that you are committed to growing the beard, the commentary will usually ease up. It may even all become positive feedback. Some of the harshest critics may find that they actually like your beard! You’ll never learn that, however, if you let the beard critics win.

beard-growing season

In the northern hemisphere, November always seems to be a good time to start growing a beard. The start of winter provides both an excuse and some motivation. The semi-official kick-off date seems to be November 1st. But if you didn’t start on the first, now is still a good time to begin. Beard-growing contests, such as the International Round-Robin Beard Off (defunct link removed), may provide additional support or justification for hesitant beard growers. If you’re not already a participant in an established beard-growing contest, start your own! Happy beard-growing to all.

Oh, and for those of you in the southern hemisphere, although your seasons may be reversed, November is a good time for you to grow a beard, too. Remember: “Any time can be beard-growing time!”

how did you do that?

Some time ago, a colleague and I were having lunch at a fast-food restaurant. In the dining room, I noticed another bearded guy sitting not far away. I couldn’t help but compare my beard with his and I was feeling that his beard was better. Meanwhile, an elderly gentleman sat down at the table next to my colleague and me. All of a sudden, the elderly gentleman asked me, “How did you that?” In reply, I asked him, “How did I do what?” He said, “grow a beard like that.” He went on to say that for all his life, he had wanted to grow a beard like that, but had never been physically capable of growing one. I was a bit stunned and flattered, but I couldn’t help but think that he should have directed his questioning to the other bearded guy nearby. After all, his beard was better, I thought.

This illustrates one more reason not to be a beard waster. If you can grow a beard, grow it. It’s a privilege, perhaps even a duty. And even though you may not realize it, you gain the admiration of some of those less fortunate, who are unable to grow a beard.

the importance of hanging in there

A site visitor wrote in with encouraging words that underscore the value of not abandoning all hope. His essay is quoted here, with permission, in its entirety:

I would like to offer encouragement to all fair-haired guys who have lost faith in their capabilities for beard growing when they compare themselves to their dark friends with steel wool whiskers who have a visible beard after 3 or 4 days of not shaving.

I have light brown hair but nature saw it fit to give me a white blond mustache and mouche and light brown sideburns with a slight reddish cast to them (Scottish ancestors I guess). I never tried to grow a beard for more than 3 or so weeks as it always looked like one of those attempts which one forces in high school — patchy, multicolored, and feeble, with bits missing between the goatee and the sideburns. It also seemed to grow extremely slowly (when compared to other people).

After not shaving on an extended vacation the year I turned 35, I was freed of the self-judgement and self-consciousness which usually put paid to my attempts in the past and I hung in there for more than a month. My beard underwent a dramatic transformation after 6 weeks, when all of a sudden it filled in and out and looked like a Beard!

When I shaved it off after a couple of months (a mistake which I set about rectifying as soon as I had done it), my boss’ comment to me was: “why did you shave, the beard made you look ‘power'”!

Since I have grown it back, I have been getting nothing but good feedback from people (male and female) and it has done wonders for my confidence in my appearance.

So to all of you mouse-brown, blond, or ginger guys out there, give it at least 6 — 8 weeks. Hang in there and let it grow, you will be surprised with the results.

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