Category Archives: featured beards

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!

William’s winning beard

Meet William

All about beards is happy and proud to welcome William to the featured beards section.   William’s beard story is an important one because of his steadfast resistance to the onslaught of anti-beard criticism that he faced once he set out to grow his beard.  William stood firm against all the anti-beard naysayers and refused to give up on his beard.  Instead, William became fiercely dedicated to growing his beard and is a strong advocate for beards.  For this, William merits respect as he stands as a great example for all new beard growers who may waver in their confidence when subjected to criticism of their nascent beards.  William demonstrated that by staying strong and dedicated, despite all opposition, he truly has grown a winning beard.

William’s introduction:

My name is William and I have been constantly bearded since January 2013. Living and working in the Netherlands, I decided to become bearded before the big “beard hype” over here…not for beard fashion reasons, but I was willing to change and wanting something different with my face. And I was getting bored with shaving once or twice a day… that was also a big reason, to be quite honest.

I work as a lawyer.  I am married and have three children.  I play the euphonium in a local band, love to travel, and am active in a confirmation group in a Roman Catholic church and Mary fraternity that dates back to 1834 . I love reading all kinds of books and papers.  I am also active as a volunteer in the local carnival museum. My city is one of the most famous carnival towns in the Netherlands.  Here I love to celebrate these festivities as a bearded Dutch man!

Scroll down to read Williams’s beard story and be sure to see William’s beard progression gallery and William’s beard gallery below. The photos on this page and in William’s photo galleries are courtesy of William and are used with permission. All photos are subject to the site’s conditions of use.

Looking sharp: William's beard right after a visit to the barber, feature photo 002
Looking sharp: William’s beard right after a visit to the barber.

William’s winning beard story

What do you think about beards?

Beards are a choice every man should have, although each man has to deal with his possibilities to grow or not. It’s all about a man who has to have the beard genetics first.  Then it is up to him to choose for a beard or not. But frankly said… a beard makes the man. That’s what I think about it. When I see pictures of men without or with a beard, I often choose the bearded pictures, because the look of a bearded man makes a man more attractive in his human appearance: a solid, trustful, and manly look! That’s my opinion on the meaning of un-bearded or bearded men.

What do you think about your own beard?

I like a good full, total beard with a good length. It has to be taken care of…not too wild, but also not too neat, somewhere surely in the middle. I am very satisfied and happy with my beard, because — and this is what it’s all about — I find that it suits my face and makes my face complete. The colors (the combination of blond, and dark) are fine for me!

When you were a little boy, did you ever think about growing a beard in the future when you would become a man?

No, I didn’t. It wasn’t a custom in my family. There weren’t clear examples, although my father tried it shortly but stopped it because of the resistance of my mother. And one uncle on my mother’s side wore a beard in a “Van Dyke” style for years.  That’s where I could see that beard genetics were present in my family. But as a boy, I didn’t see it as a future thing for me!

What led you to grow your first beard?

It came from the curiosity from the combination of the following questions, which I answered afterwards with a big YES.

    • Can I grow a good beard?
    • Will I get used to the change?
    • Would I like to be a bearded man?
    • Will it suit me?
    • Can I withstand the possible negative reactions?

Have you remained bearded since growing your first beard?

YES, the whole time.


Gallery: William’s beard progression over the years
Click on any image below to view a larger version and, optionally, a slide show.

Also see: William’s beard gallery.

Did you encounter a lot of resistance to your beard from people around you?

Oh yes… From the start, the reactions were resistant.  And to say it diplomatically, they were not very mild. Most members of my family didn’t like my choice. Also most of my friends didn’t like the beard. Reactions in groups on birthdays to me as a person or one-to-one personally were in a sneering way, although reactions from people out of my “inner circle” were much more positive. And fortunately, a lot of people also were normal in their reactions. But to be quite honest, my wife still isn’t a fan and neither is my mother. But that’s okay for me. You can’t have all in life and my opinion about my beard in life has become: “You don’t like my beard. That’s okay. I didn’t grow it for you, but for myself.” This is because I am happy with my choice and that’s all that counts. I don’t mind what other people do.  Let them be happy with their choices. And I am happy with mine.

How did you deal with all of the resistance to your beard? How did you overcome it?

It wasn’t easy. It felt very often as a rejection of me as a person. And it could (and sometimes still now) can feel very painful.  But I was strong enough to deal with it and to overcome it. It was my decision. I wanted to be bearded and give it a chance. And finally people got used to it and opinions changed.

Why do you think that some people are so automatically against beards?

At first: beards in appearance always have an initial disadvantage because people are not used to beards on faces starting from the age of infancy. Second: beards call upon some people’s thoughts of being aggressive, thoughtless, unreliable, and dominant; the combination of those traits doesn’t contribute in a positive way to the general view of beards. And third:  beards are for some people like clowns are; they are scary in some sort of ghostly Halloween way. There are more reasons I think. But I noticed these as some of the most important.

Are you dedicated to staying bearded now? Why?

Yes, I am still dedicated. It has become my new lifestyle. I never thought this could have such an impact on me that I don’t want to change anymore!

William demonstrates how a full beard is fully compatible with a professional appearance, feature photo 003
William demonstrates how a full beard is fully compatible with a professional appearance.

Do you believe that beards are compatible with or even enhance a “professional” appearance?

I don’t have a real opinion for that. I think that for some men it really is an improvement for their appearance and for some it isn’t. It all has to do with beard genetics, the form of a face, and of course a man himself has to feel good with it.

Do you know if your beard has inspired others to grow their beards?

Yes, finally it has.  It took years, but some men in my environment chose for themselves to go for a beard.  This was after first being a bit negative towards mine.  Now it gives me a big smile from time to time. That’s for sure.

Do you encourage others to grow their beards?

No, not actively.  Only when men ask me about it and have an interest to do so. Out of my experience of at first negative reactions and later on more positive ones… I only react in a way when people ask me for it. I’m still a bit careful, I think.

Why have you chosen the classic full beard?

It is just the sort of beard that is my kind of beard. The other sorts are not that attractive to me.   I am a fan of the full bearded beardway!

Do you shape and trim your beard yourself?

Partly… Once every five or six weeks I go the barbershop. The rest of the time in between I try to do it myself.

How do you care for your beard?

I use several beard products like beard oil, mustache wax, pomade, and what I’ve come to like a lot over the last half year: beard balm.

Do you take pride in your beard?

Yes, I do. Frankly, when I look around, I feel blessed to have a beard the way that I have. It just is exactly the way I wanted, except for some details (see my beard complaints below).

What do you like best about your beard?

Its thickness, the full bearded “covering” of my face, and from time to time it is lovely to go through it, touching and feeling by hand.

Do you have any complaints about your beard?

Like its owner, my beard is very pigheaded.  There are a lot of hairs that don’t grow the way I want them to. But that’s a point I can deal with. I have a good barber and, of course, other good ways to keep my beard in line!

William's winning beard is an asset all year round, feature photo 003
William’s winning beard is an asset all year round.

What is your opinion of beards.org?

For me it was the very good support from the site that helped me to stay bearded and to keep my positive feeling about beards. It is good to share and to see all the worldwide pics from all other men who love being bearded in all kinds of sorts and ways!

What do you think about being featured on beards.org?

I feel honored and pleased. To get “beardly”noticed by a worldwide known beard site is not only a recognition of being valued as man with a beard, but also a confirmation that my beard can be noticed as a good, visible support for men who want to choose to grow a beard! Do it and make THE choice to grow your beard.  Although resistance can be there, you won’t regret it!


William’s beard gallery
Click on any image below to view a larger version and, optionally, a slide show.


Also see:

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

Chris’ fierce beard: growing stronger

Chris, with his fierce beard, made his debut in the featured beards section six years ago. Since then, Chris’ thick beard has been growing stronger. He grows an eye-catching luxuriant beard that is the envy of many an onlooker. In this update you’ll see that his beard is bigger than ever before. In addition, Chris discusses how things have gone with his beard in recent years and how he cares for and maintains his beard in top form. A new photo gallery featuring Chris’ beard is included below after his interview. All photos appear courtesy of Chris.

Also, since Chris was first featured here on All About Beards, he has gone to graduate school and earned his MBA in executive management. Click on any of these photos to view a larger version:

Chris’ beard update interview

Do men still mention to you that they wish they had a beard like yours?

I honestly get comments like that almost every day. My friends and family roll their eyes when it happens. But they’re just jealous of the attention. Ha ha.

Does your beard still get you a lot of attention?

We recently had a new executive join our team. And when our department had the opportunity to meet with him, he opened the meeting with a comment that mine was the best beard he had ever seen. He closed the meeting with another reference to the beard. Needless to say, I inspired several new beards in the company that day!

I am happy to report that I’ve been able to merge my bearded appearance with my corporate persona successfully. My favorite story was one day I was on the elevator with our VP of HR. He asked me if I planned on keeping the beard… a short pause that felt like an eternity gave my mind time to wander… “I’ve never had any negative comments about my facial hair at work, but here we go…” He broke the silence with, “I definitely think you should. You know, I had a beard once…” And he continued to tell me about his previous experience. I encouraged him to try it again and he is now part of the bearded brotherhood!

From a flirting standpoint, let’s just say yes, the beard still delivers…

Have you kept your full beard continuously since the time of your beard feature?

I did shave my beard completely off once since my last appearance on the website. My mom is one of the few people who prefers me bald faced. I shaved for her 70th birthday as a gift. After the birthday month was over, the beard growing resumed.

Chris starts growing his fierce beard again after shaving for his mom's birthday.
Mom’s birthday party’s over: Chris starts growing his fierce beard once again.

Have you gone bigger or shorter with your beard in the recent years?

Compared to my featured pics, my current beard size is definitely bigger. It varies. But even on the smaller end of the scale, it’s bigger than back then.

Have you settled on a more-or-less permanent beard size and shape?

My style has been a little refined over the years… short mustache (my hair is too stubborn to go handlebar), long in the front, squared off at the bottom, keeping the sides trim, and then tapered from back to meet the length of the front.

Are you still trimming and shaping your beard yourself or do you ever utilize the skills of a professional?

I do let my barber trim my beard.  But it’s usually a joint effort. If I want a major trim, I’ll do it first, and then have him clean it up. Or, for a regular trim while I’m getting a haircut, I’ll trim a bit when I get home. He just opened his own shop, and I’ve sent him a lot of business over the years. I even did a photo shoot for the shop. You’ll see me on his website, Single Barrel Barbershop, and I’m the first pic they ever posted on their Insta.

What’s your beard grooming and maintenance routine?

I shampoo and condition my beard every time I’m in the shower. I try to use quality products that are sulfate free and have a decent oil content. Then I towel dry.  I apply a generous amount of beard oil (I’m crazy about Duke Cannon right now) and brush it out. If I’m looking for a more styled appearance, I’ll use a styling product like a beard balm. I keep a brush in my truck so I can touch up before heading into my destination.

Do you have any beard-care secrets that might benefit other beard growers?

I always keep my beard smelling good. People love a well-groomed beard that smells delicious.

When trimming and styling your beard, also consider your hairstyle. If you’re going to have a big beard, your hair should be trim and tight as a contrast. I love getting a tight fade on the sides. It makes the beard stand out even more!

Is your beard still inspiring other men to grow their beards?

Absolutely. Some of my friends tag my pics with #beardgoals .

Would you say that your level of enthusiasm for your beard has changed over the years?

At this point, my beard is a big part of my personality. The only reason I could see shaving would be for a future milestone birthday gift for my Mom.

Chris’ new beard photo gallery

Click on any photo below to view a larger version.

Be sure to see Chris’ original beard feature:

Chris’ fierce beard, featured image 1
Chris’ fierce beard

Per’s superior beard

All about beards is proud to welcome Per to the featured beards section. Per is a prolific beard grower and a master of the mustache. His beard is excellent and his mustache is often amazing. A seasoned, veteran beard grower, Per is quite dedicated to the beard. He grows a great beard and enjoys it, which is a great way to be. Per’s beard has been known to inspire others to grow their beards. Let’s hope that he will now inspire many more new beards everywhere.

Scroll down to read Per’s beard story and be sure to see Per’s beard photo gallery below. The photos on this page and in Per’s photo gallery are courtesy of Per and are used with permission. All photos are subject to the site’s conditions of use.

What do you think about beards?

I have been fascinated by beards since I was little. As long as I can remember, I have looked at nice beards and wanted my own beard.

What do you think about your own beard?

To be very honest, I’m quite satisfied with my beard as it is today. One can always want a little different style, structure, or shape. But all in all I’m happy with the beard I have.

When you were a boy, did you ever think about growing a beard in the future when you would become a man?

I started to look at beards from early school years. I was so anxious that I might not be able to grow my own beard. But that was for no reason. Had a mustache from age seventeen, but had to gather some courage to grow a full beard.

Did anyone in your family have a beard before you?

The ability is in the family. But the closest is my brother’s mustache. It was big and nice from late teens. He was my role model, but he was not going for the full beard.

When did you grow your first beard?

My first full beard was when I was twenty-five, after gathering courage and I’d had stubble for many years.

What led you to grow your first beard?

I wanted to have a beard since I was a kid, just had to find the right time and be sure it would be full and mature.

Per's superior beard, featured image 3
Per’s beard: short goatee with mustache and big full beard

Why do you grow your beard now?

Now the beard has become a part of my personality. If I cut it short I feel that I lose a part of me. Have tried clean shaven some years ago. Felt naked.

Would you say that you are a dedicated, permanent beard grower?

I’m definitely a permanent and very dedicated beard grower!

Are your current beard and mustache the biggest you’ve ever grown?

I have had length like this for the four last years. Earlier I had stubble or up to 3 cm. Should have started growing a long beard much earlier. It’s so much more fun!

Do you plan to keep growing your beard and mustache larger?

I always plan for longer. But from time to time I need a trim and then I start saving time again. There is a lot of maintenance with a long beard. So after a trim I spend less time in the bathroom.

Do people ever criticize your beard or tell you to trim it or shave it off?

From time to time my wife has some suggestions for trimming. But it happens less and less. She gets used to a long-bearded man.

Do you know if your beard has inspired other men to grow their beards?

Yes, at least I have gotten feedback that younger colleagues have been inspired to grow. That’s nice!

Do you encourage others to grow their beards?

I often tell people that they have a nice beard and should grow it out. Hope some will do so.
Per's superior beard, featured image 4

Why did you choose to grow the classic full beard?

I think the beard chose me. I just had to follow.

Do you shape and trim your beard yourself?

When I trimmed it myself it always resulted in too short a beard. So now I only use a professional barber shop.

What is your beard care routine?

I use beard soap in the shower, then oil and blow dryer and use a round brush afterwards. Need to straighten out some waves after shower to get the shape I like.

What do you like best about your beard?

I’m very satisfied with the color. And the thickness is good. All in all I am quite satisfied.

Do you have any complaints about your beard?

Wish I did not have to straighten the waves after a shower. But that is a minor problem and is possible to handle.

What is your opinion of beards.org?

I think beards.org is a very good inspiration for beard growers like me.

What do you think about being featured on beards.org?

I’m very pleased if I can be an inspiration for other men wanting to grow a beard, big or small. And I am pleased to show that beards are even more fun when getting older and silver bearded.

Click on any image below to view a larger version and, optionally, a slide show.