I frequently hear from new beard growers who are intimidated about letting their new beards grow much beyond the stubble stage. Fear not. Carry on. Let it grow. Too often, they express fear that a beard growing longer than stubble will be too long! These fears are unfounded. With a new beard, your self-perception is altered. The thought of going beyond stubble may terrify you, with visions of presenting a monster beard. A monster beard — or simply one that you feel is too big or too long — requires going far beyond stubble. Ease up. Don’t worry. Don’t stop growing.
If you’re growing a new beard, don’t stop before you’re done. Don’t stunt your new beard. Let it grow beyond the stubble without fear. Let it grow out, fill in, and blossom. Give it a fair chance.
A beard beyond stubble length is more of a real beard. If the stubble beard is what you really want, then keep it at that length. But if you’re growing a new beard, don’t be afraid to go beyond stubble. Otherwise, you deprive yourself and others of seeing your fully-grown beard in all its glory.
So how long should you let your new beard grow? You don’t have to let it grow to the size of Rich’s beard pictured above. But you should get closer to his length than clinging to the stubble range. See how you like the way your beard shapes up after passing the stubble stage. You may be pleasantly surprised. Rich’s beard, above, clearly demonstrates that a fully-grown beard can appear neat and well-groomed.
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.