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!
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