Tag Archives: about beards

I was a teenage beard grower — Michael

Many teenage boys dream of growing a beard. Michael did not have to wait long for the opportunity. He was already growing a slight mustache at twelve and a small beard at thirteen. He soon became a full-fledged teenage beard grower. And he’s been a dedicated beard grower ever since. Michael has learned a lot about the experience of growing a beard and being bearded during this time.

Naturally, Michael’s beard has matured substantially, growing stronger and stronger since those early teenage years. He has experimented with a variety of beard styles over the years. Yet he always comes back to the full beard. During all of this time, Michael regularly has supplied all about beards with beard updates, documenting many of the changes in his beard over the years. You can see these in Michael’s extensive beard photo album.

Michael’s first appearance on all about beards came in August 2006 with his beard success story. We followed up with a special update to celebrate Michael’s beard’s fifth anniversary in 2010. Today in January 2019, let’s check in with Michael to see how he and his beard are doing after all these bearded years.

This month your beard reaches its fourteenth anniversary. How do you feel about being bearded for that many years?

Wow… it has been a long time! …so long that I have even forgotten that I was beardless for about half of my years walking the face of the earth. I guess the beard is such an integral part of who I am.

During this time, what’s the longest amount of time you ever went without your beard?

The longest I can remember is about a week several years ago, when I tried out sporting nothing more than a couple of sideburns. Besides that, it can be about a day when switching beard styles, but never longer than that.

Has your view of being bearded changed much over these years?

I think that the only thing that changed over time is not thinking about it. At all. It’s just a part of who I am, and one gets used to that.

Would you consider your beard to be an asset?

Yes, definitely. For me, it is a part of what makes a man…well, a man.

Has your beard ever caused you any problems?

I remember that during high school it was pretty unusual to see a guy with a full beard walking down the hall, as most boys could not grow one, and the few who could mostly conformed to the beardless “standard” common in modern society. So there were some attempts at ridicule. But those were always fruitless endeavors.


Above is a selection of photos of Michael’s beard from 2015 up to the end of January 2019. Click on any of the photos to view a larger version.

What are your thoughts on the state of beards in the world today versus when you first grew your beard as a young teen?

I believe that much progress has been made during the last five years or so. Fashion is circular, as the saying goes, and so it seems to be with beards as well.

I believe that it is easier for a guy to go bearded today compared to fifteen years ago — beards are much more accepted by mainstream society, appear in cinema, TV etc., with many celebrities appearing on and off screen bearded. Personally, I also see many more bearded men, especially young men, around nowadays.

Do you still intend to remain bearded from now on?

Yes, definitely, with not a trace of doubt!

Has the full beard remained your favorite beard to grow?

Yes. Most of the changes to my beard during the last few years were the length and width of my beard. But I don’t remember any times changing the style to something else.

What’s your beard grooming and maintenance routine?

There isn’t much of a routine, to be honest. What I usually do is shave the neck once every two weeks (more or less) to have a more well defined neck line, and trim a little here and there to get a more balanced look, maybe once every 4-6 weeks.

Do you have any helpful hints on beard growing and grooming that others might not know?

A good beard trimmer which can also be used as a shaver and has a variety of guards is a bearded man’s best friend. Such a device (my choice is the Remington Alpha series) can be used both for daily or weekly maintenance and for changing beard styles when one desires to do so.

Another thing I discovered over the years is that for a balanced look one can use a “gradation” of guards when trimming the beard. Use a certain guard / length setting for the sides of your beard; a little shorter, the next guard down for the chin; and another setting lower for the neck. Having the lower part of the beard be as long as the parts higher up can sometimes create a “bottom heavy” look that not everybody wishes to have, or at least not at all times. If that’s you, give this a try. For example: My trimmer goes in 3mm steps. So at times I use 18mm for the sides of the beard, 15mm for the chin, and 12mm for the neck.

What would you say to other men to encourage them to grow their beards?

Just do it! …as the Nike commercial goes. You might love the way you look with a beard, or with a certain style of beard. You might not. But you can never know unless you try for yourself.

Two things are of utmost importance: patience and resilience. Growing a good beard takes weeks to months. So there is no use in hurrying… It won’t grow any faster. Be resilient and dedicated. Humans are creatures of habit. So at first the change might be frowned upon by others (although some will be supportive, for sure). But don’t let this discourage you, as the reward is worth the risk.
Worst case scenario? You don’t like it or don’t wish to keep it. Then, a few minutes in the bathroom and you are done. Yet you now know yourself a little bit better. And that experience is priceless.


Be sure to also see:

blog.beards.org and Today’s Beard

Ben's beard at four months
Today’s Beard: The first beard salute went to Ben.

When I first added the blog to All About Beards in January of 2006, I thought it was a good idea to place it in its own sub domain: blog.beards.org. I no longer agree with that thinking and will be migrating the blog from the sub domain over to www.beards.org. Before that happens, there are some other things I want to complete first. So in anticipation of the upcoming migration, posting on blog.beards.org will be phased out.

In the meantime, I encourage everyone to follow a new blog feature, Today’s Beard, that I’ve started on www.beards.org. It’s a daily beard shout out and salute. You can find Today’s Beard here.  Come on over. Check it out and follow Today’s Beard!

Maybe a great beard is just what you need this year.

all about beards' twentieth anniversary
Today is the site’s twentieth anniversary!

It began with the heartfelt desire to communicate to the world that beards should not only be accepted, they should be appreciated and encouraged.  This also included the objective of providing would-be beard growers with useful beard-growing information, inspiration, and support.

Building strength through numbers, the idea was to get as many men as possible to grow their beards.  The more beards there are, the more common a sight they become.  Over time, this leads to greater acceptance of beards as “normal”.  And the more acceptance beards gain, pervasive anti-beard bias begins to subside more and more.

Chris' amazing beard progress

It is deeply gratifying to know that all about beards has encouraged thousands of men all around the world to grow their beards.  Even though not all have kept their beards, each one counts as a victory because at least they all got to experience what it is like to grow your beard and be a bearded man.  It is also gratifying to hear from these newly-bearded men how proud they are of their beards and how great they feel about themselves with their beards.

Just as important as encouraging men to grow their beards has been providing them with the information needed to grow their beards properly and to avoid common beard-ruining mistakes.  Whenever I see a man in the beginning phase of growing a beard who has already badly misshapen the nascent beard, I am reminded that the site’s information on how to properly grow a beard still needs to spread further.

Chris' amazing beard progress

All about beards launched on the worldwide web twenty years ago today on January 17, 1996.  It started out on AOL member web space where it began to grow and thrive.  The original URL, now-defunct, was http://members.aol.com/beardguy .  All about beards moved to its new permanent home at beards.org on January 20, 2005.  To this day, all about beards continues to use the original beardguy@aol.com email address for regular correspondence.

Heartfelt thanks go out to all of the site’s loyal friends, supporters, and contributors.  Thanks for bearing with me as the site is going through some more growing pains.  The plan is for all about beards to keep growing and get better and better.

Chris' amazing beard progress

If after twenty years of all about beards you have not yet grown your beard, what are you waiting for?  all about beards guide to growing a beardMaybe a great beard is just what you need this year.

This post is illustrated with sample photos from another beard growth progress photo shoot with Chris a few days ago.  Chris’ amazing beard growth is just getting started and is making fast progress.   Click on any photo to see a larger version.  Use your browser’s back button to return to this page.

Chris' amazing beard progress

See more of Chris

View more photos of Chris with his incredible beard here:

Chris’ awesome, industrial-strength beard

Bearded at night: Chris

Beard update: Chris

Chris: beard thick and strong

the art of bearded manliness

Jason

Beards are all about manliness.  But there is a lot more to manliness than beards.  To make the most of your bearded manliness, you should check out The Art of Manliness.  It is an amazing site devoted to the lost art of manliness.  You’ll find all kinds of articles with great advice and information there.  The site also is home to a thriving online community.

Plenty of our fans and friends found beards.org through The Art of Manliness.  A beards.org guest article on The Art of Manliness site has been quite popular.  For the last three years, the article has brought countless new visitors to beards.org.  It is still going strong, bringing a constant stream of new visitors to beards.org every day.  You can find the article here: Growing a Manly Beard.

Enjoy better living through bearded manliness: beards.org + The Art of Manliness = a winning combination, the art of bearded manliness!

Andy! Now that’s a BEARD!

Andy kindly participated in an official beards.org photo shoot on September 23rd, 2010.  Unlike any other beards.org photo shoot to date, Andy’s photo shoot included a trip to the barber shop for a haircut and beard trim.   Here are some preview shots from the first part of the photo shoot.

Andy
Off to a great start: first photo from the shoot.

Andy
Beards allowed!

Andy
Andy! Now that’s a BEARD!

Stay tuned for lots more of Andy!

hockey fans: grow one for the team!

Beardathon!

There’s still time to grow a beard to support charities during the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.   Click on the image above to see the official television spot on YouTube.  Here’s the press release:

 

HOCKEY FANS INVITED TO “GROW ONE FOR THE TEAM”
Goal to Raise One Million Dollars for Charity

This season, hockey fans across the United States will be sporting their very own playoffs beards. In addition to participating in a great hockey tradition, they will also be raising money for charities across the county.

The Beard-a-thon® program was launched last year when nine NHL clubs raised a combined $350,000 for charity. This season, the goal is to raise $1 million dollars with twelve NHL clubs participating.

Participants in the Beard-a-thon invite family, friends, and business associates to pledge their playoff beards. By receiving pledges, participants promise not to shave until their team wins the Stanley Cup or is eliminated from the playoffs. Fans who are unwilling, or unable, to grow playoffs beards, can also pledge their favorite player, other local celebrities, or build their own beard with the “Build-a-Beard” web application.

Last season, over 8,000 fans nationwide participated in the Beard-a-thon with former NHL player, and current Director of Development for the Boston Bruins Foundation, Bob Sweeney leading all beard growers by raising over $21,000 for charity. Other celebrity beard growers last season included NHL Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux and the lead singer of the Dropkick Murphys, Ken Casey.

“The intensity, both on and off the ice, goes to a whole new level in the playoffs. The Beard-a-thon gives fans a chance show their passion and raise money for charity,” stated John Cimperman, the Principal of Cenergy, a New York based sports marketing agency that manages the program. Cimperman added, “Last season, the Penguins led all teams in fundraising and also hoisted the Stanley Cup. Coincidence, we think not. It is the power of the beard.”

This season’s participating clubs are the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Redwings, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals, and defending Stanley Cup and Beard-a-thon Champion, Pittsburgh Penguins. A ‘just fans’ site was also created for fans without a team in the playoffs. Proceeds from this site will benefit Hockey Fights Cancer™, a joint initiative by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association.

For more information on the Beard-a-thon, log onto www.beardathon.com [Link currently out of service]. All donations to Beard-a-thon are tax deductible.

About the Playoff Beard

A playoff beard is the superstitious practice of a National Hockey League player not shaving his beard during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The player stops shaving when his team enters the playoffs and does not shave until his team is eliminated or wins the Stanley Cup. It is believed that the four-time Stanley Cup Champion New York Islanders started the tradition in the 1980s. In recent years, other sports and other players have claimed the playoff beard tradition, but it is, and always will be, a hockey tradition.

Dale!

After a much-too-long hiatus, the beards.org documentary beard photography project resumed activity yesterday with another original beard photo shoot.  Dale, with his amazing beard growth, kindly agreed to the beard photo shoot.  Here are some preview shots from March 20th, 2009.

Dale
Dale
Dale
Dale