Tag Archives: all 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:

all about beards for twenty-three years

Adding more beards to the world

Twenty-three years ago today a little beard website made its online debut: all about beards. That was the small beginning of a worldwide mission to promote beards and the growing of beards. Accompanying this effort was the important mission of providing helpful information about beards. The site developed an easy-to-follow guide on how to grow a beard successfully. The all about beards beard-growing guide has helped thousands of men around the world to grow their beards. Before these men started growing, the site helped convince them to do so. In many cases, the all about beards inspired them to grow and bolstered their confidence to stay with it all the way through to beard success.

By promoting beards without wavering, all about beards set out to increase public acceptance of beards. With the increased popularity of beards in recent years, it may be hard to fathom that beards used to be far more rarely seen. And it was not long ago that beards enjoyed far less acceptance than they do today.

Recently Scott, pictured above, reported that he was speaking with a young man who is just a year older than the all about beards site. In reference to all about beards, the young man asked Scott why there would be a need for a website devoted to promoting beards. Scott mentioned this exchange to one of his dearest friends. In response, she told Scott to tell me, “Mission accomplished.”

The heartbreak of anti-beard bias

While I was delighted to hear that congratulatory “Mission accomplished”, all about beards‘ mission will never be fully accomplished. Even today while beards seemingly enjoy great popularity and acceptance, the negativity of anti-beard bias remains surprisingly prevalent. It may not be as readily apparent as before. But it still lurks about and makes itself known with too much frequency.

There are people who still comment about how much they detest beards. There are still those who ridicule new-beard growers and insist that they shave. Or, these self-appointed beard police often inform bearded men that their beards must be trimmed down substantially or shaved off altogether. Why should someone else hold so much veto power over your beard? And thanks to these people, there are still far too many men who are too reluctant to grow their beards. It is not easy to eliminate the harm of anti-beard bias. However, all about beards will continue undeterred.

Growing for the future


Click on either image above to view larger.

One of the main ways to grow beard acceptance is for as many men as possible to grow their beards. The more bearded men there are, the more others will grow accustomed to being around beards and, with that, acceptance follows. There is strength in numbers.

Of course, when beards are more common, beard-growing pioneers may long for the old days when having a beard made them stand out even more. When beards were less common, those who steadfastly remained bearded often felt that having a beard made them more unique, making them stand out from the rest, and giving them a certain mystique. They have a point when stating that when every man has a beard, having a beard may not make them feel nearly as special as before. However, we still have a long way to go. Even today at large public events I may look out into the crowds and see that beards are few and far in between.

When it comes to the future of beards, I still say that more is better. Adding more beards to the world by inspiring more men to grow their beards is one of the best ways to make the world more beard-friendly. And the more beard-friendly the world becomes, more men will feel free to grow their beards as they see fit.

If you are one of the thousands of men who grew their beards with inspiration or assistance from all about beards, I express to you my hearty thanks. If you grew your beard without inspiration or assistance from all about beards, I thank you for growing as well. And if you have not yet grown your beard, I invite you to visit our guide on how to grow a beard and start growing for the future right now!

Twenty-two years, all about beards

Here we are again at another all about beards anniversary. Today marks twenty-two years since that little site started out on its mission to promote beards, share information about beards, and celebrate beards. During this time, we have helped thousands and thousands of men all around the world to grow their beards. This, “adding beards to the world”, is among our proudest achievements.

Adding more beards to the world is one of the best ways to increase acceptance, and even respect, for beards. The more beards there are, the more the general population becomes accustomed to them. The more the general population becomes accustomed to beards, the more accepting of beards people become. With that, more people are less likely to harbor that pesky old anti-beard bias that surprisingly and stubbornly resists fading away. The anti-beard bias was much stronger in the early days of all about beards. And it was even stronger for years and years prior to that. Anti-beard bias, however, still remains stronger than many may realize. Plenty of people still feel entitled to tell new beard growers and established beard growers alike that they should shave. A milder form of anti-beard bias allows for limited beard growth, but not too much, with the limit defined by the beard critic. Grow your beard a bit beyond stubble length and you may hear, “That beard’s too long. You’ve got to trim that down.” Here at all about beards, we think that beard critics do not have the right to dictate what restrictions must be imposed on a man’s beard.

Anti-beard bias will never disappear completely. However, we are happy to see that it is much weaker now than it was twenty-two years ago. In recent years beards have made great gains in numbers and in acceptance. We could not be happier, except for the movement to continue in favor of beards.

Ready to grow your beard? Be sure to check out our tried and true beard growing guide and start growing today!

We will always keep growing. We are all about beards.

Twenty-one years, all about beards

All about beards celebrated its twenty-first anniversary on January 17, 2017. This video featuring photos and video from selected beards.org photo shoots marks the momentous occasion!  Many thanks go to all of the site’s friends from throughout the years.

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

all about beards: site renovations

We are all about beards.

Today all about beards launched phase one of our site renovation at www.beards.org !  Please excuse any inconvenience should you find something not working during this transition.  Everything is pretty much working now, but small issues may still be found here and there until all are identified and eliminated.  More changes and improvements are on the way.

all about beards’ sixteenth anniversary

all about beards' sixteenth anniversary

Keep growing.  Today marks the sixteenth anniversary of all about beards, the longest-running beard site on the web.  If all about beards has encouraged you to grow your beard, helped you to improve your beard, improved your view of beards, or had any other positive impact on you, please share by leaving a comment here or sending an email.  Thank you to all of the site’s friends for your support over the years.

all about beards’ fifteenth anniversary

all about beards' 15th anniversary

On January 17th, 1996, all about beards made its humble debut on the worldwide web.  The little web site had embarked on its mission of promoting beards around the globe.  Today, all about beards is growing stronger all the time and remains the world’s longest-running beard web site.  On all about beards’ fifteenth anniversary, I’d like to thank all of the site’s friends, contributors, supporters, cheerleaders, and of course, beard growers for making all about beards such a success.  Keep growing.

happy new beard year 2010!

Brian

I wish you much happiness and happy beard growing in 2010!  All about beards celebrates fourteen years on the web this month!  This continues the site’s reign as the longest-running beard site on the web.

On the first day of this new year, it’s a good time to stop and give thanks.  I am so thankful to all of the contributors from around the world who help make beards.org a shining showcase for beards, inspiring men around the globe to experience the joy of growing a beard.  Thank you, all.

Looking back, all about beards had some pretty lean years.  The message history for the all about beards Yahoo! group that’s been used to announce site updates since 2001 is telling.  Here is how it appeared at the end of 2009:

all about beards group message history 2001 -- 2009

The numbers represent the number of site updates announced each month.  By 2001, the supply of content dwindled down to a trickle.  In addition to the lack of new content, other problems impeded the site’s growth during those very lean years.  2001 through 2004 were especially barren because the beards of the world gallery did not debut until November of 2004 (originally called the bearded visitors gallery).

Eventually, digital cameras came to the rescue.  The proliferation of digital cameras worldwide made it easy for beard growers everywhere to send in photos for the gallery.  The beards of the world gallery has become the beating heart and pride of all about beards.

Thanks, everyone, for growing your beards!  And by all means, keep showing off those beards here on beards.org!  Send ’em in!

Have a wonderful 2010!  Happy new beard year!