Tag Archives: milestone

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!

All About BEARDS for twenty-four years

Welcome to the home of excellent beards!

The above greeting was the headline on the home page of All About BEARDS when the site made its debut on the worldwide web on January 17, 1996. I started the site to take a stand:

  • to proclaim that beards are okay, that beards are actually way more than okay
  • to declare that beards are natural and worthy and should be embraced rather than shunned
  • to stress that beards merit respect, appreciation, and even admiration
  • to state that it’s all right to have questions about beards and how to grow a beard and to seek out information about beards
  • to provide much-needed information on the right way to grow a beard as well as helpful information on beard styles and beard grooming
  • to encourage and inspire men all over the world to grow their beards

Ever since that first day twenty-four years ago, the site has steadfastly remained true to the bearded cause. That was the start of All About BEARDS’ efforts to increase beard acceptance. The goal has always been to enable men to be free to grow their beards as they see fit.

Beard progress

Yes, beards have come a long way since 1996. In recent years and still today, beards are seen in far greater numbers and enjoy a lot more acceptance. Today beards are seen much more frequently in popular media than probably ever before. A notable indicator is the number of beards seen in television commercials. Back when All About BEARDS first started, it was highly unlikely to ever see a beard in a television commercial. Nowadays it seems that nearly every man appearing in a television commercial has a beard, usually even a full beard. That’s some beard progress.

In the years since All About BEARDS started, many more companies have eased or lifted restrictions on employee beards. Men in a variety of professions are growing beards and finding that their beards are not a detriment to a professional appearance. This represents great progress. However, plenty of employers still maintain outdated restrictions on beards.

Today beards are seen less like an oddity and more like an accepted, everyday thing. And beards these days regularly summon plenty of compliments from both women and men. Many a time I’ve had people go out of their way to compliment me on my beard.

That pesky anti-beard bias

Despite all the gains in acceptance and the increased goodwill toward beards, there remains a surprising amount of anti-beard sentiment. Lots of people still voice strong criticisms of beards with great conviction. They may claim that all beards are unsightly and unkempt. They may say that beards are unclean. They may say that beards are offensive or disgraceful.

Others may allow for beards, but impose their own restrictions, especially with respect to size or length. Some state that beards that exceed a certain length, sometimes as little as a quarter of an inch, are absolutely unacceptable and must not be tolerated. In most of these cases, they appoint themselves to decide whether others may grow their beards or to what extent these beards may be permitted to grow. They are also quick to insist that new beard growers stop that beard-growing nonsense immediately and shave. They can be unrelenting in their demands that new beard growers obey their wishes. All of this serves as a reminder that much more progress is needed to counter anti-beard bias.

All About BEARDS: 24 years -- Chris' beard
All About BEARDS: Growing strong for twenty-four years!

Do your part and grow your beard

When it comes to beards, I continue to stress that there is strength in numbers. This works in many ways. Overall, the more beards there are, the more common they become. As beards become more common, greater numbers of people become accustomed to them. With increased familiarity with beards, more acceptance follows.

Each bearded man has the opportunity to be a positive role model, improving the image of bearded men in general. Bearded men and beard fans should actively encourage other men to grow their beards. And those new beard growers should do the same. This increases the number of beards in the world and helps grow more acceptance of beards. Now do your part and grow your beard! Also share this post and encourage others to grow.

Many thanks go to all of the wonderful friends who have supported and grown with All About BEARDS during the last twenty-four years!

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.

Our nineteenth anniversary

All about beards' nineteenth anniversary
On January 17, 1996 a modest web site named all about beards made its debut on the web. Starting out on AOL web space — the now defunct “http://members.aol.com/beardguy” — the site moved to its permanent home at beards.org on January 20, 2005. Profound thanks go out to all of our friends and supporters over these years!