41st Beardiversary!

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41st Beardiversary!

41st Beardiversary!
December 31, 2017 05:07PM
On Christmas day in 1976, at age 19, I stopped shaving, and haven't shaved since. In celebration of my 41st beardiversary I took a few photos of the current state of my beard. I've been trying once again to grow it longer recently. It's probably the longest I"ve had it in several years. Every few months I trim the very bottom just a tiny bit to even things up.

The beard oil I've been using for the past couple years is helping to prevent breakage and split ends, and I've been more careful in combing it to keep from yanking out hairs, having a healthy diet with a few suppliments, and getting enough sleep. This is resulting in perhaps a lightly fuller beard at long length than I've had in the past when I've grown it out.

In the end, however, as much as I'd like to have a big thick navel-grazer, the length and fullness is limited by my genetics--the sparse density of my beard follicles, the mostly average rate of hair growth and a short length of the anagen phase (see the Wikipedia page on hair follicles -- I estimate my anagen phase is about 2 to 3 years, the lower limit of the usual 2 to 7 mentioned in the Wikipedia article). Still, I try to do the best with what I have, and enjoy it.

Here are some photos. Click on the thumbnails to see larger images in Gallery 56, and click on each of those gallery images to see the even large full-size images. Enjoy!

Front view 1:

Front view 2:

Side view:

Close-up from below:

A very furry new year to all!

--Tom W. in Tucson
Re: 41st Beardiversary!
January 02, 2018 03:11AM
First off, your beard is looking really good. Thanks for posting the pictures, and also the steps you've taken to get it longer and fuller lately. It gives me hope that perhaps my beard can also grow a bit more in the coming year. I've been worried that I am at or near my terminal length.

You and I have things in common when it comes to beards - I started my beard when I was 19 years old, too. In my case it was New Years day 1979 when I decided to start growing my beard, so I guess I'm celebrating my 39th beardiversary today!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2018 04:59AM by TwoBear.
Re: 41st Beardiversary!
January 02, 2018 11:54AM
Happy beardiversary to you, Karter! Of all the bearded population, there are likely very few who have stuck with it as long as we have, unless you look to particular religious groups. We are in a rare crowd.

And thank you for the compliments. I thought the black sweater I wore for the photos helped to show off the beard well. I can't say that it always looks that good. With light or patterned shirts, which are what I usually wear, it's much more see-through. I sang in a lot of choral concerts at Christmas wearing a tux with white shirt and black tie, and was always conscious of my black tie and white shirt showing right through the beard. The sides of the beard, in front of the black tux lapels, showed up much better, so that from the front, it looked like I had a split beard with a little haze inbetween.

It's an ongoing battle in my mind between not wanting the beard to look "too" scraggly and yet wanting length and fullness. Any extra inches I can coax out from good beard care are most welcome. May you coax out some extra inches as well, if from nothing else than getting that critical part of your mind to stop telling you that your beard has reached its limit.


Tom W.
Re: 41st Beardiversary!
January 03, 2018 09:07AM
Congratulations on 41 years of beardedness, Tom!

Great job on the photos.

Re: 41st Beardiversary!
January 05, 2018 06:15PM
Thanks, Russ! The photos were fun to do.

And perhaps in some small way promote beardedness among others.


Tom W. in Tucson

Re: 41st Beardiversary!
January 04, 2018 09:42AM
The beard looks fantastic, Tom! By that I mean, the shape and the length. And by shape, I mean the straight-edge, squared bottom -- that's my favorite beard style. You have the exact length I would love to have, as well. I'm so close, too -- but the beard of mine just doesn't want to cross that finish line. I'm about two- or three-inches away.

Plus, to those who know me, I'm an overall fan of that beard style with the long hair of yours. So in my humble opinion, you've got the ideal look goin' on.

Congratulations on hitting 41 years! And thanks much for sharing all the pics.
Re: 41st Beardiversary!
January 05, 2018 09:10AM
Thank you, Gym! I've experimented with other beard styles over the years, and by that, I don't mean ones created by shaving, but rather by having the beard shorter or longer, or with some parts shorter (such as sides) while other parts are longer. I have good strong growth under my jaw on the sides, so that the straight-edge, squared bottom style comes quite naturally. But I've the beard squared off when slightly shorter, so I would think that could work for you as well, while you work at eking out every last millimeter of growth that you can.

I've had my hair long for well over 25 years. Usually I keep it braided. Loose, it falls into my eyes. But I like the look of the loose hair with the long beard. Perhaps some future photos. There are some old ones of me in the archives that way.

Share some current photos of yourself if you can.



Tom W. in Tucson

Re: 41st Beardiversary!
January 16, 2018 12:12AM
Looking great Tom! Many more happy beardiversaries to come.

Cheers, Oren

Let's Grow ... (clap-clap, clap-clap-clap) Let's Grow!!!
Re: 41st Beardiversary!
May 22, 2018 01:39PM
Congrats ! Your beard is fantastic and inspiring. Still I must peticularly admire your steadfastness for not shaving for so many years. Well I am letting my beard go wild but I am still having some doubts and apprehensions about the transformation from the short to a rather big beard. Patience is the key. Cheers. Phil
Re: 41st Beardiversary!
May 31, 2018 11:34AM
Thank you, Philippe. I have utterly no desire to shave, but as the years go by, I experiment with shorter or longer beards, and sometimes with some parts longer than others, like a longer goatee area, or long "corners" creating a squared-off look. I find the current long beard very versatile, because I can easily braid it or tie it, or braid it and tuck it in, if I want to or need to. I have found that most of the concerns about how I am perceived by others are just that, concerns within my own mind, and those around me don't much care.

I always find the transformation from a shorter to longer beard to be fun. And after the first time you do it, you know what you're going to look like as it gets longer, so you can anticipate your new look rather than wonder what it's going to be. And as you said, patience is key. And acceptance. Remember that if you decide to go shorter again, it doesn't have to be drastic. You can just take off a little periodically to maintain it at a certain length, or a little more to shorten it a bit, or even a bit more in a few days if you want it even shorter.

It can also help to see photos of others with a beard like yours, or like it may turn out to be. I recently posted a few photos of noted fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss in Gallery 56. In the past few years, he's let his beard get longer, and wispier at the bottom, sort of like mine. And no one seems to be critiquing him for his looks.

If you feel like it, please post photos of yourself so we can see your transformation.



Tom W. in Tucson

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