Here is the Yeard

Yeard6In the beard community ( a community with a lot of new growth recently, pun intended) the term “yeard” refers to a beard that has been growing, untrimmed, for twelve months, one year. So one year beard = yeard. There is some ongoing yeard controversy regarding trimming, shaping, necklines, cheek lines, as to when is a yeard not a yeard. As for me, I started with a completely shaved head Last November and have not shaved, trimmed, or cut, a single hair off my head.  I have lost many hairs in the comb, however, more from my head than my beard, and continue to shed hairs daily. It is normal to shed hair so if you experience a lot of hair in your comb, don’t worry about it too much.

My goal is to experience “terminal length” but that may be a misnomer because hair growth involves three phases. According to wikipedia, so it may be “terminal time” and protecting hair as it grows that determines one’s ultimate overall length. Beard hair and head hair are obviously two different types of hair. Personally, I notice beard hair grows faster than head hair. I also noticed that some hair is thicker. Using a digital caliper I found my head hair to be thinner than beard hair, with eyebrow and mustache hair thicker than chin hair. Obviously, there is plenty of time available when growing a long beard.

This is a cut and paste from Wikipedia;

“Hair follows a specific growth cycle with three distinct and concurrent phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. Each phase has specific characteristics that determine the length of the hair. All three phases occur simultaneously; one strand of hair may be in the anagen phase, while another is in the telogen phase.

The body has different types of hair, including vellus hair and androgenic hair, each with its own type of cellular construction. The different construction gives the hair unique characteristics, serving specific purposes, mainly warmth and protection.”

I would add the beard does far more on many subjective levels. Growing a long natural beard brings a new perceived identity to a man and can overshadow all other personality traits. A natural disguise, or camo that designates a long bearded man into one of only a few categories available to the general public, processing the unusual appearance regardless of who the individual is behind the beard. This public perception is slowly changing as more men make the commitment to longer natural beards and work in a greater variety of occupations.  I have noticed recently more beards in TV advertising spots.

Anyway, now that I have completed my Freshman beard year, I think my analogy to a university degree will work for the next three growing years and then I may have to continue to graduate school if the beard is still growing longer. After four years with no trimming, a bachelor of beard term,  graduates should proudly display a very long beard diploma. We need more men enrolled in this life changing course. The first year commitment is probably the most difficult to complete and there are many dropouts for various personal reasons. I am very pleased to be starting my sophomore beard year now but also impatient to graduate.

The beard comments I receive now are positive, mostly references to Santa Claus.  I have had to pose with a stranger for a picture, now posted on Ramona’s facebook page so she could tell her nine year old “Santa came early”. I met Ramona, who was in charge of a hospital holding area, while my wife was in the ER for testing. Also met a man working transport who has been growing his very nice Amish style  beard since February. He stopped my forward progress as my wife was wheeled away from me toward radiology. He said keeping the mustache shaved helped him look cleaner for the hospital environment. After several minutes of conversation he helped me access through the restricted hospital maze card scanners to catch up with my wife and went on his way.  We had many laughs with nurses and technicians  in a normally stressful and somewhat depressing ER hospital situation. The beard was very useful in creating a much lighter atmosphere and cheering up other patients. One who boldly told me she wanted a new car for Christmas.

So here are some pictures of the yeard.

One year Nov. 2013

One year Nov. 2013

Yeard4  Yeard6

Since I started with a completely shaved head I have been taking periodic measurements from various locations on my head. It is interesting to see the different growth rates. These are the results after the first year. Remember your results may vary.

Top of Heard 6 1/2 inches
Eyebrows 2 1/4 inches
Sideburns 6 inches
Cheeks 4 inches
Upper lip 1 1/2 inches
Lower lip 1 1/2 inches
Mouth corner 4 inches
Jaw sides 8 inches
Chin 7 inches
Neck 8 inches
Competition measure length lower lip to bottom of beard is 9 inches or .075 inches per month for the first 12 months average.

Beard on….

Eleven Month Beard, plus Beard Protection Tip 1 and Tip 2

Here is my almost eleven month beard in a demo of how to use a T shirt and elastic headband to protect your hair and beard.

 

 

Tip 2

The mustache cup did not really work well for me and I wanted something to use at the Waffle House so I bought some 1/4 inch copper tubing, cut to lengths, polished and cleaned. I carry the small copper straw with me all the time. It works great to stir and drink hot liquids while keeping my stash dry. Cut a longer section for milkshakes.

Copper Straw 2Copper Straw

The large diameter makes cleaning easy using a twisted paper napkin to run through the inside of the straw.

Beard on….

Ten Months with a Quack Quack here and a Quack Quack there…

Thumbs Up Ten months

Thumbs Up Ten months

DuckCommander

Calling on Ducks

Calling  all  Beards

Phil

Philwithcall

Image

Phil Robertson, an intelligent, athletic, Louisiana man of faith, former commercial fisherman, founder of Duck Commander, star of Duck Dynasty, who is aligned with the Christian fathers of the United States of America, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and others, created a better duck call and sold them to hunters while spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Phil was a  starting college quarterback, became a teacher, then commercial fisherman, outdoorsman and then invented a duck call that could command the ducks. Duck Commander was born.  Phil believes in being grateful for, and living off the land. He is raising his children and grandchildren to believe in the goodness of God and to love everyone. His story and testimony is now reaching millions of people each week through the A&E television show Duck Dynasty. This month’s beard update is a tribute to this great man, Phil Robertson.

Next month we will be talking about a few long beard challenges and unusual solutions. A way to enjoy a hot cup of coffee even with a large mustache, and how to protect your beard when sanding and grinding metal or spray painting.

Comb of the month is the 1637 Hercules Sagemann  480. This hard rubber comb is becoming more and more pleasing as my hair gets longer. The name link is to a German YouTube video of the Hercules Sagemann comb factory in Germany.

Beard on…

1637 Hercules Sagemann 480 Comb

1637 Hercules Sagemann 480 Comb

Nine Months is Neptune, King of the Sea Beards

Today is nine months of hair growth without any trimming. The theme is King Neptune. Since I do not live by the ocean I could not get the shot I would have imagined there hence the blue tint.

Image

Out of the Mist

Image

Image

Image

 

Hair is wet because Neptune just rose out of the sea and the kingly trident? Well it is a couple of wooden garden stakes and a baluster hot glued together. King on a very tight budget.

Eight months of bearding turned me into a Gnome

After eight months of no shaving, cutting or trimming one begins to realize they just may have a beard. Gnome doubt about it.

Eight months 7/26/13

Eight months 7/26/13

While it is common for most humans to notice my beard the surprise for me was how the animals at the zoo responded. They definitely reacted differently than when they saw me before the longer beard. One example was the gorilla who not only gave me his attention but we played peek-a-boo for several minutes, amazing connection.

 

7/26/13 Eight months

7/26/13 Eight months

Seven Month update, Flashback to the 70s, plus beard soap reviews

This months update theme comes from this picture of John Charles Carter, better known as Charlton Heston from his 1956 role as

Moses in The Ten Commandments  moses

6.22.13

6.22.13

Growing a beard has been something I have enjoyed since puberty without giving much thought to it. I grew, I trimmed, I shaved, I grew over and over. I tried different styles as the whims came. I never paid much attention to how others were wearing facial hair nor attributed any special meaning to various styles or trends.  Recently I read Allan Peterkin’s  Cultural History of Facial Hair book called One Thousand Beards which enlightened me on the meanings behind many of the facial hair styles as well providing some interesting  stories like a 300 year war between France and England started because of a shaved beard. Back in the 60s was a time to let it all hang out so to speak and hippie boomers like me had the hair to prove it. I remember my hair was very long and a pony tail was about the only way to manage that length of very thick, wild hair I was given. Since that time I have always worn my hair military short as it was easier and cheaper to buzz my own head. My beards came and went but the head hair was mostly always very short. So now that is all changing back to full natural terminal length to reveal the natural look I have been genetically given yet never experienced. We really can not take credit for our hair, only what we do with it. By keeping it short in the past, I really never had to deal with it. Being short I could jump out of bed in the morning and be ready to go. This is a real advantage for those in the military. Now not so much the quick and easy, but there are many significant benefits of long hair including UV sun protection, something we should all be concerned about.  I had many pealing sunburns as a child before we knew those are really bad in the long run so please remember to protect your skin from the sun this summer with long hair or sunblock creams. Lately I have not noticed as many beard comments or stares, perhaps I have just grown accustomed to them or grown past that influence so as not to notice.

I chose an open face helmet for my motorcycle ride for the first time since I can remember. I had to get the helmet out of the attic. I had switched to full face for comfort and protection but never really liked wearing a full face helmet, especially with glasses. The take off the glasses, put on the helmet, put on the glasses, and then the reverse take off the glasses, find somewhere to put them, take off the helmet, put the glasses back on drill was tedious and inconvenient.  Anyway it was a very different motorcycle riding experience with open face helmet and beard. In fact I removed my small windshield in anticipation for my next open face ride. The beard in the wind was very enjoyable and offered both sun and wind protection for my face.

Now, let’s set the way back machine to the end of 1970s and have a look see.

1978 Mustache

1978*  Mustache

1978 Beard

1977*  Beard

1979 estimate date

1979*  Florida

*Actual Year guesstimates

Interesting flashback,  Now here are some more current pictures.

Eight months 6.22.13

Seven months 6.22.13

6.22.13.rside  6.22.13.lside IMG_4436

BeardUp-6.22.13

Reviews:

The final two beard soaps from beardcareproducts, we tried are Denali Caribou, and Botanical.

Botanical Beard Bar

Botanical Beard Bar

Denali Caribou Beard Bar

Denali Caribou Beard Bar

Both of these bars have a unique fresh scent. That is invigorating and very pleasant. The Denali Caribou has a more woodsy calming scent not as strong as the Wild Side bar. It lathers very well with a rich, smooth, suds leaving hair squeeky cleen. The Botanical reminds me of  an Irish Spring type fresh and lively scent. I think any of beardcareproducts beard bar soaps are better for the beard than regular hair shampoos. It is just  matter of finding the scent you like the best or rotating between a couple to keep things interesting. They are all enjoyable in their own right and good for your beard regardless of length. These different scents are really for the washing experience and do not linger much after rinsing. If you are new to the beard world you should give these a beard bars try, as for my favorite??  I suppose I will go back to my first beard bar soap love, back to the Rock, the Alcatraz Rock Beard Bar for its’ fresh invigorating scent, easy lather and squeaky clean result.

If you have an All Natural beard product you would like reviewed just let us know and we will be happy to work it in to a future beard update.

Thank you to Gorton’s customer service for sending some dollar off coupons in appreciation for the Gorton’s theme photo last month.

Thank you for following and sharing this terminal  beard journey