18 Month Beard and Hair Growth update

Today makes one and a half years of no shaving, trimming, cutting, or plucking any hair that grows on my body. Nothing major to report these last six months, just a continued acclimation and subtle length increases. Longer head hair has become more noticeable now than the beard requiring more grooming time due to its’ thickness and propensity for knots.

18 months 5.22.14

18 months 5.22.14

 

Hair has natural curls

Hair has natural curls

In keeping with the tradition and relative scientific value here are the rough measurements after 18 months of growing. Remember this was after starting with a completely shaved head and face.

Sideburns       8″

Eyebrows        2″

Top of Head  10″

Chin                 9.5″

Neck                10″

Cheeks              6″

Jawsides         11″

Lower Lip        1.5″

Upper Lip        1.25″

Mouth Corner  3″

Lower Lip to Bottom of beard 12″ – Yes I suppose now I can say it is a footlong beard.

A few more pictures…

5.22.14 Right3  5.22.14 Under

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.22.14 Right2 5.22.14 Front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having the beard is very natural and the last six growing months have not even seemed worthy of writing about. Naturally I still am impatient to discover the terminal length of all my hair, but in the meantime, life continues. I still inspire the occasional Santa comments from people but driving my smart fortwo probably garners more attention than the beard. During the first year of beard growing I was updating every month and very Larry & Smart  involved with beard forums and beard products, and beard competitions all of which were fine and fun. Now after 18 months I seem less interested in hair and hair growth. I don’t think I have the necessary competition worthy beard genes and that suits me just fine as I don’t really like to show off anyway. I am still interested in the beard competitions and happy the beard is making headway into the mainstream. Growing the beard was more like coming out as someone – in my case a bearded man. Now that I am a bearded man I can go on with other interests. Life is not all about the beard anymore but life with the beard is clearly a better life for me. The ups and downs of daily life seem tempered by the beard. It gives balance, continuity, and yes, strength to my life.  As a man of faith, which is the substance of things unseen, I continue to enjoy the blessings of life as they manifest. I have seen improvements and experienced setbacks, but as the beard grows, so do I. I continue to recommend growing a beard or, I should say, I recommend stopping shaving for a time allowing the man to experience bearded life. After a while you will realize it is a natural way for a man to live. So natural, in fact, there will hardly be anything to write about….

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

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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.

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Out of the Mist

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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.