In 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.
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.