Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…growing a yeard

Some of you may have noticed that my beard gallery hasn’t been updated in a while and may have put that down to general laziness.

You couldn’t have been more wrong.

Today marks day 183, or the halfway point, or the heard (rhymes with beard not bird), of my quest.

Some of you may already know about my goal but you’re thinking I’ve done it wrong. I’ve miscounted and actually my halfway point is tomorrow. I’m not and I haven’t. You just forgot to include one thing in your calculations: time travel.

To answer some questions:

What is a yeard?

A yeard is an amalgamation of the words ‘year’ and ‘beard’. Put simply, and it is quite simple already, a yeard is when you grow a beard for a year. You start clean shaven and then you let it go wild for the next 12 months — no trimming, no shaving, no tidying up.

Here’s me the morning after I shaved, which I’m handily going to call ‘day 1’.

yeard day 1

Folklore has it that it only takes a fortnight to grow a decent beard. Here’s me on day 14, I don’t think it’s really a beard yet.

yeard day 14

Here’s me after a month. Do I pick day 30 or 31? 31.

yeard day 31

You may be wondering if I’m taking a picture of my beard every day. The answer is yes. Except for day 88 which I forgot about. Here’s day 100.

yeard day 100

To speed things up a bit, here’s today. Day 183. Updated with new photo.

183 May 20 heard

How do you grow a beard?

This phrase, or variations of it, comes up surprisingly often the search terms people use to find my site. There’s not much I can do to answer this one. The basic solution is not to shave. When I was in my teens I didn’t have a great beard, but as I’ve aged it’s got better and better. If you can’t grow one, it might simply be because you’re too young. If you don’t think that’s the case, you should focus on the areas that grow strongly and find a beard style to match. It may be that you need to focus on a goatee (if your cheeks or sideburns are weak) or a Hollywoodian (if your sideburns aren’t great).

You have a wicked beard, but are there any down sides to it?

Everyone asks about itchiness, this isn’t a problem. There’s a stage that lasts for a few days, maybe a couple weeks in but it changes for each person, and if you push through this then the itching goes away and you’re free to enjoy your beard in its fullness.

The other problem I encounter is with food and drink. Anything foamy, saucy or creamy is troublesome. Ice cream, soup, beer, burgers, toast (with peanut butter or something) cause me strife every day. You find simple tricks like folding your toast or pizza in half to protect yourself or simply to go mental with the mess and clear up afterwards. Here’s me trying to eat an ice cream.

beard ice cream

Also, sometimes food forces my moustache into my mouth and I bite on it, pulling the hairs and causing acute pain. Overall, it’s totally worth it.

Do girls like beards?

I like to think everyone likes beards (for example, last night as I walked home I got three high-fives from strangers with positive comments on my beard), but in all honesty I know that the majority of girls don’t find a beard attractive. The ones who do like a beard, however, really like a beard.

That’s about it really. I’ll answer more beard related questions in the comments.

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8 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    I was really conscious of the itching the first time I really let it grow in 2011 (maybe got to ten weeks), but since then I’ve had another couple of ten-weekers-or-so before wussing out and itchiness hasn’t been a problem.

    I don’t understand why you’ve included a photo of some random boy above your beard photos though.

  2. stephanysallee says:

    Great article, totally what I wanted to find.

  3. Dave says:

    Just to be the 17th person to inform you of this, an opportunity to sell out your achievement:

    http://metro.co.uk/2013/05/25/could-beardvertising-be-the-next-big-thing-get-paid-for-your-epic-facial-fuzz-3808486/

  4. Oliver says:

    Everyone: Have you ever seen that epi..
    Me: …episode of Family Guy where Peter grows a beard and a family of birds live in it? Yes.

    • Dave says:

      The most obvious/repetitive/banal stuff I get is about my country.

      Foreigner: ‘England? Manchester United!’
      Me: ‘Yes.’

      Conversation ends. I used to get ‘William!’ too, during the royal wedding year, but they’ve forgotten about him now. Only Manchester United remains.

      Though I did exactly the same thing last week on a bus when a guy introduced himself from Nepal:

      Me: ‘Nepal? Everest.’
      Foreigner: ‘Yes.’

      That’s the best I could do.

      • Oliver says:

        I’ve been told that loads of Americans class themselves as Scottish (or actually as Scotch) because their great great great great somethings emigrated from there but no one in their family line has ever gone back. I think they’re actually American and I’m sure if I meet a few of them I’ll be sure to tell them. In Australia people were always proud to tell me that they had Scottish heritage (better than calling themselves Scottish) as a way to bond with me. I learned that if I asked ‘Have you ever been?’ they soon stopped that.

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