Category Archives: Beards

2014 & 2015 Beard Quest Updates beard logoThe 11th and 12th (Beard Shaving 2014 and Beard Shaving 2015) annual beard shaving pics have been posted. The Nero, Neckbeard, Tarly, Puff-a-hee, Franz Josef, and Petit Handlebar were added to The Quest for Every Beard Type, bringing the total number of beards completed to 48 out of 49. Without additions, the quest may have run out of road, gravel, and dirt. The wheels fell off years ago, so it doesn’t much matter.

If you know of something I missed, let me know.

As always, happy bearding.

2013 Beard Shaving and Beard Quest Update beard logoThe 10th annual (seems impossible) beard shaving pics have been posted Beard Shaving 2013. The story completely sucks.

No, really. It does.

It’s the equivalent of those time tracking sheets that your boss makes you fill out where you end up putting everything down in a single category named “Work-related, misc” just to get through it. I mean he already knows what you’re working on for chrissakes. He’s the person who told you that he needed to see every other line in that spreadsheet reformatted in bold, comic-sans in the first place. I mean screw the two weeks it took you to locate, compile, and analyze that treasure trove of obscure data as long as you spend an equal amount of your time getting intimate with comic goddamned sans.

Not that I’ve had a boss in while. Thus, my proficiency in bearding.

The Quest For Every Beard Type

Three new styles were added to The Quest for Every Beard Type this year, bringing the total number of beards completed to 42 out of 44. I could probably get the whole thing done in the next two weeks, but why rush it? If I procrastinate long enough, someone will suggest a style that I haven’t done yet, and the quest lives on for another year.

I’m running out of road here, so if you see anything missing, I’ll see if I can incorporate it. Otherwise, this quest will soon be complete and I’ll have to shave down and get a boss.

And no one wants to see that.

As always, happy bearding!

2012 Beard Shaving and Beard Quest Update beard logoI know how late I am. I know. But I just woke up. Last year’s pics and story have finally been posted at Beard Shaving 2012. After 9 years, it’s not really a story anymore. It’s the web equivalent of grunting at you from my recliner during Matlock commercial breaks.

The Quest For Every Beard Type

Three new styles were added to The Quest for Every Beard Type this year, bringing the total number of beards completed to 39 out of 43.

What? wasn’t it 42 beard styles last year?

Yea, okay, I added a style. I was going for a Napoleon III Imperial in 2012 and failed to check my own notes before photographing it. Only months later did I realize that it was incorrect. Because the mustache on it was too good to let slide, “English Mustache with Goatee” was added to the list. Napoleon III still taunts me from the horizon. Maybe this year.

As always, happy bearding!

MaBeGroMo 2011 Basic Period Over

beard logoOnce again the MaBeGroMo basic period has come and gone. For those of you that made it:


By this point, your beard has not only shored up that weak chin of yours, but it has probably become your most trusted adviser. Well, consult him now, because a decision is at hand: Do you take a picture of your new macho look and head back to the civilized world, or do you look at the horizon toward the “MaBeGroMo Champion” title?

The extended MaBeGroMo challenge closes on February 14th. Not only will your protected jowls thank you when Old Man Winter throws piles of snow at you over the next few months, but you’ll also earn the title of “MaBeGroMo Champion”. And in this economy, anything that can add an extra line to your resume and keep you from wearing a ski mask can’t be all that bad.

If this is the end of the line for you, thanks for joining in and we’ll see you next winter. If you’re continuing on, we’ll send a search party out for you in six weeks.

Good luck everyone. Thanks for participating, and happy bearding.

More information about beards can be found on my beard page.

2011 Beard Shaving and Beard Quest Update beard logoWhat started as a small story to amuse #1GF! and my coworkers, has grown into The Quest for Every Beard Type. And it’s been going on for eight years now.

Eight years.

Well, the gents and I have started in on MaBeGroMo, so the 2011 beard reaping is done for another year. This year’s pics and story are posted in Beard Shaving 2011.

The Quest For Every Beard Type

Three new styles were added to The Quest for Every Beard Type this year, bringing the total number of beards completed to 36 out of 42. And if beards were money, you would’ve earned a tidy 7% profit with no initial investment. You can thank me later.

As always, happy bearding!

Beardophrenia: My First Short Film

Two years ago, I wanted to do something more than the typical compilation of beard shaving pictures that I put out every year, so I sat down with Notepad and a camera phone to work out some ideas for a short film. Within a couple of hours, I had a script, twelve clips of camera phone video, and a sense that I didn’t have the talent to finish the remaining five minutes of film before I hit retirement age.

I called in a favor from Mike over at Burning Snowman, who took an exercise in talking to myself and turned it into a short film, which is now available for your viewing pleasure.

Man, I hate this part…

May I present to you: Beardophrenia: The Beard Film.

MaBeGroMo 2011 Champion Award

Mabegromo Champion coin 2011The 5th annual MaBeGroMo basic period may have ended on January 1st, but the few of you that stuck it out until February 14th, are now set to receive the MaBeGroMo Champion Award. If you are still proudly wearing your beard, you have now earned an entry-level award for excellence in bearding.

And, well, um, due to budget constraints, this post is doubling as your award this year.

Whether you pawn your award or continue on, just make sure you get some good pictures before the razor once again grazes your skin.

We’ll see you next year. Until then, happy bearding.

2010 Beard Shaving and Quest Update beard logoBefore I had the The Quest for Every Beard Type, all my annual beard shaving pictures were posted into a loose, and often odd, story to amuse #1GF! and my co-workers.

With a mere three weeks left to go in the year, the seventh annual picture set has been posted. This year, the Mountain Man makes his annual trek into the city to take on Nu-Metal, the art world, and an internet-stealing wizard.

Check out Beard Shaving 2010 for the full story if you like your beards peppered with strange.

The Quest For Every Beard Type

Eleven styles were attempted and six were added to The Quest for Every Beard Type this year, bringing the total number of beards completed to 33 out of 42. The 2010 Handlebar picture replaced the 2007 picture, and the Fu Manchu, Mega Tusk, and star beard were just too odd to include.

MaBeGroMo 2010 Starts Today! beard logoStow those razors, gents, for it’s time once again for the annual trek into beardedness.

The fifth annual MaBeGroMo starts today.

Thirty days of no-shave earns you a “participant” title, and those completing the full 75 day extended challenge may rightfully claim the title of “MaBeGroMo Champion.”

Original Rules as handed down in 2005

Rule 1: At some point between now and December 1, you take a “before” picture of yourself and put your razor away.
Rule 2: At some point after December 31, you take an “after” picture of yourself, and decide whether to reunite with your razor or renew your short-term contract with your newly found friend. You may then claim the title of “MaBeGroMo Member.”
Rule 3: If you make it to February 14, you have beaten the extended challenge and can rightfully claim the title of “MaBeGroMo Champion.”
Rule 4: If you make it past February 14, step out of the Home Depot, put down the deer carcass, and shower well before signing up for several internet “dating” services. This is just a suggestion.

I’m regularly asked for clarification about MaBeGroMo rules, so here is a quick FAQ.

MaBeGroMo Mini FAQ

How is MaBeGroMo pronounced?
Let’s start with how it is not pronounced. It is not:

  • Mushy guano,
  • Macaran-o,
  • Magic bolo,
  • Meaty Groin-o,
  • Rabies, oh no,
  • Merry snow ho,
  • Nasty grope-o,
  • Mister Roboto,
  • Majordomo,
  • Sonny Bono,
  • Mako shark-o,
  • Marco Polo,
  • Mangy Rambo
  • Roll a Rollo
  • Han shot Greedo,
  • Matlock Groan-o,
  • Mecha Godzill-o,
  • Bo’s Bolero,
  • Mario Cuomo,
  • Meet Dave Grohl-o,
  • Mail order bride-o,
  • Moby Grape-o,
  • No pain in this dojo,
  • Mug me, grandma, or
  • “That damned beard month thing.”

Officially MaBeGroMo is pronounced “Mah-bee-grow-moe.” “Maybe Grow Moe” is also in use, and while not incorrect, it is not the preferred pronunciation.

Should the participant’s last shave occur on November 30 or December 1?
This has been one of the most frequently requested clarifications over the years even though a “last shave” requirement never appears in the original rules. Whether you’re arriving in from Movember, November Beard Club, or just want head start, MaBeGroMo has never had a day zero shave requirement. Head starts are not only within the rules, but encouraged.

How strict is the no shaving policy? Can I trim and shave as necessary?
Unfortunately, The MaBeGroMo Council of Elders no longer has the resources to enforce rules like it did in the golden age of beards, so responsibility for interpretation is left to the participant. For the first-time beardventurer, trimming and shaving are not recommended. Without the knowledge of how an individual’s beard grows, trimming and shaving can end up hindering more than helping. The council recommends that new beardventurers let their beards transpire naturally for at least thirty (30) days. On January 1st, you can do what you want with it. For seasoned bearders, you know what you’re doing, so do what you need to.

Is neck shaving allowed?
Because it’s understandable that a bearded face and a clean neck are somewhat more acceptable in the business world than a wild hobo beard, the neck has become an acceptable shave zone for all participants, if desired. For first time growers, the council recommends against neck shaving until the end of the MaBeGroMo basic period because a novice bearder has a distinct lack of knowledge regarding how their beards grow. New beardventurers who must shave their necks should take care not to shave too close to the jawline while the neck is stretched upward. Doing so will leave the participant with a beard that stops before the jawline, making them look like beard N00bs.

Face shaving is frowned upon, but I have this one stray hair on the top of my cheek. Can I cut that?
Rebellious hairs exist. Excise them as necessary.

What charity does MaBeGroMo benefit?
Charity events like Movember are worthwhile causes, but MaBeGroMo an individual event, benefiting no one but the participant (and the people they lug, haul, lift, chop, and squash things for using their new-found beard power).

Can I just grow a goatee / mustache / sideburns?
Sorry, Evil Spock / Hipster / Elvis Impersonator. Only full beard attempts qualify.

I have a question that wasn’t answered.
For other beard related questions, be sure to check The Beard FAQ.

Good luck. Hopefully, I’ll see the new, badass version of you in thirty days.

Happy bearding.

Music To Grow Beards By: The Beard Playlist

We’re a week into November Beard Month, and I was looking for some music to help coax these whiskers out into the open air. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a decent beard related playlist out there anywhere. So, what do you do when you can’t find something pre-made? You roll up your sleeves and you make it yourself.

Most of the songs lean toward the heavier side of the scale, but if you’re growing a 70’s, peace-loving beard to nest tiny woodland creatures in, I threw a few tracks for you, too. So, let’s get some cold air on your face and music into those ears, and let’s get those whiskers on the outside where they belong.

All the songs included either mention facial hair or are performed by bands with one or more bearded members. Yes, ZZ Top is in there even though they’re included in every musical beard list ever.

If you have track suggestions, be sure to throw them in the comments, and a full track listing (with explanations) is included below.


Continue reading Music To Grow Beards By: The Beard Playlist

Choose Your Own Beardventure

You suddenly awaken, and as you try to blink away the bright light that is making your head pound, you realize that you’re staring at the sky. You spit the grit from your teeth and pull yourself to a seated position.

You’re not dressed like Ralph Macchio, but you find yourself sitting in the middle of a dusty crossroad. You check your watch like you always do when the world around you lacks stability. It’s November 1st and it’s morning. I guess that’s something.

To your right, the road degrades into a stony path that leads to the abandoned mansion of the November Beard Club. To your left, the road vanishes into fields and sunshine. Something in the air vaguely smells like hope. In front of you, way in the distance, you see a man who seems to be smiling and waiting. You can’t tell if he’s giving you the finger or throwing you the horns.

Which path do you take?

If you go to the right and explore the ancient rights of November Beard Club, turn to page 147.

If you go to the left to support Movember, turn to page 92.

If you throw your razor to the ground for that long walk toward the guy in the distance, turn to page 66.

If it seems safer just to stand still and wait for rescue, turn to page 69.

7 Ways To Conquer A Naturally Unruly Beard

Thad asks:


I’ve been working on my beard, but the longer hairs tend to go in the wrong direction once they get more than an inch long. Is it natural for longer facial hair to grow at an angle?


I have to admit that I laughed when I first got this e-mail, because even though I get a good portion of my traffic from beard related posts, I don’t consider myself to be an authority on beards. I am, however, someone who has grown a decent number of beards over the years despite a distinct lack of natural beard growing ability. Maybe there are some men out there who were born to grow perfect beards, but for most of us, getting a beard to look halfway normal takes a little bit of effort.

As I typed up a quick response, I realized that although my suggestions were pretty basic, they were the result of years of trial and error, and might be beneficial to other guys whose natural ability is throwing roadblocks onto their roads to beardedness. If you have a problem with an unruly beard (or know someone who does), here are 7 tips that should help to get those renegade patches back under control. And they require only a little more effort to implement than growing the beard itself
Continue reading 7 Ways To Conquer A Naturally Unruly Beard

Joseph Palmer: Perscuted For Wearing The Beard

Joseph Palmer: Persecuted For Wearing The BeardRecently, I made a special trip up to Evergreen Cemetery in Leominster, Massachusetts to see the grave of Joseph Palmer, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a member of the short-lived Utopian community “the Fruitlands”. I’m not much of a history buff, so why would I drive halfway across the state to seek out the grave of a man who died a century before I was born? It was too interesting of a story not to investigate.

The “Crime”

He was described as a kind and tolerant man, but life was not easy for Joseph Palmer after he moved to Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1830. People would openly insult him, throw rocks at him, regularly break the windows of his home, and even cross the street so as not to be near him when he passed by. Even though he was deeply religious man who regularly attended church services, Palmer was publicly denounced during sermons by his pastor, Rev. George Trask, and even refused communion.

What awful thing had this small town butcher done to warrant such persecution? Joseph Palmer’s crime was that he was the only citizen in Fitchburg, Massachusetts who chose to wear a full beard, which (contrary to my vision of the 1800’s being a beard grower’s paradise) had been out of fashion in the United States since the time of the Pilgrims.
Continue reading Joseph Palmer: Perscuted For Wearing The Beard


So, I’m reading a post over at GeeseAplenty about how Greg is a little sick of the whole NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) obsession that has reared it’s head once again this year. While I find myself indifferently shrugging over whether someone should should take a stab at writing a book in a month or obsessing about it on their personal virtual homestead, I did agree with him whole-heartedly on one point:

NaNoWriMo sounds like a big, fat pain in the ass.

This of course got me thinking. What about people like me to whom procrastination is more of a lifestyle than a character flaw? How the hell could I write a book in a month? My gaming would suffer, my blogging would suffer, my PVR would fill up, and Netflix would raise prices to cover the money they spent on tech support specialists to figure out why my queue had suddenly and completely stalled. And what would I end up with after paying the hefty 5000 word per day entrance fee? The rewards just don’t seem like they’d exactly outweigh the effort.

This is not to say that I don’t yearn to belong to a stupidly named club for jerks, too. Not writing a book shouldn’t stop me. That’s just discrimination. And when you discriminate, you make an ass out of you and me. Or something like that.

So, for the less industrious among us who don’t feel that it’s too much to want results that at least match the effort that went in, I’m shunning NaNoWriMo and starting my own month. My month will allow people to be part of something, give them a visible reward, and won’t require anything near 5000 words per day to complete.

So, to everyone reading, I’m officially declaring December to be MaBeGroMo (Macho Beard Growing Month).

The rules are simple (even for us).

MaBeGroMo Rules

Rule 1: At some point between now and December 1, you take a “before” picture of yourself and put your razor away.
Rule 2: At some point after December 31, you take an “after” picture of yourself, and decide whether to reunite with your razor or renew your short-term contract with your newly found friend. You may then claim the title of “MaBeGroMo Member”
Rule 3: If you make it to February 14, you have beaten the extended challenge and can rightfully claim the title of “MaBeGroMo Champion.”
Rule 4: If you make it past February 14, step out of the Home Depot, put down the deer carcass, and shower well before signing up for several internet “dating” services. This is just a suggestion.

You’re thinking about it. I can see it. I’ve taken the liberty of answering some of your presented concerns to give you the encouragement to get started in The Beard FAQ. Good luck.

Haircut from Hell: No Shaving 103

Today, when I went in for the first haircut since before Christmas, my barber cut my hair from it’s 3 inch hippie length down to its normal half inch. Unfortunately for me, he also ran the clippers from my jowls right up into my hairline to even my beard with my hair. The three and a half months of savage growth that I had amassed since November 2, 2004, was wiped down to three weeks of growth in a matter of seconds.

Once the sideburns were really short, there was no other choice but to even the whole thing out so that I wouldn’t look like a half shaved moron going back to work. Now, the bottom half of my face looks strange and naked. My chin now looks entirely too small, and my nose entirely too big.

As a result of this unforeseen mishap, there will be no “Shaving 103” addition to the site this year.