Welcome to Yeard Mountain, Our 12 month project where I sacrifice my beard in the name of science to give you a front row seat to the full growth of a Yeard - A benchmark achievement in any Beardsmith's life.
The idea for Yeard Mountain came from the natural succession of creating my products, writing a book, and still having a lot of guys coming to me with problems that were keeping them from growing their beard. The big thing is that most of these problems are totally normal - but it is hard to just tell a guy that.
So here we are.
Here is the announcement video:
How it Works
This is a pretty simple idea, but I do want to find ways to make it as valuable and fun as possible. With that in mind, here are the details (keep in mind, these can change). I will be doing bi-weekly video updates; just a short video check-in where I talk about what I have been dealing with, answer any questions, and show progress. I will also be doing a small daily report on the beard for the first 100 days or so. Both of these will post here on this page. Moving forward, I will trim the beard at an absolute minimum. The lines and stache are fair game, and I am reserving the right to even out any wonton unevenness that may arise. Other than that, we're talking pure growth baby. There is also a facebook group, where you can ask questions, get advice, share your own progress, and win stuff from me as well. So lets jump right in!
The Journey to Yeard Mountain: Week 0
This was by far the worst day of 2015. As you can see in the video, I am not happy. I also have some kind of cold I think. It started itching pretty quickly, but I just started putting oil on right away and it kept the itch close to nothing. Im using Beard Potion to help keep from getting any ingrown hairs or anything as well. Several of the essential oils have antiseptic and astringent properties. It is so Bizarre to think that my Beard is under my skin right now. My daughter was extremely disappointed. Onward to the Yeard!
Things are already improving as I can see a good amount of stubble already making it's way back through my skin. Almost no itch, but the dry air is drying out my face a bit. Continuing with a few drops of oil a couple times a day. Everyone seems fascinated by my lack of chin strength.
It snowed a bunch last night, so we went sledding today. The stubble continues to fill in, but I can already see some patches. No big deal, these will fade with time. Starting to see a shadow of what the Beard will become over the coming months. Feeling better every day. It is worth mentioning that I do have an advantage as someone that has been growing a beard for more than a year already - I most likely wont run into any strange growth patterns or directions as the hair has already been tamed over its growth in the past. I do remember having a bit of this before, but I assume that it will fall in line naturally this time around. I am feeling better, and planning on starting cold showers again tomorrow if possible. Interested to see if this speeds growth at all as it is a natural testosterone stimulant.
Today was the first day one of my fledgling stubble hairs got caught in the zipper of my coat. It made me smile. Not a ton going on here, but it is coming in enough to see the direction of growth, which is interesting because my mustache does now come in growing outwards. That is great, because I wont have to go through as much of the taming process as I did the first time around. I realize now that I may need to start doing my pictures at an angle for a better look at what is going on with the growth.
Alright alright alright, here we are live on day five with a whole new picture angle. You can see how things are coming along, but at the same time don't really look so great. I see patches for sure. But, considering how I felt five days ago, I'm thrilled. The stubble isn't even too bristly - Im not sure if this is from using a good oil or something else. I've been breaking out a bit, but I believe that it is more from the holidays being done and my body starting to filter out the junk I was taking in since pretty much Thanksgiving. At this point, I am entering into the "uninformed optimism" stage. People are already commenting on the fuzz, and I am just getting a vibe from most people that they are liking it. This will last for another week or two, and then go straight to hell as the "beard hazing" sets in.
Today started like most other days, with me waking up. I noticed the REALLY annoying hairs right in the very corner of my mouth poking me for the first time today. I had forgotten about those. I'll just let them go for now, but I may have to nip a couple of those single hairs if they don't knock it off pretty quick here. The hair does feel softer than I remember stubble being, but it has been a long time.
Week one is in the bag baby! I really don't care that much about the timeline, but I am thrilled to have even a little stubble back. Those first few days were just demoralizing. It still feels like I am wearing aftershave all day long, but things are good. No itch, no problems. Still oiling it several times a day, which I think even this early is having a softening effect on the hair as well as taking care of the skin. The only positive seems to be not having any concern while eating. If you have a beard, you know what I am talking about. If not, you better be growing one by now!
Here we are in week two, and I can feel myself moving into the fuzz stage. In about one more week, the beard hazing should start. It will be a four week span of about the worst looking period of the beard. Besides the first three days after I shaved... I noticed that my hair looks pretty crazy in a lot of these pictures, so I will start wearing a hat or something.
Day 9 was a pretty regular day, and another in the first few that are pretty enjoyable. I still feel like a 12 year old, but it is getting better. I think I may start using a good mustache wax pretty soon here. Even though the hair is still very short, it is getting just long enough that it has some movement to it. I am curious if beginning training this early on will have any effect at all - or is even possible. But, I don't plan on doing this again, so I might as well play with it a bit...
Today I went without oil for the better part of the day, and spent 8 hours in a warehouse. I had a bit of an itch going on. Not a great choice. Not really a choice at all. It is filling in better everyday, which right now really just means it looks darker. I am kinda breaking out a bit, but I think it is more of my body working through all of the garbage from the holidays. I've been eating way better so I am interested to see any effects this might have on growth.
Day 11 was a great day. The beard is filling in, but this is also making the patchiness even more contrasted - which is why lots of guys give up at this point. We are quickly approaching the Beard Hazing. I did use some Mustache Tranquilizer for the first time today. There wasn't much of a noticeable effect, but I wasn't expecting one. Aside from the fact that my mustache is still extremely short, I can see the direction of growth is in fact already in the right direction - almost sideways moving away from the center.
Day 12, and already feeling like a million miles from shaving. So glad to see some fuzz on the face. One thing I am not sure if I had mentioned - Aside from the odd stray hairs waaaay up on my cheeks, I am not trimming at all for probably 6 weeks. I will let you know for sure when I do.
Great freakin day today, just fantastic. I felt really good about the Beard as well. I need a haircut. My hair was longer when I had the beard, but now just kinda looks unbalanced. A huge part of looking "presentable" with a beard is keeping your hair sharp. Little pro tip for you there. Anyhow, gonna get my first update on tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Man, so today is the final day of my first 2 weeks of growing back an awesome beard. I have been confused all day as to if today or tomorrow is 2 weeks, but I got it figured out. Two weeks makes such a difference! Very happy to have back what I do, but it has been pretty humbling to remember just how shotty my beard genes really are. The Facebook group is really taking off, and we are getting more guys in there every day ready to go through the process and get this done! I highly suggest you join us and get your beard going. So tomorrow I will shoot my first update video - keep an eye out for that! Live the Beard gentlemen.
So, here we are - day 15! Two weeks closer to growing a Yeard and feeling great about the progress. Im gonna keep it short today because I have the video update. Enjoy!
Another great day living the beard baby. Everything is going well, and the growth continues. I am contemplating trimming some of the oddball hairs way high up on my cheeks, but otherwise the next four weeks or so are pretty much about just leaving it alone. Looking forward to it filling in, that is for sure!
I looked down and saw my mustache for the first time today. That was pretty cool. I noticed that my mustache is beginning to go wild again, so the training process will have to be repeated. Hopefully I can get started pretty soon and get it going early on, but as of right now, the hair is still too short to really push in one direction or the other. More to come soon...
I am starting to feel a little shape coming in on my chin. I am also starting to notice the lines getting pretty scuzzy. I am thinking I will clean up the stray hairs growing way up high on my cheeks in the next day or two. These don't really even qualify as "Beard" in my opinion. Im thinking I will let it go for the first 6 weeks without any trimming, just to see what comes of it. My neck line already looks like crap, but hey what the hell - I'm not going to do this again so who cares? Things are coming along nicely.
Beard log, day 19. The days have been getting better beard wise, and the stubble is now becoming growth. I am starting to recognize myself again. I feel like a douche with this kind of beard, but hey - its just a phase. For the next four weeks or so, it is just going to look like I have stopped caring. The funny thing is that I am now so used to the beard that I never even think about messing with it. Most guys at this stage will trim the neck way up to the jaw or the cheek line all the way down because the growth is not full at this point. The problem is, it fills in and looks ridiculous if you have this full beard trimmed down to a few inches across the jaw. You gotta think ahead here. This is a process, not an event.
The journey to the beard continues. I have been noticing some long mustache hairs starting to come down and poke the corners of my mouth. I hate that. The best thing to do is actually to let them grow some more. Pretty soon they will just get long enough that a little wax will keep them out of the way for good. Trim them, and they'll just be back in a week or two.
I swear the beard is darker today than yesterday. I am starting to feel a strange texture to my beard as it continues to grow, especially on the bottom of my chin. I think it is just coming in. I do know that the angles and directions the hairs grow are different this time around. I think it is from having a beard for so long before. Also, forgot if I mentioned this- my mustache is "un-training". I started using some wax, but I think it is still just too short at this point to really do anything. A few more weeks and things will be different.
Week 3 has been reached. Still so very early on, but still so much better than before. I am starting to wonder if this beard journal is making the process feel even slower. Patchiness is still an issue, and my cheek growth is fairly week. That's fine. I will just continue to let it fill in. One of these days I will trim the hairs way up on my cheek bones. The stache is getting very irritating all of the sudden. Even if I trim later, I will let it go for now. I want to really see what kind of jump start this whole thing can get from a good six weeks of just letting it run wild.
The beard continues. I can see the growth thickening now, but I have noticed the growth under my chin is all growing towards my neck which I don't remember from previously. It has a strange feel to it. I am wondering how this will look in the coming weeks as it continues to lengthen and progress towards the Yeard. I also noticed that I have a "part"right in the center of my throat at the very bottom of the beard. Never saw that before.
I finally got around to trimming the stray hairs way up my cheeks. These arent even part of the beard in my opinion. I just grabbed my little scissors, and trimmed each hair individually. There was probably only about 10-15 hairs total. I still haven't touched anything else yet. That is key. It is way too easy to get your lines screwed up at this stage. One of the biggest things that kill a beard before it even has a chance is premature trimming. The irony is that it is usually done because the growth is thin in that area - like the cheeks. Trimming it only makes this worse in the long run because these areas never get a chance to catch up with the rest of the beard. Dont trim until your baby Yeard is at least 6-8 weeks old.
I'm already starting with the Beard stroking again, but it is kinda funny because it is only with a finger and thumb hahaha. I am ready to start taming the mustache, but I think it is still too short. I'll start trying anyways, and see if I can get any results. It is just going crazy. I think the Beard will end up with a fuller look this time around. I was thinking about it, and I think I kept my neck line a bit higher when I started to really grow the beard last time. I am hoping this time that leaving this line as low as possible will keep the beard full all the way down the neck. We shall see....
Started brushing the stache again today. I'll go light on the wax, as the stache is still pretty short and the wax can be rough on the skin. I'm using a little denture brush, works really well. I've been brushing again with the boar's hair brush to start controlling the direction of growth a little, and also to keep the skin exfoliated beneath the beard. And, it just feels good.
I have been really noticing the "footprint" of my Beard, and I really think the Beard is going to look quite different than it did before - it should be really interesting to see. I am looking forward to cleaning up the lines in a few more weeks, but it is really still not that bad. Maybe I'm just used to it... The growth is definitely starting to get thick pretty much everywhere except for my cheeks. That is no surprise, as the cheeks have always been my weakest area of growth. I do wish I could just fast forward a few months, but I will get there.
Hard to believe that tomorrow is only a month. I am pretty sure that it will be the worst month, but next month could be just as bad as the beard begins to attempt to establish itself as a reality. This is getting into the danger zone for most guys. This is where the most quiting happens. I'm looking forward to making another video tomorrow. Also, it could just be wishful thinking, but I am thinking the training of the mustache may just work at this stage.
Week 4 is in the bag! Not much to say today, I think I will let the update video do the talking. Live the Beard.
Today I did snip a few stray hairs from the Mustache. These were right above my lip, in the center of the part - hairs that will never have a place in the stache. Still just chuggin right along. Tons of members were doing updates in the group today, which was awesome to see - even had one video!
Another day, Living the Beard. Things are coming along nicely, and I am filling in for sure. I am positive that sticking it out with no trimming is the only way to do this; I am seeing a whole different "footprint" developing. Even the part in the center of my neck is filling in, which is something that I would have trimmed had I not been committed to sticking out the full 6-week (minimum) of no trimming.
Yep, so today was Super Bowl Sunday. I heard more crap about my beard than any day so far, but I'd like to believe that it was all in good fun. I am committed to developing a new Mustache wax, and already have materials in route. I'll get a batch done - can't wait to try it out. The reason behind it is that at this stage the softer wax that I make for a more natural hold just doesn't have enough to grab onto - and I really don't want to wait that long to train the stache. Should be awesome. More to come on that soon.
The Beard continues, still running strong. Pushing through this stage has become pretty simple for me at this point, mostly because I am very focused on what is to come. I am getting really optimistic about the future of this Beard.
Bang bang bang. Here we are, another day deeper into the bearded mystery. Very excited about some cool things to come over the next few days. Should be pretty great. For now, enjoy the pictures of my infant beard, in all of its oiled glory!
I am starting to see the Beard actually moving out from the face. It is a bit awkward looking, but that is this stage. I was just thinking today about how awful it felt to shave on New Years. Never again
I am catching myself stroking the mini Beard more and more. It's kinda funny, I run my whole hand over my face. Good to be back. Five weeks in and counting.
Today was the first time I noticed a few strays flying out of my face. I used to trim these, but this time around I think I may put some work in to laying these hairs down. We shall see. Over time, the weight of the hair will naturally pull it down anyways, so eventually the strays will become tamed anyways.
Nice day today. I got some new materials and put together a new mustache wax formulated specifically for training the stache. Preliminary results are great, but I see the opportunity to be even better. A few more tweaks and perhaps perfection in Mustachery.
So freaking glad to have this new wax. The difference is night and day, and now I know that I am for sure into the stage where training the stache is possible. This will continue pretty much indefinitely. The nice thing is that this process will be on autopilot in just a matter of weeks, and with a firmer wax the stache will stay in tighter.
Power to the Boar Bristle. I finally replaced my missing brush today. I haven't been itchy or anything, but the big thing I noticed was how much dead skin was in the brush at the end of the day. Even though oil takes care of the itchy dry skin, you still slough off skin cells constantly. Deep within the beard, these cell have no real way of getting out besides a good brushing.
Today I noticed my growth starting to "bush" out for the first time. This could totally be from the amount of brushing going on at this point. The most noticeable areas are right below the corners of my jawbone - not the coolest place to be getting bushy. Fierce neckbeard. This is kinda what this phase is all about. Just a few more weeks, and the Beard will truly begin.
Holy smokes, week 7 has arrived! I am amazed that I have hit the full 6 week mark already. I have decided that I will postpone any trimming for another 2 weeks - until the 8 week mark.
Hey Hey Hey, another day closer to the Yeard. I am really noticing how much neater the Beard is coming in this time. It could be because of the previous growth. Not sure, but I will take it. Still loving the new wax, but more changes are needed.
Good things are happening. the Beard is in full bloom for sure - and just in time for Valentine's Day. I am noticing the compulsive napkin behavior coming back. One of the only things about a Bearding that has no real solution is eating. I just stick with smaller bites, slowing down, and avoiding a lot of the foods that give you the most problems. I actually stick with a "paleo" type of diet, which cuts a ton of the worst foods anyways - like cheeses and grain-type of stuff like chips and other crumbly type of foods. Still, there are plenty of foods that get real messy real fast - but hey, that is life.
Did another quick pass to know off some of the "non-Beard" Beard hairs - like way up the cheeks and also dead center on the part of the stache. The big factor here is the question, "Will this hair ever be part of the beard?" Those hairs, not so much.
I feel like I have crossed the abyss with this beard. I still have the slightly awkward amount of growth that is not quite long enough to fill in the body of the beard, but still much better than before. I started taking Biotin as well a while back. Not really seeing any real difference, but to be perfectly honest I observe the Beard fairly casually (except for the whole daily beard journaling I guess.....)
Today was pretty mellow. The Beard continues to billow out. I am also very happy to see the beard beginning to fill out between the neck and jaw lines. It looks pretty strange to have this multidimensional texture between these areas, but they are beginning to merge.
I am starting to think I might be sick. Not sure, just feel less awesome than normal. The Beard seems fine though.
Today I trimmed a few strays along the top of the stache. Even though I am not struggling, I am starting to look forward to cleaning up my lines next week. Still wondering if I am sick. My son has had a cough, so nobody gets to sleep - especially my wife.
Well, still feel like my brain is kinda dull today. My zest is gone. I hate that point when you are sick and you wonder if this is just the way you are hahaha. meh.
Yes, I am sick. If I keep typing, I fear I will say something stupid. Have a great day. Drive safe.
Feeling Better, but still feeling pretty dull. I will say that the the Beard is in full bloom. I am really noticing a big difference in the fullness. Digging that.
One thing I am happy about this time around is the fact that the Beard directly in front of the ears does not "bush out". That was my main concern going into the re-grow, especially since the goal is to trim as minimally as possible. Glad to see this is not an issue.
Man, the Mustache is in full effect. I am considering a trim, but just kinda busy/ lazy to do it. I am loving how it is coming along, but I am also aware that light maintenance now can prevent the attempt to fix something down the road and making a huge mistake.
Today was another awesome day Living the Beard. I am beginning to contemplate a trim of the mustache.
Holy crap, it has been another 2 weeks - and I am totally unprepared for the update. Here it is anyways, in all of its terrible glory! So I have continued to be in this weird half-sick limbo for like a week now. I am still not sure if I am sick or not, but I am just not myself. Nothing to do with the Beard, but hey - onward to the Yeard!
WASSSSSSSSSSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUPPPPPPP! Sorry, just always wanted to do that. Dude, I am wretchedly sick today - which is actually kinda good. I was starting to worry that I was just loosing all zest for life, so it is nice to know I just have a bug. Things will continue to get more and more awesome.
Hot dog! The Beard gets fuller every day. Still thin in the cheeks, as you can see. Hey, thats just the way I was made. Glad I have stuck it our this long without trimming, but I am due for a clean up.
The Beard rises. I noticed my first major strays today. The odd thing was that it was 2 hairs in the same spot on the opposite sides of my face, in the side burn zone. still didn't trim them...
I have really started to notice a curl forming along my jawline. The only thing I really don't like about it is right at the corner of the jaw.
Living the Beard baby! Here we are in the month of March already! Happy with everything,looking forward to more.
Today I am really noticing the Bushyness of the beard along the neckline. It isn't so bad if I brush it, but it kinda "falls" back out of line after a while. Not a huge deal, but yeah, it is a little irritating.
So the areas at the very back of the jaw are kinda "tufting" out. I hate that. I used to keep this area trimmed. I'd always bring that "corner" in. Starting to consider it again....
Man, another week in the bag. Hard to believe that time can move this fast.
Very little seems to really change day to day, but it seems like all of the sudden something will. Punctuated Equilibrium I think they call it. So for weeks, nothing seems to change, and then suddenly as if by magic the mustache is bugging the living crap out of me.
Beard actually got some sun for a few days. I think it helped. I know it helped, even if it didn't do anything for the Beard!
Bang Bang Bang. Not a ton happening at this point. I am absolutely contemplating a trim of the old Mustache.
Got referred to as the "guy with the Beard" today by a stranger. Guess it's official It's good to be back.
So I am right around one year of being open for business - I think 3/18/2014 was the official day. Thinking about this last year, I am so incredibly grateful for this whole experience. Beard Mountain has changed me as a person, and I have no one to thank but you. Thank you.
Loving Life. Living the Beard. What else is there?
Week 10 update Baby! Great to be here, looking forward to more.
Used Beard Polish for the first time since the shave today! Not a lot, but just enough to get some hold. I am actually more interested in the relaxing effect. Felt good!
Major stache trim today, very happy. I put it off for as long as possible, but I think I did alright. Just going for comfort!
Very happy with the stache trim - even if I don't look happy in the picture hahaha. The Beard is really becoming mane-like. I like it, but I wonder how this will progress in the coming months. Still loving the progress!
The Beardedness continues to blossom. I have been wondering why the Beard seems so much more bushy this time around. I was thinking that it was possibly just a lack of trimming, but I forgot that I have been taking Biotin everyday for a couple months now with my other vitamins. Could be part of it!
I am starting to get a pretty pronounced curl right at the top of the sideburns. Not a fan, considering a trim. I will do my classic "sit on it" for a few days at least.
Hey hey hey. I am amazed at how differently different areas of the beard grow in. If this continues, there may come a point where I need to come in and even things out.
Week 12 Update Day! Totally forgot again, and I think I may go to a monthly Update from here on out. Time flies!
Day 79 leaves me wondering why my chin isn't growing faster. Just seems like it is one of the slowest growing areas now, but used to be the fastest. Ah, the mysteries of the Beard...
Today I have a couple of college students coming to film a documentary about Beard Mountain. Should be fun. The Beard abides....
Man, what a great day. Filming was interesting, and even a bit exhausting - but I got to see some customers (totally by chance) out and about with the film team. I even had a customer of mine from North Carolina just "drop by"!
Life is good! Just relaxing today, and watching the beard grow!
I can really feel the beard getting thicker now along the jaw line. I am just so happy that it is coming back. A life without Beard is no life at all.
Great day to have a Beard! Not much more to say than that, but hey - what else do I need to say?
Man, so today is week 13 of the year. This means the year is seriously 25% done! What have we got done? What do you want to? If you have been passively following this, you would have a 4 month beard by now! Think about it! Stop watching, start doing!
Things keep moving along I am really noticing how full the beard seems to be getting. And I like it
I am really thinking of trimming back the sideburn area. I don't really want to do anything yet, but the only area bothering me is that "bush" around the sideburns. I may get to it, but my main hesitation is getting in over my head and taking off too much.
Man, life is good. Maybe it is the warm weather starting to get here. I am digging it.
I am finding now that combing/brushing is absolutely essential. I remember trimming as a kind of balance for this previously, but now with the lack of trimming I am seeing the need for more combing to keep it together. Still looks awesome.
I did just the smallest amount of trimming right below my ears, and it made huge difference! I am way more happy, and the actual amount trimmed was so minuscule it was almost unnoticeable in the sink. Crazy. I guess the major change was looking from the front.
I am noticing my stache filling back in. I like it. I think I will keep it trimmed in very specific places, but otherwise I want to see it fill in.
The Weather is starting to get real nice around here! Loving the sunshine. The Beard continues
I am trying to grow the stache out a bit more. I noticed after trimming that it just didn't quite strike me as being balanced. This will only get worse if I keep the stache the same length and let the Beard Grow.
I have many people trying to get me to make soap, so that may be coming down the line. The Beard Lives! I slept on it funny or something, and when I woke up it was smashed against my face.
My neckbeard area looks like it is growing tendrils. It is kinda cool, but not really what I am going for. I am still hoping the chin area kicks it up a notch and fills in a bit more in the front.
Live the Beard. Love the Beard. The Beard is a deeper journey than most understand.
Research must continue on a firmer wax. I have been busy with other things lately, but a firmer wax is needed to push through the stache barrier i am up against. I am on it.
Not much to say, I am in a pretty solid holding pattern. I am also very happy with where the Beard is. What else is there?
Yeehaw. Back once again for the daily journal. I noticed that the beard is now long enough that I can leave a comb in it. Another milestone reached.
Here we are, DAY 100! It is hard to believe that we are already here. Doing this every day has really put things in a new frame for me - looking at myself every day. I will be doing monthly updates from here on out, and even though it is an oddball day of the month to do it on, day 100 seemed fitting for an update vid. Enjoy!
It is getting tough to come up with new beard stuff every day! I am noticing a bunch of crap growing along the jawline that I am really not a big fan of. I am contemplating a slight trim there, and adding a slight taper into the sideburns.
Yep. Beard. Keeps on beardin.
Not sure where the right balance is for the stache, or if I will ever truly find it. The stache, just like the Beard, is very similar to life in that it is never "done" and you never "get there". It is all a process, and we are just walking the path a little more every day.
Well, I fell of the daily update wagon at this point.....
And there you have it folks, that is how you grow a Yeard. Really, besides individual issues, it gets easier as you go. The hardest part is just being patient most of the time.
This project has been more about showing the average guy what the average guy Yeard can look like.
The trick to the Yeard is two things:
Patience - Anything that takes a year is going to feel like it is taking too long. You have to rewire your brain to see the process rather than the "event" of hitting one year with the Yeard. My guess is that those are the guys that shave it off at a year as well.
Perseverance - There are absolutely going to be moments when you think you are done. You will get frustrated. You will have to solve problems. There are times that it is a pain. Just don't take things too seriously, and stick it out. Of course, using great products makes the whole process a lot easier. If you are struggling with what products to use, check out THIS PAGE.
Check out this post on the Stages of Growing a Beard if you want a more 'big picture' overview of the first year of growing the yeard.