You would think that a guy that runs a website called The Beard Coach would be all for super long beards for everyone, wouldn’t you? You would. But you would be wrong.
Instead, my philosophy is that every guy should grow the perfect beard… for him. I actually just finished an experiment in growing my beard out to the longest length that it’s ever been. Here’s a picture from around Christmas, just before I trimmed my beard back a bit.
It was a pretty solid beard. I definitely got compliments from other bearded guys on it. But I noticed that as the beard grew longer and longer, the compliments started only to come from other bearded guys. By the time this photo was snapped, the stream of admiring ladies and non-bearded men had dried up. As a man whose lofty goal is to see a beard on nearly every male human face, I couldn’t allow myself and my beard to be favorable only to the bearded. I’d be preaching to the choir, as they say.
In addition to the fact that my longer beard was hindering my job as beard ambassador, surprisingly, it didn’t feel quite right. I didn’t feel like me. Like all bearded men, I’m not one to closely follow every move of the herd. I like that my beard sets me apart as a self-reliant free thinker. But to grow a beard out to astounding lengths takes a person who is willing to completely swim upstream, and I tend just to cut across the stream every now and then. That translates, for me, into a nice thick beard – too long for a clipper trim, but not wizard length. I’ll let the religious sages, the bikers, and other fully counter-culture men have the glory of the extremely long beard. I’m just not the man for it. And that’s okay with me.
Maybe your perfect beard is easily handled by electric clippers. Maybe you won’t feel right until your beard hits your knees. Beard growth and self-knowledge go hand-in-hand. To grow a great beard, you have to follow the ancient Greek saying, “Know thyself.” So, gentlemen, do some deep soul searching. Figure out just what type of man you are inside. Then let the beard grow on the outside.