yeard beard featured image

Do you think you have what it takes to take place in the legendary #yeardchallenge and come out the other side with a full majestic big beard?

Then you definitely need to read this article.

Other articles in this series:

The yeard is a play between the words “beard” and “year”. As you could expect, it means uninterrupted beard growing for a full 365 days with no shaving or excessive trimming.

Basically you say goodbye to your razor, and don’t shave your beard for 12 months. The rules do allow for minimal trimming, so you can cut off some fly-away beard hairs here and there, but no major trimming should take place for the year you are growing out your beard.

How Long is a Yeard

bald man with a long beard at terminal length

Obviously it takes 12 months to grow out a proper yeard, but the approximate beard length at the end will vary greatly between men, due to differences in genetics, nutrition, lifestyle habits, etc. which all contribute to the beard growth speed.

On average however, facial hair does grow roughly ½-inch per month, meaning that a completed yeard is on average a whopping 6″ long.

If you have a hard time visualizing what a beard of that length would look like, I can give you one hint; you won’t be seeing your neck anymore.

Of course, words alone can’t properly describe a yeard, so below are some examples of what a full year of uninterrupted beard growth looks like.

What Should a Yeard Beard Look Like (Examples)

amazing yeard example
Is this a doable yeard beard example? Yes. You could pull this off, but it means you are going to have to have a thick dense natural beard growth. As you can see, a longer beard like this will start to want to split into two sections at the bottom, you must trim a little at some point and use wax/straightener to manage this.
beard of 365 days
This is about the length of beard an average guy will be able to reach after growing their beard uninterrupted for a full year. As you can see, we are reaching a point where the bottom part kind of wants to split.
yeard before after
Here’s a great yeard before after example where you can see just how much of a difference a big beard like this can make compared to being clean-shaven.
vin diesel beard vs no beard
Here’s another example of what a crazy difference a big yeard beard could make compared to a clean-shaven face. Unfortunately Vin Diesel’s beard here is fake, but I think we can all agree that he definitely should be growing a beard ASAP.

Growing a Yeard is Harder Than You Think

big yeard beard

You may think that not shaving for a year wouldn’t be that hard, but really it’s a major test on any man’s patience and self-control.

Here’s why growing a yeard is so hard:

However, if you do manage to make it through the 12 month ordeal, then the rules state that you may do as you please with the beard, and that’s when the fun begins.

You now have the ability to trim and shape your beard into practically any beard style imaginable. Completing a yeard is like giving a master craftsman a fresh block of limestone to sculpt from.

Tips and Tricks for Growing a Yeard

Before embarking on your very own yeard beard journey, you should read through these little tips and tricks to make the most out of your 365 beard growing days.

Take Pictures All the Way

man taking picture of his beard

Yeard progress pictures are fun to watch and compile into a yeard timelapse. If you can’t bother to take one every day, try to take one at least every week.

Trust me, I once embarked on a yeard journey, and the main reason why I called it quits at the 8-month mark was that I had not taken any pictures and the process felt kind of wasted because it.

Will I complete the yeard challenge one day? Yes absolutely, and you can bet I will be taking pics daily.

Learn to Make Your Own DIY Beard Oil.

cheap beard oil substitutes vs. premade beard oil

The premade beard oils have crazy high prices, and you will go through a lot of beard oil bottles during the 12 months. Making your own beard oil is extremely easy and typically costs 5-6x less than the premade stuff.

Seriously though, you might think there are some secret ingredients and awesome stuff going on with premade beard oils that have price tags around $20-40…

In reality even the most premium of premium beard oils tend to have oils like organic jojoba oil, which really don’t cost all that much if you buy the bulk stuff that’s not sold as “beard oil”.

Beard Waxes & Straighteners are Your Best Friend

beard wax tin

Since you can’t really trim the beard, a yeard will get out of control at some point, guaranteed. To combat this I highly recommend you to learn how to straighten your beard and to get a couple tins of some good beard waxes to tame and maintain your facial hair.

You might think that straightening a yeard takes crazy amounts of time – and it probably used to when everyone was still blow drying their beards – but nowadays heated beard brushes have gone so far that it’ll take about 5-10 minutes to fully straighten a yeard beard.

Keep Your Yeard Clean, But Don’t Wash it Too Often

man washing his beard

It’s important that you do not wash your beard too often to preserve its natural moisturizing oils (2-3 times per weeks tops), so keep this in mind when growing a yeard especially.

You may also want to get some good beard conditioner to add to your beard washing routine. It’s not necessary at the beginning, but after month ~6 you can seriously benefit from that extra beard softness it gives.

Beard Brush + Beard Comb = Essential Yeard Tools

two panel with man using beard brush and another using comb

Beard combs and beard brushes can be immensely helpful when making a yeard beard snag-free and just simply better looking. Just like a longer hair needs brushing and combing, so does a longer beard.

If you want some great recommendations right here and now, take a look at the Bossman Boar Bristle Brush and this Kent Combs 3-Piece Beard Comb Kit.

How to Trim a Yeard (Without Breaking the Rules)

man combing a year long beard

Like said, a yeard should be continious beard growth of 12 months, with MINIMAL trimming.

So you can trim your beard a little bit, as long as you stick to these general rules…

  1. You may not cut any vertically growing hairs or reduce the length of the beard
  2. You may trim your mustache if it gets into your mouth
  3. You may trim a bit of the hairs growing horizontally on the sides.
  4. You may clean your neckline, although it will be pretty useless towards the end.
  5. You may line up the upper cheeks and cut off fly-away rogue hairs.

While some people allow for a little more wiggle room into the yeard rules, others are strict and say you shouldn’t even touch the beard with anything sharp during the 365 days. It’s after all, a #yeardchallenge, and it wouldn’t be a challenge without a set of rules that make it difficult.

Pros and Cons of a Yeard Beard

man with big bushy beard

Growing your beard out for a full year is a divisive topic. While others think it might be the coolest thing ever, some people will question your sanity during the whole ordeal.

And as with most things in life, a yeard has its benefits and negatives.

For one, it will be a serious test of self-control and patience. To do almost anything for a year is tough, but to not shave when everyone expects you to do so.

Of course, a yeard can look kind of bad-ass, and most people will never know what a big beard like that would look on them because they lack the patience and self-control to try it.

So if you do have a yeard, pat yourself on the back as you have managed to do something that 99% of men will never be able to do.

Obviously, a scraggly untrimmed beard that has been growing for 365 days comes with its own host of negatives.

Like the fact that you will be looking unprofessional or the fact that most women will probably hate the look of the yeard (according to research women tend to prefer stubbles and shorter beard styles).

Not to mention the ungodly amounts of time and money it takes to use and buy all the beard products a huge beard consumes (albeit you could make your own, which is a fun hobby and saves you a ton of money on the side).

Conclusion

Growing a yeard is though, it means you will not be shaving your beard at all for a whopping 365 days – a full year.

During this time your beard will go through all the possible stages from itchy stage to awkward stage, to looking like pubes, scraggly mess, and more.

But at the end of the day – or year actually – your beard should be a magnificent ~6″ in length and could be turned into practically any beard style you want (lack of length will not be an issue, unless you go for a full on Gandalf beard).

What do you think, did we nail the facts on growing a yeard or did we miss something? Let us know in the comments.

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Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.

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