Growing My Confidence: My Beard Journey
We hear about people experiencing different life changes for various reasons, e.g. having children, travelling or even getting married! Surprisingly for Andy, something unexpected really did turn his life around … and that was by growing a beard. Since starting out in 2016, our ambassador Andy has had a major confidence boost that has positively impacted his life.
Read on to find out more about Andy and how growing a beard grew his confidence dramatically.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m 53, I was born in Devon but most of my life I’ve been based in and around Leicester. In terms of my job, I’ve done a lot of different things. I was an airline pilot based out of Heathrow, I lived and worked in Tanzania as a bush pilot and lived and worked in Alaska as a surveyor. My present day job as an offshore surveyor has taken me all over the world. When not away with work I’m now a part time model and life model.
When did you start your beard journey?
I guess it all started around 10 years ago. I had a close cropped beard, which I used to trim once a week, a kind of a designer stubble you could say. Around 5-6 years ago, I started noticing guys with big beards and thought wow that's striking! Looking back I didn’t feel I had the self confidence to grow a big beard. After all it's the first thing everyone notices about you and you stand out from the crowd in a big way. It was when my work contract got cancelled I thought to myself I’m going to let my beard grow until I get a new contract, so that’s exactly what I did! I let it grow and I ended up loving it. Since then, on a weekly basis I have had people shouting and coming up to me saying it’s a great beard. It even happens now, they want to stroke and touch it.
How was your journey growing it out?
Well when I started, I didn't know what products were on the market! I came across Mo Bros when walking through Highcross Shopping Centre, which I bought loads of stuff from at the time. I use beard balm every day, surprisingly even now a lot of guys don’t know there are products available so it’s good for us to spread knowledge of them.
How long did it take for you to grow it out?
So when I started growing my beard in 2016, it took me about a year to fully grow out a decent beard. I might have got the job done sooner but I was having my new beard trimmed regularly to keep it looking sharp.
Do you suffer from any beard problems?
Problems? Thankfully I didn't, not even itching when it was short. I hear that beard oil does a fantastic job for guys suffering itching when growing their beards.
Any benefits for growing your beard out?
Well, my beard has changed my life as people started treating me differently and it has boosted my self esteem and confidence to an incredible extent. ! It has really changed my outlook on life, it has led me to many adventures e.g. Mo Bros related photoshoots and taking part in the first beard stroking station. Since having the beard, I have been recognised by a photographer when I was on holiday in Sweden, who wanted to do a photoshoot with me. I am now represented by 4 differently model agencies here in the UK and in Germany. It’s been a wonderful journey.
Compared to if you had met me say 6 years ago, you wouldn’t recognise me. I was far more reserved, quiet and shy unless with people who knew me well. Now I’m a far more confident, relaxed and happy chap. It really has done wonders for my mental health, because of the appreciation I get for my beard. For me I guess it protects me from some mental health issues and it has given me a more positive outlook on life. When total strangers come up to you and appreciate your beard, that boosts your confidence, that in turn makes you carry yourself better and people see that and treat you differently as a result. It's a win win positive feedback loop. One of the most amazing discoveries of my life. That’s really the big message I want to get across to people. You never know, It could happen to you.
Don’t get me wrong, there were other contributing factors that had a positive impact on my mental health, but it really has boosted my confidence.
There is no way I will ever go back to not having a beard, it will always stay with me. I’m really thrilled and glad I grew one and I’m guessing that's going to be the case for other people too.
What’s your beard routine?
Lockdown has disrupted my routine, but on a normal basis all I do is stick beard balm on. What I do is heat it between my hands, apply it and comb the product through. If I want to look extra smart, I’ll then blow dry my beard and slowly comb it through with a finer comb.
In the past I have used butter and oil, but for me, balm helps it hold its shape. Every morning before work if I head out, I apply balm, I like it because it doesn’t have a heavy feeling and even when I go for a shower, it doesn’t feel like I'm actively washing the product out.
Favourite Mo Bros scent?
Mine is sandalwood, it’s subtle and classic which you can live with every day. Black Edition is also a great scent!
Any advice for those who are starting their beard journey?
You have to stick with it and be patient, you go through an in-between phase when it’s not quite long enough. I was feeling self conscious as I looked different but not yet looking how I wanted to, but you have to give it time to become a beard you’re proud of. Sometimes I used to feel intimidated by those who had bigger beards when mine was just starting to grow but clearly I don’t anymore.
I wish I knew about Mo Bros, when I started off. I didn't know anything about beard care products to begin with. I kind of tried various different brands with varying results, then I discovered Mo Bros. With the Mo Bros range you’ve got everything you need and I wish I used them sooner because they make a hell of a difference to how my beard appears and how manageable it is. Every beard is different and I recommend trying oil, butter and balm to discover which one product or combination of products works best for you. Remember as it grows, this might change on your beard journey.
As you can tell from Andy's experience, things can really take a turn for the best!
Why not check out some of our other articles on keeping that beard well maintained.
- The Mo Bro’s 5 Step Process to Better Beard Care
- How to Deal with an Itchy Beard!
- What Should I Use - A Beard Brush or A Beard Comb
- 5 Beard Grooming Mistakes
- What is the Difference Between Beard Oil and Beard Balm?
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