The stages of growing a beard
This is not based on any scientific research, it´s just on my personal beard growing experiences.

I have grown a full beard on two different occasions so far and the theory below can be applied on both of these. This is enough for me to consider this to be an absolute truth, or at least enough for me to make the effort of writing this text.
The theory: “The process of growing a beard can be divided into different stages based on the length of the actual beard”. The factors defining the stages are such as; the way you are perceived by the people around you; the ability to eat different things; how scared kids get when they look at you…

Stage one, 0-0, 5 inch
This is the stage where you may have been on vacation for a few weeks and not bothered shaving or you simply have decided to start growing a beard. This beard is usually greeted among friends and colleagues with comments such as; “hey, did you forget to shave this morning?” or “what´s up with the beard man”. In this stage the beard is often a bit itchy but hang in there, this is just your beard testing you in order to see if you´ve got what it takes to be a real beardsman.

Stage two, 0.5-1 inch
Something interesting happens when your beard reaches about 0.5 inch and a bit beyond. The jokes about razors are replaced by more anxious remarks; “are you really going to keep the beard?” or “how long do you intend it to be?” In this stage people seem to be worried that your personality will change along with your change in appearance. When they realize that you might consider keeping the beard, they think they will have to redefine you as a person. Because the most important thing in a personal relationship is to know in which category a person belongs, isn´t it?

Stage three, 1-2 inches
You now have a pretty substantial beard and along with this come many interesting experiences. One of the less pleasant ones is that some people think it´s ok to make comments involving terrorist references and stuff. This I have written about in another text so let´s leave that for now. A more positive experience is that the nice comments about your beard also escalate in this stage. In my experience most people now have an opinion about your beard, whether it´s positive or negative. People are simply having a hard time ignoring your beard. This also applies to kids, but instead of terrorist remarks or great beard-comments the kids either laugh at you or give you a terrified look.
In this stage your beard also starts to affect the possibility to eat certain things more notably. A hot dog with a lot of mustard on top is suddenly not the practical snack it used to be. A tip, ask to have the mustard inside the bread (yeah, it says bread not beard) instead of on top of the sausage!
Stage four, 2-4 inches
Now kids don´t laugh at you anymore, they are just afraid of you. Their terrified stares are now also followed by an instant search of comfort from the closest parent. The remarks from colleagues, friends and family are now quite few. You occasionally get “I see it´s still growing” or “man it´s big” but most of your entourage has now accepted that you have become at beardsman.

People you don´t know that well, and who haven´t met you since you started growing your beard, will have problems recognizing you. A stage four-beard can therefore be used as an effective way to avoid people you don’t feel like talking to. If you have come this far you have probably gotten real fond of your beard and how it makes you feel and you really should be. This is a great place to be!
Stage four is my current stage and it´s the highest I have reached so far. Therefore I don´t know what the next stage is like. If you know, please feel free to continue the story…

Written by Peter M