I had never actually TALKED about beards; I simply grew one, without discussing how I felt about them, and that was that. But I stumbled onto this board in early 2008, and it's been interesting to see an actual forum where guys discuss their interest in beards, why they grew theirs, etc. I've been bearded since I was 23, and I'm no kid, obviously. I never intended to grow the beard, because I had no friends or relatives who had beards and I just assumed that growing one wouldn't be a big hit with the family. But I was very heavy-bearded, and it was jet black (hard to believe, now!) so even after not shaving for one day, people would always say "growing a beard, huh?" But I wasn't. So I finally decided, while I was on vacation at age 23, to let it grow. Immediately upon my return, I got lots of compliments, and I've been fully shaved only two days since then. Until mid 2010, my beard was always trimmed, never left to grow down its natural line down the neck, but I've experimented outlining it different ways since then. I shaved the beard off for the first time in 1986, regretted it immediately, and started growing it back the very next day! Then, in Sept. 2009, I had my head shaved for the first time ever (and the beard too, leaving just a stubble goatee), for a pediatric cancer fund-raiser. Our group in Winston-Salem, NC, raised about $40,000 for it with our shaving! Those are the only two times I've been fully shaved in all these years. I enjoy reading people's comments about why they grow and like their facial hair and pictures showing how they shape and care for it.