Mark has been growing his beard for 9 months. When he started posting Instagram pictures of his beard, which he had been growing for a few months, he had no idea he would get the sort of attention he did. He noticed that the amount of people commenting on and liking his photographs began to increase, and as soon as word got around online of his facial growth his Instagram followers shot from 43 to 3,000.
Mark has recently been invited to join the British Beard Club, something he is very proud of. Believe it or not, there are currently only eight men in Northern Ireland with the facial growth deemed worthy enough to be part of the club. I’m sure though, that with the introduction of TBBCo products to the NI bearded legion, there will be plenty more inducted in the next 12 months!
So Mark, what made you throw away the razor?
I always had a five o’clock shadow and I thought, why have a Ferrari and never take it to full speed? I always liked the look and I never struggled with the dreaded 'itch' so just went with it.
Can you tell us about the impact your beard has had on your career and personal life? Does everybody like it?
To be really honest I work for a great company who never have minded my appearance. I'm also very lucky I have a wife who loves the look of beards and tattoos so she's really supportive. Friends and strangers would make jokes and stuff but overall people are really kind and always give me compliments.
Would you consider shaving it off for the right job or has it now become a part of your identity?
No. I get asked the same thing about tats. If the company don't allow it then it's not for me.
Beards are currently huge in the fashion press. How do you feel about beards being considered a fashion accessory?
Great. I love that I've fallen into a trend at last. I knew it would happen at some point. It's great that it's being associated with well groomed men now.
Beards or tats (if push came to shove)?
Tats all day long.
Who are your ultimate bearded idols, past and present?
Jimmy Niggles is great for how he is promoting it in a positive way and using the trend to make people aware of a very serious issue. Get your skin checked folks!
What’s the best part about having a beard?
A warm neck in the winter and I guess the free stuff that people feel the need to send me.
Would you shave your beard off for love?
Nope. I don’t have to either as my wife Lynsey loves the bearded look.
How much time (on average) do you spend grooming your facial fur each morning?
Not as much as you would think. I reckon if you use the right products all the time, then time spent is very minimal.
Do you have any more special tips or any advice for our beard aficionados?
Patience, pure and simple. And good quality beard products are vital. They really work. I prefer the Clove, Pine and Orange oil, it smells amazing!
Anything daft happen recently due to you having a beard?
Instagram! It’s all gotten very strange. Don’t get me wrong, I love it that people feel the need to get in touch with me or send me stuff; I think it’s class. I just have a full beard. Some people try for years to grow anything and don’t. I’ve just been lucky.
Whats the worst thing about having a beard?
People feeling the need to touch it. I find it weird. I didn’t choose to have the genetics to let me grow this, so I find it fascinating.
Any other notable points/issues about having a beard?
None really. Don't knock it till you've tried it I guess.
Chasing Perpetua - http://www.chasingperpetua.com/
Jimmy Niggles & Skin Cancer Awareness - http://beardseason.com.au/