September 2012 Beard Of The Month

[box color=gray]The following post is part of the “Beard of The Month” series. To find out more behind the purpose of this series, including an end of year beard contest to raise money to help end extreme poverty, check out the Beard of The Month page.[/box]

This beard series has yet to see a beard that was anything less than bodacious. Each respective beard has made a strong case for the Beard of The Year crown.

That said, September’s Beard of The Month winner is a proven champ. Zach Pettrey and his beard have been taking home the gold since 2010, competing in various beard competitions and winning prizes such as “Best In Show”, “First place in Handlebar moustache”, and “Mr. Fancy ‘Stache”.

Zach is a professional cook, a dad, and a proud member of the RVA Beard League. Introductions out of the way, let’s move on to the beard talk.


Getting to know your beard

Approximate age of your beard: I actually know the exact age of my beard! On Sept. 21, 2012, my beard turned one year and 4 months old. I know it’s crazy to know the exact age, but it’s a part of me that I really love- haha.

Beard style/category: I would best describe my beard as “the beard of all trades.” I do everything from nice and natural, to natural beard with my ‘stache styled, to the couple of times that I have went all the way freestyle and crazy with it.

Food most often found stuck in your beard: I’m a cook, so there’s always some sort of tasty morsel in this thing! I can’t keep milk from my lucky charms, or soup out of it. And drinking without a straw is clearly a no-go with a moustache like this. Some people ask how I eat with this beard, and I calmly answer, “with my mouth.”

Your bearded lifestyle

What inspired you to grow your beard? My Grandfather, who was a great inspiration, and personal hero of mine had rocked a handlebar moustache and beard at a few points in my life, so I decided to go for the bearded glory that I had once seen in him. Now I continue to grow it because of just that reason; it grew on me, and now I don’t see life without it ever again.

How do you avoid the summer temptation to shave your beard? I generally tie it up when things get a bit toasty, and remember the comfort and warmth it is gonna bring me in the winter. I see “shavers” getting wind burnt cheeks and chapped lips when the bitter air of winter comes on, and I just put a smile on and know that my man mane is great protection from all harsh elements.

What is the most unique comment you’ve received regarding your beard? I think my favorite comment or compliment is being yelled “ZZ Top” at. If there was a sarcasm font, it would have been used in that last sentence. Seriously, the comment that I look stronger of a person than before the beard, or like someone who would really “know how to get work done” is a great compliment. I pride myself on my blue collar heritage, and am proud of my work ethic.



A day in the life of your beard

Describe the daily maintenance of your beard: I’m really a get up and go type of guy, for the most part. Three times a week I wash my beard with organic shampoo, and condition when I wash. Also, with organic conditioner that contains vitamins and other things that promote naturally clean, healthy hair, and growth. Many days, I put raw shea butter oil in it to keep it moisturized and to keep it from drying and breaking. I rarely use a brush, and when I do, it’s a boar’s hair brush.

How do people typically react to your beard? For the most part, people usually want to ask questions, throw out compliments or high fives, or to take pictures with me.

How do you defend yourself against beard enviers? I’m always a fan of making it completely clear that the beard is just a big a part of me as my nose or arms. In other words, I feel letting people know the reasoning behind the initial growth, what it means to me, and how happy I am with the decision to grow and continue to do so.

Your beard’s uniqueness

How would you say your beard matches your personality? The fact that my appearance due to my facial hair makes me stand out in a crowd as much as my personality does is a big plus for me. I may look like someone you wouldn’t want to tussle with, but really, I’m a big ol’ loving family man who loves making people smile and taking care of the people close to me.

What about your beard are you most proud of? I think the thing I’m most proud of about my beard is the fact that it has given me the opportunity to take part in beard and moustache competitions, that are all related to a charity in one way or another. Finding ways to give back to community is a big deal, and something I believe we should all find a way to do that fits in with who we are.

How has your beard in particular served as an inspiration to others? I’d like to think that my beard has inspired others to choose who they want to be. There doesn’t have to be a set look or mindset to be a good person. I would also like to think that those around me would also say that they have in some way found out something about themselves through my growing for myself, and to be able to help others. Whether it’s a smile, some advice, or an endearing conversation, making the world a more beautiful place for everyone is key, whether you look like a biker, or a businessman.

Big thanks to Zach for letting me feature his follicles. If you’d like to submit a nomination for Beard of The Month, email me at

How many stars would you give Zach’s culinary beard?

  • Daniel Carman

    Wow, who knew so much went into beard maintenance? I used to wear a beard, but it was only because I was too freakin’ lazy to shave every day. Organic shampoos? Boar hair combs? Special soups and milks? Not for me brother.

    • Stephen Haggerty

      I have not yet reached this status of beard maintenance, but Zach’s five star beard definitely seems to be worth the treatment! I say go Zach.

  • Phil

    That is a nice beard right there. Gives me something to shoot for.

    • Stephen Haggerty

      You and me both, Phil! The day my beard doubles as a Cousin It costume is a good day for me. :)

  • Joni Boone

    Zach is my son, and I’m extremely proud of him. He’s a hard-working young man, an excellent father and a credit to his family and community. Oh, yeah… and he’s an awesome, bearded wonder!!! ^(^

  • Joni Boone

    Zach is my son, and I’m extremely proud of him. He’s a hard-working young man, an excellent father and a credit to his family and community. Oh, yeah… and he’s an awesome, bearded wonder!!! ^(^

    • Stephen Haggerty

      You have every right to be a proud mom, Joni! Shoot, I’m proud to say I’ve met Zach and his beard- even if it’s just over the internet.

  • ThatGuyKC

    This beard makes me want one. Too bad my genes have left bald patches on my face and so I require shaving. That’s one epic beard.

    • Stephen Haggerty

      Agree to its epicness.
      I made the statement recently that “a patchy beard is better than a non beard.” I stick to that. Just grow! :)

      • ThatGuyKC

        My wife doesn’t like facial hair either. Making out w/ the Mrs. beats the beard every time.

        • Stephen Haggerty

          Dash it all. Trump card!

          • ThatGuyKC

            It really isn’t fair.

  • seekingpastor

    Twelve zillion, but mostly because I have difficulty growing a beard. Large parts of my face have the inability to grow hair.

    • Stephen Haggerty

      Your goatee is awesome enough, Matt. Work it!

  • Ken Hagerman

    Month after month Stephen you scour the far reaches and pull out the very best for BOTM.

    Welcome to the BOTM page. I particularly like the photos at the bottom. I like to have a little fun with mine, too. BTW, I REALLY want one of those Tshirts from the 1st pic. I am all of those things.

    • Stephen Haggerty

      :) Thanks, Barba. Zach’s beard is too legit to quit, and I agree about the shirt. Would love to snag one of these myself!

  • jasonS

    Wow. That’s a 5 star beard for sure! Mesmerizing. :)

    • Stephen Haggerty

      I’ll say. A mane like that isn’t meant for the timid.

  • Shelby Miller

    Great Beard Great Read!

  • Nathan Smoyer

    MEAN! So legit!

  • Loren Pinilis

    It’s amazing how you can be wearing a straight-rimmed Jets cap, a hoodie, and a scowl – and still look somewhat sophisticated with a gelled-up handlebar mustache.

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