A Michigander Erin Honeycutt, has grown the globe’s longest beard on a woman after ditching her routine of shaving three times a day, according to Guinness World Records.
The 38 year old was able to grow the record-setting 11.8in (30cm) beard mainly because she has polycystic ovarian syndrome, Guinness officials said in a news release on Wednesday.
The condition causes hormonal imbalance and – among other things – can lead to excess hair growth. In Honeycutt’s case, that latter symptom allowed her to obtain the title of living woman with the world’s longest beard without taking any hormones or supplements.
Shaving, waxing and using hair-removal products were all ways that Honeycutt tried to keep her beard tamed when it started growing after she turned 13, the Guinness news release said. “I was probably shaving at least three times a day,” she reportedly told the organization, which is known for curating a database of more than 40,000 world records.
Honeycutt maintained that lifestyle throughout her teens and adulthood. But she said she eventually lost part of her vision and started feeling “tired of shaving”, so she began growing her beard out at the suggestion of her wife, Jen.
She clinched the record on 8 February 2023, in Caro, Michigan, taking the mark from 75-year-old Vivian Wheeler, Guinness’s website said. Wheeler’s beard had checked in at 10.04in inches (25.5cm).
Polycystic ovarian syndrome hasn’t been Honeycutt’s only health-related bout. She had the lower half of one of her legs amputated after she developed a bacterial infection during a hospital stay to treat a foot injury.
Honeycutt’s leg had become septic and gangrenous when she decided to have half of the limb amputated about five years ago, Guinness said. She reportedly told her doctors that she would “deal with it” and move on.
Guinness’s article said Honeycutt had moved on, though she has since also suffered an eye stroke triggered by high blood pressure. Honeycutt recounted how the episode robbed her of her central vision.
“But I have perfect peripheral vision,” Honeycutt said in remarks published by the Guinness site.
Honeycutt said she staved off negative feelings about her debilitating medical problems because she had “maintained a positive outlook on life” during the ordeal. She claimed that doctors actually told her she would heal 3% more quickly if she stuck with the positive thinking.
“8The thing that got me through losing a leg and eyes and everything – honestly – was that I had a cruise booked,” Honeycutt said.
Her loss of vision in particular factored into her decision to stop shaving, Honeycutt added.
Subsequently, Honeycutt said she was curious what she would look like with a fully grown beard, and she believed she could probably get a pretty “decent” one going.
Honeycutt received Jen’s blessing to grow out her beard during the activity restrictions implemented across the US early in the Covid-19 pandemic. And she said the protective face masks that were ubiquitous in some parts of the country during that time gave her the chance to build her “confidence in growing a beard”.
“Wearing masks really helped with building my confidence in going out in public,” too, she said.
Honeycutt said life with such a long beard is a mixed blessing – it hides her “double chin” but “gets stuck in everything”, as she put it.
Nonetheless, she said it was gratifying to earn a world record for something that she was once ashamed of.
“I never thought that I would be able to attain or achieve a goal that would let me be in a book,” Honeycutt said. “And it’s just kind of a nice thing to be recognized.
Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Guinness World Records