Our next admission to the Hirsute Hero hall of fame is a mighty fine gentleman that I am pleased to say I have had the pleasure of meeting. He is a true inspiration to many and is well renowned and recognised in the world of facial hair and also his home town. He is a colourful character who has on occasion made me chuckle so hard I nearly killed my laptop, he is supportive and honest and I am certain you wont find a more decent down to earth, straight talking fellow. This man is so special he has got TWO beards!!!
Who are you?
Proud member of The British Beard Club, British Sideburns/Muttonchops Champion, Member of the Beardilizer Beard Dream Team, Ambassador for The Dapper Duke and Mariner Jack. Most recently founder member of the Central Beardsmen.
Type of Facial Hair?
Years in Service?
Hirsute for Happiness believes that a hair face is a happy face, do you agree?
Who inspired you to grow?
I suppose the very first facial hair that inspired me was that of Paul Teutul Sr (of OCC fame), that`s how the Chops started off as a Teutulesque inspired `stache….but they evolved into their present form shortly after. Another major influence would be the guys I saw on Whisker Wars. I was in a very dark place after a life changing RTA, growing my facial hair was something I could still do at that point in my life.
Does having facial hair change you and it what way?
I`ve always been an extrovert, a larger than life character, ( I certainly am now ) I spent 16 years at the Gym building that larger than life body. I worked on the doors at various pubs and clubs for about the same period of time. But after my accident all that changed….the more my body ballooned, the further I retreated into my shell, people began to look at me for the wrong reason.
Growing these Chops and the birth of my alter-ego, John Bull, gave me my confidence back. So in answer to the question “Does having facial hair change you and in what way?” It`s given me back what I once had, it rescued me from depression and gave me a new focus in life. I`ve met people whom I wouldn`t have if not for facial hair and I`m travelling the world.
Does your facial hair draw attention and does that bother you?
It does draw attention, yes. But let’s be honest, at my size I`m not about to slip past anyone without being noticed. I`ve been stopped in the street countless times now, I`m getting used to it. I`m not one to shy away from publicity either. I write a column for my local newspaper concerning my weight issues and facial hair in which I refer to myself as “The Fat Lad” I was surprised recently whilst at the Yorkshire Beard Day in Scarborough when a voice rang out…”Hey up, it’s The Fat Lad”. It turned out to be someone from near home who read my column. I`ve had one or two people who`ve attempted to tug and pull at my beard, a few who`ve said negative things but I`m pretty thick-skinned and that doesn`t bother me.
Would you change anything about your look?
If you had asked me that question six a seven years ago the answer would have been “Yes” but now I`m not so sure…yes I`d like to lose some weight, and I have over the last few months but as far as the “S” word, shaving…NEVER !!! When I started attending Beard competitions as John Bull it was never meant to be a permanent look. After my first competition I started putting together a different outfit but I figured that the John Bull look suited me so well I shelved those plans. Michael JohnBull Wallage is here to stay
Has anything happened to you because of your face?
I`ve been very lucky, I`m shortly going to be working with a couple of award winning local photographers on a project that will see my alter-ego at several historical locations in and around Derbyshire. I`ve been interviewed for local radio a few times and appeared on the BBC evening news. I`ve auditioned for a couple of commercials, being shortlisted for one campaign, but as yet I`ve not cracked that one
Is your face a champion?
Yes I do compete, I`m a very competitive person and I like to try and be the best at everything I do. I don`t always achieve my goals but I`ve done ok. As I`ve mentioned earlier I`m the reigning British Muttonchops Champion, Yorkshire Beard of the year 2015, Fownes Brewing Company Best partial beard 2014, Best partial beard at Yorkshire beard of the year 2014, Best Beard, Best partial beard at the Collett Park Beard of the year 2014, Best partial beard at Beerdfest Liverpool 2014 and last but not least my very first win Best Sideburns/Muttonchops at The Wessex Beardsmen`s competition 2013
I also competed in the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Stuttgart 2013 in the Partial beard freestyle category, not my category of choice really, sideburns/muttonchops did not really “fit” anywhere else. I placed 8th in my category, something I`m hoping to improve on in Leogang, Austria in October this year.
Does your beard/moustache have a name?
Do you have a specific routine of care and styling?
Apart from the usual maintenance, washing, conditioning and oiling, no not really. I am however, probably due to my background in body building, a big believer in supplements. It`s like fuelling a performance car. To get the very best out you have to put good fuel in. Genetics plays a massive part in what you ultimately grow, but unless you fuel that growth properly you`re never going to achieve “Best Beard” I take the Beardilizer supplement daily along with a few other supplements I have used in the past that also help hair growth.
What’s the weirdest thing you have heard someone use on the hairs?
Do you have any non bearding hobbies?
was a very keen Carp angler prior to my accident, my P.B. being a 49lb 10oz Mirror. These days my main interest outside of bearding is Motorsport, I go and watch the British Touring cars at every opportunity and Truck Racing…. Truck Racing if you`ve never seen it is MENTAL !!! 20-30 6 tonne leviathans of 1000bhp, thundering around a strip of tarmac at 100mph, piloted by mentally suspect lorry/race drivers. The most fun you can have with your clothes still on.
Any tips for an aspiring beard or moustache grower?
Train don`t trim and patience.
What is better; A unicorn with a moustache, penguins with beards, horses with chops?
Horse with chops
Favourite Famous beard/Moustache?
Seth Armstrong from Emmerdale 😉
If you have enjoyed this feature and would like to nominate your own Hirsute Hero, then use the form found here.
To see the gallery of the finest inspirational folk then head here