One of these could well have been the last straw.
The last straw which – pending official confirmation – will soon see Cambridge become home to its latest world record holder.
On Sunday, Anatole Ivanow found rom for 399 straws in his beard – and that’s a long way ahead of the 312-mark record holder Joel Strasser from the United States managed in 2018.
There was no time limit, and no one was permitted to help Anatole put the straws in his beard. But once they were all in, they had to stay in place for 10 seconds to count.
Anatole has since sent videos, photos and signed paperwork from two witnesses to Guinness World Record officials for confirmation.
All things going well, Anatole will add the record to the full beard under 30cm category world title he won at last year’s World Beard and Moustache Championships in Belgium.
“I did it,” Anatole said joyfully when speaking with Cambridge News shortly after his attempt.
While he had wanted to fit a 400th straw in, “there was just no more room”.
“I was stoked though.”
So, what’s the secret to the perfect beard?
“I don’t really know to be honest – but what I do always say to people is grow what God gave you and see what that looks like.
In New Zealand, a group has been set up so like-minded beard growers to come together, united by their shared passion.
That group is the Fellowship of the Beard and President Ygnacio Cervio, who was in Cambridge to witness Anatole’s record attempt, sung Anatole’s praises.
“To be fair he was nervous but confident on the day and he had a really good technique when he was placing the straws.”
Ygnacio said the fellowship started as a “one-man dream”.
“It’s now become a community that not only encourages and supports the growing, styling and grooming of facial hair, but for us facial hair is not just fun, it’s a responsible way of life,” he said.
Ygnacio said the fellowship “opened the beard game” in New Zealand by starting the country’s only national beard and moustache competition.
“The event is getting bigger every year and brings people from every corner of our land – as well as visitors from other countries such as Australia, Morocco and the United States.”
One of the key purposes of the fellowship is to support and raise funds for charities and to date these have included Lifeline Aotearoa, the Cancer Society of New Zealand, the Child Cancer Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.
Auckland is set to play host to next year’s World Beard and Moustache Championship.