Two years ago, Erin Honeycutt stopped shaving the annoying hairs on her face. Because of a hormone disorder, the woman from Caro in the US state of Michigan had a thick beard. The 38-year-old suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition that causes hormonal imbalance and can lead to irregular menstrual periods, weight gain, infertility and excessive hair growth. Her beard now measures 30 centimeters. She officially holds the world record and has an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
Erin's facial hair started growing at the age of 13. She did everything she could to fight it: shaving, waxing, hair remover—but it was all short-lived. Nevertheless, she continued undeterred. "I probably shaved at least three times a day," she revealed to guinnessworldrecords.com.
In 2018, she injured her foot and within a week developed a rare bacterial infection that causes soft tissue death. Erin's leg became septic and developed gangrene, so she decided to have the lower half amputated. But that was not the end of her ordeal: her blood pressure rose so much that she suffered an eye stroke. "It took all my central vision away from me," she explains. "But I have perfect peripheral vision."
Despite all of these health issues, she kept a positive outlook on life — and continued to shave her face every day until one day she got tired of it. During the corona pandemic, she finally encourages her wife Jen to grow a beard. "Wearing masks has really helped me boost my confidence when I go out in public. The best thing about her beard is that it hides her 'double chin' - and one of the downsides is that it 'gets stuck in everything' To avoid getting her beard in her food, she usually tucks it into her shirt or braids it.
Though she used to be ashamed of her beard growth, it's now something she's proud of. "I never thought I'd be able to achieve a goal that would put me in a book. And it's just a beautiful thing to be recognized for it — even if it's something that's quite of course is".