Natali Johnston 42, has beat her husband Aaron, in a beards competition.
The couple usually travel the world together, both competing in bearding contests and while you would typically expect Aaron to be more adept at wining the first prize it’s actually his wife who is taking the gold.
Natali recently took home first place in the ‘realistic freestyle category’ – for fake beards, because she doesn’t have a real beard but Aaron came second in the Goatee category of the 2023 world championships in Burghausen, Germany on June 11.
Aaron initially began competing in beard competitions in 2014 after watching a TV show called Whisker Wars.
The South Carolina, USA couple then competed in the same competition just one year after with Natali creating her own beards from scratch.
The couple now compete in different categories, but attend the same competitions worldwide, with 170 competitions under their belt since 2015.
Natali said: ‘You can either compete in the realistic full beard or the creative full beards.
‘They can be made of absolutely anything. For a realistic beard I use synthetic or real hair.
‘But you can make them from absolutely anything like cutlery or bacon – anything you can imagine so long as it’s in a beard shape!’
Natali said she knows it’s not an ‘obvious hobby’ for a woman to have but she loves it – and she wants other women to enjoy it as well.
She added: ‘I see so many women come to competitions with their husband but don’t want to go on stage.
‘I personally help other women get on stage to see how much fun it is and next time I see them competing themselves and they’re loving it.
‘What I love about it is when you put a beard on your face your a whole different person.
‘You can just go on stage and have fun. You get to spend the weekend hanging our with the people you love too. It’s just a good time.’
Ironically, Aaron didn’t have a beard before he began competing in 2017, but now his grooming routine for his 27 inch beard means he takes longer to get ready than his wife.
‘It really is a lot harder to maintain the beard than you’d think. Some people are just luckier than others. he said
‘I’ve never hit terminal length whereas some people do quite quickly. Everyday I have to think about protecting it.
‘If I eat I have to think about my beard, if I work on my car I have to think about my beard.’
According to Metro UK, the bearding couple met in 2001 and were neighbours for seven years before their friendship blossomed into romance.
However, things then began to move very quickly and after dating for just six weeks, they decided to wed in 2008.