John Armstrong has had a beard since he was able to grow one as a teenager.
A member of the Edinburgh Beard and Mustache Club, he had always been an integral part of his identity.
For example, the 29-year-old was “devastated” when the need to wear a mask for his job as a care assistant meant that these were curtains for his facial hair.
John explained, “The mask pressed so hard on my face that it pushed the hair down my nose and into my mouth.
“The hair protruded from the mask, but it also went inside.
“I was having trouble breathing … it was a real danger. “
He tried to buy several types of masks to see if others could provide a solution.
“I tried everything to keep a beard because it is very important to me. Many people have tried and failed to have my shave, ”said John.
But ultimately, he ran out of options and was forced to shave his beard.
He said, “I come home to vulnerable people, so I have to wear a mask for my work.
“I had to make the decision to swallow my pride and shave it.
“At first, I took my clippers and started shaving the sides as I tried to see if I could keep some of it.
“But in the end, I had to remove everything. It was devastating because it’s like an arm or a leg for me. “
John said his 10-year-old wife had never seen her chin before shaving.
“I just can’t get used to it and I don’t like what I look like now,” he added.
“In fact, I would be more comfortable having no clothes than having a bare chin.
“I did it for a very good reason, but I don’t like it at all. “
John, from Gifford in East Lothian, estimated that his beard would take at least three months to grow back.
He said, “Now I have to shave twice a day because the hair grows so fast.
“Once it’s all over, I push it away. “