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Barber tells this ‘shy’ insurance agent to grow a beard, and it ends up transforming his life

When people who are unaware of his story view the before-and-after photos, their initial response is often, “It can’t be the same person!”

Allow me to introduce you to Gwilym Pugh, a former insurance agent whose remarkable transformation leaves people questioning if he is indeed the same individual.

Today, #SelfLove is hailed as the greatest revolution. After all, before anyone else, you deserve to be loved and to be taken care of. And who would give you all that if not yourself?

Self-love does not have to be grand, sometimes, it manifests in the little things. Like getting up in the morning, taking a shower, going to the spa, or getting a makeover.

Literally, self-love is doing a bunch of things that make you happy, without the expense of someone else’s happiness.

Stock photo of a heart.

Gwilym Pugh, a former insurance agent and now a successful model, knows very well how important it is to shower yourself with love and to make yourself comfortable in your own skin.

Looking at his photos today, you wouldn’t believe how his life transformed for the better after listening to the advice of a barber.

Gwilym Pugh before the transformation.

Instagram | gwilymcpugh

Gwilym Pugh used to enjoy financial freedom after founding his own insurance company from his extra room.

Since his work entails hours of sitting in front of his work desk, Pugh was not able to break a sweat regularly. It affected his health and physique, gaining an extra 280 pounds.

Instagram | gwilymcpugh

“At that time I was pretty overweight,” Pugh recalled in an interview, ” working 12 hours a day, plagued with injuries which meant I couldn’t train at all. The business was doing okay, but I decided I needed to get my life in order and wanted to get healthy again.”

Pugh and his friends used to perform in a folk band. Looking at him, his barber gave him a bit of simple advice that made a big difference in his life- grow a beard. Their stylist thought that doing so would help him look right for their band.

Instagram | gwilymcpugh

Who would have thought that simple advice such as growing a beard is what the former insurance agent needed to realize that his lifestyle is not healthy anymore.

Along with his decision to grow facial hair, Pugh decided to change his lifestyle and eating habit. From that day onwards, Pugh has never been happier than he is today.

Instagram | gwilymcpugh

“It was the best thing for my health as I stopped sitting for nine to 10 hours a day,” Pugh said with glee.

Five years later, Pugh lost over 90 pounds and overwhelming opportunities began pouring in for him. And the of course beard looks good on him!

After setting up an Instagram account, a Welsh tailor named Nathan Palmer took interest in him. Now, Pugh is a true blue model working with London agency AMCK Models.

Instagram | gwilymcpugh

“A picture says a thousand words…. Coming from being 22 years old, overweight, plagued with injuries, and unhappy barely leaving the house…” Pugh shared a glimpse of his life before taking a conscious effort of looking after his well-being.

“I’m happier and healthier than I ever thought possible and doing things that didn’t even cross my mind to dream of.” Pugh said.

True to his words, a lot of opportunities did open up to the former insurance agent. Aside from being a model under AMCK, Pugh is also the ambassador for David Beckham’s new male grooming venture. He also worked with professional football players with the latter’s Haig Club whiskey project.

Instagram | gwilymcpugh

“I think I’m lucky I got into this profession at the age that I did.” Pugh shared.

Pugh may be making his mark in the modeling industry, but with the help of his supportive girlfriend, he does not let this get into his head.

“I try not to get caught up in it all and my girlfriend helps a great deal with that.” Pugh added.

Instagram | gwilymcpugh

Looking back at the life he leads, Pugh shared his reflection, “Having worked in finance for years, the opportunity to work with creative people and travel around the world is amazing. But you forget how nuts it is, it all becomes normal.”

Knowing how important it is to take care of himself, Pugh sees to it that he is always fit.

Instagram | gwilymcpugh

“Regular osteo treatment and morning mobility and HIIT workouts are what’s in order” Pugh said, sharing his morning work-out routine.

It sure is hard to believe that all of this began because he listened to the advice of his barber to grow a beard. But believe it or not, it worked with Pugh. Because of a simple advice and his initiative to take good care of himself, he is living a life more than he ever dreamed of!

[Updated July, 2023] We received a lot of pushback regarding the authenticity of this story. If you are still doubting whether this is the same guy, here is our most recent conversation with Gwilym Pugh:

My PO: Can you tell us briefly what’s taking up most of your time?

Gwilym Pugh: Sure thing, I’ve been studying a degree in environmental Science during the past 3 years and I’m due to graduate next month. I’ve pivoted towards content around the beauty of the planet and science communication and would like to pursue this further. I feel it’s a responsibility.

My PO: What do you feel when people keep pointing out that the before and after photos of yourself are not of the same person?

Gwilym Pugh: I find it funny when people are convinced I’m not the same person. There’s even a conspiracy threads on Reddit about it lol. But at the same time I find it quite worrying how people can have such conviction about something they don’t know anything about.

If they’re that sure about me not being the same person, then what other crazy beliefs do they hold that they are certain about that are incorrect. It reminds me a bit of climate change deniers. Or is it just a projection of their own self limiting beliefs? Who knows!

So there, straight from the handsome man himself. If you still want to know more about him, please follow his Instagram page HERE.

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