Man Theory London


All about beards – history, purpose and trends

Facial fuzz. You know it. You maybe even love it. Men’s facial hair has been a hot topic for centuries. Today, we’ll look at beards in detail. Read on to learn all about beards from their origin to popular styles of today.

Where did beards originate?

Popular history suggests that ancient Egyptians were famous for their dyed and plaited beards. It’s likely they are one of the earliest recorded civilizations with a focus on men’s facial hair. But that doesn’t make them the first people to have beards. That honour actually goes to the prehistoric peoples. It’s believed they kept beards (and not only because razors hadn’t been invented yet) to intimidate predators, other prehistoric people and cushion facial blows in a scuffle. However, not every culture has celebrated beards. Alexander the Great famously required his soldiers to shave off their beards; likely over fears they’d be grabbed during battle. Just one look at Greek and Roman statues can show you a lot about the popularity of beard styles in antiquity. And according to Sky History, “in ancient India, they grew long beards as a symbol of dignity and of wisdom. In the east generally beards were greatly venerated and were often cut off as a punishment.”

Why are they popular?

Beards rise and fall in popularity over the years. But when they are in fashion, it’s largely due to a need for reinforcement of traditional masculine values. In fact, recessions can contribute to a growth in beard culture as men search for ways to connect themselves to better times. In the recent past, a beard was a sign of rebellion. A way to stick it to the clean-shaven man. But now, they are a popular sign of individuality. A way to express oneself and cultivate a unique presence. In the noughties till today, lumberjack chic and hipster fashion has continued to glorify the natural beard.

What are some current beard trends?

Beard fashion changes over time, just like clothing trends do. Just like you wouldn’t rock a pair of giant bellbottoms today, sporting a trendy beard is a positive fashion statement. Here are some of the current trends in 2020:

  • Stubble Look – this easy style just requires a trimmer at 3-4mm run over the whole face. Follow that with a close or flush shave on the neck and cheeks for a clean look.
  • Beardstache – this combines the stubble look with a full moustache. This contract keeps the wearer far enough away from the 70’s ‘stache to remain on trend. For this look, trim everything but your moustache as above, then us a beard comb to trim your ‘stache to just below lip level on the sides.
  • Edged Short Beard – this style is crisp on the sides. It’s maintained by keeping a trim 1-2cm beard, then wet shaving an outside line with an edging blade at the cheeks and just below the jawline.
  • Hipster Beard – just let it grow as long as you like. Trim it with scissors or clippers to a slightly rounded shape and keep stray cheek hairs at bay. Beard oil is key here to keep the hairs conditioned and feeling soft.

If you’re looking for your next must-have beard oil, check out our range of natural products here.

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