The beard has been a symbol of authority, wisdom and masculinity as far back in antiquity as we are able to peer. Kings, scholars, mystics and holy men all proudly wore long, full beards as a testament to their maturity and experience. The Spartans used shaving as a form of punishment to mark a man as a coward, and the Pharisees even plucked out the beard of Christ in an attempt to humiliate and discredit him.
It is said Julius Caesar proclaimed that all of his men were to be clean-shaven, as not to give the enemy an opportunity to grab their facial hair during battle. To this day, soldiers all over the world are beardless, not to prevent a handhold for their opponent, but to provide a proper seal for their gas masks. Down through the ages, to shave or not to shave has rode the waves of popularity, dictated by the tide of fashion. But if you do the math, it turns out that shaving is the fad.
BECOMING A ‘BEARDSMAN’: Today everywhere you look, more and more men, young and old, are embracing their follicular freedom. There are TV shows dedicated to facial hair, such as “Whisker Wars” featuring Jack Passion, a man who makes his living solely off of his epic beard.
You would have to be a complete recluse not to have been bombarded with “Duck Dynasty” merchandise, almost always featuring the hirsute faces of the Robertsons. Men are even seeking out the help of dermatologists to get beard implants, costing thousands of dollars.
I began my journey as a “Beardsman” in earnest on Sept. 30, 2013, when I vowed that I would not shave for at least one year, otherwise know as the “Yeard.”
A man’s beard goes through many stages, but any “Beardsmen” will tell you it takes a good six months of unaltered growing to find out just what your beard's full potential is.