The Rise of the Hipster Beard
The hipster beard has been the facial hair style du jour for quite some time now (the New York Times pinpoints 2005 as the starting point), and has shown no signs of abating.
In fact, when the warning of ‘Peak Beard’ rang out back in the summer of 2013, many felt it was only a matter of time before men everywhere would reach for their razors and reclaim their faces.
But the beards remained and pogonophiles the world over rejoiced.
So, why is this the case? Well some believe that the boom in beards has come about due to the preceding fashion trend (that of metrosexuality) which threatened the masculine identity. Therefore growing facial hair was a very public way of saying “look how manly I am with my big manly face!”
Being able to grow a beard has long been linked with sexual prowess and virility, but there’s more to it than trying to subconsciously show you’re mating material. In the mid‐to‐late 19th century, beards were worn due to an association with men of great courage and adventure, before the facial hair craze was halted by claims that beards were unhygienic.
Thanks to celebrities such as George Clooney, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Ben Affleck, we’ve seen beards burst back into the mainstream, with many men ready to follow these modern‐day trendsetters by downing their razors and embracing a life of facial hair growth.
Of course, as it was in the Victorian‐era when the beard naysayers got their way, we’re seeing more and more claims that the beard is on its way out. From fashion analysts predicting a shift in style, to scientists gleefully swabbing beards and telling us they’re full of germs (maybe those guys need to wash their beards more?), it seems the knives are out for our bearded brethren.
Yet it’s possible that the hipster beard is more popular than ever. With an explosion in beard grooming and beard care products, it seems men are enjoying the best of both worlds; looking after themselves while simultaneously portraying a sense of manliness.
The time will undoubtedly come when the beard bubble will burst and we’ll all be shamed into shaving, but not today.
Do you hear us swabby scientists and fussy fashionistas? Not today.
Happy growing brothers!