Although beards seem to be the latest trend right now, they have been around for way longer than any of us have been. They have had many uses in the course of human history, from being used for warmth by early humans to being used for fashion, masculinity and even status in today’s world.
The primary humans not only used beards for warmth but for intimidation as well. There’s something about a beard that makes a man seem more intimidating. Maybe it’s the notion that growing facial hair is a ‘manly thing’ to do or could it have something to do with the mane and how a hairy man could be compared to the king of the jungle? Whatever it is, this has remained a conception through generations of beard growing.
The beard then took a turn in 3000 BCE when the royal Egyptians started to use false beards that were made of metal. They would tie these beards with a ribbon at the back of their heads and this was a show of their wealth and power in society. Fast forward to Abraham Lincoln who made the ‘chin curtain’ a popular beard style during his era. This is the beard that is long enough to hang from the chin. Thereafter came a variation of this style where men would grow out their sideburns as well and refer to this as the chinstrap beard.
The next revolution for beard growth came in the 80’s. Now all you old souls out there know exactly what we’re talking about. Watch any classic video from the 80’s and you can’t miss a bearded man. Along with the moustache craze from the 50’s and 60’s, men combined the two to grow a full, healthy beard. This was especially visible in the black men and hippies of the time. The fact that the beard was associated mostly with these men may have brought about its unpopularity in the late 90’s to 2000’s. When most men were going for a clean cut look. This was because it was harder to get jobs and to be taken seriously with facial hair or even an afro and dreadlocks. Remember the India Arie ft. Akon song lyrics to I am not my hair, “success didn’t come till I cut it all off!”
Luckily for the bearded community, this look took a turn back to the positive. Now, the beard is a fashion statement. Most men prefer the bald head and full beard look while others prefer to have a full head of hair and a full beard and some just rock the simple goatee. For all the variations of the beard that there have been through the history of it, it is a fact that there are many more to come. Just remember, however you choose to wear your beard, don’t forget to love it and take care of it and get you some Mandevu BeardCare for that extra good loving.
Words: Ciku Kimani