Your decision to learn how to grow a beard could stem from your desire to express your personality or social status, fulfill a cultural obligation, or make a fashion statement. From ancient civilizations to now, people have grown beards for similar reasons. Learning about the history of beards and how they’ve been grown throughout the centuries may help you on your quest for better beard growth.
Our very first ancestors learned how to grow a beard for practical and utilitarian reasons. The hair on their cheeks, chins and necks kept their faces warm during cold weather. Beards also gave primitive men a fierce appearance that intimidated enemies, and facial hair could soften the physical punches thrown during hand-to-hand combat. Maybe you don’t use your beard to send your enemies running, but you could take after primitive men and grow a beard to stay warm and rugged.
Beards served as a status symbol in many ancient civilizations, and cutting off a person’s beard could be a form of punishment. To show off their status, Egyptians sometimes dyed their beards or weaved gold thread into their facial hair, while beard grooming in Mesopotamia and Greece included applying oil and styling ringlets. People in ancient India focused less on styling but grew their beards long to symbolize wisdom.
You may follow in the footsteps of your ancient ancestors and style your beard with a unique cut, specialty grooming tools and beard oil, too.
As the Romans expanded their territory around the known world, they also influenced facial hair growth. The clean-shaven look was most popular because people wanted to resemble the Emperor and did not favor wearing a beard. Beards didn’t catch on across the empire until Hadrian began growing a beard to hide his facial scars. Aren’t you glad you have freedom today to grow or shave your beard based on your personal preferences rather than someone else’s influence?
Only certain men sported beards during the Middle Ages. Knights grew facial hair to demonstrate their masculinity, and members of the upper class showed off their social status with a beard. The clean-shaven look came back into fashion for many men only during the Renaissance period. Today, you can embrace the knight in shining armor look or trim your hair like a Middle Ages Renaissance man.
When England influenced the world, a man’s financial resources dictated the length of his facial hair. Generally, the tax on beards discouraged facial hair growth. Ironically, King Henry VIII grew a full beard. We’re lucky that we don’t have to pay a tax on our beard growth today!
19th and 20th Centuries
Beards were in and out of style at various times during the 1800s and 1900s. Certain leaders in the mid-19th century wore beards to express their power. Meanwhile, followers of Napoleon III, Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx grew beards to emulate their heroes, and men in a variety of religions and cultures grew beards to conform to their beliefs or dogma.
The trend changed during and after World War I because hair affected the fit of the soldier’s gas masks. Then, “Hippies” made beards fashionable again during the countercultural movement of the 1960s. You, too, may choose to express your power through a beard, or sport a beard as an expression of your beliefs, culture or opinions.
People today may embrace growing a beard for various personal, practical or cultural reasons. The choice is totally yours. If you do decide to grow your facial hair, BEERDS has crafted some quality beard grooming products that help nourish your face and beard.