Beard Contests - Everything You Need to Know
The world of beard contests is wild and--er--hairy!
Whatever their past, what they are now is a work of art and beard contests are popping up all over the world to celebrate and reward the best of them
What Are Beard and Mustache Contests?
A beard and mustache contest is a fun competition that judges facial hair.
There are many different local and informal shows, but the granddaddy of them all is the World Beard and Mustache Competition, help biennially since 1991. Rules vary wildly at each contest, so if you’re considering entering, you should do your research.
Judging categories may include: mustaches, partial beards, full beards, and artistic. These categories are often further subdivided. For example, the North American Competitive Beard and Moustache Alliance create the following differentiation:
As you can see, creativity and freedom of expression are highly encouraged.
Source - WeI-chieh Chiu
Competitors also place a high value on stage presence and usually use elaborate costume to further enhance their unusual styles.
Often, competitions will employ local bearded celebrities to judge. Usually, competitors are being judged on things like the length and thickness of their facial hair, the originality of their designs, and the best effort. There are also some categories that require competitors to enter freshly shaven.
Prizes are often as creative as the participants themselves, with specially designed pins, belt buckles, trophies, and other fun items.
Often, these contests are used to raise money for local charities. They’re usually a blast, whether you’re entering or not. There’s usually tons of beer and great food, live music, and interesting vendors, and visitors are eager to meet new friends and have a great time.
If you’re interested in entering a beard contest, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Practice Ahead of Time
Ideally, you’ll start testing different styling aids and experimenting with different styles as much as a year before your first contest. You definitely don’t want the day of the competition to be your first try.
Give Your Beard or Stache a Rest
You want to give your facial hair at least a week (some people give it up to three weeks) to grow a little more without being waxed. Styling always increases the chance of breakage, so giving your beard the time to “breathe” means it will be at its peak during the contest.
Don't Let Fear Stop You
It’s common to get nervous or to think your beard can never win, but it’s not unusual for a complete newbie to actually place in his first competition At the very least, it’s a great time, and you’ll make some new friends.
Source - Wikimedia Commons
Like I explained earlier, the biggest beard and mustache competition is the World Beard and Moustache Competition. It’s been held in a variety of locations, including Germany, Alaska, and (most recently) Austin, Texas. The competitors are truly at the top of their hair games, with some really incredibly designs competing across 27 categories.
The Austin Facial Hair Club, the group that hosted the 2017 competition, believes it pulled off the largest facial hair competition in history and is now awaiting verification from Guinness World Records. It was also the first of its kind tournament to include craft-based categories for women, who competed with either fake or real extensions which they attached to their faces.
This isn’t your only chance to see (or compete in) a beard contest. There are tons of other competitions throughout the world and in the United States. The Beards BeCAUSE show, for example, is held in Charlotte, North Carolina, and raises money for the local battered women’s shelter. There are also numerous smaller competitions that offer cash prizes.
Whether you’re interested in competing or just interested in a great show, a beard contest is great fun!
Main Image Source: C Watts