60 Cool Beard Facts - Cool & Incredible Things You Didn't Know
Beards—not only do they help keep men everywhere ruggedly handsome, but they also have some pretty impressive scientific benefits as well.
They aren’t just for hipsters and mountain-men, beards look great regardless of your style, and they help you spend less time staring at yourself in a mirror trying to keep your face smooth as can be.
The fashion-statement of beards has withstood the tests of time. Our prehistoric ancestors grew beards for warmth and protection, and in the early 1600s beards made a bold fashion statement for aristocrats, and today, well, beards are just plain cool.
Get ready, because I’m about to uncover 60 cool beard facts that you’ve probably never heard of before.
1. Beards Were Once Prescribed
In the Victorian era, doctors prescribed beards as a way to prevent illness.
Back in those days, doctors reasoned that a thick beard could act as a filter that would help to trap harmful particles before entering the body through the mouth.
Men were encouraged by doctors to grow a beard as needed.
2. Alexander the Great Made His Army Shave
Before a battle taking place on September 30, 331 BBC, Alexander the Great forced his army to shave off their beards.
Plutarch, an ancient historian, quoted Alexander as saying, “Don’t you know that in battles there is nothing handier to grasp than a beard.”
3. They Increase Social Status
A study published in Behavioral Ecology has found that beards play an influence on people’s perceptions of a man’s social status.
The study researched women from two different cultures. Results showed that regardless of cultural background, the women perceived the men with beards as having an elevated social status from their clean-shaven counterparts.
4. Beards Can Protect Against Jellyfish
If you ever find yourself preparing for a long-distance competitive swim, consider growing a beard for maximum protection. The first man to cycle, swim, and run the entire length of Great Britain, Sean Conway, kept a beard to stop jellyfish from stinging his face while he was in the water.
5. Beards are Like Built-in Sunscreen
Believe it or not, beards offer your face protection when spending hours outside having fun in the sun.
A study published in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry, conducted by the University of Southern Queensland, found that beards offer 90% to 95% protection from harmful UV rays.
The UPF protection ranged from 2 to 21. This means that beards can help protect against skins cancer.
6. The World’s Longest Beard Was Over 17 Feet Long
The record of the longest beard ever recorded goes to a Norwegian-American man named Hans Langseth. In 1927, Langseth’s beard was recorded at stretching 5.33m---that’s 17-feet, 6-inches long!
7. Romans Used Beards to Distinguish One Another
In Ancient Rome, your beard style told a story of which philosophical school of thought you belonged to.
Just by glancing at a man, you were able to tell what philosophical notions he stood behind. If only it were so easy in the modern day to determine if you want to engage in a conversation with someone or not.
8. There is a Band in Australia called “The Beards”
The Beards have come out with about 40 songs.
What do they sing about, you ask?
You guessed it; all of the songs created by this band have to do with beards. That takes some creativity! Here's one of their music videos:
9. If You Can Grow a Great Beard, You're More Likely to Go Bald
Scientists have found that there seems to be a correlation between beard growth and baldness.
The reasoning has to do with the number of sweat glands located on a man’s face and the top of his head.
In general, the bigger the beard, the sweatier the top of the head, which this is not a good thing for hair growth.
While I do agree with the facts, I'm not sure I agree with the reasoning. According to what I know the reason behind this is related to testosterone and DHT. I've written a great long post on testosterone & hair/beard growth.
10. There is an Irrational Fear of Beards
Some people are terrified whenever they spot a beard. This disorder has been named Pogonophobia. There can be a few different causes of this fear, but scientists have found that negative experience usually is the cause of Pogonophobia.
11. Some Beards Are Worth 1M Dollars
Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill from the band ZZ Top have turned down offers of $1 million to shave off their beards.
Gibbons has reported that the famous razor brand, Gilette, offered this significant amount of money both of these men to shave off their iconic beards for a promotional event, but both men turned down the offer and opted to keep their beloved beards instead.
12. The Rock Wore a Beard Made of Testicle Hair
You read that right. When filming Hercules, Dwayne Johnson agreed to wear a beard made out of yak testicle hair. Johnson has said that it took three hours to put the beard on every day that he was on set. That is a lot of commitment.
13. The Record for Longest Female Beard is 30cm
In September 2015, Harnaam Kaur received the distinguished title of being the youngest female with a full beard. While her beard may be impressive, what makes Kaur even more inspiring is her work as an activist for promoting body-confidence.
14. CIA Tried to Make Castro’s Beard Fall Out
During President John F. Kennedy’s time in office, the CIA devised some plans to try to take down the Communist government in Cuba, known as The Cuba Project.
One of the initiatives of the project: spreading Castro’s clothing with thallium salts that would make his beard fall out.
15. There Has Been a Tax on Beards
The Russian Tsar, Peter the Great didn’t like beards, so he imposed a tax on them. Russian noblemen who chose to wear beards during Peter’s reign had to pay a hefty price just to carry around a beard license.
16. Pogonotomy is Another Word for Shaving
Next time you want to impress your friends, tell that you have to engage in some pogonotomy later. That’ll probably get you some interesting looks.
17. 11 Year Old Convinced Lincoln to Grow a Beard
As legend has it, 11-year-old Grace Bedell from New York drafted up a letter to President Lincoln suggesting that his appearance would benefit immensely from growing a beard.
After receiving the note, President Lincoln obviously thought Ms. Bedell had some excellent advice because he started growing out his beard in late 1860.
18. In French, “Cotton Candy” Translates to “Beard”
The French word for cotton candy is “barbe à papa.” This French word translates to “dad’s beard.” For some reason, cotton candy just got a whole lot less appetizing.
19. Beards Can’t Commit Treason
Right before he was condemned and hanged for treason by King Henry VIII Sir Thomas More pushed his beard aside so that it hung outside of the execution block. As he so eloquently explained right before his death, his beard, “hath not offended the king.”
20. Beards Can Help Avoid an Unwanted Marriage
According to legend, there once was a Portuguese, Christian princess who was commanded to marry the pagan king of Sicily.
The princess was very against this arrangement, so she prayed that God would deform her appearance so that the king would find her too repulsive to want to marry. Ultimately, in response to her prayers, she grew a beard that made the king think twice about marrying her.
According to legend, there once was a Portuguese, Christian princess who was commanded to marry the pagan king of Sicily.
21. Beards Can Help to Heal Your Skin
If your razor isn’t perfectly clean, it can spread dirt and bacteria on your face. If you suffer from sensitive skin, taking a break from shaving and letting your beard grow out can give your face time to repair and heal.
22. Brigham Young University Bans Beards
If you are involved with Brigham Young University, don’t plan on growing a beard anytime soon. There are some exceptions to this rule, but overall, when on campus, men are expected to be clean-shaven, and the presence of beards is unacceptable.
23. Beard Upkeep Claims a Month of Your Life
The average man spends somewhere around 800 hours (33 days) of his life just tending to his facial hair. That works itself out for an entire month of your life spent shaving!
By the way, the average man also spends around 1000 hours on shaving - that's 45 days.
24. 75% of Men Shave Their Face Everyday
It’s been estimated that 75% of men do a little facial hair grooming every single day. Even if you’re just doing a quick brush through with your raiser to clean up some spots, that amount of time adds up when you stop and think about it.
25. A Beard Can Help Your Allergies
Many men who suffer from allergies have found their symptoms lessened once they have grown out a beard.
The particles that float throughout the air and cause allergy symptoms get caught up and mustaches and beards, and therefore don’t enter into the body through the nose or mouth. That’s a nice perk!
26. You Won’t Find an Amateur Boxer with a Beard
In its official rulebook, the International Boxing Association prohibits amateur boxers from having beards. Along with body piercings, beards and mustaches fall into the category of an accessory that is not allowed during a match.
27. Summertime is the Best Season to Grow a Beard
You can thank elevated testosterone levels during the summer months for this one.
28. Protein Helps Your Beard to Grow
Protein doesn’t just help you get massive muscle gains. Keratin, which is a particular type of protein, is a central building block of your hair. Keratin production relies on the foods that we feed our bodies, so the more protein we eat, the more keratin we produce. The more keratin we create, the more our hair will grow.
29. Beards Don’t Equal Wealth
Even though beards don't equal wealth, this doesn't necessarily mean that you can’t obtain outrageous riches if you have facial hair. Take a look at any list of the world’s most wealthy men, though, and you’ll quickly see that a significant number of them are clean-shaven though.
30. Women Prefer Stubble
A recent study has suggested that women prefer men with full beards and heavy stubble to men who are more clean-shaven. Appearing more attractive is the perfect excuse to skip shaving for at least one more day.
31. Beard Will Grow 10 Yards Over a Lifetime
Over a man’s lifetime, his beard will grow 30 feet, which is the equivalent of 10 yards. It looks like Rapunzel doesn’t have anything on an unshaven man.
32. Ancient Egyptians Wore Fake Gold Beards
Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt were known for wearing false gold beards.
Historians are left to speculate exactly why, but most answers seem to boil down to religious reasons.
In ancient depictions, the god, Osiris, is seen with an elaborate beard, so historians think that the Pharaohs wore golden beards to pay homage to him.
33. Beards Make You Look More Aggressive
Regardless of your actual personality, if you walk around sporting a stylish beard, the human brain is wired to perceive you as more aggressive than your clean-shaven counterparts.
Beards are a sign of active testosterone levels, so when the mind sees this, it links the perception of elevated testosterone to aggressive behavior. The next time you want to scare someone off, consider growing out your beard.
34. Genetics Play a Role in Beard Growth
Scientists have known for a while that hair growth is linked to heredity. This means that your genes are a factor as to how well your beard comes in. Your genes will determine your hair growth, thickness, and even graying. If good hair runs in your family, then it seems like your beard is in luck.
35. Men are More Likely to Compliment Your Beard Than Women
Even though research has shown that women are programmed to find men with beards more attractive than clean-shaven guys, this doesn't necessarily mean they'll compliment your handsome appearance.
If you have a beard, you’re more likely to get compliments from other men. Who can’t appreciate all of the work and care that goes into the upkeep of a well-groomed beard?
36. Touching Another Man’s Beard in the Middle Ages Was Offensive
If you lived during the Middle Ages, you weren’t walking around tugging at other men’s beards. Touching a man’s beard was considered incredibly offensive, and in extreme cases, could even lead to a duel.
37. The Cincinnati Red Banned Beards for Many Years
Up until 2015 the Cincinnati Reds strictly banned having facial hair of any kind. The team didn’t want to condone outward displays of masculinity.
Left-fielder, Greg Vaughn, decided he wanted to sport a goatee in 1999, and the owner of the team at the time supported his decision. It wasn’t until 2015, though, that the beard ban completely fell away.
38. Lincoln made the Chin Curtain Famous
In the 1860s, there were a variety of beard styles men wore. Upon deciding that he was going to grow out his beard, Abe Lincoln had to choose which design was his favorite. He opted for the chin curtain.
39. Thank DHT For Your Beard Growth
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the chemical mastermind of helping you to grow a beard. It’s manufactured in the gonads and is responsible for influence hair growth or hair loss. Whether you are bald or have a foot-long beard, you have DHT to thank.
40. You Need a Special Rank to Have a Beard in the British Army
Not just every member of the British Army is allowed to flaunt a beard.
Today, individual exceptions exist, but in general, a beard is a unique distinction reserved for the Pioneer Sergeant.
Dating back to the 1700s, it was the role of the Pioneer Sergeant to be an all-around manly-man for his military unit and would clear trails and serve as a blacksmith.
41. Your Beard Traps Your Beer
Guinness has conducted a study that found that having a mustache traps about 1.5 pints of beer each year.
That’s enough waste to make anyone consider shaving.
42. Over Half of the Men in the World Have Facial Hair
It is estimated that somewhere around 55% of men across the globe sport some facial hair. Bearded men, you are in good company.
If you're wondering, it's probably not going anywhere soon.
43. Beards Start to Make an Appearance in the Mid-Teen Years
Males usually start to notice facial hair sometime between the ages of 15 and 16, but this can tremendously differ from person to person. The production of facial hair is one of the last changes the body goes through after entering into puberty.
44. In Ancient Rome Shaving Was a Cause for Celebration
A man’s first shave—usually sometime around the late teens, early twenties—was considered a right-of-passage to the Ancient Romans. The first time a man shaved his face was often a cause for elaborate parties and fun celebrations.
45. Shaving Doesn’t Make Your Beard Grow Faster
It’s a popular myth that shaving any part of your body will cause the hair in that particular area to grow faster. That’s not true; hair growth remains the same regardless of if you have recently shaved or not.
46. Beard Transplants Are Growing in Popularity
If you have trouble growing a beard, don’t fear, beard transplants are becoming a common practice. The hair used for the transplantation usually comes from the top of the head and can set you back around $5,000.
47. Some Beards Are Dirtier Than a Toilet
Dirty beards are a sad, but true, fact. Researchers have found that some beards contain more fecal matter than a toilet. Gentlemen, this is your friendly reminder that proper beard hygiene is vital.
48. There is a World Beard and Mustache Championship
This competition is held throughout various parts of the world every two years. Different style categories get judged, and each man competes to prove that his mustache, partial beard, or full beard is the most elaborate and impressive in the world.
49. Ancient Assyrians Liked Their Beards to Look Pretty
The Ancient Assyrians were known for creating elaborate hairstyles—beards are no exception.
For celebrations, Assyrian men were known to curl their beards and even sprinkle them with gold dust. These ancient people loved their beards so much that shaving used as a form of punishment.
50. Sleep is Important for Beard Growth
Bodies detox and repair during sleep.
Your internal functions have to be working correctly to make hair growth a priority, and proper rest can help out with that.
The benefits of sleep mean that there is all the more reason to hit the snooze button in the morning.
51. Beards Keep Your Face Moisturized
Your beard helps to protect your sebaceous glands. These glands produce oil on your face that helps to keep your skin moisturized. Furthermore, your beard helps to keep your face protected from harsh wind conditions that can cause your face to become dry.
52. Beard Season Exists to Raise Awareness About Melanoma
There is a Beard Season social campaign that exists to raise awareness about getting your skin check regularly. In honor of a friend, Jimmy Niggles uses his beard to conversations concerning melanoma awareness.
53. The Average Beard Has 30,000 Whiskers
You may think there’s a lot of hair on your head, but there is also a lot of hair on your face! The average beard contains 30,000 whiskers, so it makes sense why shaving can take so long.
54. Queens Wore Beards
In Ancient Egypt, the presence of beards had to do with religion and royalty. Even queens made it a point to go out and have fake beards made so that they could wear them during special occasions.
55. The King of Hearts Doesn’t Have a Mustache
Grab a deck of cards, and you will find that the king of hearts is the only king without a mustache.
56. Otto the Great Swore by His Beard
When Otto the Great had something important to say, he used to swear by his beard to convince others that what he was saying had great significance.
57. Beards Mean Wisdom
Men in Ancient India didn’t go out of their way to dress elaborately, but they did take pride in their beards. Ancient Indians thought it was essential to growing long beards to show that they were wise and should be respected.
58. Beards Keep Your Face Warm
This one may seem a little obvious, but it is true. Feel free to do the test for yourself.
Men have found that after shaving half their face and standing in the cold, the unshaven side of their faces has genuinely felt much chillier than the half of their face that was protected by a beard.
59. Epictetus Believed Beards Were Invaluable
Stoic Philosopher, Epictetus, thought beards were important because they displayed an integral part of a man’s identity. He even went to such extremes as saying that he’d rather be executed than shave his beard.
60. It Takes Hundreds of Strokes to Shave Your Face
It takes somewhere around 100 to 600 strokes for a man to shave his face fully. No need to head to the gym for an arm workout, just stop in the bathroom and trim up that beard.