Weird and Wonderful Facts About Beards
Real Bearded Men has been looking at some of the unusual perspectives of beard ownership; the interesting beard facts that you probably don’t know! We’ve put together 25 Q and A’s of strange-but-true facts about beards for a light hearted approach to pogonophilia…
1. How long will my beard grow in one year if I don’t trim it?
Approximately 5.5 inches. How long is yours?
2. How many men worldwide have a beard?
About 55% at any one time, and you’re probably one of them!
3. Is it true that beards are a hallmark of wisdom?
Many great philosophers had beards; Socrates, Aristotle and Plato to name just a few. William Shakespeare often devised words of wisdom in his works, including “Lose your beard and you lose your soul”. Are you wise?
4. Which king in a deck of cards is the odd one out, and why?
The King of Hearts. All sport beards but only this one doesn’t have a mustache. Maybe you’re a king of hearts too, with or without a mustache.
5. Whose beard ‘never committed any treason’?
Sir Thomas More moved his beard to one side before being beheaded in 1535, claiming it had ‘not offended the king’. Bizarrely, most portraits depict him beardless because apparently he only grew it whilst being imprisoned for a year before his death!
6. Is shaving a waste of time?
Most certainly, yes! A continuously clean shaven man will lose about 3,350 hours of his life removing those facial hairs. We say keep growing it, man, beard growth is important!
7. Did the CIA plot to remove Fidel Castro’s beard?
Yes! In an effort to discredit him, they came up with a plan to put the depilatory treatment thallium salts into his shoes, which in turn would make his beard hair fall out. Yes, seriously! Needless to say, they didn’t go through with it.
8. When do beards grow the fastest?
In the summer, and at night. That’s something for you to sleep on. However, to keep it at its best, don’t forget to apply beard oil regularly, which will help all that growing to be worthwhile.
9. Why was Van Dyke famous for the pointy style of beard?
You’re going to say ’because he had one!’ Actually it was because he painted notable people with them; nearly all his self portraits show him with only a mustache.
10. To completely shave the whole of your face, how many strokes of the razor are needed?
100 – 600, depending on the size of your face, the size of the razor, and your adeptness at shaving! Don’t try it – we want you to keep your beard!
11. How long is the longest recorded beard?
An amazing 17 feet 5 inches! The Norwegian immigrant Hans Langseth grew his beard from age 19 for a contest, but we don’t know if he won! On his death in 1927, age 81, it was preserved and 40 years later donated to the Smithsonian Institution. In his older years he travelled around the USA as part of a circus troupe, showing off his whiskers to an awestruck audience. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the current living holder of the world’s longest beard is Sarwan Singh of Canada, whose last beard measurement in 2011 stood at 8 feet 2½ inches.
12. How many whiskers grow on your face?
Approximately 30,000. (And it’s the same number for women, incidentally...)
13. If a man touched another man’s beard in the Middle Ages, what was the usual outcome?
You would be challenged to a duel! With the beard as a sign of honor and virility, it was thought to be offensive to encroach on someone’s whiskers. Hand’s off!
14. How many men who sport beards are included in the Forbes 100 ‘rich list’?
A pitiable 2%, that’s all. Maybe bewhiskered gents are so satisfied with life they don’t need to be wealthy!
15. What is pogonophobia?
Beard fear, often with symptoms of panic, nausea and a heightened heart rhythm. Get a grip... you won’t actually be reading this if you are pogonophobic.
16. What is a postiche?
It’s a false hairpiece, often attached to the chin. The ancient Egyptians often wore metal postiches as a symbol of supremacy and on auspicious occasions kings, queens and even royal cattle could be seen with them. Other high ranking men would gold plate their whiskers for a similar effect. If you’re not on the Forbes 100 list, this might not be for you!
17. Are amateur boxers allowed whiskers in the ring?
The short answer is ‘no’. The International Boxing Association forbids the wearing of beards, said to be due to the hair covering evidence of strike or injury. However, mainly for racial inclusion, there is now a worldwide lobby to get the rule overturned so that those who wear beards (particularly for religious reasons) are not excluded from competition. The good news is that the UK has already vetoed the ban and more countries will surely follow.
18. What percentage of American males wear facial hair?
About 33%, and we’re guessing some of you might fall into this category. We hope you’re looking after those hairs with regular cleansing and maintenance. If you desire a sculptured style, regardless of length, check out our beard balms which will help to keep your mane tamed.
19. How much beer will a mustache trap in a year?
It’s variable according to the size of the mustache and the regularity of drinking, but it’s thought that the average mustache will collect 1½ pints annually. Suck on that!
20. How did the ancient Greeks like to style their beard hair?
With curls. Yep, they loved long curls hanging from their chins and used tongs to create the effect. Weird, or a fashion that will soon come round again?
21. Female beards. Is it a thing?
Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but we can tell you that the longest recorded female beard was a foot long. Maybe we need to start another brand called Real Bearded Women...
22. If you never shaved, how long would your beard grow?
It could be as long as 27½ feet. This is based on normal growth rates and never shaving, ever! As also mentioned above regarding the world’s longest beards, living hair will only grow to approximately 5 feet. The rest is made up of dead hair saved by intertwining it with the living hair so that it remains as part of the beard.
23. A beard is a beard is a beard, right?
Although men have cut and groomed their beards in different ways for ever, it wasn’t until the 16th century that styling became popular, with certain designs adapting to in vogue presentations, and styles were designated by name. This is when the first forked beards were noted, and other designs, such as the stiletto, the English square cut and the Spanish spade made their earliest appearances. We’ve put together a guide on how some of the more popular modern styles suit particular face shapes, to help you decide what’s best for you. Find it here.
24. Who will approve your new beard first?
You might think that after all that effort you’ve made to grow those hairs, the people that positively notice the change on your face would be members of the opposite sex. So you might be surprised to learn that those who will compliment you most on your new accoutrement are other males. Maybe they compare your efforts to their own faces, or perhaps they acknowledge the sacrifice you’ve made to stand out from the crowd, but whatever the reason you can only have a ’first beard’ once, so bask in the glory while you can before another young bearded upstart takes your place!
25. Are you a pogonologist?
You’re almost certainly a pogonophile (someone who loves beards), but you could also be a pogonologist, or at least thinking about becoming one. A pogonologist is anyone who has a high level interest in beards, whether studying them professionally, writing about them (that’s us then!) or being overly enthusiastic, gleaning facts and figures about beards at every opportunity.
Maybe if you have read our 25 beard facts above you could now consider yourself a pogonologist, having studied our prose enthusiastically and committed at least some of the details to memory. Men with beards everywhere have a yearning to know more about their facial hobby and we’ve been pleased to help you along with some bizarre and outlandish oddments of info.
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