Itching to Celebrate World Beard Day

By Joy Neighbors

World Beard Day Logo
Lee Sinclair
Today is World Beard Day and, like everything else, beards go in and out of fashion. Right now they’re “in” - everything from a goatee to a Van Dyke, mutton chops to a jawline beard. Beards were also very popular back at the turn of the 20th century when Lee Sinclair owned West Baden Springs Hotel.

Hotel Guests - 1920s
During this time, facial hair signified masculinity, courage and wisdom. Men who had sported a beard into the 20th century usually kept it. It wasn’t until those who had served in WW1 came home without facial hair that a new trend began. During the 1920s and 30s, if men had facial hair, it was typically a moustache or goatee. Beards didn’t come back into fashion until the 1950s and '60s with beatniks and hippies.

President James Garland
Throughout history facial hair has played a part in our social perceptions of a man. His facial hair, or lack of, can confirm or deny the type of image he presents to others. Beards are thought to be worn by men who are more socially dominate, composed, “manly”  and mature even though that may not really be the person’s personality. But on the flip side, men with beards are thought to be less generous and not as cheerful as the clean-shaven.

In the end, sporting facial hair is simply a matter of choice. If you rock a beard, this is your day so brush up on a few pogonotrophy (beard) facts and celebrate!

Beard Factoids to Comb Through:

President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the first bearded president of the United States. Lincoln grew the beard after a young girl suggested that his thin face would look better covered with facial hair. (She was right.)

Hans Langseth's Beard at Smithsonian
The longest beard in the world belonged to Hans Langseth and measured 17 feet 6 inches long. Langseth began growing the beard when he was 19 for a beard competition in Iowa. After his death in 1927, his family donated his beard to the Smithsonian Institution. Langseth’s beard was on display at the Smithsonian from 1967 to 1991 but is now kept in storage.

The longest beard sported by a current living male is 8 feet 2 inches long and belongs to Sarwan Singh of Canada.

Beard Styles
An estimated 55% of men around the world have some form of facial hair. Maybe that’s because women find men with full beards more attractive than men who are clean-shaven.

There are 30,000 whiskers on the average man’s face.

Most beards grow about 5.5 inches each year.

Beards are healthy. They protect a man’s face from harmful UV rays, pollen and allergens.