A short history of hairy chins and why the beard is the new fashion statement


Ancient relief of an assyrian god.

Men’s fashion is much more grounded than female fashion. Whereas the latter is hugely complex multi-layered, at times whimsical and difficult to define – blokes have it pretty easy. It’s pretty much black and white. And that’s what guys need – as much as the modern man spends a great deal more time in the bathroom nowadays, much to the frustration of the rest of the family – guys still need to be up and ready for action as fast as possible.

And beards are a case in point. As a fashion statement they have gone in and out of trend. Since the second world war they have been very much a no-no – the clean shaven look was in. There have been exceptions of course. They became a part of the hippie’s presentation toolkit in the late 1960’s, the designer stubble was cool in the eighties and nineties and for the bald guy beards were often used as a way to fool the opposite sex that they were in fact hairy. (the jury’s still out on this one but since the shaven head has become so popular in the 21st century there is little need for it).

Attitudes towards beards throughout the ages have changed enormously. In ancient Egypt it was the rich and powerful who grew beards and also thought it was a great idea to even dye and interweave them with gold plaited thread. Nice if you can afford it.

The Mesopotamians like the Greeks really went to town when dressing their beards. They oiled and dressed their beards and created elaborate ringlets. Spartans on the other hand punished criminals by shaving off half their beards.

In the far east beards were cut off as a punishment too as they were highly venerated. Long beards were a symbol of dignity and wisdom. Back here in the west in the middle ages the beard came to symbolise virility and honour. However, in Tudor times, Henry V111, when desperately looking for something to fill government coffers, decided to tax beards. These changes led to the beard becoming unpopular for a while and it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that it began to return.

Leaders such as Alexander 111 of Russia and Frederick 111 of Germany brought it back into vogue in Europe and in the US many presidents were now wearing beards. However, the World Wars wiped out beards again as there was need for men to be clean shaven on going into battle (Gas masks had to fit over the head).

We believe the charitable foundation for Men’s Health which facilitates Movember did an enormous amount in starting off the hairy trend again. At the time it was a challenge because it was so out of fashion, but it’s after effects resonated a long time.

Now it is back with a vengeance. Hair stylists offer special treatments such as plaiting, waxing and cutting and the hipster beard has made its own special place in current trends.

…and even if it does encourage those age old jokes for bald guys (are you wearing your head upside down?) we think it really looks pretty cool.

Scalp Micro Pigmentation is a wonderful alternative for people struggling with hair loss or who just want to join the bald fashion trend and look their very best. Trained practitioners apply pigments to the scalp so it appears as if you have a full head of hair – but cut fashionably short.


Skalp® have clinics around the world. We have clinics in New York, Los Angeles, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Marbella, Milan and Amsterdam.


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