1800s to 1900s

Men have been sporting beards and moustaches for centuries. During the Crimean War in the 1850s was when men started to really show off a variety of different facial hair styles. Beards had been banned in the British Army until this time, however the freezing temperatures and harsh winters meant that it was impossible to keep clean shaven. By the time the troops returned home, beards marked the shape of a hero. It was from this heroic period when men, who had never been in the army, started to grow beards. During the Victorian times, famous individuals such as Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe became hugely experimental with facial hair with twiddling long moustaches and growing out long beards.

1900s to 2000s

At the turn of the century, the ‘Handlebar’ moustache was introduced by President Taft, the 27th President of the United States, he brought the art of twiddling to the White House. The twenties saw a more simplified version of the moustache. By the 1930s, the ‘Pencil’ moustache was made popular by Clarke Gable in Gone with the Wind, a very dignified look indeed. The ‘Goatee’ was the new look nearing the end of the 40s into the 50s, this style was born among the jazz musicians where the hair was carefully trimmed around the mouth. The early ‘Goatee’ was neat and thin but moving into the 60s there was a definite relaxation in precision. One of the most memorable facial hair fashions of the 70s was the ‘Horseshoe’ or ‘Biker’ moustache, which portrayed badass masculinity and fierceness, sported by tough guys, bouncers and bikers too as that scene started to evolve. The 80s is fondly remembered for the one and only Tom Selleck, Magnum PI, he was solely responsible for the arrival of the ‘Chevron’ moustache, a fuller thicker moustache that dipped just below the upper lip. The ‘Goatee’ made a comeback in the 90s, slightly amended to become the ‘Goatee Soul Patch Combo’, the beard style choice of the alt rock scene. The ‘Soul Patch’ is a tiny, carefully shaped area of facial hair just below the lip. As we approached the 2000s, ‘Designer Stubble’ was the relaxed look chosen by a lot of men, slightly unkempt, the 5 o’clock shadow had arrived.

2000s to Now

By 2013 fully-fledged beards had re-entered the mainstream. Full grown beards and trimmed moustaches winged their way to a 21st Century form of the ‘classic hero’. The most recent rise in popularity of the beard was triggered when George Clooney, Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper (among others) arrived at the 2013 Baftas and Oscars with fully groomed facial hair. Today, a well-groomed bearded man is a stylish, fashionable and masculine gentleman. So far, this has been the most popular and enthusiastic period of time for men to grow and style beards, with there being no signs of this trend dipping anytime soon.