Beards have come and gone and returned again as a fashion, but the culture of bearding around the world has gone through much more exciting transformations than simply being in and out of style. Beards today are as varied as the men who sport them, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the history of bearding is equally colorful.
We mentioned in a previous blog that ancient Egyptians were big fans of gilding their beards, but the ancient Egyptian’s interest in unusual shaving culture doesn’t end there. Once they entered the Dynastic period, body hair—including real beards—swiftly fell out of style. Yet, the sign of beards as a symbol of royalty and virility persisted.
So despite the fact that royals were shaving not only their beards, but also their eyebrows and body hair and plucking their eyelashes (are you kidding me?)… they were still wearing prosthetic beards.
Even the queens! Yep, lady Pharoahs donned the metallic beard replacements as well.
We kinda wish we could time travel and just spray everyone down with our Beardilizer Beard Growth Spray… Real beards are always better!
These guys and gals were way more pro-beard, and it shows. It’s not just that most Greek men only shaved if they were in mourning, but in a bunch of other ways as well. For example, if you cut another beardo’s beard, you could be looking at jail time. At the very least you’d be fined.
We don’t really disagree with that practice. If you’re going to take an interest in anyone else’s beard, it ought to be to gift them with an awesome beard comb, not take scissors to it.
The Romans borrowed a lot from their Greek bros, but they also wanted to distinguish themselves. One of the ways they chose to do that, oddly enough, was by banishing the beard. Seriously, guys? Beards belong to everyone, not just the Greeks!
Teenaged boys would leave their beards untouched until they were considered men… and then they’d shave them off. Seems kind of backwards to us. We totally understand wanting to trim up your peach fuzz until you can grow a beard worthy of our Majestic Beard Gift Box. Once you’ve reached full on beardo status, however, embrace it!
In ancient Korea, beards, and even head hair, were considered something like sacred. That’s because Confucius (who was Chinese, not Korean, but studied in Korea) said that a person’s body, hair, and skin are gifts from our ancestors. Someone might trim a bit, but they’d even save the trimmings! And no one was going to deal with shaving on the regular with that sort of culture.
Modern day Korea, of course, is quite different—but beard bros are appearing here and there, too!