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 had 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, from twiddling long mustaches and growing out long beards.
1900s to 2000s
During the early 20th century military men sported mustaches. British men were required by regulation to wear a mustache as this marked strength and power. In the 40s and 50s, facial hair was still pretty uncommon during that time, but the goatee made its way into popular culture. By the 60s, beards were a symbol of creativity and rebelliousness. By the rise of hippie culture and disco in the 70s, full beards made a comeback and men’s grooming was more varied than before. The influence of bands like the Beatles and Bee Gees heightened the popularity to show off full beards and mustaches.
2000s to now
By 2013, full-fledged beards had re-entered the mainstream. Full grown beards and trimmed mustaches groomed their way to a 21st Century form of the ‘classic hero’. The most recent rise of beard 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 working its way into a decline anytime soon.