40 Of The Most Interesting Beard Facts
Posted on 29 April 2016
We’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to beards. But the history of beards is littered with fascinating anecdotes and facts that it would be a shame not to share with those who also hold our position on beards. So below, we’ve compiled 40 of the most interesting beard facts we’ve found. Perhaps one will make you appreciate your beard more.
President Lincoln was the first President to sport a beard. In the 19th century, he popularized beards for all Americans. He grew his beard after an 11 year old girl had written him a letter saying he’d look better if he had one.
- The CIA once plotted to put thallium salts into Fidel Castro’s shoes — to make his beard fall out and ruin his public image.
- Beards can block over 90% of the harmful UV rays that strike your skin and cause cancer. So trade your neck sunscreen for a bottle of beard oil, and you're set.
- In ancient times, not having a beard was shameful, and was reserved for punishments or mourning.
- In 17th century Russia, to have a beard cost men a tax. Peter the Great would charge men 100 rubles per year for a medallion inscribed with what translated to “beards are a useless burden”. Well worth the cost, we think.
- Beard hair grows in three phases, but only gets longer in the first before maturing in the second and falling out in the third. The duration of this first phase varies between men, and that’s why some men can naturally grow longer beards than others.
- The same chemical, dihydrotestosterone, is responsible for both beards and baldness. A double edged sword if ever we saw one.
- In the Middle Ages, touching the beard of another man was a serious offence to his honor, and required a duel to settle the matter.
- Alexander the Great reputedly forbade his soldiers from having beards — because they could be grabbed in battle.
- The longest beard ever was 17 feet 6 inches long, belonging to Hans N. Langseth, a Norwegian who moved to the US for the last 15 years of his bearded life. His beard now lives in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Image Source: Smithsonian
- Beards grow faster in sunlight — and more in the summer.
- Otto the Great, Holy Roman Emperor, was said to have sworn by his beard for great statements.
- Beards carry moisture away from the skin, like a wick, causing dehydration and itching. Beard oils restore this moisture and alleviate a man’s discomfort.
- Some studies show women to rate bearded men as less attractive but wiser, stronger and more respected than clean-shaven men. All true except the first part. (The scientists in the study were probably clean-shaven themselves.)
- Shaving does not affect the growth rate of beards. Scientists believe it’s because shaving more often causes a man to feel the irritation of new growth more. (Which is a completely unnecessary nuisance, we feel.)
- From the years 2008-2013, beard transplant operations had risen by 600% due to beards becoming increasingly popular.
- Today, roughly a third of American males have facial hair of some sort — whereas more than half of men worldwide do. Clearly, we’re behind. And at Noble, we’re working to change that.
- A fear of beards would be scientifically referred to as pogonophobia. (But if every beard in the world was using a Noble Grooming beard oil, there’d be nothing to fear.)
- Follicles get thinner as they age.
- Beards grow at roughly a half inch per month. Hang in there, beardsman.
- The current world record for the longest beard belongs to Sarwan Singh of Canada, with a length of 8 feet 2.5 inches as last measured on September 8th, 2011. Image Source: Guinness World Records
- The King of Hearts in every deck of cards is the only king without a mustache. Of course, in real life, having a mustache and beard will get one much closer to being a true King of Hearts.
- The martyr Sir Thomas More, when at the guillotine for treason, supposedly pushed his beard out of the way, saying, “It has never committed any treason”.
- The Biblical tale of Samson says that when he was shaven, he lost his superhuman strength. We doubt that will happen to a modern gentleman, but all the same, we don’t recommend shaving off a perfectly good beard.
- An average man spends over 3,350 hours shaving in his lifetime. Which, we think, is a perfect reason to go the bearded route instead. That’s a lot of time which could be spent enjoying whiskey, cutting trees, or doing push-ups.
- Men are more likely to have beards when it’s easier to find a spouse. Scientists have speculated that men began shaving in order to make women feel better.
- 98% of the Forbes 100 list of world’s richest men are clean-shaven.
- Facial hair grows faster when a man has not had sex for a while.
- Beards can filter out dust and pollen if you have allergies.
- Beards grow faster in the daytime than in the nighttime.
- If you drink an average amount of beer – in a year, your average length mustache can trap a pint and a half of beer.
- The international Boxing Association prohibits amateur boxers from having beards.
- Most men shave when a family member dies. In ancient Rome, it was the opposite.
- To add earnestness to any royal message, kings were often known to attach three beard hairs to the wax seal.
- The longest female beard ever recorded was measured at 11.5 inches. Image Source: Parade
- Brigham Young University’s dress code does not allow beards unless for medical reasons.
- Ancient philosophers always retained their beards as a badge of their profession.
- The average number of whiskers on a man’s face is 30,000.
- If a man never shaved, his beard would be roughly 27.5 feet.
- Beards make you 63% more likely to win staring contests (yes, we are serious, it’s a fact).
And there you have it — 40 of the most interesting facts about the beard. We hope you find it interesting. Why not go celebrate by growing your own beard today — or if you have one, treating it to an extra helping of some beard oil. It deserves it.