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From helping the planet’s first men survive to becoming a symbol of knowledge, beards have been shaping history ever since men have been around. Yeah, beards are badass, but have they really changed the world? Spoiler alert, they have. Let’s dive in.

Survival of the Beardest

Historians believe men grew beards for more practical purposes than exist today. It kept them warm, kept dirt out of their mouths and kept their face hidden from the sun when out hunting for saber tooth tigers. Like today’s men, they also grew them to make their jawline appear larger. Sort of like a pufferfish, who balloons up to make themselves appear bigger and badder, men used beards to intimidate others when on the hunt for resources.


Greeks were VERY serious about their beards. Ancient greeks saw beards as a sign of masculinity. From Zeus to Poseidon, all the greats sported beards. Ancient Greeks used the cutting of a beard as punishment, especially for cowardice deserters of war. Greek soldiers would take special care of their beards the night before battle as they thought it would make them stronger in battle.

Along Comes Alexander the Great

There are a couple of theories as to why Alexander the Great required all soldiers to start shaving their beards. We will present them all and let you decide.

  1. He couldn’t grow a beard and was embarrassed. Napoleon complexes are real and they make even great men suck sometimes.
  2. Many Macedonians were killed by their enemies by grabbing The Macedonians by their long beards during combat. To prevent this, Alexander orders the shave.

Either way, soldiers were forced to chop off those gorgeous locks, making it a trend and beards started to become less common.

The Vikings

There’s no doubt the Vikings were BADASS. However, the Vikings were no match for Europe’s growing army and their beards were no match for Europe’s propaganda. Vikings were depicted as unruly, unkempt, and barbaric. Pair that with a growing number of poor unkempt citizens, and beards started to become a sign of being lesser than. This trend stuck around up until the 1800s when beards started to finally make a comeback in the great U.S. of A.


The first 15 presidents were all beardless. Not to knock them too much, but they did help create this beautiful country of ours. Then, along came Abraham Lincoln.

Fun fact: Abe Lincoln grew a beard because an 11-year-old girl wrote him a letter essentially saying it would help hide his not so handsome face.

After Abe, every president up to William Howard Taft wore facial hair except Andrew Johnson, who was impeached, and William McKinley, who was assassinated. Maybe beards could have changed a thing or two for them. Who knows.

The Down Tick

We can’t seem to find anyone who can pinpoint when the beard started to fade, but by the 30s, mustaches were almost all that was left. In the 1930s, enlisted men were not allowed to have mustaches as gas masks couldn’t fit as snug. And that was the end of an era.


As beards were considered against the status-quo, bearded men began to grow in popularity as a sign of anti-war. Jamie Hendricks, The Beatles, Willie Nelson, and more all grew beards during this time. However, nothing is meant to last. Beards then became less popular, and mustaches came and went.


Beards are in. We shouldn’t have to convince you of that. They add wisdom, masculinity, and strength even to the feeblest of men. Should every man grow one? Yes. If this history lesson taught you anything, it should be that men are meant to have beards. They are a badge of honor worn by the best of the best. Stay bearded. Be a boss.

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