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Incredible Beard Facts You Didn't Know

August 25, 2022 4 min read

Beards—not only do they help keep men everywhere ruggedly handsome, but they also have some pretty impressive scientific benefits as well.

They aren’t just for hipsters and mountain-men, beards look great regardless of your style, and they help you spend less time staring at yourself in a mirror trying to keep your face smooth as can be.

The fashion-statement of beards has withstood the tests of time. Our prehistoric ancestors grew beards for warmth and protection, and in the early 1600s beards made a bold fashion statement for aristocrats, and today, well, beards are just plain cool.

Get ready, because I’m about to uncover 60 cool beard facts that you’ve probably never heard of before.

1. Beards Were Once Prescribed

In the Victorian era, doctors prescribed beards as a way to prevent illness.

Back in those days, doctors reasoned that a thick beard could act as a filter that would help to trap harmful particles before entering the body through the mouth.

Men were encouraged by doctors to grow a beard as needed.

I'm prescribing you a goatee!

2. Alexander the Great Made His Army Shave

Before a battle taking place on September 30, 331 BBC, Alexander the Great forced his army to shave off their beards.

Plutarch, an ancient historian, quoted Alexander as saying, “Don’t you know that in battles there is nothing handier to grasp than a beard.”

3. They Increase Social Status

A study published in Behavioral Ecology has found that beards play an influence on people’s perceptions of a man’s social status.

The study researched women from two different cultures. Results showed that regardless of cultural background, the women perceived the men with beards as having an elevated social status from their clean-shaven counterparts.

4. Beards Can Protect Against Jellyfish

If you ever find yourself preparing for a long-distance competitive swim, consider growing a beard for maximum protection. The first man to cycle, swim, and run the entire length of Great Britain, Sean Conway, kept a beard to stop jellyfish from stinging his face while he was in the water.

5. Beards are Like Built-in Sunscreen

Believe it or not, beards offer your face protection when spending hours outside having fun in the sun.

A study published in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry, conducted by the University of Southern Queensland, found that beards offer 90% to 95% protection from harmful UV rays.

The UPF protection ranged from 2 to 21. This means that beards can help protect against skins cancer.

6. The World’s Longest Beard Was Over 17 Feet Long

The record of the longest beard ever recorded goes to a Norwegian-American man named Hans Langseth. In 1927, Langseth’s beard was recorded at stretching 5.33m---that’s 17-feet, 6-inches long!

7. Romans Used Beards to Distinguish One Another

In Ancient Rome, your beard style told a story of which philosophical school of thought you belonged to.

Just by glancing at a man, you were able to tell what philosophical notions he stood behind. If only it were so easy in the modern day to determine if you want to engage in a conversation with someone or not.

8. Some Beards Are Worth 1M Dollars

Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill from the band ZZ Top have turned down offers of $1 million to shave off their beards.

Gibbons has reported that the famous razor brand, Gilette, offered this significant amount of money both of these men to shave off their iconic beards for a promotional event, but both men turned down the offer and opted to keep their beloved beards instead.

9. The Rock Wore a Beard Made of Testicle Hair

You read that right. When filming Hercules, Dwayne Johnson agreed to wear a beard made out of yak testicle hair. Johnson has said that it took three hours to put the beard on every day that he was on set. That is a lot of commitment.

10. The Record for Longest Female Beard is 30cm

In September 2015, Harnaam Kaur received the distinguished title of being the youngest female with a full beard. While her beard may be impressive, what makes Kaur even more inspiring is her work as an activist for promoting body-confidence.

11. CIA Tried to Make Castro’s Beard Fall Out

During President John F. Kennedy’s time in office, the CIA devised some plans to try to take down the Communist government in Cuba, known as The Cuba Project.

One of the initiatives of the project: spreading Castro’s clothing with thallium salts that would make his beard fall out.

12. There Has Been a Tax on Beards

The Russian Tsar, Peter the Great didn’t like beards, so he imposed a tax on them. Russian noblemen who chose to wear beards during Peter’s reign had to pay a hefty price just to carry around a beard license.

13. Pogonotomy is Another Word for Shaving

Next time you want to impress your friends, tell that you have to engage in some pogonotomy later. That’ll probably get you some interesting looks.

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