Did you know?

The first facial hair appears during puberty. It accompanies other changes that take place in the body-build. That's why we believe it's a sing of masculinity. The science that studies facial hair is pognology (Greek pogno – beard).

Men's facial hair is the hardest and the most springy of all body hair. It is as stiff as a copper wire of the same gauge and it grows at the speed of 0,6 mm per day.

When referring to a primal women's instinct, a men ought to send her, probably completely subconsciously, signals about his own sexuality.

Growing and keeping facial hair may require a lot more time and effort than shaving it every day.

Ancient Egyptians, as from the Bronze Age, perceived natural hair as something not particularly desired and even appalling. Men shaved not only their faces but also entire head. Whereas priests shaved entire body at least once every three days in order to preserve purity.

In Ancient India, a beard was a symbol of wisdom and dignity. It carried a great significance and its public shaving was a severe punishment for dissipation and treachery.

In Ancient Greece, all free citizens wore beards. They could only be shaved to express grief, however, even in such sad circumstances many decided not to get rid of them because a smooth face meant being effeminate.

In Rome, the first attempt of persuading people to get rid of beards was taken, for hygienic reasons, by Tarquin the Elder. However, smooth faces weren't accepted until 5th century B.C. when a group of Greek barbers came to Rome from Sycili.

Beard played an important role for Germanic tribes, which is best reflected in the name of one of the tribes - the Langobards – the name comes from the Latin words longa barba i.e. a long beard.

The Tsar of All Russia, Peter I, introduced a beard tax. Its amount depended on the wealth of the bearded man. All those who couldn't submit a special locket that proved that the tax had been paid were sentenced to forced labor.

In Western Europe, in 17th century, when wigs were introduced, natural facial hair completely went out of fashion. Eventually, it became obsolete due to Louis XVI of France who in 1680 shaved his mustache. Attending elegant feasts wearing a beard was considered a tremendous faux pas.

The first president of the USA who wore a beard was Abraham Lincoln, whereas the last one – William Howard Taft, who held the office between 1909-1913.

The crucial moment that eventually introduced the widespread fashion for smooth faces in 20th century was when the revolutionary Gillette razors entered the market.

Fidel Castro accused CIA not only of assassination attempts on his life, but also of trying to deprive him of his beard.

American courts happen to adjudicate in lawsuits brought by employees who are fired because of their facial hair. Attorneys tend to rely on religious and medical reasons in their line of defense.

Marx, one of the most well-known bearded men, stopped shaving when he decided to became a philosopher, against his father's will who wanted him to pursue a lawyer's career. He also might have been influenced by his beloved Jenny von Westphalen who was said to fall for bearded men. Marx shaved his face to manifest grief after her death.

Paul Newman has his own line of food products  - Newman's Own. Each package is decorated with the actor's smiling face. On some of the labels, there are photos in which we may see his beard the shape of which changes according to the world region from which the given product comes from.

About 30000 years ago, the first stone razors were made.

In Ancient Egypt, pharaohs used copper and golden razors for shaving, while the less wealthy men used stone knives.

In Ancient Egypt, when a warrior died, he was buried together with his weapon and razor – the indicators of his social status.

A medieval barber who was responsible for bathing, shaving and hair-cutting as well as surgeries, is called a barber surgeon. Barber surgeons' guild was symbolized by a pole standing in front of every barber shop, decorated with red and white stripes. The white symbolized bandages  used before a surgery, and the red referred to those used afterwards.

In 17th century, barber surgeons were forbidden to render services other than shaving and hair-cutting. It was caused by the developing and increasing medical knowledge and specializations gained by the doctors, surgeons or dentists, which were unattainable for ordinary barbers.

Poland abandoned the traditional method of shaving in 1980's. However, in countries such as Italy, where in small towns a solid craft trade is handed down to younger generations, if lucky, you may still feel the razor on your skin.

In ancient times, bearded women were considered hands of divine oracles, hence they were highly respected.

M.Vendura - painting by J. de Ribera from 1631, presents a breast-feeding person with a beard as thick as that of the man standing next. According to the description engraved on the column painted in the background, the bearded person is a woman who gave birth to three sons. The description doesn't say why the painter gave her a typically masculine appearance.

Jennifer Miller (born in 1961), living in New York, is a writer, an art school professor, a circus performer and, above all, a proud owner of a thick beard.

A photo of a bearded Kate Moss appeared on the cover of American Vogue in May 2005. Stephen Gau, the publisher, explains that bearded women are the biggest taboo nowadays.

In 1920's, “spot a beaver” game gained popularity among Americans. The rule was to find a hairy person in the crowd. The number of points depended on the type of facial hair worn by the pointed  “beaver”. Nobody knows whether the rules of this game included additional points if the pointed person was a woman.

In homosexual terminology, a “beard” denotes a woman who has social and partnership relations with a homosexual, allowing him to conceal the true sexual orientation.

Most people do not know that we first notice bearded faces in the crowd.

Renaissance medical sources proved the interrelation between having a beard and the  ability to produce semen.

In the old times, fatherhood and being a soldier were both represented by thick beards which made the man.

Beard makes jaw look bigger, brings out teeth, which might serve as a weapon, emphasizes eyes – making them more important than the rest of the face, as well as intensifying the feeling of aggression.

Wolter once said, in the spirit of masculine domination, that “Ideas are like beards. Children and women never have them.”

Shaving allows a civilized man to hide his animal origin. Growing a beard, on the contrary, might be a sign of failure. The biblical Adam residing in Eden is often presented as a smoothly shaved man, but when he leaves Eden he has a beard. 

A big and thick beard is an ideal hoard for smugglers – no one dares to violate the immunity of a beard during control or search.

In ancient cultures, beard was a sign of respect, and shaving it very often served as a severe social punishment. Beard means respect! 

Alexander the Great ordered his soldiers to shave beards for fear of their enemies' pulling them in combat. Only milksops would resort to such poor fighting techniques.

Whenever the King of Celts, Otto the Great, wanted to underscore the significance of his words, he swore to his beard. Nowadays, civil law agreements come off pretty badly in terms of significance.

It has been proved that fumbling in one's beard increases his cognitive abilities, concentration and effectiveness in solving simple riddles. If only McGyver had a beard...

Braided beard is 20 times stronger than a rope of an equal thickness. Now you know why rock-climbers grow it like crazy.

In the British Royal Navy, marines are allowed to wear beards only when they are able to grow a beard of estimable length in two weeks. Ahoy!

In the French Foreign Legion, there are special, bearded troops of lumberjacks that have axes in their emblem. This formation dates back to times when the Legion had to stump the African jungle. Grow or die!

In 1960's, CIA wanted to deprive Fidel Castro of respect and, consequently, unseat him through shaving his beard. In order to achieve it they wanted to poison his shoes with thallium salt. The counterrevolution through counterbearding! 

If you were to stop shaving forever, your beard will be approx 7,5 feet long.

Around 55% of men worldwide sport some or the other form of facial hair.

Ancient philosophers always retained their beards as a badge of proffession.

High-ranking ancient Egyptians dyed their beards and plaited them with gold thread. They also sported false metal beards as a symbol of sovereignty.

Before Sir Thomas More was beheaded in 1535, he moved his lengthy beard aside, saying it "had never committed any treason".

Beards make you 63% more likely to win any starting contest.

Shamsher Singh of Punjab, India, had his beard officialy measured in 1997 at an astonishing 1,83 metres from the end of chin to the tip. This is the longest beard on a living male.

Abraham Lincoln grew a beard in the late 1860 after getting an advice from a 11-year-old New York girl called Grace Bedell.

An abnormal or persistent fear of beards is known as POGONOPHOBIA.

Beards never grow faster as you shave. It's a myth!

Facial hair grows faster when a man hasn't had sex for in a while. WOAH!

Studies have shown that on average, women find a man with a full beard more attractive than a clean shaven man.

Beards help you filter the air of toxins, pollution and stray food.

The average man spends 3 350 hours shaving in his lifetime.

Beards grow 5,5 inches per year. In fact, the number of whiskers on the face of an average man is 30 000.

Scientists believe prehistoric man had beards for: Warmth, Protection, Intimidation against blows to the face.

Facial hair grows more in the summer.

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