You may think you know everything about your beard as you inspect it daily in your reflection, but are you really as clued up as you think?
Take your time
It’s estimated that the average man will shave up to 20,000 times in his life, and around 60 hours per year. Should probably download some podcasts to listen to during...
The Telegraph recently named beard tax as one of eight strangest taxes in history. It was supposedly introduced in 1535 in Britain under Henry VIII’s reign, and the amount you had to pay depended on your social status which is why we may still associate beards with power and strength now. Although the tax was dropped, the king’s daughter Queen Elizabeth I brought it back for any beard with more than two weeks’ worth of growth. And it wasn’t just us Brits who had to cough up; Russian Emperor Peter the Great ordered all of his subjects to remove their facial hair, and even instructed police officials to take matters into their own hands should anyone refuse. Forced to soften his stance due to mass disagreement from religious leaders, instead he introduced a beard tax at the end of the 17th century to bring society in line with Western Europe. Those who paid it were required to carry a copper or bronze token - what we’d give to have one of those!
Beards can be deathly
In 1567, Hans Steininger, the man said to have the longest beard in the world at the time, reportedly died after he tripped over his beard running away from a fire.
Shaving was considered blasphemy
Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584) is recorded to have said, “Shaving the beard is a sin the blood of all martyrs will not wash away. It would mean blemishing the image of man as God created him.”
You are VERY hairy
Ever wondered why you can never seem to rid your bathroom sink of those pesky clippings? It might have something to do with the surprisingly huge number of hairs in your beard – about 30,000. The average beard grows 5 and a half inches per year, and if you were to never trim it, in theory it would reach 27 and a half feet long by the end of your life. That would need a hell of a lot of beard oil!
The White House is a beard-free zone
The last US president to have a beard was Benjamin Harrison, who left office in 1893.
And as for Britain...
Britain has not had a bearded prime minister since Robert Gascoyne-Cecil’s resignation in 1902, and Jeremy Corbyn is the first person with a beard to ever stand in a contest for the Labour leadership.
The fear is real
Fear of beards is a real condition called pognophobia. Luckily, not very common!
After all those facts, you may want to read up on our beard myths so next time someone asks if your face gets too hot or whether it’s difficult to clean, you can set the record straight.
Heard any other fun facts? Let us know by dropping us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.