Would you grow a beard if you could?
Jakub Marczewski grew a beard six years ago. He was too lazy to shave. Now he finds himself in the middle of a global trend.
The 21-year-old got his hair and beard trimmed at a new shop. It's called the Barberian Academy & Barber Shop. It opened in Warsaw, Poland, last month. Its customers are the growing number of men with facial hair.
Europe is agog for beards.
"Worldwide, we are at the height of facial hair," said Allan Peterkin. He is a Toronto psychiatrist. He wrote the book, "One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair."
"It's a delightful expression of masculinity. But not a super-macho expression."
After World War II, men were mostly clean-shaven. Over the next decades, facial hair was adopted by various groups. Since the mid-1990s, it has been slowly spreading to even more groups. Now the mountain man beard is all the rage across North America.
The 2008 financial crisis added to the beard momentum. Some men who lost their jobs ditched the conformist look. They reinvented themselves.
"To grow a beard is to start a new life and to have more confidence in yourself. You look a little older, so people have more respect," said Salvador Chanza. He is a 31-year-old master barber from Spain. He trains professionals.
Today, facial hair is hugely popular across Western Europe. That's especially true in fashion-conscious Paris. And across the globe, it's the month of "Movember." That's when men are encouraged to grow a mustache to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues.