Would you grow a beard if you could? Jakub Marczewski with his moustache in Warsaw, Poland (AP photos)
Would you grow a beard if you could?
Lexile

Jakub Marczewski grew a beard six years ago because 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 with a hip retro vibe, the Barberian Academy & Barber Shop. It opened in Warsaw, Poland, last month to serve the growing number of men with facial hair. A revival in the culture of barbering in this Eastern European capital is just one sign of how popular beards have become, with actors, athletes and hipsters leading the way.

Europe is agog for beards.

"Worldwide, we are at the height of facial hair," said Allan Peterkin, a Toronto psychiatrist and author of "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. That reflected a military ethos that came to dominate corporate life, Peterkin said. Over the next decades, facial hair was adopted by subgroups like hippies. Since the mid-1990s, it has been slowly spreading. 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 as 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 who trains professionals.

Now facial hair is hugely popular across Western Europe, especially in fashion-conscious Paris. And across the globe, it's the month of "Movember." It's a time when men are encouraged to grow a mustache to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues.

Peterkin said the popularity of facial hair has always been cyclical.

"When something once edgy becomes so commonplace, like tattoos, it loses its edge," he said. "If every guy across generations is doing it, then there is going to be a shift back to clean shaven-ness."

Critical thinking challenge: Why do actors, athletes and hipsters affect fashion and style?

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COMMENTS (28)
  • CLuthFS
    11/25/2014 - 10:21 a.m.

    Actors, athletes, and hipsters affect fashion and style because kids and young adults watch television shows and movies and read magazine articles about this person. If the person is sporting a new article of clothing or hair, the fans or other young people find it creative and want to do it to. Then some more people see that person doing it and they want to too. This is why I believe actors, athletes, and hipsters affect fashion and style.

  • YasmeenH
    11/25/2014 - 10:30 a.m.

    It is really silly that beards are such a huge trend now! I wonder who started the trend, and why? But, I do agree that when you look a little older people do have respect for you.

  • HannahMB98
    11/25/2014 - 10:31 a.m.

    There are a lot of countries that had men with beards before this trend started. Who knew that not shaving could become so popular? When will this trend end??

  • madison11701
    11/25/2014 - 10:32 a.m.

    Athltes, actors, and hipstors have a big affect on fashion and style. When people turn on the television they see these people, and want to be like them. Once many people start doing this more and more will continue. I havnt noticed many people with beards, but as the days continue many more people will grow beards and mustaches.

  • IsaiahD16
    11/25/2014 - 10:44 a.m.

    People should open one of those in America. I wonder how someone learns how to save other people's beards and mustaches. I really want to grow a beard some day in the future.

  • NickB42
    11/25/2014 - 10:47 a.m.

    If you grow a beard you shave it or you don't. If people thought it was a good idea to open a barber shop for beard its weird. No one has a styled beard.

  • Brandon J7
    11/25/2014 - 10:52 a.m.

    If i could grow a beard i would. I wouldn't let the beard get to big to were I have a hard time shaving it. It would be a normal beard with only some hair on your face. I don't want it to cause attention and make people stare at me when i walk around.

  • dianev 22
    11/25/2014 - 11:03 a.m.

    A guy name Jakub Marczewski grew a beard six years ago. He says he was to lazy too shave. "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."

  • maxb-Weh
    11/25/2014 - 01:15 p.m.

    I think they affect the worlds fashion is because people want to look like them. And be like them. So if a famous person or soccer player or someone got a fancy haircut people might too

  • 8PATELTEJASH-Flo
    11/25/2014 - 01:34 p.m.

    Athletes, actors, and hipsters have a big affect on fashion and style. When people turn on the television they see these people, and want to be like them. Once many people start doing this more and more people will continue growing beards. I haven't noticed many people with beards, but as the days continue many more people will grow beards and mustaches.

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