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?
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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)
  • amandaFAB-Cla
    11/25/2014 - 02:21 p.m.

    I believe they have an impact on style and fashion because many people aspire to be like them and want to look like they have the newest fashion.

  • al117-Sch
    11/25/2014 - 09:02 p.m.

    In response to "Would you grow a beard if you could?," I agree that actors, athletes and hipsters affect fashion and style. One reason I agree is that most of the actors have personal designers or people that help them with their outfits but those people are professional, they know how to do it very well . Another reason is that sometimes actors, athletes and hipsters could be wearing weird, but cool outfits that bring attention (in a good way) . It says in the article "When something once edgy becomes so commonplace, like tattoos, it loses its edge." A third reason it's because if they are wearing a super cool outfit that everyone thinks it's so awesome, that could change style for a while because now people would be like "ooh I like that style I'm gonna try to also wear it." Even though everyone has their own style and taste in clothes, I think famous people could change it to make it even better.

  • zachary1023
    11/26/2014 - 12:28 p.m.

    I really liked this story. That is very awesome that you are a barber in Spain. This story is very detailed. I wouldn't want to get a tattoo because it seems like it hearts. I didn't think after world war 2 most every one was clean cut.

  • adominguez0623
    11/26/2014 - 12:42 p.m.

    I think this is good. Seens people are not shaving they save money and they can be lazy and fat. Also they can have something new.

  • KeaganB-1
    11/27/2014 - 11:19 p.m.

    Facial hair is growing in popularity. Beards are growing in popularity in eastern Europe more than in any other place. Places all around the world are starting to offer facial hair trimmed. Men are starting to let their beards grow longer. Letting your beard grow long is starting to be a social trend. People are beginning to prefer the " Mountain man" look. I did not like this article because it was very hard to understand.

  • WilliamB-5
    11/28/2014 - 03:17 p.m.

    This article is about men and their ability to grow beards. A man Jakub Marczewski, went after a long time too a barber shop to have his beard finally trimmed, the length of his beard inside many people around him and in the barber shop, too follow in his footsteps to start a revolution of beards. Beards are an upcoming fashion style, the most popular style right now is a mountain man beard which is a beard with an extreme length. Many actors and professional sport players are fancying this style at the moment. I find it very strange too make such a big deal of something that men have had the ability too do since the beginning of man.

  • BiancaB-3
    11/28/2014 - 06:48 p.m.

    Six years ago Jacob Marczewski grew a beard because he was too lazy to shave. Barber shops all around Poland have been developing due to men with facial hair. Jacob now finds himself in the middle of a global trend. After World War ll men were clean shaved. They had no facial hair. Now the trend of hippies has returned. The 21 year old gets his facilely hair trimmed at several barber shops, along with many other men. I personally believe that facial hair is nasty. No facial hair is a much cleaner and classier look.

  • SydneyG-4
    11/28/2014 - 07:20 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.

    If i could grow a beard i wouldn't because it is just another thing to have to style and deal with.

  • AmandaM-1
    11/28/2014 - 07:48 p.m.

    A 21 year old man grew a beard 6 years ago when it was considered lame. Now the trend of growing facial hair is becoming more popular. Several barber shops for facial hair are developing in Poland due to the abundance of men growing beards. Jacob attends these shops himself. I think that facial hair on men is attractive if they are older, but only if it's short. Long beards are nasty.

  • ImanB-1
    11/30/2014 - 12:18 p.m.

    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 mountain man beard is all the rage across North America. 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. I think it's cool to grow a beard, and it is Movember, so no one should be shaving off their beards!

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