2014 was a big year for beards. Trends rose and fell, movements occurred to spark scruffier acceptance, and an increasing number of men around the world elected to let their stubble roam free to reach its full, bearded potential. It seems that we’re now seeing almost daily coverage of the modern bearded movement and as a continuously growing number of men embrace their inner urban beardsman, we can’t help but smile our hairy smiles and celebrate the fact that this past year was only the beginning.
It seems like every year we hear about the rise of beards or that we’ve reached “peak beard” or even that beards are now on the downfall, but regardless of what trend experts are saying, we here at Urban Beardsman are looking forward to welcoming more people to our community in the year ahead and finding more opportunities to celebrate our unique and distinct approach to life.
2015 is going to be huge, but before we get there, let’s take a look back at the biggest bearded moments of 2014:
Breaking News: Women Like Beards
Okay, maybe not every woman loves beards, but a staggering amount of the lovely ladies out there are quite fond of the more facial hairy man about town. As bearded men have started to notice this, more and more guys have taken to the internet to show off their beloved man manes for all the world to see, none more creative than this bearded gent known for using his hairy face as a canvas for others to enjoy. Beard on gents and may all of instagram hear your bearded siren’s call.
Shaving Has Died. Long Live the Razors
RIP razors and shaving cream, your time has officially come to an end. Well, not exactly, but with the contemporary rise of beards has come the significant decline in razor sales, leaving many of the major shaving brands with their lowest numbers in decades. Although we’d love to tell you to cast out your leftover razors and dedicate yourself to growing a yeard, you never known when muttonchops might come back in style. Although if that does actually occur, god help us all.
The Rise of the Bearded CEO
Beards are taking back the boardroom. For the past century, beards were seen as untrustworthy or inappropriate across many of the largest industries and most well known corporations throughout the United States, however, as more and more CEOs, including Oracle’s Larry Ellison, continue to sport much hairier faces than their industry predecessors, beards are becoming more acceptable among professionals, regardless of industry. Maybe sometimes it does pay to think different.
BYU Students Fight To Beard On
Brigham Young University, the most well known American Mormon university and a school whose founder sported nothing short of an epically grown man mane, has been enforcing a “beard ban” since the 1960's, forcing a select few male students to apply for and carry official “beard cards” if they decide to opt for the less than completely shaven route. However, in recent years multiple campus organizations, including Bike For Beards and Beards For BYU, have been campaigning to lift the beard ban, a stance which has only been implemented by the university while beards are universally accepted throughout the faith itself. We salute you, bearded cougars, and good luck in 2015.
Beardbrand on Shark Tank
With so many men embracing their inner beardsman, it’s no surprise that new beard-specific industries are popping up to support their eager hairy faces. Our very own Eric Bandholz, founder of Beardbrand, decided to take his passion for beard care and urban beardsmen everywhere to ABC’s Shark Tank where, although he didn’t end up making a deal with the sharks, he received incredible coverage and even got up close and personal with Lori Greiner. She definitely seemed intrigued.
“L” is for Lumbersexual
The L word. If you had a beard in 2014 and happened to enjoy wearing plaid, there’s a mighty strong possibility that someone has referred to you as a newly coined, “lumbersexual.” Supposedly replacing the previous “metrosexual,” the “lumbersexual” refers to an urban professional man who looks like he might be on his way to chop some wood, while sipping mulled cider, and reciting Ron Swanson quotes (see – the lead singers from any number of recent indie bands or many male celebrities under the age of 35). Although this term is incredibly relevant in many cities across the country, including Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, and Brooklyn, it’s important to remember that there are some fellas out there who don’t just look the part, but also live the life of a lumberjack in 2014. We salute you, sir, thanks for the inspiration.
BILF – Beard I’d Like to Fondle
Yes, this acronym exists. Although we’re certainly happy to hear that the “F” stands for fondle, instead of a more troubling verb to end this new phrase, identifying BILFs is a more recent trend that’s sure to have its moment in the new year. Prepare yourselves, fellow beardsmen, our worlds are about to get a little more inappropriate.
The Greatest Beards in All the Land
Although these competitions were around way before the contemporary rise of beards, we are currently seeing the number of competitions and competitors at an all-time high. Men from all over the world are turning their faces into works of art and bringing their most intimidatingly formed man manes to best the field. If you’re looking for motivation for your next beard, we suggest giving our list of the best beards of the year a look, but we warn you, beard envy will be imminent.
Learning From the Beardbrand Sensei
Rocking a beard for eight years is a feat all on its own, however, going from a well kept quarter inch scruff to fully embracing your inner urban beardsman can be a challenge for some, including Fast Company’s Rob Brunner. Lucky for Rob, Beardbrand’s own Eric Bandholz was up to the challenge of helping him take the next step in his bearded evolution. Although Rob might not be participating in competitions anytime soon, it’s apparent that he’s excited to have joined the UB community and will continue to spread the good word to his fellow bearded brethren, all while smelling better than ever before.
Adios Tinder, Bearded Dating is Evolving
There is truly someone out there for everyone and, even if you’ve had trouble finding that special someone who longs to stroke your hairy face, or vice versa, with the rise of a few new beard-centric dating platforms, your face will never be lonely again. Both Bristlr and Lumbermatch aim to bring bearded men and their most intrigued supporters together to celebrate an increasingly popular style and overall approach to happiness. Portland, Oregon will never be the same.
Beard-cessories. Why Are We Not Surprised?
Image courtesy of Beard Season
First, it was flower beards, sweeping through Glastonbury and Coachella, informing the internet that it was now “cool” to weave flowers through your beard like a Scandinavian maiden would to her ornate braids. Then, after the floral facial arrangements went dormant, a new beast grew from the darkness just in time for the holidays: beard baubles. We here at Urban Beardsman always support our community’s desire to celebrate their individuality, but let us be clear: unless you’re hiding snacks, confiding secrets, or renting out space to a bird’s nest, most things do not belong in or on your beard. Happy Holidays!