The beardaissance, gents, is upon us. From coast to coast and beyond, men everywhere are bearding up and leaving decades of strongly encouraged shaving behind them. To this we applaud, celebrate, and chuckle heartily. Although there are certain american cities that you automatically associate with forward-thinking fashion and style, the true measure of the beard’s return are the cities between the coasts where you see beardsmen of all ages and persuasions adopting a more natural state. Whether it’s Nashville, Cincinnati, or Boise, beards are simply everywhere.
Of course, as the rest of the country continues to adopt a more dedicated interest in facial hair, there are a number of cities that helped pave the way and really brought beards back into the forefront. We don’t just mean that the residents of our 10 most well-groomed cities in America have put down their razors in favor of a more bearded tomorrow, no that’s just the beginning. These are also the cities where having a beard became more than simply allowing nature to carry out as it will. The beardsmen of these cities adopted grooming routines, invested in beard care products, and showed the rest of the country that having a beard takes dedication, patience, and discipline.
We salute you, residents of these cities, those that we have dubbed the nine most well-groomed cities in America.
As a former resident of the Windy City, let me tell you that a beard is all but required to survive the long, cold winters that Chicago faces each year. Whether you’re a resident of the West Loop, Pilsen, Lakeview, or Ravenswood, gentlemen across Chicago have adopted a well groomed version of the once-lawless beards that ran rampant through the midwest. Enjoy a shot of malört on us, lads. You deserve it.
New York City
As the epicenter of all things stylish in the galaxy, New York City is a given for this list. Although beards might’ve once been relegated to weekends only, you can now see facial hair flourishing from one end of the island to the other. Brokers in midtown, shop owners in Greenwich, and Columbia students on the Upper West side, they’re all unified by their hairier mugs and keen touch for grooming. However, their neighbors to the east are right there with them.
If there’s any city in the world that helped bring beards back into the public eye, it’s undoubtedly Brooklyn (maybe with a little help from Portland). In the past decade, everyone from your barista to your neighbor launching a new app to the guy making your CSA deliveries, had or has a beard. In Brooklyn’s case, we don’t just mean short beards either. This borough is where the epic, giant beards of the 2010-era started popping up, reminding everyone of what a man’s beard is truly capable of, given the right combination of perseverance and genetics.
Texas’ largest city, and one of the most surprisingly diverse cities in the US, Houston’s well-groomed beard sensibilities can be seen all over the place. Of course, no one personifies this more than two of Houston’s most famed athletes: James Harden and Dallas Keuchel. Although athletes have been experimenting with facial hair for years, Harden and Keuchel are two of the first major athletes to opt for the full, long beards mid-season. If you start seeing more of this around the two leagues, you can thank two of Houston’s favorite sons for spreading the gospel.
Forget about the celebrities strutting around in bearded glory or athletes having their facial hair stroked by models a’plenty. In this case, we’re talking about LA’s everyday residents who’ve helped bring the bearded life into the forefront of southern California-style. Surfers up and the coast have always lived on the scruffier side, while neighborhoods like Echo Park, Venice Beach, and Silverlake have becoming increasingly more beard-centric over the past decade. Long story short, those who are making LA what it is these days consider their beards to be in the equation for when they’re getting camera-ready.
The Grateful Dead, Steve Martin, and Brian Wilson all have two things in common: they each made it big in the city by the bay and they each did so while adorning some kick ass facial hair. San Francisco has always been the heartbeat of America’s counterculture and even as it transitions from a once refuge for artists and outcasts into the world’s tech mecca, San Francisco continues to flourish in terms of stylish gents strutting their bearded chops. Beard on, San Franciscans, and please celebrate by enjoying a delicious burrito.
Do you enjoy snow, winter sports, and an increasing population of people from elsewhere? Well, do we have a city for you. Denver’s always had access to the mountains and wilderness, but in recent years as it’s evolved into a major hub for entrepreneurs and startups, the city has undergone a major increase in, for a lack of better words, cool points. The air in Denver is crystal clear and the powder is whiter than you imagine (as long as you get just a bit outside of town). When you imagine the proper setting for gazing out at a valley while stroking your beard when deep in thought, Denver is the place to make that a reality.
Miami is known for many things: incredible Cuban food, beautiful people, and being borderline more South than North America just to name a few. In the past decade or so though, it’s become a major player in terms of style and fashion for today’s beardsman. As new pockets of cool pop up around the ever expanding city, rather than staying amidst the glamour of South Beach, the beardsmen of Miami have helped usher in a new era for their beloved city where it’s okay to kick back and relax, rather than being solely focused on the lights and action of Miami Vice.
As a biased former resident, I will go on the record as saying there is no city in America more supportive and encouraging of facial hair than Austin F*cking Texas. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE has a beard of some kind. You can spot epic beards throughout the east side, while college students and startup gents rock short and corporate beards throughout Hyde Park and Cherrywood. Venture capitalists, state reps, tattoo artists, and bartenders, everyone has given into the power of the beard and it’s never made Austin look so good.