Having a beard surely brings a mature look in a man while adding more to his style giving a confident image. With many styles of beard nowadays, the number of beard contests has also been on a rise. Surprisingly, some of these contests are based on the very bizarre trends of beard such as the Monkey Beard. It truly excites us how people are willing to go beyond all extents to be a part of these contests.
What Happens in a Beard Contest?
A beard contest has multiple participants which are contesting against each other’s beards. In some contests, the competition is for who carries the best beard in terms of class, style, and overall look. However, other contests are unusual ones where there is no compulsion on the style. Contestants come up with completely freestyle beards and these contests are quite interesting because beards are oddly shaped, designed, or extended.
See the picture below which is from a weird beard contest
History of Beard Contests
Ever since there has been a rise in the number of barbershops as well as better tools for haircut and shave, there has been an increase in the number of beard contests too. The first known competition for beards was held in Germany in 1990 by Hofener Beard Club. This gave the company a major promotion and recognition among beard fans. In 1994, the contest was held again in a different city.
Seeing the rapid success of these contests and extraordinary fame that was gained by Hofener Beard Club, other countries followed the trend. Countries like Norway, Sweden, Austria, and the United States started to organize various types of international competitions. Since 2004, The World Beard and Mustache Association (WBMA) has been managing different types of competitions and championships.
Suggested Reading – Cover Up That White And Grey Facial Hair With Beard Dye!
Rules of Beard Contests
Since the World Beard and Mustache Championships have risen, there have been certain rules and regulations followed to streamline these competitions. There are mainly three categories namely Mustache, Partial Beard, and Full Beard each of which has several subcategories as well. Although initially, there were 17 subcategories, the number has now extended to 27 and expected to rise even more because newer styles of beard and mustache are coming up every day. Most recently, in 2019, the category for ladies’ full beard has also been added.
The first category is Mustache which has 6 subcategories. Natural Mustache means that there should be a maximum of 1.5cm mustache beyond the upper lip. English mustache requires the contestants to have extremely long hair pulled on one side. Dali is a mustache where proper arch and hair straightening techniques are used.
The Imperial Mustache is bushy from the center but the corners are well defined. Hungarian-style mustache is quite a rough mustache as the hair are big and bushy while being pulled to the side. The last mustache category is freestyle which includes all other mustaches that do not fall in any of the above-mentioned categories.
Partial Beard Category
The second main category is Partial Beard which has 7 subcategories. Natural Goatee means that hair may be styled but should be only on the chin and around the upper and lower lip. Any extra hair means you are following any other category. Chinese partial beard has the chin shaved but the ends of the mustache are so long that they are falling vertically. A Musketeer beard means that the mustache is long but the beard is small.
Imperial means that the chin is empty and hair can only be grown on cheeks and mustache but not in much volume. This is quite a weird sub-category but you would be surprised to know that many people take part in it. Next, we have the sideburns freestyle which means that the imperial style can be followed in a relative freestyle manner. The Alaskan Whaler category means that there is a beard but no mustache. In the end, the freestyle partial beard is a category where all styles other than the ones mentioned above can be followed.
Full Beard Category
Lastly, there is the Full Beard Category which has 10 subcategories and is one of the most contested categories too. Verdi is a beard that is short and round while the limitation on maximum length to be 10cm exists. Secondly, there is Garibaldi which is a full and round beard but again, it should not be more than 20cm. Natural Full Beard is a category that means you aren’t allowed to use any aids and the beard is fine as it is. Such aids may include gels, creams, hairsprays, waxes, and other items that are commonly applied to the hair for the purpose of styling. Natural Full Beard with Styled Mustache means that the beard should be natural but the mustache can be styled accordingly. Creative
Mustache and Creative Beard are two categories each of which allow for special styling of mustache and beard respectively. Similarly, there are realistic beard and realistic mustache categories where near-styling is adopted. Lastly, there is a Full Beard Freestyle category where full beards of any type that have not been mentioned in any other categories are adopted. The Full Beard Freestyle category is the most interesting one and has the majority of participants contesting. It is also open for ladies.
Most people follow the Full Beard Freestyle category as it allows for maximum relaxation. There is no compulsion and judgment is primarily based on the look rather than specific criteria. However, this category has the most competition as well because many people are contesting at a time. Keep in mind that using any kind of fake hair to keep a beard or mustache is strictly prohibited and judges could penalize or dismiss you from the competition if you try it out.
Famous Beard Contests
There have been various beard contests all over the world. They are held every 2 years in a series of odd years only. In September 2007, the competitors gathered in the Championship of Brighton where many top celebrities such as Nick Cave, Billy Childish, and Micheal Atters were the judges of the competitions. Categories for this event included the Dali Mustache, Goatee, and Full Beard Freestyle.
Two years later, the 2009 championship was helped by The South Central Alaska Beard and Mustache Club which earned over $16,000. As per the traditions followed in the last time’s championship, the proceedings were donated to charitable foundations. The winners from this competition followed the Freestyle Mustache, Chinese Mustache, and Freestyle Full Beard Category.
In 2011, the championships were first held in Norway by The Norwegian Mustache Club of 91. Similarly, the competition was held in Germany in 2013 while Austria hosted it in 2015. Throughout the era, multiple countries participated in promoting the championships and helping out the poor to ensure social welfare.
If we talk about the biggest championship of all time, it would be the one held in 2017 in Austin, Texas. 738 participants were contesting from 33 countries. Austin Facial Hair Club hosted the championships and proceedings were donated to charitable foundations. In 2019, the championship was held in Belgium while the 2021 championships have been postponed until further notice.
Experts recommend that if you want to take part in any beard contests, you should not only focus on hair growth but also take care of your diet because it is quite important for your hair health. It is also recommended that you don’t use any “strong” chemical products because they can potentially harm your hair and ruin them for a pretty long time. Moreover, you might not be eligible under the age conditions as well. Make sure to check the age criteria for all categories before you start the preparation.
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Beard contests all over the world have been quite famous. With all sorts of categories, participants never fail to surprise their audience with the different types of beards and mustaches. You can register for the World Beard and Mustache Championship as well. However, we recommend that you watch the interviews of winners and see how they had months or even years of effort behind winning a particular contest.