Beards, Intellect & History - Unfolding the past

Beards, Intellect & History - Unfolding the past

One can conclude that beards throughout history have had a link to greatness. Many men who are famous historically have had some connection to a beard. All times, beards are connected to honor, social status, sexual virility, maturity, expertise, and knowledge. 

Beards and the ancient ages

During the ancient age, men used to have beards as beards were important for staying warm. Besides, beards help intimidating enemies.

The Greeks used to see the beard as a mark of masculinity, knowledge, and wisdom, and it was shaved particularly as a punishment. 

Beards and the ancient philosophers

  • Socrates

  • Socrates, who is well-known for this philosophy, lived a few thousand years ago. He is undoubtedly the greatest philosopher ever lived. A man who refused to trust that things were the way everyone thought they were. He had a wonderful beard. This wasn’t just a small beard, but this was a great wall of hair. 

  • Plato

  • Plato, an ancient Greek philosopher, is best known as the author of philosophical works of exceptional influence.

    He is one of the most prominent philosophers, and his contributions reach across various philosophical subdomains such as cosmology, ethics and metaphysics. Although he was not a scientist, Plato observed the natural world and the philosophical connections it held. He had a noticeable beard as well. 

    Beards and the Middle Ages

    Most men had beards until the 7th century following the fall of Rome. At the time Christianity expanded throughout Europe, the clergy had to shave off their facial hair. until the 11th century, English Princes grew mustaches when William the first declared men must be clean-shaven.

    When the crusades began, men started to grow a beard as they desired for four centuries. A painter named Sir Anthony Vandyke depicted noble men with pointed beards, which gave birth to the Vandyke beard during the early 1600s.

    Beards and the 19th Century

    Many men were clean-shaven during the 18th century as facial hair was for only rough and rude men.

    However, a beard made a comeback by the middle of the 1800s and full beards were in style again.

    And with the popularity of Abraham Lincoln, upper-class men, as well as poor men in the US, started wearing beards because they showed wearers had virtuous courage.

    The beard returned in Britain because of the Crimean War, as the cold and lack of shaving soap and cream made beards a reality. When the war was ended, the beard was the sign of a hero. 

    20th Century

    A few prominent personalities like Sigmund Freud, Marcel, and Albert Einstein used to have full beards or mustaches at least, though beards were not common through the first part of the 20th century. Nevertheless, by the 1920s, most men’s faces in the United States had no beards.

    Even the popularity of mustaches began to decline during World War II when the beard was avoided in the military because it can stop gas masks from fitting. After the war, men were clean-shaven through the 1940s till the 1960s. Facial hair began to grow as a wave of unrest regarding the Vietnam War grew.

    Although most men were clean-shaven, musicians and writers grew out their beards. Even acts like the Barry White, Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, and Jimi Hendrix all grew beards.

    Until the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, beards especially goatees became fashionable.

    A quick recap

    The beard has been around at all points of history.

    Throughout history, we see beards evolve and take different shapes upon men's faces. Beardsmen have been a symbol of power as beards have stood the test of time. 

    In the past, men used to have beards to protect themselves from cold. Since the times have changed and we live a modern life alongside social media and advanced technology the primary purpose of wearing a beard may have diminished slightly, though not completely. It is believed that men carry a beard to get attention from the opposite gender, helping them stand out from the rest when searching for a partner. A number of men increasing each day choose to put down that razor in the cabinet and opt for the bearded life. 

    Health benefits

    Beards have through different times of history been closely connected to concepts of wellbeing, even if It might seem unusual.


    According to early modern people, a beard was seen as a direct result of heat emanating from the genital area and liver, which got its way upwards where it was issued through the face.

    The beard was a form of bodily waste in this sense, but because it displayed heat in the genitals, it was a strong indicator of sexual prowess for a man.

    Nowadays, it is clear that beards prevent pollen grains and dust from entering your nose, which may cause asthma and respiratory problems. Beards stop you from inhaling pollutants in the air that exacerbate asthma and thus leaving the lungs healthier.

    The beard around the chin and neck insulates the skin and thus keeps a man warm. Also, a beard helps prevent coughs and colds by trapping cold air.

    Facial hair protects the skin against the sun, the wind, and harsh weather, which reduces the effects of aging. Naturally, you get saved from cuts from shaving, and thus you will have smoother skin.

    You reduce the chance of bacterial infections and irritated hair follicles when you stop shaving.

    Beards also keep your skin fresh by promoting your sebaceous glands to hydrate the skin. A well-nurtured beard prevents the dry skin that causes wrinkles in older men.

    Billion-dollar industry

    Billions of dollars are spent by men globally on personal grooming goods nowadays. This habit has informed us a lot about how men consider themselves throughout history.

    We can see that at all points in history, facial hair has carried meaning across the globe. 

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