A History of Beard Competitions

You’ve got your beard care routine down. You know what products your mane loves and how to comb it just right to smooth out those flyaways. Your beard smells and looks great and you’re getting compliments on it everywhere you go. Why not take it a step further, Kingsman? Why not go for serious bragging rights and enter your enviable locks in a beard competition?  

Beard Competitions include a variety of categories

The wacky world of beard competitions is open to any beardsman with a mane he’s proud enough to show off. You can enter competitions for the largest and fullest beard. You can try to come out on top at a competition for the longest beard. But the wildest beard competitions, the contests that are the most memorable by far, are the beard competitions that are based on the most elaborately styled beard. During these events, you’re likely to see a beard crafted into Cthulu crawling off a fella’s face or a mane that mimics the loops of a roller coaster or the waves of a Hawaiian Island. 

Some competitions, like the National Beard and Mustache Championship, have multiple categories you can enter. There are categories based on different styles, like “Best Chevron Mustache”, “Best Handlebar Mustache” or “Best Goatee” and some categories are based on creativity and sculpting like “Most Creative Beard.” This competition is based in the USA. 

If you try your luck and win at nationals, you can always go to the world championships for even more right to brag! The World Beard and Mustache Championship is hosted by The World Beard and Mustache Association and has been held all over the world. From Belgium to Texas to New Zealand, this competition will take you places. It has similar categories to the national championships so a winning beard at nationals might win you a trophy at the world competition.  

Beard competitions old venue photo

Image Credit London England 1873 by Wikimedia 

The History of Beard and Mustache Competitions

The first beard and mustache competition, it appears, was held in London, England in 1873. Appropriately called “The First Beard and Mustache Show”, this beard competition was judged by randomly selected women in the crowd. 30 beardsmen entered the contest but, sadly, only six are reported to have shown up on the date of the competition. Attendance was brutally low and the competition didn’t happen again. 

It wasn’t until the 1970s that small beard and mustache competitions started up again around Europe and in the 1990s, the first of the modern beard and mustache competitions we’ve come to know took place in Germany. In 1995, that competition went international.  

Photo of a recent beard competition

Modern Day Beard Competition

Beard champions take a lot of care in the preparation of their winning locks. It’s a year-round commitment, with many entrants taking great care to keep their beards protected during sleep. Deep conditioning treatments, frequent trims and a strict beard-care regimen is required to beat the champs, not to mention plenty of practice with styling and hold. 

Many of these competitions bring in quite a few spectators as well, which is not just great for the champs and the show, it also supports a charitable cause. Most beard and mustache championships give portions of their proceeds to a local non-profit organization dedicated to a worthy cause. Prizes vary from bragging rights to medals and trophies. 

We want to know Kingsmen: would you ever enter a beard and mustache competition? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for more about beard care, beard history and beard culture!