The rise of ‘lumbersexuality’ from beards

Photo by Will Huang

Photo by Will Huang

Men really care about their beards these days.

As more men grow out their beards, the idea of taking the time and attentiveness to ensure their facial hair is clean and groomed is a priority. Trimming, combing and oiling facial hair has become a daily routine.

Pogonotrophy — the act of growing a beard — has evolved in the last few years. In an article published online last year by Global News, the rise of what has been called “lumbersexuality” is evident everywhere. Male celebrities can be spotted across the red carpet exhibiting groomed beards. Athletes tend to grow some form of facial hair in conjunction with traditions, such as hockey during the playoff season. Walking down a crowded street, it is obvious that men with beards have become a mainstay.

Entrepreneurs capitalized on this growing trend. Services such as “dollarbeardclub.com” allow men to purchase grooming products like beard oil and shampoo that is then delivered to their homes on a monthly basis. The promotional video found on the website showcases their clientele as suave, hard working professionals that are well-groomed and care about how they look. The video portrays men with beards as people who mean business and care about how they look. It promotes the confident masculinity reminiscent of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

The popularity of beards has historically been very cyclical. In the 18th century, having a beard was commonplace, with figures such as Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche posed in photographs with copious amounts of facial hair. Towards the middle of the 20th century, men tended to be clean shaven as the mentality of professionalism changed towards a cleaner cut approach. Currently the trend seems to be a mixture of both those time periods, as men are embracing facial hair but maintaining its growth and health.

What makes the current trend of beards so unique is the aspect of grooming. Men have been growing beards historically for a long time. The concept of grooming though is becoming more popular with the rise of services like “dollarbeardclub.com.” Whether or not this trend will stand the test of time, the overall success of beard grooming has shown how pogonotrophy has evolved into an activity that requires time and dedication to achieve the perfect beard.

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