When scientific journal Biology Letters recently published a paper suggesting that we might have reached the end of the current beard-friendly era, the controversy regarding “Peak Beard”, as it became known, was suddenly a hot topic.
As we are known for our keen interest in the latest gentlemanly styles (if we aren’t we certainly soon will be) we decided to get an expert opinion. We caught up with Erik Thorsson, a hirsute hero who runs the Swedish blog Skäggbloggen (the Beard Blog) together with fellow beard buff Axel Naver. Needless to say, these two do not believe that Peak Beard is nigh.
“You can’t really say from looking at this study if beards are going out of style or not – you’d need a much larger study on people’s consumer patterns,” Thorsson reassured YLC.
According to Thorsson and Naver, what the study DID show was that if we get used to seeing a lot of beards around, we tend not to notice them as much as we would if most people around us are clean shaven. And that if a beard style is unusual it is perceived as more attractive. But the study didn’t show that we are at a point where a bearded face will go out of fashion.
It seemed that working out where we are between Peak Beard and Beard Boom would prove a lot harder than we initially thought. For purely scientific purposes we ventured deep into the hottest hipster hub of Stockholm, to get the latest on this issue from both beard-buffs and hair-haters. The result was surprisingly clean cut. (See what we did there?) Most, it would seem, were fairly beard-friendly.
“If you look at beards through history you see that they come and go in cycles, if you look at the end of the 19th century everyone was supposed to have a big bushy beard – it was a gentlemanly thing to have. And then it just went away. Now we are in the beginning of a beard era, at least that is what I think,” Thorsson told us.
And he if anyone, should know. After starting Skäggbloggen in 2010, Thorsson and Naver soon realized there was a growing interest in beards among those in the know. The blog had came into being after Naver, looking to grow whiskers of his own, frequently turned to bearded buddy Erik for advice. Others must have similar questions, the two thought – and it turned out they were right.
Erik Thorsson runs Skäggbloggen together with Axel Naver
“It was right in the beginning of the beard boom and we soon saw that we had became a sort of hub in the beard world,” he told YLC.
Today, the blog has some 3,000 Facebok fans and enjoys a steady stream of 500-700 visitors daily. In 2013, the two published “Skäggboken” (“The Beard Book”), which focuses on bead trends, beard history and beard advice. The book has had rave reviews and can be bought here.
Talking to Thorsson, we came to the conclusion that this subject is far from closed. It seems fairly obvious to us that for now beards are still a hot topic. But is this a sprouting or receding interest? It would seem only time will tell.
“Beards – they grow on you,” Thorsson told us.