beardy menFor some time now there has been a trend towards men growing full beards. The question is, has it reached its climax and can we expect to see a rapid decline in beard growth any time soon.

Beards through history

What is clear is that the beard has a patchy history, with its popularity rising and falling throughout the ages. In the 18th century it was de rigueur to be clean shaven but by the 19th the beard was seen as a symbol of masculinity and health with some doctors actually prescribing them to patients as a kind of natural filter for bacteria.

After the Victorian age beards fell out of fashion until the 1960s when, for a short period they became synonymous with political radicalism and the hippy generation. 2010 saw the rise of the current beard boom which as yet has shown little sign of abating.

What if you can’t grow a beard?

So what about the men who just simply can’t grow a beard of any substance (up to 50% of males) but wish to demonstrate their masculinity and good fashion sense in 2016? Well, all is not lost apparently. According to an article in the Daily Mail there’s been significant growth in the beard transplant market.

It works in much the same way as a normal hair transplant with hair migrated from elsewhere on the head (or even other parts of the body) to desired place on the face. It’s possible to design a style from handlebar moustache to big and bushy full beard.

The procedure is carried out by a qualified surgeon on an out-patient basis with highly successful results. Within a couple of months the recipient can be expecting to shave as normal. The only downside it the cost at up to £4000 per procedure.

Of course if fashions were to change then the burgeoning industry, offering everything from beard grooming kits to transplants could suddenly face a financial disaster.

For those concerned that the beard may have peaked they should take some heart from similar claims made on an annual basis since 2013 in the left wing press. It looks like the beard is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

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By Ian Watson

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