beardy menAnthony Kent, a 48 year old barber who owns a chain of UK salons has recently proposed that men with unkempt bushy beards should pay £100 per year in beard taxation.

Paying the cost of beards through history

At first sight, Anthony’s suggestion that a beard tax be introduced on unruly beard wearers might seem like a strange way to tackle the deficit but it doesn’t come without some historical precedent.

In the 16th century, when beards were even more a la mode than they are today Henry VIII introduced a beard tax, followed a century later by Peter the Great of Russia who forced his subjects to pay 100 rubles and carry a beard token or force being publicly shaved.

Anthony claims that his proposal to George Osborne is merely a way of trying to “raise awareness of the ridiculous state of tax in the hairdressing industry” and that he has been trying to address this issue with government for many years.

An alternative explanation for his proposal may simply be that Anthony has beard envy. By his own admission, despite his 48 years he really can’t grow much more than a weak goatee.

Addressing the beard deficit

If his inability to grow a beard lies at the heart of the proposal, he could instead take remedial action and become one of the increasing number of UK men turning to beard transplants. Last year 4500 men underwent the procedure in the UK alone in order to address patchy or weak beard growth.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) works in much the same way as a normal hair transplant with follicles being migrated from other areas of the head to the face. The procedure is minimally invasive and typically takes between 3 to 9 hours, with the patient having follicles extracted from a “stable zone” at the back of the head. If this is not possible follicles can be sourced from other areas such as the side of the head or even chest and body hair.

Patients can expect to have a natural looking, thick, growing beard in a style of their choice within a few months with the associated benefits of improved self-image and confidence levels. A £100 per year beard tax seems a small imposition compared with such life changing effects.

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By Ian Watson

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