The epidemic of beards started in cities like Portland, Austin and small parts of metro areas like Williamsburg, NYC and even Fishtown in Philly. Then it spread like wildfire to the suburbs through trending Tumblr and Instagram posts. All the males in Whole Foods suddenly adorned the scruffy face, half of our Starbucks baristas needed hairnets on their chins and the guys in the “Old Spice” commercials rocked some seriously overgrown stubble. Overnight all our favorite celebrities like George Clooney and Jim Carrey had them, too.
The beard had yet again reigned supreme in pop culture (and our hearts).
It wasn’t the first time beards had grown to be fashionable by any means. Like anything else, it has come and go with the times. In times of economic depression, it seemed the slacker look emerged, too. Most recently, the beard trend became to take flight in the late 1990’s as it started the latest transcendence into our realm of cool (where it stayed there until only recently.) We accepted the trend with open arms, perhaps satisfying a primal attraction to the rugged, masculine and mature look that facial hair brought with it. It made celebrities like Seth Rogan and Leonardo DiCaprio more recognition in their careers as adults since they had emerged onto the scene as teenagers. And, because it was still relatively rare, it totally made women swoon. It even coined a new style known as the “lumbersexual” or “urban lumberjack.”
But, the beard trend is dead now, guys. (#RIP)
The Downfall of the Beard Trend
So what happened to the great beard empire? How could something so great just fizzle out with hair trends of yesteryear like over-plucked eyebrows and glamour-shot 80’s perms?
Like this: In order to understand why things become uncool, you first have to understand how something becomes cool in the first place. A trend begins with one innovator, early innovators pick up on the trend and suddenly the uniqueness has an appeal. People who follow the trend are considered more attractive and then the style flows into the mainstream.
Over time, the mainstream style over saturates the market. The reason anything is cool in the first place is exclusivity. When it no longer is unique, it loses it’s appeal.
This is exactly what happened to beards.
Beards became the opposite of what they used to be. Beards symbolized a carefree style of a rugged countryman. They evolved into the chic trend for stylish men who almost cared too much about their appearance. Now they have become so boring seeing everyone from bankers to basketball players bright eyed and bushy-faced.
According to recent studies, women are no longer hot for beards either. Apparently, women are more likely to swipe right to men who are a tad more clean shave. Not only that but 9 out of 10 women surveyed said they found more groomed men were more attractive.
The Next Facial Hair Successor to the Beard
As the hipster style continues to fade away with the times, so do beards. Replacing it is a new (and equally annoying) subculture known as “yuccie.” Yuccies, or “young urban creatives” are those culturally progressive young professionals who work in creative industries like internet start-ups. Their facial hair of choice isn’t clean-shaven nor fully fuzzed. They rock stubble or even mustaches.