Oh, the places you’ll go … with a nice beard

by Dr. David Powell, Evansville, Beard Team USA 2007 and 2009

I first learned about the world beard and mustache competition when it was featured on the Internet news. The 2005 event was in Berlin and the Germans won 15 of the 16 categories.

Phil Olson, the Beard Team USA captain, told how he was miffed at the outcome and suspected a little “home cooking” on the part of the German judges. He made an appeal on the Beard Team USA blog calling for every hirsute red-blooded American male to rise to the occasion, stop shaving and mount an assault on the 2007 World Beard and Mustache contest with the goal of taking back the top honors and bring them home to the U.S.A. Having maintained a well-trimmed beard for the last seven years and a sporty handlebar mustache since high school, I felt it my patriotic duty to join Beard Team USA and support my fellow Americans at the Brighton, England, event.

Tossing my razor aside, I went in to beard-training mode. The category I chose to compete in was “partial beard freestyle,” which meant I could use styling aides like mousse and hair spray but no artificial coloring or non-hair augmentation.

The 2009 Beard Team USA. Dr. Powell is second from right and Bremen Groves is fourth from right in the brown cap.

I came up with a western style costume like one of the gunfighters in the O.K. Corral, sort of Wyatt Earp style. It was complete with a black frock, boots, spurs and badge but sans the guns as they would have not been amusing to the “bobbies” in the UK.

The city of Brighton treated those of us on the Beard Team like rock stars! It was a sell-out crowd and just as exciting as … well, a cross between Project Runway and Hoosier Hysteria. I had my picture taken with dozens of fans and I made the evening news on the BBC Southwest, along with TV news in Norway, Portugal, World TV cable news and blogs, some of which I am still finding out about.

The Germans gave up many of the titles they took at the Berlin contest. I came in fourth place. Officially that means I was not first, second or third. There was a sell-out crowd in Brighton and more than $20,000 raised for a testicular cancer charity and the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.

Upon returning from the UK event, I met up with Bremen Groves, my friend since fifth grade, and suggested that he consider entering the next WBMC.

Bremen sported a reddish-blond goatee that had a natural wavy character to it that I thought would give the USA team a boost. Unknown to either of us at that time, Bremen just happened to be a spitting image of the host beard club’s mascot, a Gabby Hayes gold miner looking character. That along with his never-met-a-stranger personality launched him into a tie for first place, natural goatee category. He came in second in a run-off against a fellow Beard Team member from California; a German came in third.

We both continue to “train” for the next beard event and still get stopped by locals asking for their pictures to be taken with us, and we try to encourage men to join Beard Team USA.

Come to the Indiana State Museum for Curls, Cornrows and Comb-overs on Saturday, Jan. 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and meet both of these Hoosier members of Beard Team USA. You can also learn about the science and culture of hair from a wide array of hair experts and enjoy hands-on activities.

Advertisements

44 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Indiana State Museum. Indiana State Museum said: Who knew there was a competitive world of facial hair? http://tiny.cc/3d9ch […]

  2. Competitive beard growing, eh?

    Who knew.

    Sounds totally hot. I wish you luck!

    😉

  3. Sounds like a hair-raising experience, no? 🙂

    Congrats on being FP!

  4. Man…I’m amazed at the things that people chose to compete over. Congrats to all those with winning facial hair. Personally I spend a lot of time ridding myself of facial hair (the life of an ethnic woman is difficult in that way).

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

  5. Haha….I heard about this before and have seen some of the crazy award-winning beards (a beard styled as a windmill? or a bicycle? You bet!) It sounds like a fun experience 🙂

  6. Wacky and wonderful! Well done!

  7. I never knew men took beards so seriously, but I don’t suppose I should be surprised. Sounds like a fun competition.

  8. I wish I could grow one.. I need something silly to do these days 🙂 Cool post!

  9. Why no close-up shot of you or your friend? C’mon, we wanna see what those prize-winning beards look like! *smile*

  10. I like my beard and mustache, but my wife would never go for anything grandiose. I’ve tried on a number of occasions to grow some handlebars, which my wife poopoos. And once my beard gets a bit too bushy, I just trim it back because it’s getting a bit too wild for my taste.

  11. Seems to me that any excuse will do for men to quit shaving.
    Congratulations on being freshly pressed and on winning forth place, “not first, second or third.” Nicely put.

  12. I. a beard-wearer myself and told that I look like Moses, would also like to see some close-up photos. Can’t really see very well in the image on the website.

    Cheers!
    Reuben V. Greene,III
    Seattle, Washington

  13. i grew out my facial hair for the 9 months my wife and i spent waiting on our daughter to be born. the beard was awesome, but the mustache sucked.

    i also grow the beard out every “no-shave november.” along with my leg hair.

  14. Way to be Patriotic! Go USA and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂 (they need a bearded emoticon now)

  15. loooove it…
    xoxo

  16. Awesome. Is there a Mutton Chop category?

  17. […] by Dr. David Powell, Evansville, Beard Team USA 2007 and 2009 I first learned about the world beard and mustache competition when it was featured on the Internet news. The 2005 event was in Berlin and the Germans won 15 of the 16 categories. Phil Olson, the Beard Team USA captain, told how he was miffed at the outcome and suspected a little “home cooking” on the part of the German judges. He made an appeal on the Beard Team USA blog calling for e … Read More […]

  18. While it’s a moustache that I covet, any capacity for facial hair growing fills me with envy. The competition sounds fun!

  19. what would really be interesting is if they had one for women…

  20. Interesting…to think how often my husband shaves…

  21. Wow. I’m impressed. My boyfriend would love this post and want to join your team. Sounds like a very fun and wacky group of competitors. In college, we had a student activist group that held parties called Mustaches For Peace, everyone had to grow or wear a fake mustache at the party, and we usually collected money for one of the causes we were working on at the time. It too, was fun. Beards, goofy word, good lookin’.

  22. Excellent!! Would love to see more pics!!

  23. My cousin Ben J. is the world reigning “Imperial Moustache” Winner from last years World Championship. He has gone places, too! I own a handlebar mustache myself… recently shorn I’m afraid. I have a photo of myself on the most recent post of both my blogs… appalachiankendostickwarrior and mynashvillehomegame

  24. This gives me a reason NOT to shave. I have had my beard going on a year and it’s about 5 inches long ( I like it Every body hates it LOL)

  25. room for chicks on the beard team? I’m Mexican so growin beards comes naturally.

  26. […] today when I went onto wordpress.com I was delighted to see on the freshly pressed page exactly what my co-worker and I had discussed earlier in the day. Men and their Beards. Men who […]

  27. amazing… beard is a style now.. 🙂
    later there will be beard extension… like what we do for hair 🙂

  28. […] For all my beard wearing friends, this is awesome!!!!!! by Dr. David Powell, Evansville, Beard Team USA 2007 and 2009 I first learned about the world beard and mustache competition when it was featured on the Internet news. The 2005 event was in Berlin and the Germans won 15 of the 16 categories. Phil Olson, the Beard Team USA captain, told how he was miffed at the outcome and suspected a little “home cooking” on the part of the German judges. He made an appeal on the Beard Team USA blog calling for e … Read More […]

  29. hahaha didnt know such a competition exists………sounds like fun

  30. interesting..

    now how about arabic looking man grows beard?

    what do u think?

  31. I like beards and mustaches. I talked my husband into growing a mustache before we were married, after seeing an old photo of him with a mustache.

  32. unique !! weewwww

  33. This is the best thing in the history of the world. Beards are just the greatest.

  34. I remember a year and a half ago there was a festival of bearded men in the city of Lviv, Western Ukraine.. And everyone who had a beard could get a free beer in the bars!:))) Pity, I wasn’t there 🙂

    Got luck to Beard Team USA from Beard Team Armenia, of which I am the only member for now 🙂

  35. Oh God…… what a competition…lol

  36. Okay – that is seriously funny! I had no idea that beard growing was such a competitive arena! Any thoughts of taking it to the Olympics? 😉

  37. I am sorry- I completely disagree! I think that those beards will allow for some serious health awareness issues to be raised.
    I did a post called Movember Madness in November, and voiced my opinion….. I do however take my hat off to you for charity donations. That is awesome!
    x

  38. I WANT A BEARD, hehe nice post.

  39. […] news that we are being bombarded with, I went searching for some comic relief. My search led me to this blog, which is all about a beard growing contest. Now, I have never grown a beard (thank God!), but I do […]

  40. Great post, looking forward to the next one. ~SW

  41. […] “hair-reading” skill. I can’t wait to see what my hair says about me! I have also heard a story or two from a Hoosier member of Beard Team USA, and I look forward to hearing more stories from his […]

  42. I’m a recent convert to the bearded. It’s great! I feel like I’ve finally done something I should have done a long, long time ago. My father’s had a beard for my entire life (an impressive one at that!) and I grew up around lots of back-woods weirdos in rural Vermont, so I’ve always been around dudes with big, bushy faces… beards were nothing new to me. But my very own? I had no idea how much I’d love it until I took the time to find out. In a way, it kind of feels like coming home. Best of all, it makes my brother green with envy! 😉

    I’d like to thank Beard Team USA for motivating me to stick to it, as well as The Beard Coach and Beard-Review… so many awesome beards on display as inspiration! My beard’s getting pretty long these days, I’m rocking a Verdi now, on my way to a full beard. Wish me luck!

  43. […] by Dr. David Powell, Evansville, Beard Team USA 2007 and 2009 I first learned about the world beard and mustache competition when it was featured on the Internet news. The 2005 event was in Berlin and the Germans won 15 of the 16 categories. Phil Olson, the Beard Team USA captain, told how he was miffed at the outcome and suspected a little “home cooking” on the part of the German judges. He made an appeal on the Beard Team USA blog calling for e … Read More […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: