Beard Up Like an Ancient Warrior

It’s March, and you know what that means, right?

It’s the month of Mars, the Roman god of war. And I know what you’re thinking: the Romans were shavers, unlike the Greeks. But so was yourdad, and he was probably pretty badass, too. But there’s kind of a misconception about the Romans and shaving. They had a whole weird religious thing about it, where they’d dedicate their first shavings to a god, and they’d let their beards grow in mourning for the dead. And they weren’t always beardless. The Emperor Hadrian brought beards back in force and several later emperor’s wore beards as signs of philosophical wisdom.

But Roman culture was big on law and order, maintaining peace, and doing business. It was against the law to carry a weapon inside the city limits, and citizens wore togas like bankers wear suits. They couldn’t fight wrapped up in all that wool, and they even had their one arms restricted by the wrapping as a sign that they weren’t armed or acting with any hostile intent.

A Roman in a toga
“I come in peace.”

Shaving went along with that for the Romans. But why was shaving a sign of peace? It may have been a symbol that they had the leisure and the money to pay someone to shave them, and that they felt secure enough in Rome to trust someone else with a blade.

So what does this have to do with March and the god Mars?

Mars has two forms in Roman art: young and beardless, based on artistic depictions of the Greek pretty-boy god of war Ares, or the native and ancient Roman form of Mars, fully mature with a great curly beard.

At first it seems like an odd reversal, that the famously bearded Greeks had a clean-shaven god and the famously shaved Romans had a bearded god. But Greek culture loved youth and poetry, and idealized youthful beauty. The Romans, however, were more practical, and in times of war they actually let their beards grow (even if they generally kept them short).

Bearded Roman Soldiers

So the god Mars is a symbol of the Roman on the warpath. He’s a Roman who isn’t spending a lazy afternoon at the barber shop or sitting in the Senate house debating the trade laws. He’s out stomping his enemies into the dirt. You see a Roman with a beard, you better be afraid, because you know he means more than business.

I bet they’d have kept those wartime beards if they could beat the itch with a little Bluebeards Original.

7 Ladies Men Who Rock(ed) Facial Hair

When you were growing your first beard there was probably someone — maybe a parent or even a friend — who tried to tell you to shave for the sake of your love life. They may have told you that women don’t like facial hair, or that you look more handsome clean shaven. But the fact is that you’ll always be more attractive when you have confidence and individuality, and if facial hair helps you get there, shut those people out and be yourself.

Now, we’re not going to tell you that this or that facial hair style is going to get you anything in life. But take a look at these seven faces as Valentine’s Day approaches and think about all of that bad advice. Facial hair never stood in the way of anything, least of all love, charisma, and sexual attraction.

flynn

Errol Flynn

You’ve heard the expression “in like Flynn?” It’s as dirty as you think it is, because Flynn — well — he put it in. Everywhere. And all it took was that tiny little strip of the shortest mustache this side of Prince (who could be on this list, come to think of it). That little mustache gave him an air of sophistication, but it doesn’t work for everybody.

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Tony Stark

We know he’s not real, but he’s one character who really gets around. Like Bruce Wayne without the pretense to morality, he’s a playboy with some vices, and everybody seems to love him for it. The truth is, what people love is Robert Downey Jr.’s charisma funneled through the character, which comes across as roguish charm.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 06: Lapo Elkann speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews ahead of the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 6, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Lapo Elkann

Never heard of him? Well, plenty of women have. He’s a style icon in Italy who came into the playboy lifestyle the old-fashioned way: he was born rich. From banking to sports cars, his family set him up for the sweetest life. As easy as it may be to hate him, he can pull off a Steve McQueen vibe better than most.

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Wilt Chamberlain

Known as Wilt the Stilt for his height, he preferred the nickname The Big Dipper, and that he was. He claims to have dipped into 20,000 women over the course of his career, which is about how many points he scored in his first six years in the NBA.

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Genghis Khan

The famed warlord of the 12th–13th centuries built the world’s largest empire, and apparently still managed to find the time for extracurricular activities often enough that 1 in 200 men living today is a direct descendant. Who can compete with that kind of longevity?

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David Beckham

Soccer star and perpetual sexiest man candidate in various women’s publications, David Beckham has been married for almost 19 years, but there have been rumors, and given his popularity with the ladies, it’s safe to say he could give the other guys on the list a run for their money if he wanted to.

Russell Brand arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Universal City, Calif., on Sunday, June 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Russell Brand

The British comic has a reputation as a ladies man, and has left a lot of people wondering how a scrawny, scruffy, almost effeminate guy can have the effect he does. But let’s face it: rock stars have walked that line for ages, and they always say ladies love a sense of humor.

So forget that bad advice, and define your own style. Be your own kind of man, and people will respond. Do what you want with your facial hair. Just make sure you treat it right. Like we always say: Don’t shave it. Maintain it.

Birthday Beards and ‘Staches

We don’t know if there’s something special about December, 9 but there are a lot of beard-related birthdays today. Here are some of our favorites.

Emmett_Kelly_1953

Emmett Kelly (1898–1979) may just have been wearing makeup, but his famous circus clown had one iconic (fake) beard.

World-B-Free

World B. Free turns 63 today. Born Lloyd B. Free, he was also known as the “Prince of Midair” and “All-World.” This muscular guard, known for his incredible vertical leap and 360 dunks, played for 6 teams in his career and made the all-star team in 1980. Today he works as director of player development for the 76ers. His facial hair has run the gamut from all out 70s craziness to pencil thin ‘staches.

dick-butkus_pg_600

Dick Butkus turns 73 today. People first saw his mustache on the gridiron (off and on) for 9 years when he played for the Chicago Bears, making the Pro Bowl his first 8 years. After that his mustache was seen all over TV and in movies, every from The Longest Yard with fellow mustache-icon Burt Reynolds to Magnum P.I. with fellow mustache-icon Tom Selleck.

Redd_Foxx

Redd Foxx (1922–1991) made his way from playing washboard in a band to putting out legendary comedy albums and starring in the awesome 70s sitcom Sanford and Son. Fun trivia: he once worked with Malcolm X, who called him the “funniest dishwasher on this earth.” He was known as “Chicago Red” and Malcolm was known as “Detroit Red.”

Dalton-Trumbo-Bathtub

Dalton Trumbo (1905–76) was a novelist and arguably the top Hollywood screenwriter of his time. He was also one of the “Hollywood Ten,” a group blacklisted during the McCarthy era when they banded together and refused to testify before Congress. But Trumbo continued to write major Hollywood films by giving the official credit to other writers until Kirck Douglass publicly announced that Trumbo wrote Spartacus.

deacon-jones

Deacon Jones (1938–2013), owner of yet another classic mustache, was known as “the Secretary of Defense.” He is a Hall of Famer and was the leader of the famed Fearsome Foursome in LA. He made the Pro Bowl in 8 of his 14 seasons in the NFL. He went on to do some acting on class 70s shows like the Brady Bunch and the Odd Couple, and founded a charity for inner city kids.

Malkovich

John Malkovich turns 62 today. The famed actor has won or been nominated for numerous awards and has done work on stage, television, and mostly famously in film. He doesn’t always wear a beard, but he seems to more and more these days, which we like to see. Maybe the weirdest thing about him is that he did a movie called Being John Malkovich where, naturally, he played (a fictionalized version of) himself.

dorn-worf

Michael Dorn turns 63 today. What more do you need to say than that this is the guy who played Commander Worf on Star Trek: the Next Generation? The only Klingon serving in Starfleet, he could be just as lethal with phasers or a bat’leth. Fun trivia: Worf appeared on more episodes of Star Trek TV shows than any other character (he appeared on both TNG and Deep Space 9).

Thanksgiving Is All About Big Birds & Big Beards

You love Thanksgiving, we love Thanksgiving. It’s really the perfect holiday. Unlike other holidays where you are expected to go out and buy gifts and decorate your house, for Thanksgiving you just eat a bunch of food till you nod off on the couch watching football or a lifetime movie, which ever floats your boat. It’s pretty awesome.

Unfortunately there are plenty of misconceptions that surround Thanksgiving. Many historians will tell you that the Pilgrims did not wear all black with buckles, more into orange and brown — and, yes, buckles; and the bird served was probably goose or duck, not turkey. Anyway, there are loads of other places to learn about that. But what we at Bluebeards find to be the biggest misconception is the way Pilgrims are often depicted as being beardless.

A pilgrim couple
Wait a minute … which one is the woman now?

Nope. Sorry, but the Pilgrims were actually rocking some serious facial hair.

Check out our man Myles Standish, the leader of the Pilgrims

Myles Standish
Hey, didn’t I see that guy place in the beard contest in Vegas?

Historians will tell you most of the guys on the Mayflower had beards. We tend to think more of them would have survived too if they had kept them clean with our Bluebeards Beard Wash and Conditioner, but hey, as long as we’ve been around (since 2005!), we are still a few centuries too late to help them out.

It’s never too late to get in the TDAY spirit, though, so grab some Beard Saver, grow one, and give thanks. Just make sure you throw some Beard Wash into that beard: gravy is not a good conditioner.

Seriously though, thank you to all you great beardos out there who support Bluebeards throughout the year, we have the best customers in the world.

Thanks!
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

10 Unbelievable Facts About Ernest Hemingway

Check out these unbelievable facts about Ernest Hemingway and his awesome beard.

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JAMES JOYCE SET ‘EM UP AND HEMINGWAY KNOCKED ‘EM DOWN

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Ernest Hemingway used to go bar hopping with James Joyce, and when Joyce got into a fight, he’d call Ernest to finish it, crying out, ‘Deal with him, Hemingway! Deal with him!’ One time the other guy managed to land a shot right in the kisser, and Hemingway’s mustache shattered the poor guy’s hand in 17 places.

THIS IS OFF THE RECORD

guinness-book

The only reason Hemingway’s beard isn’t in the Guinness Book of World Records for its many accomplishments is that they’d have to rename it The List of Things Hemingway’s Beard Is Better At Than You. And that’s a book you could never finish writing.

HE WAS A SHARP KID

porcupine

When he was 3 years old, Hemingway killed and ate a porcupine. It turns out the death was accidental. When he saw the little thing he thought it looked cuddly, and squeezed it tight. It would’ve been alright, except that his beard came in exceptionally early, and the porcupine bled to death when the toddler’s stubble pressed clean through its quills.

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA

EH1669N Pauline, Patrick, Ernest, John, and Gregory Hemingway with four marlins on the dock in Bimini, 20 July 1935. Please credit,
EH1669N
Pauline, Patrick, Ernest, John, and Gregory Hemingway with four marlins on the dock in Bimini, 20 July 1935. Please credit, “Ernest Hemingway Collection/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston.”

Hemingway broke several records as a fisherman, including setting the world record for most marlins caught in one day when he landed seven on his little boat. As it happens, he never even used a rod, instead tying a hook to one beard hair and making it grow and retract by sheer force of will.

FIGHTING FOR WHAT HE BELIEVES IN

EH4369P Ernest Hemingway in uniform, wearing a helmet, and holding binoculars during World War II. Please credit:
EH4369P
Ernest Hemingway in uniform, wearing a helmet, and holding binoculars during World War II. Please credit: “Ernest Hemingway Collection/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

While serving as a war correspondent during WWII, Hemingway impersonated a French colonel and took a small army into the city the day before Allied forces officially liberated Paris. He seized control of the Ritz hotel and set up camp at the bar. It turns out the French forces huddled up behind Hemingway’s mustache while he single-handedly punched out every Nazi in sight.

I’VE HEARD OF A THREE MARTINI LUNCH, BUT …

harry-truman

While president Harry Truman was vacationing at his place in Key West he visited Hemingway and stayed for lunch. One of Hemingway’s beard hairs accidentally fell in the soup and as soon as the president took a taste, he slumped over in his seat. He woke up the next day with a nasty hangover, and the Secret Service determined Hemingway’s beard had a hair alcohol content 300 times the legal limit.

THAT’S ONE KILLER BEARD

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Hemingway’s beard naturally killed 99.9% of germs. The other 0.1% it just toyed with.

A ONE MAN COAST GUARD

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After the Germans began sinking American ships in the Atlantic, the US enlisted private captains to be on the lookout for U-boats and report back to the Navy. Hemingway outfitted his boat with sophisticated sensors and patrolled the waters off Cuba, armed with a tommy gun, some grenades, a gang of bullfighters and athletes, and one wicked beard.

HEMINGWAY THE BOXER

hemingway-boxer

Hemingway famously said, “my writing is nothing. My boxing is all.” Champion fighter Jack Dempsey toured Paris while Hemingway was living there as a young writer. He obliged many people who were keen to do a little friendly sparring, but, as he said, “there was one fellow I wouldn’t mix it with. That was Ernest Hemingway.” Some say Dempsey didn’t want to hurt him, but others say it was widely known that when you jabbed Hemingway, his beard jabbed back.

ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END

hemingway-beard

Contrary to popular opinion, Hemingway didn’t kill himself. His beard warned him to put the damned razor down.

So how are you going to make your beard amazing? The first step is to keep it clean and fresh with Bluebeards Original. We’ve been in this business since 2005, before the other guys were old enough to grow beards. We specialize in high quality, natural beard care accessories that will tame the wildest and most unruly facial hair growths.

We take pride in our products and use them ourselves. Follow us on Twitter at @BluebeardsUSA or check out the Bluebeards Original Facebook page for more beard grooming ideas and advice. And check out the Beard Shop while you’re here.