Throughout history, the world’s important men have often been remembered not only for their great deeds but also their memorable facial hair. Here are some of the most renowned examples of facial hair and the men who wore them:
The Goatee, or Van Dyke/Van Dyck Beard
Made famous first of all by Charles I, the goatee has evolved through many variations, from the elongated version sported by said monarch – for whom the style is often referred to as a ‘Charlie beard’ – to the modern tailored version sported by people like Johnny Depp and Vladimir Lenin.
The Circle Beard
An evolution of the goatee, the circle beard is one that extends down from the moustache to encircle the mouth. Most commonly seen trimmed short, it is sported by celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kanye West.
The Full Beard
At various points in history a full and elongated beard has been a sign of masculine virility. Whilst many view it as an option for the lazy or untidy, a full beard can require a considerable amount of love and care. Full beards come in many varieties and degrees of untidiness, as seen on famous faces in history from Charles Darwin to Karl Marx, Brian Blessed to Chuck Norris.
The Full Moustache
Throughout the ages there are many examples of a full-bodied moustache. It comes in many variations; the handlebar and chevron are perhaps the most well-known of the larger moustache styles, and have been seen on the faces of many calibres of men from Lord Kitchener to Tom Selleck (television’s Magnum PI) – and perhaps more recently the handlebar moustaches styled on long-distance runner David Bedford (as seen on popular telephone directory adverts in the UK).
The Thin Moustache
Pencil-thin moustaches have also been popular for centuries, such as vertically thin moustaches like the toothbrush style seen on Adolf Hitler. The other variety of the thin moustache is the horizontally narrow version such as that seen on Salvador Dali, though it is perhaps less common due to its difficult execution.
Named for the United States General Ambrose Burnside, sideburns were a facial hair style made perhaps most popular in modern times by their appearance on the face of Elvis Presley, causing them to become common amongst the rock and roll generation and subsequently as part of the hippy styled 1960s. Consequently they are simultaneously known for both rebellion and conservative fashion. Sideburns that extend across the wearer’s cheeks are also referred to as ‘mutton chops’.
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