Chinstraps, Sideburns And Soul Patches: The History of Facial Hair

It's de rigueur for dudes to wear facial hair these days. But what we're seeing today is nothing new. Oh no, the facial hairstyles we know and love were once pioneered by true visionaries. Here is the history of facial hair, punctuated by its greatest achievements. The only notable facial hairstyle missing is the goatee, which, as we all know, was invented by the Devil himself.

1)The Grizzly Adams

Named after its mountain man creator, it's the granddaddy of all beards. Worn like the proud mane of a fierce lion.

"Bask in its hairy glory."

2) The Chinstrap

Abraham Lincoln was not only a pioneer of democracy, he was also a pioneer of facial hair.


"Four score and seven years ago, chinstraps were stylin'."

3) The Mutton chop

Originally popularised by American Civil War General Ambrose Everett Burnside (useless fact: the sideburn was named after this dude) and his glorious mutton chops, today it is sported by Hugh Jackman's rugged alter-ego, Wolverine.

I like my mutton like my wood: chopped.


4) The Square 'Stache

Popularised by the silent movie star Charlie Chaplin, moustache aficionados thought the square 'stache would be around forever. I wonder what happened to it...

"I hope no Austrian dictators ruin this look."

5) Twirly 'Stache


The surrealist artist Salvador Dalí rocked the world of facial hair with this bad boy, demonstrating that moustaches aren't just sex magnets, but also potentially hysterical.

6) Sideburns

Elvis shocked the world with his thrusting pelvis and revolutionary rock'n'roll, but he also excited women worldwide with his untameable locks.

7) Soul Patch


The emblem of the Beatnik generation and by no means creepy, the soul patch was initiated by Frank Zappa as a way to keep the bit of chin beneath his lip warm.

8) Designer Stubble

George Michael was the genius who not only made it OK for lazy people not to shave, he made it sexy. God bless that womanising machine...

Hold up, George Michael was gay?!

9) The Handlebar

Hulk Hogan remains an inspiration to male pornstars around the globe to this day.

10) The Tom Selleck

The plain old moustache, so elegant in its simplicity.

Dear God, it's glorious.

11) The Conchita Wurst

Since last year's EuroVision, this particular style has left heterosexuals of both genders with some very confusing feelings.


Seán Kenehan
Article written by
Seán has been told by some that he resembles a young Hugh Laurie, but more people have tried to hire him as a Noddy impersonator. Something of a film fan, a pub quiz is one of the few situations in which he is even remotely useful. Seán enjoys the occasional beverage of the alcohol variety, Salt & Vinegar crisps, and referring to himself in the third person.

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