Check out our slideshow of magnificent beards and mustaches.
When you think about fads in hair, you usually associate them with the female gender. It is women who fluff and style and buy expensive products for their 'dos, not men. Men who spend too much time worrying about their hair have been deemed "metro" or even a little on the "fem" side. But this ladylike connotation gets thrown right out the window when you start talking about facial hair, because facial hair is a manly, manly thing.
Saturday night, Walters hosted the Houston Facial Hair Club's annual competition, and the beards and 'staches were out in full furry force.
The Houston Facial Hair Club, Houston's local chapter of Beard Team USA, has the mission of promoting the love of facial hair while fighting the first-world problem of "facial hair discrimination." The club was founded by Kenten Marin in 2008 and has built itself into an established organization with roughly 100 members. The group meets monthly to chat about facial hair, grooming, new styles, upcoming competitions and everything else beard-related; members also drink beer, surprisingly enough.
Tiffany Whitman currently runs the club and organized this year's competition. Whitman, despite being female and totally facial-hair-free, believes in the club and the rise in interest in men's facial coifs.
"I think facial hair is beautiful," Whitman says. Hear, hear.
This past Saturday's competition saw fleece-faced gentlemen from near and far vying over the right to say they have the best facial hair in Houston. Proceeds from the evening went to the Friends for Life animal shelter, which is fitting when you think about fur and stuff.
The competition consisted of numerous categories such as newbies, 6-12-inch beard, 1-6-inch beard, mustache, goatee and, of course, full beard. There was even a category for women, and, yes, there were several ladies there who donned 'staches. The judges, who were members of the Houston chapter as well as facial-hair fans, rated the gentlemen on overall appearance, style and personality; overall presentation of the hair; and crowd response, among other specifications.
I chatted with a number of beard growers who came to show off their facial fuzzes. Just earlier this month, Austin held its annual competition and the event was apparently packed. If you are familiar with the IFC show Whisker Wars, you know that this counterculture is alive and thriving in Austin. And it's "growing" in Houston as well. This year's competition was the largest Houston has seen thus far, according to Marin.
As a woman, I was interested as to why these dudes take so much pride in their beards. Everett Bradshaw, a guy with a mid-length white beard who looks like Santa, told me that he loves everything about the philosophy behind the "movement" and the hair on his face. Additionally, the beard culture is a way to interact with others who have the same passion and hobby.
The entire night was full of energy and stache-citement (I just made that word up), and it might be the first time that I took some stock in the fact that guys care about their hair, too.
If you are interested in the Houston Facial Hair Club, visit houstonfacialhairclub.com
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