Men have been growing beards since before recorded history. Whether it’s a full, long beard or just a wispy mustache, sporting some type of facial hair seems to be a right of passage for most men. Scientists have determined that prehistoric men wore beards not only for warmth but for protection from blows to the face and for intimidation since a beard tends to make the jaw appear stronger and thicker. Yet, not all beards are created equal. Not every man has the ability to grow a long, full, thick beard that the Duck Dynasty guys would covet. Hence the development of a product that can help even the most baby-faced boy manage to grow a respectable Vandyke. It’s something simply called beard oil.
Men Have Been Grooming Their Beards for Centuries
While growing beards has been a part of human history as far back as ancient times, as seen in the hieroglyphics found in Egypt and art from ancient Greece and Mesopotamia, the history of beard oil has been quite elusive. Historians have determined that ancient Mesopotamians most likely used fragrant oils, such has almond oil, to keep their beards healthy and full since they often fashioned their facial hair into intricate styles, such as ringlets and frizzles, using heated irons.
In 454 BC, a group of Greek-Sicilian barbers set up barber shops on the main thoroughfares of Rome, helping ancient Romans to keep their beards neat and trim, and these barbers more than likely used beard oil to condition their customers’ facial hair. Olive oil was probably the most commonly used beard oil during this time due to its abundant availability this region. The olive oil would be scented with a variety of essential oils including rosemary, cedar and peppermint. While not known for growing facial hair, surprisingly, Native Americans have also used a variety of oils, such as almond, grape seed or castor oils, for centuries to condition their beards and protect the underlying skin from the elements.
It wasn’t until the 1930’s that beard oil was first commercially available, but information on who first marketed and sold it is very scant. The demand during this time was low and it took another decade for the beard oil business to take off. One of the oldest beard oils still available today is the Prospector Co. Burroughs Beard Oil named after John Burroughs, the famous naturalist and essayist who sported an impressive full face of bristles.
Beard Oil Today
According to Google trends, beard oil sales have sky-rocked over the last few years, with beard oils first appearing online in 2006. Doing an Internet search for beard oil produces a large number of online stores, as well as a variety of reviews and professional test results. Approximately 33% of American men and 55% of men worldwide have some kind of facial hair. However, the availability of beard oil remains low in places like local drugstores and mass market discount stores. With the increasing popularity of facial hair, the availability of beard oil in the retail marketplace is sure to grow.
While the market has grown in the United States it’s also grown in the UK as well. The availability of high quality beard oils was a popular trend mostly grown in America (not taking credit for beards here), meaning that you would have to import them from makers in the US. Now, with the popularity of beard oil products throughout the world means more makers are sprouting up globally, helping bearded fellows all over the world to keep their beards soft and manageable.
This is a trend that every bearded man can back, especially if you’re already a user of high quality beard oil. The benefits are numerous and impressive if you source a high quality brand to use.
What the Beard Trend Really Means
The fact is that beards have been “trending” for several years now. Does that mean that they aren’t really just a trend or en-vogue right now rather they have reached main-stream appeal? This question can be posed successfully given the market penetration of beard care products over just the last two to three years. From beard balm, beard brushes, beard combs, scissors to beard grooming oil and various other products you can safely assume that beards are here to stay.
To further back the argument, even Hollywood is backing the trend now. Men are seen on the screen and off with beards of all shapes and sizes. This lends more credibility to the beard itself, making it more acceptable not only in public setting but in the workplace as well. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago when bosses were harassing employees to shave that ugly thing on their face even though it wasn’t a requirement for work safety.
This lends credibility to the beard, making it not a sign of disobedience but one of distinguishing character that’s currently much more acceptable in public and private settings. This in itself has helped spur the beard oil market, helping the American man with acceptance at work for a trend that has been established for thousands of years.