The World Beard and Moustache Championships
The Biggest and Best Image Beard and Mustache Competition! Facial hair-growing competitions are a real thing, and none is bigger than the granddaddy of them all: The World Beard and Moustache Championships. There probably hasn’t been a greater public display of manliness since the ancient Olympic games were played in the nude, and this historical contest just keeps getting bigger every year.
When Bearding Became a Sport
The history of organized beard and moustache growing competitions is sketchy, with a number of different organizations and countries claiming to have held the first one. However, the first noteworthy event was held on in 1990 by a beard club in Höfen/Enz, Germany. The same club played host in 1995 to the second World Beard and Moustache Championships, held in another nearby German city. By this time, the word had spread and the event began to gain momentum. Other European beard clubs joined in with the fraternal fun and soon the competition began rotating to different cities and countries every two years.
The first time the international competition landed on American soil was in the year 2003 and it was Carson City, Nevada that played host to the event. The vast majority of the competitors were European, but that event was pivotal to helping ignite the contemporary beard movement in the USA. By the time the competition made its way back to the USA in 2009, the American presence was much greater. In fact, it was the first World Beard and Moustache Championships event where the tables were turned on the Germans and American facial hair dominated the winner’s circle. Team USA competitors managed to win twelve titles out of a total of 18 categories, as well as overall champion. This historic event, perhaps more than any other, helped to solidify bearding in the minds of the American people as a true sport. It also ignited the contemporary beard movement.
Today, the World Beard and Moustache Association is the official governing body of the event. It oversees the beard and mustache competition, sets the rules, votes on adding new categories, and works alongside local beard clubs when it comes to organizing the actual event.
What the Beard and Mustache Competition is All About
The World Beard and Moustaches Championships are held every two years (always in odd-numbered years, with an extra competition held in 2014). As of 2016, the competition has been held in six different countries: Germany (90/95/01/05/13), Norway (97/11), USA (03/09/14), Switzerland (99), Austria (14) and England (07). The event is usually organized, hosted and produced by a local beard club in that country. A portion of the proceeds from each event are donated to local charities.
The event features three categories of competition: moustache, partial beard and full beard. Each category is divided into sub-categories of specific styles:
Moustache– Natural, Dali, English, Imperial, Hungarian and Moustache Freestyle.
Partial Beard– Goatee Natural, Musketeer, Fu Manchu, Goatee Freestyle, Impartial Beard/Kaiser Beard, Partial Beard/Freestyle and Sideburns.
Full Beard- Full Beard Natural, Full Beard Styled Moustache, Verdi, Garibaldi and Full Beard Freestyle.
Each subcategory has very specific criteria that must be adhered to in order to qualify to compete. Judges have rulers on hand at the event to ensure that all moustaches and beards meet the length and placement requirements for each category. Every participant must conform to the specifications for his particular style category and subcategory.
The exception to this is the freestyle subcategory for each main category, although even those have some rules. For instance, in the Freestyle Moustache category, all hair growing from more than 1.5 cm past the corner of the mouth must be shaved.
Beyond those minor requirements, the Freestyle subcategories are participant favorites and usually the most fun to watch as a spectator. Contestants have free rein to style their facial hair as they please, and previous competitions have featured some of the most elaborate and seemingly impossible styles imaginable, like the one sported by 2009 Freestyle Full Beard category winner and overall champion David Traver of the USA. He styled his beard into the shape of a snowshoe in honor of his Alaskan heritage, and the fact that the contest that year was held in Anchorage.
Although it is not a requirement, many competitors choose to wear a costume of some type when competing, usually related to the type of facial hair they are sporting. Just picture a Sherlock Holmes doppelganger in the Imperial Moustache category, or a man with a Garibaldi beard sporting lederhosen.
Who Can Enter?
The competition is open to any male aged 21 or older. (Contestants are not required to hold membership in a beard club.) Applications to participate are usually opened up to the public in the months leading up to the next scheduled competition. Potential contestestants can apply by visiting http://www.worldbeardchampionships.com/#compete.
Contestants are responsible for paying for and making their own travel arrangements to and from the competition. However, many beard clubs raise money throughout the year to help send a representative from their club to the event. The next World Beard and Moustache Championships is scheduled to take place in September of 2017 in Austin, Texas, USA.
How to Prepare for the World Beard and Mustache Competition
Former champions, beard enthusiasts, groomers and stylists offer a variety of insightful tips into how best to prepare for the World beard and mustache competition:
Steve Dudley: Taking on the World Beard and Moustache Championships
Nerves running high, the excitement of the competition building, Las Vegas resident Steve Dudley, 72, waited for his moment to take the stage in front of the seven judges. It was time for competitors to set aside the complimentary beer and wine from the welcome gala and put their best bristles forward.
After preparing for the past three years and with the support of both his family and his barber, Dudley was finally ready to show off his marvelous mane.
The judges called the men from the “Garibaldi” category to the staging area.
“To say I was nervous would be an understatement,” Dudley said. “James put his finishing touch on my beard. At this point, I realized there was no turning back and my heart felt like it was going to explode.”
The staging hands lined the men in numerical order. Like soldiers, they waited patiently in order for the last group to finish and exit the stage. During this time, they also filmed short video interviews so the audience could get acquainted with them as they walked on stage.
“As the time drew closer, you could cut the tension with a knife,” Dudley said. “Everyone attempted to act cool as if nothing could shake us, although I’m not sure how successful we were.”
Finally, it was his turn to take the stage with his group. Figuring his best bet was to confidently play to the crowd, Dudley walked on stage, raising his arms and encouraging them to cheer and clap for him.
“What a relief that I wasn’t boo’d off the stage,” Dudley said.
With new support and vigor, he walked to the middle of the stage and participated in a live interview with the host, introduced himself to the judges and let them evaluate his beard. In a few short minutes, the process was over.
However, the judging itself was nothing compared to waiting for the results.
The 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships
With over 2,500 contestants, there was no shortage of stylish facial hair at the 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships in Austin, Texas.
Competing in the Full Beard category under the Garibaldi style, Dudley took fifth place out of 41 contestants, coming just 2.6 points behind the first place winner Franz Pill.
In the Garibaldi category, the rules call for a “broad, full and round” beard that is “not to exceed 20 cm” and has the “moustache integrated” with no styling aids, according to the Austin Facial Hair Club website. The official competition website also suggests the beard remain as natural-looking as possible.
“I was totally surprised when I was told that I finished that high although my barber James wasn’t,” Dudley said. “He kept telling me that I had a great beard and not to worry about anyone else and he was right!”
In addition to the Full Beard group, other categories in the competition include Moustache, Craft/Fantasy, Partial Beard, and the ever-so-whacky Freestyle Beards. Overall, there are 27 subcategories. The full list of 2017 results and pictures of the styles and winners can be accessed at the Austin Facial Hair Club website.
The competition is held over the span of four days to give proper recognition to the contestant’s impressive beards and moustaches. Dudley said, in his experience, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a new competitor, everyone is made to feel welcome.
While there will be a national competition for 2018 held in Richmond, Virginia, the world competition takes place every two years. The 2019 world competition is set to take place in Antwerp, Belgium.
Steve Dudley (left) receives final touches on his beard by his barber James Tracy (right) at the 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships in Austin, Texas.
“I was totally surprised when I was told that I finished that high although my barber James wasn’t. He kept telling me that I had a great beard and not to worry about anyone else and he was right!”
-Steve Dudley, fifth place winner in the Garibaldi category at the 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships
Garibaldi beard style / Photo via Austin Facial Hair Club
A beard and a barber’s bond
Dudley and his barber James Tracy, 41, did not just link up for the 2017 competition. In fact, the two have been acquainted for the past two years when Tracy started cutting and styling Dudley’s beard at his shop Jimmy’s in Las Vegas.
Tracy started cutting hair when he was 13-years-old and became a licensed barber in 2009. When it comes to styling beards, he became inspired by what he calls “the great beard movement” of 2010 and 2011.
It was Tracy’s suggestion that sparked Dudley’s interest in beard competitions.
“To be honest, I hadn’t really given much thought to competing,” Dudley said. “One day I was getting my hair cut and my barber made a comment that I had the start of a really nice beard. I said thank you but didn’t think much more of it.”
That was until, Tracy brought up the topic again. While still reluctant in the shop, when Dudley got home, he started looking up competitions online. Consequently, he said the endless information he found had him “hooked.”
Dudley is the first of Tracy’s clients to compete in a beard competition. Tracy said he first saw promise in Dudley’s beard when he joked that the new retiree should grow it out and play Santa for the holidays.
“Real bearded Santa’s are in high demand and well-compensated,” Tracy said. “From that day on, he let his stubbly beard grow into the monstrosity that it is today.” Then adding, “He never did work as Santa, if you were wondering.”
Despite Tracy moving to San Antonio, Texas with his family in 2017, he still remains Dudley’s barber. Surprisingly, they even fly to meet each other when it is time for maintenance.
“I reluctantly tried to find another barber who knew beards but with no luck,” Dudley said. “They just didn’t have James’ experience or knowledge.”
In addition, Tracy and his wife and son attend the beard competitions with Dudley. They plan to meet up this month in April for a trim.
“During those visits, I visit with Steve and trim his beard,” Tracy said. “He is a great person and a great friend. He genuinely appreciates my craft. That is why I continue to keep Steve as a client.”
Advice for other beard lovers and what’s next for Steve in the future
Photo via Steve Dudley
Dudley admits he had a beard on and off for several years but did not take it seriously in the past. He said it wasn’t until age 69 that he really dedicated himself to his beard growth. Once he started, it took him about 10 months to grow it out.
“Everyone is different but just be patient, brush your beard at least once a day and use quality beard products,” Dudley advises.
He said it took him a long time experimenting with various brands and products before finding the Zeus line. However, today, Zeus is the only line he stays loyal to, noting that the verbena lime scented beard oil is his favorite. Newly, Dudley said he is also “honored” to become a Zeus ambassador.
Competing so far, proved to be a terrific time for Dudley. He said he is looking forward to the 2018 competition in Richmond, VA.
“I see no reason to retire from competing and will probably continue with my current beard style,” Dudley said. “After the nationals in Virginia, I intend on competing and hopefully finishing in the top three in the world competition in Antwerp, Belgium in 2019.”
Those also interested in competing in the 2018 Great American Beard and Moustache Championship can sign up on their official website.
These Photos From The World Beard Championships Are A Joy To Behold
Do. Not. Mess. With. Us.
How to best describe the beards and mustaches on display in Leogang, Austria last weekend? Resplendent? Luxurious? Ridiculous? Whichever word you choose, you have to admit that the collection of characters who converged on Leogang for the World Beard and Moustache Championships possessed no small amount of flair.
At first glance, it might seem absolutely insane that this gathering is a real thing with a fair bit of hype around it, but remember that growing a beard shaped like walrus tusks is a diversion — just like playing basketball, or painting sunsets — and all diversions are on equal footing in that their true joys are known only to their practitioners.
Whatever you think of people whose recreation is their facial hair, you will likely agree that it is truly impossible to come up with captions for these photos funny enough to match the inherent humor of the pictures themselves.
Getty Image Getty Image Getty Image Getty Image Getty Image Getty Image Getty Image Getty Image Getty Image Getty Image Getty Image Getty Image
Lest you think this was just a show and there was no serious judging…
Also worth noting that the less wax-heavy competitors all looked like disoriented pirates…
Which is a great reminder that pirates were basically the hipsters of their era…
The only question left about the Beard Championships is how in the hell this event is not held in Brooklyn.
23 of the Weirdest Guinness World Records Ever
It includes this guy, who has the stretchiest skin we’ve ever seen.
Trivia time: The idea for the Guinness Book of World Records came out of an argument Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of the Guinness Brewery, had on a hunting trip in the early 1950s. He wasn’t able to find the answer to the fastest game bird in any reference book.
Later, that inspired his plan for Guinness to do a promotion around a book that would settle pub arguments. That first book, written by Norris and Ross McWhirter, was published August 27, 1955. And the 2016 edition — complete with an updated round of titles — will be available on September 10. In honor of the 60th anniversary, here are some of the wackiest record holders.
Go, ‘Murica. U.S. resident Donald A. Gorske consumed his 26,000th McDonald’s Big Mac on October 11, 2012 — after 40 years of eating Big Macs on a daily basis.
This illustrious honor (we want to know how many people were brave enough to actually compete for it) is held by London-based performance artist Johnny Strange. He established the record of eight apples in one minute in October 2013 in South Yorkshire, UK.
British man Garry Turner can stretch the skin of his stomach to 6.25 inches due to a rare medical condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It’s a connective-tissue disorder where the collagen becomes defective, and includes the loosening of the skin and hyper-mobile joints. “I have always known that my skin was different — as a small child my uncles used to have fun showing their friends,” Turner told GWR. “Stretching doesn’t hurt at all. However, other aspects of the syndrome are very painful, [like my] joints.”
After her first skin piercing in January 1997, Elaine Davidson was hooked. The Brazilian former restaurant owner has been pierced a total of 4,225 times as of June 8, 2006. The GWR site says she is constantly adding and replacing jewelry, primarily on her face, but also likes adding tattoos, makeup, and feathers in her hair.
Talk about strong choppers! Georges Christen from Luxembourg ran 38 feet and 8 inches while carrying a 26 pound table — and a 110 pound woman sitting on it! — in his mouth in Madrid, Spain, on February 9, 2008.
Apparently, that’s a real thing. And Andrew Stanton, a sideshow performer in Las Vegas, achieved the length of 11 feet, 10.91 inches in March 2012.
It took American Lee Redmond nearly 30 years to grown her nails out to the record-holding 28 feet, 4.5 inches in February 2008. The longest single nail was her right thumb, which reached to 2 feet, 11 inches. “I started to grow my nails in 1979 . it was kind of a challenge to myself to see how far they would go before they started twisting out of shape,” she said. Unfortunately, her nails snapped off in a 2009 car accident.
Ram Singh Chauhan’s mustache is the longest, at 14 feet. The Indian man’s facial hair was measured in Rome, Italy, on March 4, 2010.
What he lacks in length, Karl-Heinz Hille makes up for in style. The German has taken home 8 wins at the World Beard and Moustache Championships, competing in the Imperial partial beard category.
Charlotte Lee (USA) has 5,631 different rubber ducks, as of 10 April 2011, which she has been collecting since 1996. (Here’s another peek at her, um, flock.)
At her four-acre “Gnome Reserve” in West Putford, England, Ann Atkin has 2,042 gnomes and pixies, as of March 2011.
The Force is with Steve Sansweet in abundance. A former Wall Street Journal bureau chief who went to work at Lucasfilm, Sansweet turned his Star Wars obsession of 37 years into a museum. He’s amassed an estimated 300,000 unique items at Rancho Obi-Wan in northern California. By May 4, 2014, he’d “only” accurately audited and catalogued 92,240 items — still sufficient to beat the previous title holder many times over.
As my grandmother would say, “Be careful, or your face will freeze like that!” Anne Woods doesn’t worry about that though, as the British woman has won the most world championships for gurning — 27 — between 1977 and 2010. The Egremont Crab Fair in Cumbria, England, where the championships are held, was established in 1267, which makes it one of the oldest fairs in the world.
Victor “Larry” Gomez, Gabriel “Danny” Ramos Gomez, Luisa Lilia De Lira Aceves, and Jesus Manuel Fajardo Aceves are four members of a family of 19, spanning five generations in Mexico who all suffer from the rare condition called congenital generalized hypertrichosis. The condition is characterized by excessive facial and torso hair. In women, that means a lighter coat, while men have thick hair on about 98% of their body. Larry and Danny currently perform in the Mexican National Circus. The entire family have also assisted scientists in studying the genetic cause of CGH.
You all know that sound of summer — but Allan Ganz has been hearing it for 67 years and counting. He started selling ice cream with his dad in 1947 at the age of 10 in Peabody, Massachusetts. Allan bought his own ice cream truck in 1977 and has sold ice cream in Massachusetts ever since.
Magic Mike had nothing on Bernie Barker. The American (a former real estate agent) got into stripping in 2000 at age 60, as a way to get in shape after overcoming prostate cancer. He won over 40 contests. Unfortunately, he died in 2007 at the age of 66.
Konjo managed to race 5 meters on his front paws in just 2.39 seconds in California, December 22, 2014. Konjo is half Papillon, a quarter Jack Russell, and a quarter Chihuahua.
Puggy, a Pekingese, possesses the longest licker on record at 4.5 inches. The measurement was taken at Avondale Haslet Animal Clinic, Texas, in May 2009, when he was 9 years old.
Ever wonder just how many a bird could do? Zac the Macaw unopened 35 cans in one minute in San Jose, California, on January 12, 2012.
Sorry, Giselle. Russian woman Svetlana Pankratova officially has the world’s longest legs, measuring 51.9 inches (approximately a little over 4 feet) on July 8, 2003.
And you thought it was on The Bachelor! Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat’s love has gone the distance — clocking a kiss at 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds. The couple, from Thailand, won at a Ripley’s Believe it or Not event on February 12-14, 2013. (They brought home a cash prize and two diamond rings!)
Bullseye! Nancy Siefker shot an arrow into a target 20 feet away — using her feet! — on the set of Guinness World Records Unleashed in Los Angeles, California, on June 20, 2013. Now, the guidelines only require a target of 12 inches in diameter. But Nancy, who’s a cirque performer, hit a just 5.5 inch one.
20 безумных бородачей с конкурса «The World Beard and Moustache Championships»
11″ x 17″ tiled Photo Print Showcasing 20 categories from the World Beard and Moustache Competition.
Printed on Inkjet Photo paper, Autographed and numbered by Jeffrey Moustache!
only 50 Prints available!
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Autographed 24″ 36″ Tile Photo Poster
24″ x 36″ tiled Photo Poster Showcasing 68 portraits from the various Beard and Moustache Competitions around the World spanning the last 10 years.
Heavy weight paper poster, Autographed and numbered by Jeffrey Moustache!
only 50 Prints available!
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The World of Beards- 2nd run printing
Copy of the completed book ( not numbered ) after the first 100 have been sold.
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Numbered (#51-100), first run printing
Pre Sale copy of one of the first 100 prints of The World Of Beards. Numbered and editioned.
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Signed and Editioned copy (#11-50)
Receive a Signed and editioned copy of one of the first 100 books produced!
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Featured Artist Autographed copy (#2-10)
Only 9 copies will be available of this 1st edition printing book (#s 2-10) which will include autographs from multiple contestants featured inside!
Sep 16, 2019 – Nov 15, 2019 (60 days)
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World Beard and Moustache Championships
The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial competition hosted by the World Beard and Moustache Association (WBMA), in which men with beards and moustaches display lengthy, highly styled facial hair.
Contest synopsis [ edit ]
Since 2004, the WBMA  has been the governing body for the championships. This association is fully responsible for awarding the contest to member clubs. Any club may apply for membership to the WBMA and applications to host an upcoming WBMC will be accepted from established clubs.
The first Championship took place in Höfen an der Enz, Germany, in 1990. 
On September 1, 2007, competitors of the world’s most hirsute faces from the UK, America, Germany and other countries convened for the championships in Brighton. It was hosted by The Handlebar Club with comedy performer Michael “Atters” Attree acting as Chairman and Master of Ceremonies. Facial hair categories were judged by celebrity moustache wearers including actor/singer Nick Cave and musician/poet Billy Childish. The international event was staged within the Brighton Centres Main Hall.  Categories include Dali moustache, goatee and full beard freestyle.  
The 2009 event was hosted by The South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club  from May 19 to 24 in Anchorage, Alaska. SCAKBMC distributed over $16,000 to local charities via the International Lions Club 49A foundation 501C4 and the Miners & Trappers Ball Inc a 501C3 organizations. Anchorage hosted the most ever competitors, eclipsing the previous U.S. venue of Carson City, Nevada. A 50-minute British documentary named Tashalaska followed that year’s Freestyle Moustache (Keith “Gandhi Jones” Haubrich), Chinese Moustache ( Ted Sedman ) and Freestyle Full Beard (Dav >
The 2011 championships were hosted by “The Norwegian Moustache Club of 91”  in Trondheim, Norway on May 15. The 12th incarnation of the contest was held near Stuttgart, Germany on November 2, 2013 and was hosted by Belle Moustache Beard and Culture Club.  The World Beard and Moustache Championships were held in Leogang, Austria in 2015. The Championships returned to America during the first 3 days of September 2017 when The Austin Facial Hair Club  hosted the contest in Austin, Texas, which was the largest World Championships to date with 738 registered competitors from 33 countries. 
In May 2019 the WBMC was held in Antwerp, Belgium, hosted by Snorrenclub Antwerpen. In March 2021, the championships will be hosted by the New Zealand Beard Club. The official World Beard and Moustache Championships are held every two years, on odd years only.
Categories [ edit ]
There are three brackets of facial hair: Moustache, Partial Beard and Full Beard. Each bracket is broken into indiv > A new category for 1 cm short carved beards was introduced in 2013 and repeated in 2015 called the Trend Beard, which is in its own bracket.
Moustache [ edit ]
- Natural Moustache – maximum of 1.5 cm beyond the end of the upper lip (may be styled but without a >Partial Beard [ edit ]
- Natural Goatee – facial hair grown only on chin, upper and lower lip (may be styled but without a >Full Beard [ edit ]
- Verdi – short and round, length not to exceed 10 cm
- Garibaldi – broad, full and round, length not to exceed 20 cm
- Natural Full Beard – as grown, no aids allowed
- Natural Full Beard with Styled Moustache – as grown, only moustache can be styled with aides
- Full Beard Freestyle – full beards not matching other classes, but considered the most creative over all other categories in the full beards.
Ladies Categories (2017, 2019)
- Creative Moustache
- Realistic Moustache
- Creative Beard
- Realistic Beard
Examples of winners [ edit ]
Karl Heinz-Hille, winner in Imperial Partial Beard category at the 2007 Championship
Gandhi Jones, 1st-place winner in the Freestyle Moustache category, in 2007, 2009 and 2011