Young men with beards

Young men with beards

At last Thursday’s local session, I happened to notice that all the young men (ie under 30 y.o.) had beards, yet all the older men (mostly over 40, and some much more) well clean shaven.
Seemed a bit of a role-reversal from tradition. Back in the day, the older guys may or may not have had beards, but very few young guys would ever sport a beard.
So why is this? I know beards seem to be in fashion these days. But is it just fashion or is it that the young guys want to appear more senior and dignified, whereas the old crocks like me want to try and look young (and fail miserably)?
Just sayin’……

Re: Young men with beards

Not that I would ever hope to grow one….but it does seem to be a trend. Football and rugby players too, not just musicians. Some look good, others just make you want to reach for a razor!

Re: Young men with beards

It’s all part of the witness protection program…

Re: Young men with beards

Older men don’t suit them so well as they are likely to be white or, at the very least, salt and pepper coloured.

Re: Young men with beards

Never did Santa any harm though….

Re: Young men with beards

I’ve been a chef for 50 years. When I was a pupil at Newry Catering College, the Principal, Mr. Hugh Bennett, used to regularly kick me out and tell me "The morning starts with Gillette! You can come back in when you’ve shaved!"
He was a great man, a great mentor, and a father figure to me. But I never agreed with his views on beards.
When I got married 46 years ago I had a spade of a beard that Ronnie Drew would have admired.
Then one night, Katie the Boss said to me, "I’ve never seen ye without a beard."
I thought it over, slipped upstairs to the bathroom, and between scissors and razors wheeked it off.
Walked back into the living room where Katie the Boss was watching TV. "Oh my dear God!! Grow it again!!" was her response.
Next morning, our daughter Helen, who was 2 years old, toddled into our bedroom, blethering and bubbling. I woke up, sat up and saw my daughter recoil, point and say "Man! Man! Man in bed with Mammie!" The beard was regrown pretty quick! I’ve had the beard on and off many times since then. Usually try to get a growth before the first heavy frosts arrive!

Just fer interests sake, I’ve started putting a set of Seydel Blues Harmonicas together (love the Low Harmonicas) and was horrified to find that the moustache hairs get caught in the top cover plate. I now have a clean shaven top lip!

Re: Young men with beards

It’s the fashion now, apparently. These things come and go in waves.

I’ve had a beard since my late teens, now in my 60’s and still bushy. It started with a bicycle accident that left a scar on my chin, and it was too much trouble shaving around it. Haven’t seen that scar in 50 years now, but frankly it’s just an excuse to not bother with shaving every day.

A little hair under my lower lip also makes a nice cushioned landing pad for the flute. It’s practical as well as fashionable, you see. Somewhere there is a discussion I remember reading about this, but I can’t remember if it was here, or on Chiff and Fipple.

Re: Young men with beards

@conical bore I detect a kindred spirit!

Re: Young men with beards

Another old man with a beard here.

Re: Young men with beards

Hair grows there, and they’re not often in situations where the extra hair growth can be used against them in violent confrontations. I’ve never seen a difference in musical skill between bearded and non-bearded people.

Re: Young men with beards

I had a moustache for years, because that is all the service would allow me, and have had a beard since I retired. The beard has grown from goatee to full beard now that I have retired from my civilian job as well. It helps compensate for the lack of hair on top.
I have noticed more young men having beards, but have not noticed any trend for older men to shave them off.

Re: Young men with beards

Flannel, facial hair, BC glasses, skinny jeans, and trad music are hipster trademarks. Been that way here for the last half decade at least. Probably full decade.

Posted by .

Re: Young men with beards

Sessions are for tunes. What’s this sudden interest in young men?
😲

Posted by .

Re: Young men with beards

I grow my beard because I look too young. I don’t want younger women to be attracted to me, and I don’t want older women to think I’m too young for them. I’ll be 30 soon, geez.

Re: Young men with beards

Its all part of the hipster movement - give it another 10 years and something else will be hip. Personally i’ll be glad to see the demise of jeans with the knees ripped out! Alexander G, I know what you mean about harmonicas and moustache whiskers - I made the mistake of shaving mine off in 1979 and the general concensus was i should grow it back asap, so for the 39 years i just suffer the occasional painful ‘tweak’
of the top lip whenever i play………………

Re: Young men with beards

I have not been without some manner of facial covering since I was 18 (although, back then, you might have had to hold me up to the light in order to see it). It has undergone various changes of configuration, magnitude and degree of cultivation since then but for the last 12 years or so, I have let it run wild . It was perhaps 5 years ago when I began to notice a preponderance of men 10, 15 or more years my junior (was then 39) sporting similar-sized (although generally less unkempt) beards. This fashion for full beards seems to coincide with that of wearing flat caps - which I also took up around 12 years ago. I am most honoured and flattered to be regarded as a trendsetter in matters callitrichotic and sartorial.

Re: Young men with beards

Aaron: "Flannel, facial hair, BC glasses, skinny jeans, and trad music are hipster trademarks."

I’d never thought of trad music as being a hipster trademark (perhaps another trend I am responsible for 😉 - although I can assure you that the skinny jeans and BC glasses [whatever they are] are nothing to do with me). I suppose it fits the whole ‘old is the new new’ ethos of the hipster movement. If it means more people are playing trad, even if the fashion only lasts 10 years, it’s no bad thing.

When I first started going to sessions around London, my trad credentials were sometimes doubted on the basis of my appearance (long hair and beard), particularly at the more traditional ones (those being the ones I really wanted to be at), where people tended to be just as ‘traditional’ in their appearance as in their playing - I was suspected of being a ‘hippy’ that wanted to ‘jam’, ‘break down musical boundaries’ etc. I might have been all those things in some situations, but when at a session, I was single minded in my pursuit of learning trad - and I think that soon became clear to everyone else.

Re: Young men with beards

Nothing to get worried about. It’s just fallout from the hipster retro lifestyle, along with the 1930/40’s miltary/Hitler hairstyles. It’s a fashion statement. Some are really into cultivating their beards. I believe there are even beard competitions. No harm done, although the flat caps and tattoos, certainly don’t suit everyone.

Re: Young men with beards

Fashions go in cycles, approximately one human generation long.

I well remember the beginning of my 4th year at university in 1978, me with beard and longish hair and scruffy t-shirt and jeans, standing with some of my classmates, the girls likewise in scruffy t-shirts and jeans, watching the incoming Freshmen.

The young men were clean-shaven with short hair wearing slacks and button-up collared shirts, the young women with styled hair and wearing makeup and skirts and dresses. (The girls of my generation wouldn’t be caught dead in makeup, or a skirt or dress!)

We were dumbfounded and asked each other "what the heck is going on? Who ARE these people??"

Now my daughter, who is 23, has never owned a skirt or a dress, has never put on makeup, has never used a curling iron or hairspray. She and her friends look pretty much like my university mates did.

Another factor to keep in mind is that for whatever reason many men continue to wear the hair style which was popular when they were in their 20s.

So many men of my generation still wear their late 1960s early 1970s beards (as do I) while many men of the next generation still are cleanshaven.

An historical aside, at least for Americans, is that we associate the American Civil War with beards, yet right up to the beginning of the war Lincoln, Lee, and most of the other figures were clean-shaven. Around the time of the beginning of the war (no causal relationship but mere happenstance) beards were suddenly extremely popular and most men quickly grew them.

When my grandmother was a teenager all the old men were Civil War veterans and they still sported their beards (now grey) which were at the height of popularity in the 1860s but were the height of UNpopularity in the early 20th century. So people of her generation associated beards with elderly people, just as many people do in recent decades (note the long grey beards of so many Vietnam War veterans).

Re: Young men with beards

Our session can look like a Santa Claus convention.

Re: Young men with beards

Just so long as mullets and mohicans don’t come back in…

Re: Young men with beards

Strange that this thread should appear just now.
Last week our local musicians here in County Down bade a final goodbye to Big Ernie Swain who sported a luxuriant beard for over 40 years. He contracted cancer and it was heartbreaking to see the beard disappear under the cosh of chemotherapy.
I’ll hold on to my beard just as long as I am able thanks.

Posted by .

Re: Young men with beards

Very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, deeor.

I’ve gone through phases of being clean shaven and bearded. A few years ago I first participated in what we here in the States call “Bro”vember where men stop shaving for the month of November as a fun way to promote awareness for men’s health. When it as over I promptly shaved it off, but my wife and daughter told me they missed the beard. Even people at work told me they liked it. So I grew it back and kept it on. Anything that helps cover up my mug, I guess.

Re: Young men with beards

Dispise that hipster culture and their stupid empty brains so it was horrifying to see it pour into the mainstream culture.

Masculinity has been destroyed in the west now; beards used to be seen as manly but the guys who grow them now days probably take better care of them than their girlfriend takes care of her hair.

Re: Young men with beards

And to think that my post a while back about the discussions here ‘tilting slightly to silly’ (as I remember putting it) was summarily swept off the boards … at the very stroke of a well inked quill even! Ah welladay…

Re: Young men with beards

Trad isn’t really a hipster trademark as much as it just fits. Old things becoming hip and all that. All sorts of trad music, not just Irish.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/GI_glasses

BC as in you’ll never get a date wearing those ugly things.

Posted by .

Re: Young men with beards

Having no knowledge or understanding of hipsterism, I do wonder if it really involves any interest, however trivial, in things old - other than beards … ?

Re: Young men with beards

Old things/styles are no longer mainstream, and available to rediscover, thus becoming hipster fodder. As far as I understand hipsters, non-mainstream trends are their thing. Kind of. Trad music is just a wee bit non-mainstream.

Posted by .

Re: Young men with beards

Though, as far as I can see, they are themselves a mainstream trend … but … we can’t expect rhyme or reason from fashion … !

Re: Young men with beards

Huh! Call that a beard?!

Re: Young men with beards

Remember when you were a kid in nursery school there was always a dressing up box, and the hours of fun you had dressing up in granny and granpa’s funny old-fashioned clothes? I think the hipster movement is just a bunch of people who haven’t outgrown that phase.

Re: Young men with beards

It’s funny how hostile some are to what is only a fashion thing!
I think it makes a change from all the dreadful sportswear and dull anoraks that the majority have favoured for decades.
E.g. Checked shirts have been almost a uniform for blokes of a certain age at the Kilkenny SW19 session!!!

Re: Young men with beards

Who is hostile?

Posted by .

Re: Young men with beards

Arthur Gondolor for one. Pretty hostile, and sexist as well.

Posted by .

Re: Young men with beards

Pretty big claim to be tossing about, don’tya think? :P
I’ve got a beard, nice and red. I’m considering getting rid of the tash, though. Limits my enjoyment of cheesey foods!

Re: Young men with beards

I credit the Afghan war with making beards cool again for young guys. In rural Afghanistan you’re seen as a juvenile if you don’t have a full beard (in the cities it’s different). I grew a full beard on my second deployment there, because I could, and because the locals respected you more. Pre-9/11 I recall most guys my age went clean shaven as a general rule. Within 5 years or so beards started becoming socially acceptable again, even among management executives and other fields that had been the opposite for many previous decades. I think the enduring images from early in the war, that had enormous exposure in Western media, helped make this happen. Hipsters merely appropriated the trend, as they did many other things. After the Army I grew a beard again and have it to this day, though I tend to keep it trimmed shorter.

One of my favorite Tommy Peoples videos shows him sporting a full beard while tearing up Laird of Drumblaire. He was cool even before Afghans and Green Berets made the beard de rigeur again.

Re: Young men with beards

"I grow my beard because I look too young. I don’t want younger women to be attracted to me"

Why on earth not?

I’m the same age to you, and my beard has been a fixture my adult life. I’m no hipster though.

Re: Young men with beards

Not many female perspectives on here, but from my own - the very worst is that "3-day scrub" - which for a while was the preferred facial presence of certain TV presenters here in the UK, e.g. par grand exemple - Nick Knowles. NOT sexy, bloody arrogant, had me shouting at the TV - "go and have an effing good shave"!
On the other hand, well-coiffed beards at whatever age can be very attractive - until you try to kiss ‘em!

Re: Young men with beards

"until you try to kiss ‘em!"

A judicious trimming around the lip area will help with that, so you don’t go full Santa Claus. Also essential for flute players, of course. Nothing worse than a stray hair messing with your embouchure.

Re: Young men with beards

I work outdoors and wear a beard in winter (very cold winters here). It really does help. I shave it into different looks come spring; sometimes a rad Fu Manchu with lamb chops, or whatever. Trim it back slowly like melting snow.

Re: Young men with beards

The young men know they need the 100 hours a year they would have spent shaving to practice. The older men think they can already play.

Re: Young men with beards

Many cultures/ philosophies/ religions suggest that leaving your hair and/ or beard au naturelle is good for your general spirituality: e.g. Sikhism, Rastafarianism, Islam, Judaism and to a lesser degree Christians (who, unlike the two other Abrahamic options choose to ignore most of Leviticus anyway!).
And anyway Jimi Hendrix said to let your freak flag fly!!!

Young women with plaits

Three out of the five young women at our session last week wore their hair in plaits. Just saying. Oh, and they really rocked on their slip jigs! Just keeping it relevant.

Re: Young women with plaits

I’m sure they were lovely and great players too. It makes a change from beards, I guess. 🙂

I don’t think pleats look that great on old guys with grey beards though. The pony tails tied at the back look even more naff. More of a bodhran player or guitar basher fashion statement I think.

Re: Young men with beards

I think ‘pony tail’ says it all. Why would anyone want to make themselves look like a horse’s arse?

Re: Young men with beards

Time to put this thread to bed.

Re: Young men with beards

Sound of axe grinding. Got censored and censured, but not tonsured, for submitting an irrelevance some time ago. My ‘Young girls with plaits’ topic of three hours ago got the same sleight of quill treatment.
Perhaps ‘Young men with beards’ is in A Dorian or something. Might even have been recorded by Kevin Burke…?
Axe ground.
Ave atque vale.

Re: Young men with beards

There really is no need to be unpleasant about people because of their hairstyle. I thought that sort of crap was a thing of the past.

Re: Young men with beards

Speaking as a straight woman, I like beards on young men. I also like the man bun in addition to the beard. Men don’t get the same opportunities as women to make their hair unique. I say go for it. Variety is the spice of life!

Re: Young men with beards

Well, since we’re well off the beaten Mustard path now, I’ll admit I have one of those old guy ponytails. I wore my hair short most of my life, then found the love of my life who insisted I grow it out and tie it off. I think it was a marking ritual of some sort. Anyway, now I don’t have to visit the barber on a regular basis and that’s a net positive.

And c’mon… "wanting to look like a horse’s arse?"

No, just easy maintenance! I want to visit Scotland and Ireland one day before I shuffle off this mortal coil, and you’re not making me feel more welcome as a visitor.

Re: Young men with beards

Sometimes we play sessions in our bare feet.

Posted by .

Re: Young men with beards

I work for a company that requires men to have short neat hair, and until a few years ago required men to be clean-shaven.

Then they started allowing these facial hair options:

1) clean-shaven

2) full beard, kept short.

3) goatee, kept short.

4) police-style mustache, kept short and not going past the edges of the mouth.

No other options are allowed; no Hulk Hogan, no Soul Patch, no chinstrap, no Ancient Mariner muttonchops.

As soon as they allowed beards I grew one! I had to shave mine upon being hired.

Re: Young men with beards

Richard D Cook, may you escape the slavery of Babylon one day.

Re: Young men with beards

As a young man with a beard I find it quite pleasant not to expose my skin to a sharp blade on a regular basis, plus it gives me something to stroke pensively while I listen to tunes. I imagine it also prevents people from asking why a fifteen year old is sitting at the bar.

Re: Young men with beards

¡Ayyó, achtóntlica! Sixty-four years old, and a lifelong Mexican Hairless Indigenous - but then, I have too much Náhua ("Aztec") in me to ever grow even a transparent beard… Ahmo tlamántli (that’s no matter anyway!).

Re: Young men with beards

I’ve had a beard since I was 19. Am in my 50s now. Beard is now longer jet-black, but a shade of greyish salt & pepper now. I shaved it off twice. Once in my early 20s ( a heatwave back then….an unusual occurrence in Ireland) and again in my 30s. Second time the lady who regularly cut my hair begged me to re-grow it, she said I looked awful without it!!! I’ve had goatee beards since, but now sport a neatly trimmed full-beard. It has always been a thing in trad/folk circles for men to have beards….as long ass I remember, anyway!!!

Re: Young men with beards

I blame Game of Thrones. Beards, man hair buns, the whole bit. Muy macho hipster heaven. I did read somewhere, once, that when economic times are prosperous, young men feel comfortable growing their face long. Not sure if that’s hogwash or not. I’ve contemplated growing a beard, but when I ask my missus about it, she answers with a question of her own - "Do you like living in this house? I already put up with the banjo - don’t push your luck.."

Re: Young men with beards

There was a Tzar of Russia once who put a tax on beards.
Now that would solve the problems in funding the NHS.
So long as they don’t follow up the idea another Tzar had - of banning all musical instruments….