If you haven’t heard about it yet, the National Beard and Moustache Championships is an annual facial hair styling competition that began in 2010. This year’s nationals took place this month, November 8 and 9, just in time for No Shave November, at 350 Brewing in Tinley Park, Illinois, and while we didn’t see anything quite as wild as the “Incredibeard” winner of the 2017 world championships, the entries surely didn’t disappoint nonetheless. Each participant displayed the same power and confidence as they donned special costumes to match their spectacular facial hair.
Hundreds of facial hair aficionados of all ages, races, and genders gathered together for two days and got creative with styling and grooming. With over fifty categories, competitors strutted their otherworldly beard creations. Moustache subcategories include best handlebar moustache, best English moustache, best freestyle moustache, Fu Manchu, and best Dalí moustache (inspired by Spanish Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí). The other categories are partial beards, full beards, and craft, each of which further contain more subcategories competitors can enter in.
Amazing National Beard and Moustache Championships 2019 Entries
Every year, photographer Greg Anderson documents the competition and captures the artistic entries of the contestants—from intricate sculpture-like styles to classic looks. Anderson’s portraits of these facial hair masters have almost become part of the event, with each contestant proudly showing off their handiwork. See some of his iconic portraits from the competition below.
Surprisingly, the competitors weren’t all men. “Women compete in craft-beard categories, which allows competitors to create beards out of anything they want,” MJ Johnson, one of the judges and organizers, said. “Seriously, anything. The beards are like artwork and sometimes have a theme. In the past Craft Beards have been made from bottle caps, bacon, working water fountains, Legos, yarn, metal threads . . .”
The championships also featured exhibition categories. Those are “more for fun, or for someone who wanted to get in the mix without having to go against some of the juggernauts during Saturday’s main event,” Johnson said.
The exhibition categories include brewer’s beard (a beard grown by a beer-maker) and veteran’s beard (a beard of a retired or discharged US service member). And for those with fast-growing facial hair, there’s the 5 O’Clock Shadow category, in which contestants shave in the morning and are judged by how much facial hair has grown back by 5:00 p.m. While it may sound funny, the exhibition competition also features the design beard (short, styled beard with designs/graphics carved into it) and business beard (a well-presented beard with the overall groomed presentation from head to toe).
The competition is organized by Beard Team USA. Advocating for facial hair since 2003, Beard Team USA represents facial hair in the United States and at international beard and moustache competitions, all while promoting the positive facial hair awareness and the generous and charitable community nationwide. This year, the competition is supporting three charities: Oscar Mike, a foundation supporting injured veterans; PAWS of Tinley Park, a no-kill animal shelter; and Together We Cope, a homelessness prevention agency.
Interested in finding out which entries won? Here are the National Beard and Moustache Championships results!
Watch the video below