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What Is a Half Beard?

Mark Wollacott
Mark Wollacott

A half beard occurs when literally half a beard has been shaved off and the other half is left on the face. This leads to a curious juxtaposition between one side of the face and the other. A half beard can be taken from any style of beard and must include the mustache if a mustache is present. Such half beard styles include the half-goatee, half-van Dyke, a sideburn and a half-Garibaldi. In short, any beard is beard enough for half a beard, with the possible exception of a soul patch.

A beard is classified as any substation hair growth along the jaw line, which may include growth on the upper lip. A beard can emanate from the jaw to the ears and sideburns or it can stretch down from the ears to the chin. The latter does not have to meet at the chin to be considered a beard. Hair growth solely along the upper lip is called a mustache and is not generally considered a beard.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Many religions and cultural groups consider the beard to be a sign of manliness and a symbol of wisdom. Some would prefer it if men never shaved off their beards while many women would prefer it if their men never grew them. The beard’s place in fashion remains controversial, with late 20th and early 21st century trends moving away from them.

Half beards can be intended for long-term or short-term use. The latter tend to be shaved off within a few days of being created. A long-term half beard can be combined with stubble, a growing beard or a clean-shaven other half.

To produce a half beard, a man needs first to grow a beard and style it how he wishes. The amount of time a beard takes to grow varies from man to man. Stubble grows within a matter of days and a small beard within weeks. Longer beards may take months and years to fully develop.

Once the beard has been grown to a suitable length and styled how the man wishes, then it is time to produce the half beard. This is done simply by shaving either the left or right side of the beard off the face. Shaving can be done with a razor or trimmed with scissors and cut with an electric razor.

Half beards have been created for a number of reasons. In 2009, a British priest, Roger Gayler, shaved off half of his beard to raise money for Christian Aid Week. Others have shaved off their beards as pranks or to make amusing photos on the Internet. Others shave off half their beards as part of a party costume with the rest of the beard getting shaven the next day.

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I will be writing about the half beard at Beard a day so I appreciate the information. -- Mark

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