Beards hit the headlines record number of times

It’s fair to say beards are having a bit of a moment.

Hair blossoms on every other face you pass in the street, actors and models are getting more rugged by the day and moustaches are splattered on every conceivable piece of homeware in everywhere from Urban Outfitters to Matalan.

But now it looks like the world-wide pogonophilia has hit an all-time high.

Last month, beards hit the major global headlines a staggering 80 times – 4 times more than the average month in 2010. This is the most coverage beards have ever had in the history of the mass media.

We used google trends to calculate the number of times ‘beard’ was featured in the headlines of major news stories. Check out that year on year growth.

Date No of headlines
Jan-10 22
Mar-10 19
May-10 20
Jul-10 19
Sep-10 20
Nov-10 26
Jan-11 23
Mar-11 21
May-11 23
Jul-11 21
Sep-11 24
Nov-11 33
Jan-12 26
Mar-12 25
May-12 26
Jul-12 25
Sep-12 29
Nov-12 44
Jan-13 38
Mar-13 50
May-13 51
Jul-13 40
Sep-13 53
Nov-13 80

So why has the number quadrupled in the past year? Simple: it’s been a busy year for beards, and people just can’t stop talking about them.

Here is a round-up of 2013 in the headlines:

Researchers discovered that 10 days of beard growth is the magical key to attracting women.

The world fell in love with Mr Incredibeard.

Ryan Gosling grew one for Only God Forgives.


Then James Franco grew one.

And so did George Clooney.

Beards were blamed for an all-time low in razor sales.


Crazed Amish men were caught after a series of beard-cutting attacks, in what makes for perhaps the more bizarre headline in history.

The Wolverine was released and Hugh Jackman was back.

Buzzfeed seemed to make it their unwritten policy that every other post must include celebs with beards.

The Red Sox became poster boys for the beard.


Then Jake Gyllenhaal came back with the facial furniture.

Movember hits the headlines with a vengeance.

Everyone went mad for Paxman’s facial hair.


The Today Show anchors promised to shave their beards on live TV.

Germany hosted the World Beard and Moustache Championships.

Science finally proved that beards make you healthier as well as sexier. (We knew this all along.)


Oh, and might we add, the start of your very own Bearded London.

But what else can we take from this data? A look at the year-on-year data for November shows some positive results.

November is consistently a busy month for beards in the headlines due to Movember. But the growing popularity of the fundraising effort can be seen in the year on year growth of the ‘beard’ search term. In Movember 2010, the number of headlines was 26, in 2011, 33, rising to 44 in 2012 and 80 in 2013. We’re happy to see how this excellent charity event is excelling. Next stop – kicking cancer to the curb!

For a more detailed look at beard data check out the google doc:

Photo credits: NY Daily News, ABC News, Splash, The Telegraph, Rebecca Coolidge


About hewens

Journalist and writer, 22.
This entry was posted in Beard Science, Beards About Town, Features and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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