Despite this headline being a clever pun on my name, I am sad to report I haven’t suddenly developed a rich and luscious chin of hair. The reality is much more serious. Prepare yourselves, fellow beard lovers.

As reported in this morning’s press, Peak Beard is, according to a survey conducted by the University of New South Wales, the moment at which the beard ‘trend’ has reached saturation, its peak moment, its apex, and is now in danger of going out of vogue. And, shockingly, it’s here. Peak Beard is now.

Original graph from

Original graph from

In what sounds like a not-entirely-scientific study, men and women were shown two rounds of images: either bearded or clean-shaven men or a mixture, followed by another series of clean-shaven or bearded fellows. They then asked them to rank the attractiveness of the bearded men they saw in the second series.

Apparently, results showed that the ranking given to the bearded men greatly depended on whether they had first seen bearded or clean-shaven men. Those who had seen clean-shaven men in the first round ranked the hairy chaps higher than those who had already seen bearded men.

Maybe those crazy Aussies have a point – have we had too much beard? Like the Harlem Shake and Justin Bieber, have we reached the apex of beard fandom? Is it time to bring out the razors again and embrace the sun on our chins?

In short: no. Although the street may be crawling with beards from our chins to our ears and beyond, the razor is staying where it belongs – on the shelf in Boots. Peak Beard is either a myth or a uniquely Australian phenomenon, and they like Vegemite so can’t be trusted. Grow on, my friends. Let the sun warm your beards and turn them a slightly lighter shade of wonderful.

UPDATE: Our good friends at Beard Liberation Front have responded to the study, and they don’t like what they’ve heard. They claim the study makes “heterosexist assumptions” and although the study “may be fun, (it) makes too many improbable assumptions to be taken seriously.

Many men have beards for reasons entirely unrelated to sexual attraction, sometimes even the most basic one of not being bothered to shave.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Keep on beardin’ in the free world.



About Francesca Peak

Lifestyle, arts and culture journalist.
This entry was posted in Beard Science and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to IT’S PEAK BEARD TIME…or is it?

  1. Gonzo says:

    I don’t have a beard for anyone but myself. It is a vital part of my self-identity, and I am not myself without it. My beard was here before someone decided to marginalize it as merely “trendy” or a “fad”. It will continue to be here, no matter what society decides.


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