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Scientists believe prehistoric men had beards for a purpose. But why are we so obsessed?


Scientists believe prehistoric men had beards for a purpose. But why are we so obsessed?

WATCH  | Somehow the beard trend has withstood the test of time.  Beards have had many uses throughout history and scientists believe pre-historic men grew beards for warmth, intimidation and protection. Since then, facial hair has evolved to signify status and style. 

Ancient Egypt (Shutterstock)

Ancient Egypt

Egyptian pharaohs wore man-made or false beards that splayed out at the bottom in an attempt to link themselves with Osiris, the god of the afterlife, according to the Telegraph

The Greeks and their beards

In many ancient civilizations, beards were a sign of honor, so they were only cut as a punishment. 

The ancient Greeks grew beards as a way to emulate the gods Zeus and Hercules, who were often depicted with full beards. Many men even used hot tongs to make their beards have seemingly longer curls. 

The Romans, however, weren't as beard-friendly. They typically opted to keep their beards neatly trimmed. 

Alexander the Great

When Alexander the Great rose to power, he nixed the Greek beard trend. The Telegraph reports that he required his soldiers to shave before they went to battle with the Persians. 

The reasoning? Alexander the Great feared his soldiers' beards could be used against them in battle. He summoned a team of barbers before battles so that their opponents couldn't use their beards to pull them off their horses. 

The Vikings

The Vikings are frequently depicted as terrifying men with long, scraggly beards, but archaeologists say that version history is misleading. 

Scandinavian archaeologists say combs and other grooming tools are some of the most prevalent items found at their burial sites. 

Napoleon III (Shutterstock)

Napoleon III

Napoleon III had a mustache, beard combo known as the Imperial. His followers grew their beards in the same style to show their political allegiance to him.

The beard has gone in and out of fashion throughout history, oftentimes separating the men from the boys. 

Beards weren't always popular in America. In fact, Uncle Sam, was clean shaven in depictions dating back to 1852.

During the 19th century, President Abraham Lincoln became the first president to rock a full beard, making them more popular among Americans. 

Ulysses S. Grant's administration, however, was the hairiest in U.S. history, according to The New Yorker.

Now, men dedicate an entire month, which is known as Movember, to growing facial hair. It's meant to raise awareness about men's health. 

Beards have certainly become common among the hipster community but haven't quite reached the corporate world. Beards remain taboo for those in politics, finance and law. But hey, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is rocking the slightly longer than a 5 o'clock shadow look regardless. 

So whether you think the beard is in or out, remember it somehow keeps coming back. 

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