August 09, 2021

Everything old is new again! If you’re wanting inspiration to take your beard to the next level and launch a new future, look to the past. Some of history’s most amazing bros have sported the most jaw-dropping beards.

Here’s a selection of our personal favorite rugged beards from legendary humans of history. Feast your eyes and be inspired!


Viking beards


Have there ever been any dudes more rugged, more tough, more virile than the take-no-crap Vikings? Hardly surprising when every image of them includes an epic beard.

Not only were the Vikings incredible sailors and warriors, they had a wide variety of power beards to match their levels of awesomeness.

There was the basic Viking beard – as wild and heavy as the seas they crossed. There were braided beards – some were single braid, others had two or three or even more. Some took the braids to the next level by beading them. And of course, any venerable Vikings who put a few years on the clock had the most astonishing long, curly beards like giant waterfalls pouring from their chins.


Leonardo da Vinci - long, wide, flowing beard

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Leonardo was much more than just a Renaissance man with a massive beard. He was one of the world’s most famous geniuses – inventor, statesman, mathematician, engineer, painter, sculptor, writer and architect. His beard was so long and thick, it matched and merged with his hair. Pure awesome sauce! No wonder he’ll be remembered forever.


Chuck Norris – short and trimmed

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Short and trimmed, but the baddest beard backed by the baddest buttkicker. Norris, the legend of martial arts and movies, still sports his famous beard. It’s simple, uncompromising and tough as nails – like him. It’s so rugged, he’s probably trained it to be a third first.


Ernest Hemingway – sexy, sophisticated lumberjack beard

“I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay…” Well, maybe Hemingway was an incredible author instead of a lumberjack, but damn that beard was dope! That gray chin curtain was such a thing of distinction, it looked like it obeyed his every command. If Hemingway had been around when Dos Equis created its “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials, you just know they would have chosen him to star. 


Paul Bunyan – actual lumberjack beard

One look at Bunyan’s classic bushman beast beard and you can practically smell the fresh-cut lumber. Bunyan was the ultimate man’s man with a classic thatch that symbolized everything outdoorsy and rugged. You can see Bunyan’s beard all across America and Canada. The man and his blue ox are immortalized at countless towns, road stops, motels and cabins. 


Confucius – long, pointed beard

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If a beard makes you wiser, then China’s most famous philosopher was truly one of the wisest people to walk the earth. His long, classically Asian facial locks were clearly the result of many years of astonishing thought and greatness.


King Edward III – long, pointed and chestnut red

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Talk about a man ahead of his time… this British monarch from the 1300s sported a beard that looked like a competition beard from the 21st century. Edward kept his long red shanks royally groomed. I admit I know little else about his story, but damn, what a stud!


John “Grizzly” Adams – the outdoorsman


While most people associate Grizzly Adams with the 1970s TV show, this mountain man was totally legit. He tamed grizzly bears, for Pete’s sake! And with that outstanding beard and head of hair reminiscent of a lion’s mane, those grizzlies had no choice but to obey. The man oozed rugged out of every pore. His beard sits in a category of its own.


Reinhold Messner – the mountain man mop

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Don’t be fooled when you see Messner’s picture. That’s not one of the Bee Gees. And don’t let his German name deceive you. This Italian mountain man was the first person to climb Everest alone! Then he became the first to do it without carrying oxygen! (Unless he stashed a cylinder inside that glorious beard and awesome head of hair.) What. A. Legend.  


Ansel Adams – classic Obi-Wan style

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One of the greatest photographers ever. Adams may have spent his career behind a camera instead of in front of it, but when he was photographed, his beard revealed itself as a thing of beauty. Trimmed and tapered like it was controlled by the Force, he looked astonishingly like Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Perhaps Obi-Wan was modeled on Adams. In later life, his head hair departed but the beard stayed and bushed out a little, setting an example for many future bros to follow.


Charles Darwin – fully evolved length 

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If survival of the fittest applies to beards, Darwin’s snow-white foot-long effort is surely immortal. The great biologist and naturalist of the 1800s, and clergyman for that matter, let his facial hair evolve into its full glory. It’s such a work of art that it’s a natural selection for this list of historic beards. Any future beards of such length can thank their ancestor.


King George V – shorter Hungarian style

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Another British monarch, another studly display. This early 1900s king had the Hungarian style of beard and handlebar mustache, tightly trimmed yet still thick as thatch. Just look at it! People had to kneel before a king and with this beard we can understand why.


Johannes Brahms – the full imperial style 

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One of the great composers of the 1800s, he just as easily could be remembered for his luscious full-length beard with killer imperial handlebar mustache.


Karl Marx – supreme fullness 

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The father of modern socialism might be controversial in some circles, but his massive full beard is not. The struggle between the urban proletariat and the bourgeoisie did not affect his ability to grow unbelievable facial hair and keep it looking magnificent. The natural curls in its length are to die for.


Alfred von Tirpitz – fabulously forked 

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Never heard of him? Tirpitz was a Grand Admiral in the German Navy and had a massive battleship named after him. After seeing that phenomenal forked beard, it’s easy to see why. A man to respect!


Rasputin – wild, long and spellbinding

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They say the “Mad Monk” exerted his influence over the last Russian Tsar through his spellbinding eyes, but we think the beard had a lot to do with it. If you’re gonna be a mystic, or you just want to be the boss, you’ll never do it without a beard like that.


Peter Cooper – the wildest chin curtain

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Never heard of Cooper? Well, he was a candidate for President and he designed and built America’s first steam locomotive, Tom Thumb. But his massive mustache-less beard is enough to go down in history. We can only stand and applaud such a commitment to individuality and ruggedness.


BONUS – Santa Claus – jolly and jovial 


Yep, we’re not kidding! Santa’s beard is iconic and inspirational. It has become synonymous with joy and being jolly, especially at Christmas. 

Dude, now that you’re feeling inspired by history’s best beards, remember that none of them just happened. Every beard, then and now, requires patience, commitment and proper care and grooming. So, as you model yours after one of these great figures of history, nurture that rugged bad boy so it will always look its best for the years ahead.

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