Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Influential Beards Throughout History

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beard Team USA National Beard and Moustache Championships

To all members, fans, and friends of Beard Team USA:

The first ever Beard Team USA National Beard and Moustache Championships will take place on Saturday, May 36, 2010, in Bend, Oregon [I got the state right :0) -ed].

Bend was selected from over 25 communities, resorts, and hotels -- ranging from Las Vegas to Peoria -- submitting bids to host the championships. Bend has pledged full community support for this extraordinary event.

Located on the Deschutes River in Central Oregon, Bend offers fly-fishing, rafting, golf, canoeing, mountain biking, hiking, and possibly even late season skiing and snowboarding at nearby Mount Bachelor. Did I mention beer? Bend is the home of seven microbreweries including the famous Deschutes Brewery practically next door to the Les Schwab Amphitheater where the competiton will take place.

There will be competition in four separate categories designed to include everyone. The winner in each category will walk away with a cool $1000. So that everyone gets a shot at the cash, the fifth $1000 prize will go to a contestant selected at random.

Here are the categories:

1. Best moustache. Beards are allowed in this category but the contestants will be judged on their moustaches only;
2. Best partial beard. Includes goatees, van dykes, sideburns, musketeers, etc.;
3. Best full beard. Styling aids are permitted;
4. Freestyle. Anything goes. Anything. Be creative.

The date?? It's May 36. Purists will insist that it is actually June 5, but since I have been promising for months that the Nats will be in May, I am sticking with May 36 for now.

The championships will take place in conjunction with the 8th Annual Balloons over Bend hot air balloon festival.

Stay tuned for information on registration, lodging options, transportation from the airport in Portland, and everything else you will need to know.

For now all members of Beard Team USA are asked to:

1. Make plans to be in Bend on May 36;
2. Tell everyone they know about the BTUSA Nationals;
3. Keep growing their beards and moustaches for America.

Phil Olsen
Founder and self-appointed captain
Beard Team USA

Friday, November 27, 2009

Beard Team USA News

Here's the Thanksgiving message from BTUSA's Founder and self-appointed Captain, Phil Olsen:

Hi Everyone,

Here is the latest from Beard Team USA.

Beard Team USA Nationals:

I am still waiting for confirmation of a few important details before I can announce the firm date and location of the first ever Beard Team USA Nationals. I should have confirmation in the next few days.

Meanwhile here is a hint. BEer. The community that has been selected has one brewery for every 11,500 residents. This may be the highest brewery-to-resident ratio in the known universe. I am hoping to hold the Official Beard Team USA Somewhat Annual General Meeting as a progressive meeting, starting at one brewery and then progressing through each brewery in town. Stay tuned.[Spoiler alert: the city with the most breweries is Portland, OR - editor]

Wanna be in the movies?

This summer Epic New Era Productions will be filming a film about beards. Epic needs beards to be in the pic. For more info, contact the Producer -- Joshua Trujillo,, 218-839-9242.

BTUSA nationwide discount at Red Roof Inns:

All members of Beard Team USA are entitled to a 15% discount at any Red Roof Inn in the country! Just click here to book:

Thanks to John Murray, National Account Executive for this generous offer!

Coming events:

Organizational meeting of the New England Chapter of Beard Team USA.
December 10, 2009, 8:00 p.m., Flat Top Johnny's, 1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge, Massachusetts. Everyone is invited. Just show up. For further info, please contact Matt Quierey ( or Kevin Smith (

St. Croix Chapter Beard and Moustache Contest, Christiansted, Virgin Islands.
January 16, 2010 -- See

Southeast Regionals, Charleston, South Carolina.
Valentine's Weekend, 2010, hosted by the Holy City Beard and Moustache Society.

All-American City Beard and Moustache Contest, Somerville, Massachusetts.
February 13, 2010. For more info, contact Todd Easton (

Third Annual Misprint Beard Contest, Austin, Texas.
February 20, 2010 -- Hosted by the Austin Facial Hair Club. Special three-month and six-month sprint categories.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Phil Olsen
Founder and self-appointed Captain
Beard Team USA

Friday, October 16, 2009

Beard Interview: Michael from Beard Revue

Most of the content of my beard blog comes from other beard blogs and Beard Team USA news, save for my beard progress photos. I'd like to welcome the newest member of the beard blog community, The Beard Coach. The Beard Coach recently interviewed the founder of my favorite beard blog, Beard Revue. I actually discovered The Beard Coach through Beard Revue. I like Beard Revue's perspective on all things beard. The interview is reposted below.

Beard Interview: Michael from Beard Revue: "

The next installment in my series of interviews with other Internet-using beard-loving people is with Michael from the popular site Beard Revue. His site is just bristling with beard goodness. First Thursday Beard Art is a highlight as well as some quite indisputable beard ratings.

The Beard Coach: What was your inspiration for diving into the world of beard blogging?

Michael: Beard Revue is the result of a convergence of three main interests: my unflagging admiration for beards, snobby indie hipster music and social media. My unflagging admiration for beards is self-explanatory.

The hipster music bit comes from my love of the assumed authority with which Pitchfork approaches its reporting and album reviews. Pitchfork is often divisive—a lot of folks hate their reviews. But I think they’re witty, and often way to serious about themselves for me not to laugh. (They recently rated every Beatle album on their arbitrary 0.0–10.0 scale. Was that necessary? No. Was it informative, amusing and incredibly pretentious? Yes.) And my interests in social media stems from my friend Joshua’s challenge to maintain a blog longer than three months. I did, and now it’s popular.

TBC: From what I can tell, Beard Revue is a pretty darn popular beard site. What kind of traffic are you getting?

Michael: Find out for yourself at (Editor’s note: Beard Revue has an Alexa rank of 735,874 as of today.)

TBC: Has Beard Revue panned out the way you had planned it? Or has the road taken some unforeseen twists?

Michael: No. It’s become more popular than I initially thought and the format has changed as my interests and goals have changed. In fact, I’ve recently partnered with a crack team of developers to see how Beard Revue can accommodate more user generated content. I can’t really say more than that, though.

TBC: Your beard poster is fantastic! Any other handcrafted beard art lying around the house?

Michael: Thanks! Probably the most rewarding thing from Beard Revue is the community of artists to whom I’ve been exposed. I love all the little things that beards and moustaches inspire (thus, First Thursday Beard Art). I love that tattoo trend—the one where you get a ’stache tat on the side of your index finger and hold it up over your lip. Sometimes it’s just some one with a Sharpie and not a tattoo. It’s benign and it makes me smile every time I see a photo of one.

And so then there’s everything else. I’m a print designer by trade. So I have beard posters, prints and even Jack Passion’s first book in my collection of all things beardy. And the library affords me the opportunity to bone up on some beardage from time to time. Who knew there was so much beardstuff out there?

TBC: What is your take on the state of the beard today?

Michael: Save for the Victorian era, same as it’s always been. The beard is for the fringes of society. The artists, intellectuals, vagrants and anyone who’s willing to wear the badge of being different. Recession and playoff beards are fleeting moments of solidarity, but don’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things.

TBC: Name your 3 favorite bearded people.

Michael: Abbey Road and All Things Must Pass era George Harrison takes the cake. I just saw Kyp Malone last week, so I’ll say him. And my father, of course.

TBC: Name the top 3 people you wish had a beard.

Michael: James Beard (that guy totally wasted his name). I’d love to see Barack Obama don a beard like Malone’s. And anyone I’ve ever met who said they would grow a beard but just weren’t capable of growing one.

TBC: Why do you think people enjoy beards?

Michael: They serve such a wide range of functions for the wearer and the viewer, it’d be difficult to pinpoint one thing. That little bit of rugged panache can go a long way. I like that they’re natural. Since they’re both manifestations of our mature states, this might be an apt analogy:

Beard : Naked Face :: Natural Breasts : Implants

TBC: Please briefly tell your favorite beard-related story.

Michael: People do some funny things for facial hair. I had a wicked awesome handlebar moustache for Moustache May which garnered a lot of attention. Some one photographed me for their scavenger hunt, a gentleman almost got hit by a car crossing the street just to say “hi, nice moustache” and BT Livermore gave me a complementary tin of Man’s Face Stuff moustache wax. My favorite compliment was when a sweet young lass called me a walking sex toy.

TBC: Much of my site is devoted to beard-growing motivation. What is your best advice for guys who are currently growing a beard?

Michael: Have fun with it.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Jack Passion redux: The Facial Hair Handbook

Below is Beard Revue's review of the Facial Hair Handbook by Jack Passion. This is the book I left on a jumbo jet airliner to Albany, NY in early September. I hope Santa brings me another.

Jack Passion redux: The Facial Hair Handbook: "
Jack Passion is no stranger to Beard Revue. In fact, he lies somewhere between mascot and honorable diplomat of the world beard community, which is why it’s only too appropriate that he would one day serve as a docent into all things beardy.

The Facial Hair Handbook: Every Man’s Guide to Growing & Grooming Great Facial Hair, Passion’s first book, was released earlier this year.

The book is not about the history of facial hair nor its place in culture. Instead, Passion focuses on the context in which and how to wear facial hair. Simply stated in the introduction, “this book is for the man who is ready to look like one.”

The Facial Hair Handbook includes musings on the stumbling blocks of the metrosexual movement, instructions on how to get through the early stages of a baby beard and tips on which shampoos and conditioners to use. “In the throes of Passion, your hard work will pay off,” Passion advises.

Humorous gems are generously sprinkled throughout, like “sex is the rain dance of facial hair” and “every one of my beard hairs is an antenn to the bearded world.” A few Franklinesque aphorisms like “healthy man, healthy beard” and “if you’re going to wear it long, wear it strong” are also offered up from time to time, lending to the book’s incredibly endearing quality.

The Facial Hair Handbook is a perfect companion for both expert and novice pogonolgists. Whether you read it on a sunny afternoon in Walnut Creek or on a brisk day in Berlin, it is sure to make you smile. This book makes for a great, affordable gift for your favorite beardy.

So pick up a copy of The Facial Hair Handbook and then write to Jack Passion and tell him his book changed your life.

Take THAT Jack Passion! from sarah sporik

If you enjoy Beard Revue, please visit the site, post your comments and tell your friends. Thanks!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sesame Street does ‘Moustache’ with Jonah Hill

Sesame Street does ‘Moustache’ with Jonah Hill:

Elmo and Jonah Hill team up to briefly explain the wonders of the awesomely sweet moustache. Oh my gosh!

Sesame Street does ‘Beard’ with Edward Lear

Sesame Street does ‘Beard’ with Edward Lear:

Here, we have an old-school Sesame Street animation for b-for-beard featuring a limerick by Edward Lear.

There Was an Old Man with a Beard

There was an old man with a beard,
who said, ‘Alas, it is just as I feared! —
Four larks and a wren, two owls and a hen,
Have all built their nests in my beard!

—Edward Lear

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fletch and Furry Daddy

64/365: Fletch and Daddy
Originally uploaded by chronic-shock

I thought this would be a great beard progress pic. It's just me and my son chillin' on the couch. Check out how huge my face fur is. Damn! Seeing my beard in a different medium rather than the regular looks in the mirror really puts it in perspective. I might have competition worthy facial hair. A couple months back I bought The Facial Hair Handbook by fellow BTUSA member and world champion Jack Passion in preparation for my next beard competition. I didn't get very far into reading it before leaving it in the seat pocket on a plane during a flight to Albany, NY a few weeks back. I've asked Santa for another copy.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


If you know me, you know I grew up a Mormon (a.k.a. LDS). Why am I bringing this up on my beard blog? Well, because I found an interesting post on Beard Revue-you can't have a beard at BYU! Under the Dress and Grooming Standards section, the Bringham Young University honor code clearly states: “Men are expected to be clean shaven; beards are not acceptable.” That's totally bogus. Beard Revue suspects this code is in reaction to rise of the counter culture movement in the US and the rise of popularity of long hair and beards in the 1960s.

Still, if you’re a Cougar, there is the option of a beard waiver. You must “visit a BYU Student Health Center doctor by appointment. The doctor will fax his recommendation. The student then needs to come to the Honor Code Office to fill out some paperwork and receive the letter allowing the growth of the beard, if approved. If a yearly beard waiver is granted, a new Student ID will be issued after the beard has been fully grown, and must be renewed every year by repeating the process.”

Ironically, many of the early LDS leaders had beards. Even the man the school is named after was adored with facial folicles. See the links below for pics of the hirsuted Mormon brethren.

Brigham Young:
John Taylor:
Lorenzo Snow:

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A future Shock beardsman

First bath at home
Originally uploaded by chronic-shock
It's been awhile since I've posted. But I have a very good reason-my son Fletch was born on June 28! Fletcher "Fletch" Owen was 7lbs 15oz and 21" long. I hope he becomes a competitive beard grower just like his dad. I just hope he didn't inherit the weakass Shock moustache. The pic is Fletch's first bath at home. I've been growing the fur on my face since mid-March. More pics of Fletch. Follow Fletch's saga.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

BTUSA...On A Boat!

This is a video of 85 members of BTUSA on their cruise to Alaska to the WBMC.

Video is rated R for language and excessive facial hair.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

More Grooming

Back in April, I did some blog "grooming". Now it's time for a whole new look. It's a beard friendly redesign. The new layout really helps to accentuate the theme of this blog. You can find a blog layout for almost any theme. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Beard Team USA News

Here's the latest from BTUSA's founder and self-appointed captain, Phil Olsen:

Report from Anchorage:

Wow! America is the new world superpower in international bearding, thanks to Beard Team USA! For the first time in history, Germany failed to dominate the World Beard Beard and Moustache Championships held in Anchorage on May 23. BTUSA members succeeded in capturing 19 trophies including 10 world championships.

What a great time we had in Anchorage! If you were there, thanks for coming and participating. If you weren't there, we missed you. If you won a trophy, congratulations. If you didn't win a trohpy, I am sure you will agree that you won just by being there.

As you can imagine, our membership numbers have soared in the wake of the WBMC in Anchorage. America's team now has over 1200 proud members growing beards for America.

Splitting Hairs:

Splitting Hairs, the documentary film about the world championships in Berlin in 2005, has been accepted for showing at the prestigious Silverdocs film festival in Silver Spring, Maryland (Just outside Washington, D.C.) on June 18. After the screening, I will be presiding over a fun beard contest (three categories -- moustache, partial, and full) for the entertainment of those at the screening. Any members who can make it should plan on being there. Email me if you are considering coming. Check out [I'm gonna try and attend the screening; it depends on Shock Jr.'s status -Shock]

Beard Team USA Nationals:

Plans are under way for the Beard Team USA Nationals next May. Possible locations include Las Vegas, Austin, San Francisco, and New York. Plan on being there! [I do plan to attend! -Shock]

I still have not heard from the WBMA about our proposal to allow the participants in the WBMC to vote on association matters. I will keep you posted.

Phil Olsen
Founder and self-appointed captain
Beard Team USA

Beard & Moustache Poetry

Some dudes were shooting video outside the NYCBMC event. The volunteer participants read poetry related to beards and mustaches. I was one of them. My reading didn't make the final cut of the three minute video, Behold This Swarthy Face. It only took three months for them to finish the project, which is a blistering pace of one minute per month. But it is in HD.

Behold This Swarthy Face from Room5Films on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Final Results - 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships, Anchorage, Alaska I should have been there. WBMC 2011 here I come! Other coverage:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

National Beard Registry

My beard has been officially registered on the National Beard Registry. The National Beard Registry has been established to encourage men in all walks of life, from every continent, to resist conformity, corporate culture, and androgyny by embracing the beautiful, unique and utterly personal habit of growing a full beard. If pictures weren't enough, now my beard is official. #7043.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Clockwork Orange

Mr Orange
Originally uploaded by chronic-shock
Coordinating my shades with my shirt. That's how I roll. Check out the "new" beard. Goes with the outfit.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


The blog was getting a little scruffy. It was grooming time. I've removed some gadgets, rearranged some gadgets and renamed some gadgets. Refreshing!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Time/CNN Cover the NYCBMC

Time/CNN sent a reporter to the NYCBMC. Check out the clip. I have a small, but significant, speaking part in the video.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beardzzz Breakdown of the NYCBMC

Thanks Beardzzz for a great party!


Can you spot The General?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

WBMC 2011 in Legoland!

The 2011 World Beard and Moustache Championships are being held in Copenhagen, Denmark. The date is to be determined. Denmark is home to The Lego Group, the company that makes the popular plastic interlocking toy bricks, and Legoland Denmark. Lego is also my favorite hobby. So combining my love of bearding, Lego bricks and traveling around Europe is a dream come true.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Iron Sheik @ the NYCBMC

Originally uploaded by chronic-shock
I just got back from the New York City Beard and Moustache Championships. I had a blast. It was a killer party. I've never gotten so much attention or had my picture taken so much in my whole life. There were at least three documentary teams filming everything. I was interviewed and even read a beard poem for one of them. It being NYC, there were tons of press-NBC and NY Times to name a few. That's me in the pic, #33. I stepped it up this time and went all out-I wore my authentic Middle Eastern outfit. The people in the crowd referred to me as "The Iron Sheik", an homage to the popular '80s WWF wrestler. I lost to the dude standing beside me in the picture, #32.

Phil Olsen, founder and self-appointed captain of BTUSA, was in attendance and was one of the judges. He sent an email to all the BTUSA members:
BTUSA member Beardzzz Saccoman and his very capable assistants (Cindy, Justin, and Sue) raised the bar last night for facial hair competitions in the USA as hundreds of screaming beardsmen and their fans sardined into the Public Assembly building in Brooklyn for hours of raccous [sic] fun and facial-hair camaraderie at the New York City Beard and Moustache Championships.

The big winner was BTUSA's Burke Kenny who walked away $500 less poor after the audience chose him as the people's favorite. Burke also took home first prize for full beard freestyle. Other winners were were Nate Stahura for the best recession beard, Kevin Byrne for the best patchy beard, and Ben Davidson in the moustache category, Leon Lutz in sideburns, Steve Cline in goatee, and Jack Passion in full beard natural. I am sorry, I do not have the name of the winner in the ladies' artificial category.

There were representatives of at least nine local chapters of BTUSA in attendance, including Branded by Beards (Connecticut), Life Behind Beards (New Jersey), the Albany Beard and Moustache Federation (New York), the Gotham City Beardsman Alliance (New York City), the Rochester Beardsmen Society (New York), the Lancaster County Bart und Schnauzer Friendship Society (Pennsylvania), the Western Pennsylvania Beard Alliance (duh), the Holy City Beard and Moustache Society (South Carolina), and the Alexandria Chapter of BTUSA (Virginia).

Be sure to watch, record or TIVO Live with Regis and Kelly tomorrow, March 16, for more on the competition [there was also coverage on The Today Show -Shock]. You just might see some people you know.

Once again -- thanks, Beardzzz, for a job well done!
I couldn't have described it better myself. Here are the few pics I took. I'll post more pics and video of the contest when they become available. Let me know if any of you come across any coverage of the NYCBMC. You can post the links in the comment section. Let it grow!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Alexandria, VA Beard & Moustache Contest

I participated in my first beard contest on Friday, the Alexandria, VA Beard and Moustache Contest. It was a local contest hosted by the local beard team lead by "The General". It's one of many "warm-up" events for the world contest. It was a small contest. There were only about a dozen contestants, including a couple kids in the "artificial" category. I entered the partial beard category, which had a total of three contestants. I ended up third of three. Hooray for me! That's me holding my third place certificate and trophy in the pic. The judges were two random women picked by The General. They had never judged a beard contest before. I was robbed. I should have been second. I clearly had a better beard than the rasta dude who came in second. Wyatt Earp came in first. He had the best goatee with styled moustache I've ever seen. It was no contest. Here are pics of the event: Jennifer's pics and a set by another photographer.

On Saturday the local beard team marched in the Alexandria St. Patrick's Day parade. We were the novelty act. It was the first parade I've been in. Jennifer held the banner. Picks of us are on page 20, pics 350 and 351.

This Saturday me and The General are heading up to NYC for the NYC Beard & Moustache Championships. The NYCBMC is going to be a major event. Beardzzz, the host, was a participant in the Alexandria, VA contest. He drove down from CT.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Beards...They Grow On You"

The title of this post is my new motto. Lots of "beards are back" in the news of late. MSNBC looks at the current full-grown trend (pun intended) in this article. My favorite quote in the article epitomizes why I'm a 'beardsman'-

“For some it’s a trend, but for others it’s a way of life and simply self-expression,” [Paul Roof, assistant professor of sociology at Charleston Southern University in South Carolina] says. “At the heart of the revival, I think, is the ‘reclaiming of masculinity.’ Beards are a direct backlash against metrosexuality and the feminization of modern man. But beards are also the only accessory route that men have — the only way men can change their looks.”
Be sure to check out the video featuring MSNBC's Willie Geist with Beard Team USA member Matt Saccoman who is organizing the New York City Beard and Moustache Championships in Brooklyn on March 14. I've also submitted this post pic to the MSNBC "Return of a Hairy Trend" First Person gallery. I'll keep you posted when it gets posted.

Fellow hirsute pogonologist and blogger furface posted a comment to this very blog regarding the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships. Furface is member of the Alaska Beard and Moustache Club and host of this years competition. He's also created a blog where he encourages beardsmen and wannabeardees to "lay some smack about the event".

I've added a whole host of new beard links in the links section.

Check out the cool WBMC logo:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Progress Report 1/22/09

I decided to change it up this time and went with the beard ponytail to showcase the length. The moustache was becoming unruly, getting in the way of all mouth activities, so I got it trimmed at my last haircut. Other than the moustache the rest of the goatee is untouched. Seven months and counting. As a warmup for the World Beard and Moustache Championships, I'll be participating in a local beard contest in March at the waterfront in Alexandria, VA. The contest is part of the Old Towne St Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday 7 March 2009.

Speaking of the World Championship, something big has come up and I won't be able to participate. Mrs. Shock is pregnant! My baby's mommy is due July 5. Momma Shock can't travel in late May, and I'm not going without her. I'll compete in the next World Beard and Moustache Championship in 2011. The beard world can wait for me to conquer it later. For now, I'm taking one for the home team.

P.S. I'm not shaving anytime soon so I'll keep updating this blog with my beard growth progress and the results of the local beard contest.

P.P.S. If you are one of the awesome contributors to my beard quest, I'll be in touch with each of you separately to discuss a refund.