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Is longish hair and some form of beard a prerequisite for enjoying history?
Nonsense! I'm as clean as a Norman...
39%
 39%  [ 36 ]
Of course! I'm Viking at heart...
49%
 49%  [ 45 ]
Well it seems most history students try too...
10%
 10%  [ 10 ]
Total Votes : 91

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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 8:12 pm    Post subject: Facial hair, yay or nay?         Reply with quote

I've seen many a manly folical displayed in the art throughut the age's and culture of the globe, but my question is this;
Why did you choose a beard that Harold Bloodaxe would be proud of, a mo' that Vercingetorix would be astounded by or a berzerk bedazzled? Is it part and parcel of you as a person, or merely some facial fluff, or perhaps part of you re-enctor persona? Who inspired your face fuzz, Charlemagne or perhaps Octavius? Is there a story behind it?
And remember, a picture is worth a thousand words (hint, hint)!

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had a beard since around 1974 and only shaved it off about 3 times and grew it back right away: Seeing one's chin disappear or at least seem to when one has had a beard for years and one's face just looks strange without the beard.

The beard does work for a lot of periods and depending on how long or trimmed it is it can go from Barbarian to Renaissance Prince.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Makes me look older. People take me more seriously then.

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
Joined: 04 Feb 2006

Posts: 207

PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 9:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did the facial hair thing for a while in undergrad. Got tired of it.
But the hair on my head ranges from "short" to "Frodo Baggins"
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, here in the land of freaky animals, it seems that re-enactors are compelled to have at least 3 of the following
1) long ( talking Jimmy Page here) hair
2) Beard
3) No front teeth
4) Distinct beer (ale, whatever) gut
5) 6'2 height
6) Be called Steven (or Stephan)

I don't know why this is, but it seems to hold.
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 10:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's hard to say because facial hair is in style right now, but it does seem a lot of history buffs like goatees in particular. At least, here in Washington state.
There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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B. Stark
Industry Professional



Location: ORYGUN
Joined: 25 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 10:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Goatees are professionally exceptable these days...anyhow it seems most eras run the gammut of facial hair depending on the culture era and social class being portrayed. Elizabethan era...goatees or the 'van dyke' are almost ubiquitous for the upwardly mobile types. Early 1500's beards and handle'bar 'staches as well as goatees occur frequently in art. Amongst the Roman legions...facial hair was proscribed until the later Empire seemingly.

Still, there seems to have been ALOT of clean shaven men. This is striking to me as razors were extremely sharp edged devices with no safety measure other than the hand using it...call me a chicken but I would have a well trimmed beard.

"Wyrd bi∂ ful aræd"

Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?

Patrick Henry
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
Joined: 02 Sep 2008

Posts: 239

PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 11:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a beard for two reasons:

- My father had it when I was young, and at the time it was rare in my city.

- Without it I seem to be three or four years old.

I think that a well shaved face could be a status symbol in the medieval age: only a person with lot of time, or some menial under him, can be shaved every day. If you have to go up at six everyday, and like me you have to shave everyday to maintain a clean face, you give up very early...
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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Location: Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 1:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No facial hair here, though I've had a moustache for around 18 years. It took some getting used to when it was gone, but I'm really happy without it. It was just constantly in the way, gave a mess while eating and I do look better without it. Aside from that, it's much more accurate for the periods I portray (bronze age, early iron age), where it seems it was common practice that men were clean shaven. Only the hair on my head is still too much for pretty much any period. Bronze age the hair was generally shoulder length at most, and in the early iron age people were completely bald. Not quite the picture most people have of prehistoric people Happy
Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
- Barbarian metalworking
- Museum photos
- Zip-file with information about saxes
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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

Posts: 710

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

it'a an interesting questions,
i'm not a reenactor but mainly a WMA student,
but having a "correct" look for the historical period of fencing i study, add a certain flavour.
since my main area has been, till now, the late reinassance i'm full bearded and with the cropped hair style
that you can see in many mid-late XVIth century portraits ( add the fact that i'm italian and i look like a Moroni painting
Big Grin )

gabriele
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Mat Billings




Location: Kelowna, BC
Joined: 05 Jan 2005

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 1:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mine comes and goes. It goes away when I get motivated, usually once every 3 or 4 weeks. Laughing Out Loud

Haircut? Buzz cut every few months. It takes 5 minutes and BAM! Done. I should get that done tomorrow...starting to feel like a sheepdog again.

I had hair to my shoulders 5 years ago (my welding logbook picture is awesome! It looks like a mafia mugshot. Cool) Long hair is a pain.
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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 5:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm keeping my beard. For 75% of the year around here it just feels too cold to go without.
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Joshua Connolly




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Sep 2006

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 6:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan P wrote:
I'm keeping my beard. For 75% of the year around here it just feels too cold to go without.


Well said! That's exactly the reason I keep mine around here!
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Eric Bergman




Location: Illinois
Joined: 04 Nov 2004

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd like to go for the Victorian era with the huge mutton chops. That would be too cool.
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think I fail your requirements Razz

1) long ( talking Jimmy Page here) hair -- mine goes past the shoulders.
2) Beard -- At the moment, just stubble.
3) No front teeth -- I've got all 36 teeth Razz
4) Distinct beer (ale, whatever) gut -- Food gut D:
5) 6'2 height -- 5'3" :|
6) Be called Steven (or Stephan) -- M.

Yer, I fail Wink

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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Craig Shira




Location: California
Joined: 02 Feb 2007

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 11:34 am    Post subject: Facial Hair         Reply with quote

.

I have noticed that facial hair comes in and out of style throughout the ages. From my personal surveys, a lot of faces in the 1400s are clean shaven, beards become popular in the 1500s and 1600s, clean shaven comes back in the 1700s, beards come back big time in the 1800s, and fall out of favor in the 1900s.

Doing Landsknecht reenactment during their golden age, I have taken attention to the styles of the 1530s and found that, although beards were popular, being clean shaven was common. If you break things down to clean shaven versus non-clean shaven, non-clean shaven wins. However, if you break things down to individual styles, clean-shaven is about as common as a guy with a mustache, which is as common as a guy with a full beard, which is as common as a guy with the beard without sideburns. In fact, with the exception of three or four images of guys with massive mutton chops, sideburns were not as commonly seen in the 1530s.

http://www.st-max.org/ae-hair.htm

Personally, I've done a lot of styles while doing reenactment: clean shaven, mustache and mutton chops, beard without sideburns, and trimmed beard. Right now I'm rocking the clean-shaven look.

As with everything, the source material (woodcuts, paintings, tapestries) are the inspiration for the look.

(Craig)

.
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Hunter B.




Location: Away from Home
Joined: 26 Aug 2008

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll man up and admit it:

One, I hate shaving. And two, my girlfriend likes it.

I keep it neat and close cropped.

“It is the loose ends with which men hang themselves.”
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Michael Ahrens




Location: Staten Island & Andes NY
Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I stopped shaving on FEB.18,1983. happens to be the day that i was released from active duty. in that time i have shaved 1 time in 1985. My wife and children have never seem me without a beard. so i say facial hair now, facial hair tomorrow, and facial hair forever.
Mike Ahrens
http://www.selohaar.org/

Staten Island German Martial Arts (S.I.G.M.A.)
http://www.sigmanewyork.webs.com/

Member of the 1st Universal Church of St. John Cantius Garand, Reformed (Gas Port)
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David E. Farrell




Location: Evanston, IL
Joined: 25 Jun 2007

Posts: 156

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At one point in college, I got lazy and stopped shaving. My girlfriend at the time (now wife) 'helped' me trim it ... i ended up with a goatee. For some reason, they always seemed cool to me even though I had previously been clean shaven, so I went with it (much to the joy of my wife). About 9 years later, I am still doing it - though I did shave it off for a summer a couple years back.

Compared to being clean shaven, I think that it is actually *more* work to keep a goatee looking nice since you still have to shave around it and then trim it lest it get ragged.


Now - I could work on one of those crazy forked beards like shown in Fiore Dei Liberi's fighting manuscripts, but that's too much work :P

AKA: 'Sparky' (so I don't need to explain later Wink )

For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother
-- King Henry, Henry V, William Shakespeare

Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused... but on a higher level.
-- Enrico Fermi
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Paul Kenworthy




Location: Saugus, MA
Joined: 18 Feb 2008

Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I try to grow my hair in a fashion appropriate for the period I'm re-enacting. Hair cuts and facial hair are as distinctive for a time and place as any other aspect of fashion. Unfortunately, many re-enactors think that "long" and "unshaven" works for any historical period. Sort of like thinking a Granny dress is actually a Victorian fashion. I do a lot of American Civil War re-enacting and there is actually a cliche among ACW re-enactors, "PBG," which stands for Pudgy Beared Guy, 'cause they are so prevalent.

One generalization that I think is valid in a lot of times and places, especially among soldiers, is that more hair is indicative of higher social station. Dragging a razor across your face and head is a pain, but it is less of a pain than lice, fleas, and ticks. The less dirt you have to wallow in, the more likely you are to favor fashion over function.

At the moment I'm able to share an Imperial (so named after Napoleon III) for American Civil War with a van Dyke for early 17th-century English colonial. The problem I have is with late 15th-century Burgundian, for which it is totally inappropriate.

Best Regards,

Paul



 Attachment: 59.75 KB
OBV Leadership Class.jpg
I'm on the left in this picture as a Federal field officer.

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ssshots134.jpg
Here I'm a Confederate company grade staff officer.

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Outside.jpg
Here I'm on the left doing Massachusetts Bay Colony c. 1637

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WaterCooler2.jpg
Here I'm using my bevor to hide my period-inappropriate van Dyke.


Last edited by Paul Kenworthy on Thu 12 Feb, 2009 2:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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