We have a big competitive bearding competition coming up here in Myrtle Beach SC in May. It’s a big part of the City’s Military Appreciation Days. We’d love for all you military beardists to drop in and show off that facial hair. I’ll be one of the esteemed judges for the competition. Here’s the LINK to register.
In conjunction with the contest I was asked to pen a little booklet on preparing for a beard competition. I thought I’d post it here in the hopes that it would help any of you for other beard comps as well.
Preparing for a Beard Competition
By Dr. David Powers and His Beard, which is known in competitive circles as The Berserker
You can find Dr. Dave and The Berserker at www.drdavidpowers.com.
So you think you’re ready to put your facial hair to the ultimate test and pit it against other face whiskers in competition? Well then, let me be the first to compliment you. You’ve made the right decision. With the decision to compete out of the way, now it’s time to prepare. I’d like to help you with that.
The first step is cultivating a face full of whiskers. If you already have a beard or mustache, then you’re set up pretty well. If you don’t already have a fierce patch of manliness on your face, it’s not too late to start. Just put the razor away, warn your boss and your wife, and embrace the challenge.
Next you need to choose a beard style. Check the specs on the competition you plan on entering and see what style suits you within the categories offered. Bear in mind that what you first assume is the best category might not be the most winnable one for you. The Full Natural Beard category is almost always the most popular one. Because of that, it is also the most crowded. Just think, growing a full beard and then shaving off your mustache would allow you to enter the Donegal or Amish category, which is often not very crowded. Go through the category list carefully. Also, bear in mind, that nearly every competition has unique categories. You might find a new category that works better for you. One competition I entered had a Salty Dog category for men with a little white in their hairs.
Check out the competition’s rules for each category and the proper method for entering. Carefully read the rules of the contest to maximize your chances of winning. Like many other competitions, beard competitions are often taken very seriously, and accidentally breaking a rule can disqualify you. To be more specific, read the rules regarding the kind of beard style you have chosen. Take note of whether you are allowed to use styling gel, how long the beard should be, and what parts of your face can or cannot be shaved. If the rules are too strict for you, look into the Freestyle category where anything goes.
Some competitions also grade on showmanship. This would be your chance to add a bit if flair to how you behave. This can be done through your actions or even a themed outfit. For example, the right kind of beard would go marvelously with a ship’s captain uniform or a Viking outfit. I usually wear my kilt and a partial Viking uniform. Be sure you order or start crafting your outfit to have it ready in time for the competition.
Don’t forget to properly care for your new beard. Depending on the style you choose, the proper care and feeding of your facebeast may differ. If you plan on entering a styled category, start training your facial hair as soon as possible. You can do a great amount of research on the Internet for your chosen style. If you have the opportunity to get in touch with a beard mentor, do it. A proper mentor can coach you on style, competing, and how to integrate your new bearded existence into everyday life.
To prepare for a beard competition, you will also need to learn how to care for a beard. Some people choose to get their beards professionally washed, conditioned, and trimmed. If you do not have the money or do not trust someone else to take care of it, you will have to buy the tools to do it yourself. Beard care tools can be expensive, especially quality tools that make it easier to style the best beard you can. Try stopping by a men’s grooming shop to get advice on what kind of tools are right for your beard style.
Check out the television reality show Whisker Wars. The show is about competitive bearding and the unique personalities involved. It’s funny at its best moments and intensely interesting during the others. It’s really a pretty great show. You might be able to find it on your local cable provider or on the Internet. A number of episodes are also available on Netflix.
Scan the Beard Team USA website and see what competing is all about outside of the show. I would consider their website the first step in online research. Be sure to check their club list and see if a beard club exists near you. You can find them at http://www.beardteamusa.org.
Start following beard clubs and affinity sites through social media. Most competitive beard clubs and innumerable bearding groups have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Make friends and see what the bearded weirdo’s are like in other areas of the world.
Check into other events in and around your chosen competition. Many of the competitions have meet ups, social gatherings, tours, and other activities in the days before or after competitions. It’s a great way to make friends or turn a competition into a vacation.
The rest is up to you. Give your facial hair permission to flourish and set it free!
As an added bonus, I thought I’d post a few beard-centric pics for you…
Yeah! That’s right! It’s Doctor Who with a beard!
Don Miller’s astronaut from Blue Like Jazz was in space for so long he grew a beard inside his helmet…
To be a proper mad scientist you must have either crazy hair or a fierce beard…