There's something surprising going on with our current obsession with beards, according to one historian

It’s no secret that men are obsessed with beards these days. And though that may be ending soon, one thing is surprising: how long the trend has lasted.

According to historian Alun Withey, the beard’s popularity has waxed and waned over the last few centuries, starting when surgical razors first became available in the 1700s.

Men began idolizing the clean shaven faces of Greco-Roman statues. However, beards came back in Victorian times but fell out again since the First World War.

And now they’re back again, and it has Withey scratching his head.

“The most recent rise of beards, which began several years ago, was most likely triggered when George Clooney, among others, arrived at the 2013 Baftas and Oscars with facial hair,” Alun Withey said in an interview with The Telegraph. “We saw a huge rise in beards in the months following those ceremonies.”

But then something interesting happened. The beards … never went away.

“It feels less like a trend this time. In recent decades, facial hair has had its moments, but it has always felt rather fleeting; think about 80s designer stubble, or the goatees of the mid-90s,” Withey told The Telegraph. “These current, full-face beards have embedded themselves a little more.”

“I’m already surprised at how long it’s lasted,” he confessed.

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