In 2011 Eric Bandholz was just another guy trying to make his way in the corporate world. But his passion was his facial hair. Having faced many a sidelong glance and cutting remark about his facial follicles, he knew that he was faced with a decision – his beard or his job.
He naturally chose his beard, opting to pursue an “urban beardsman lifestyle,” in his own words, and today, in a world of increasing acceptance and trendy beard styles, we have a new name for a very old style of beard. The Bandholz beard. And Eric Bandholz has established a successful business catering to the needs of the urban beardsman.
The Bandholz beard style is a full beard, worn with a mustache, allowed to grow to its maximum length. This will vary from man to man. Some will struggle to achieve a growth of a few inches, while other may wind up tripping over their whiskers.
Think of all those photos you’ve seen of rockers ZZ Top, where two out of three band members have long flowing beards. Ironically, the third, clean-shaven member is named Frank Beard. But individualism is the key.
The Bandholz beard works well with a variety of facial shapes from oblong, oval, and diamond shaped to triangular or inverted triangle.
How to Grow a Bandholz Beard Style
To achieve the look of a Bandholz beard, first you must exercise patience by allowing your beard to grow to its full potential. Put away the razor and scissors. Don’t even attempt a trim until four months into the project. Your beard may not actually stop growing for several more months, if at all. Now you may start to cut or trim it as your heart desires. Or leave it in its own natural, pristine condition. The rule is – there are no rules.
Long, free-flowing beards have existed throughout history. Orthodox Jews are prohibited from shaving facial hair, and Muslims are encouraged to trim their mustaches but allow their chin hair to grow freely. Sikhs are prohibited from shaving any hair, and Rastafarians wear long beards as a sign of the covenant between God and his people. Even Annie Jones, who traveled with P. T. Barnum’s show wore what today would be called a Bandholz beard.