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To beard or not to beard? Facial hair through history

Dr Alun Withey, expert on the history of facial hair, takes us on a journey through shaving and grooming trends from 1650-1900

Dr Alun Withey, expert on the history of facial hair, takes us on a journey through shaving and grooming trends from 1650-1900. (Image by Getty Images)

Why were big bushy beards once the height of fashion? When was it better to have a smooth face? And what were the perceived health benefits of whiskers, moustaches or goatees? Dr Alun Withey, expert on the history of facial hair, takes us on a journey through shaving and grooming trends from 1650-1900.

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Alun Withey is the author of Concerning Beards: Facial Hair, Health and Practice in England, 1650-1900 (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021)


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