As much as Milibeard fever is sweeping the nation, facial hair hit its peak in the 1900s – at least according to this chart.
This infographic shows the prevalence of facial hair throughout history, showing how trends in facial hair have fluctuated more quickly and on a more coordinated scale globally since around the 18th century.
The people at Halcyonmaps.com have charted the prevalence of beardedness in men since around 200BC by surveying historical imagery.
As transport and communication links improved, trends started to occur on a global scale.
Also interesting to note is that Native Americans generally didn’t grow beards, which were apparently mostly introduced to North America by the pilgrims.
Elijah Middlebrook-Haines wrote in The American Indian in 1888:
Beard they consider a vulgarity, and use every means, upon signs of its appearance, to remove it.
Apparently most opted to pluck their facial hair.
A study published in the American Journal of Sociology also evaluated the styles and prevalence of beards (not all facial hair) in society between the mid 19th and 20th centuries.
It found that beards seemed to experience a heyday around the same time as wide skirts in the late 19th century.
Who knows? Maybe the Milibeard will bring back the wide skirts trend, or unite the globe in beardedness?