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What's Up With All the Beards? A Love, Frank Hair Week Special

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Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

You know Frank—he's been writing about menswear, sales, television, new shops, the recession, Lisa Loeb, the Golden Girls and getting blasted for Racked for almost two years. Well, we think it's time you got to know him and his quirky-irreverent views on life and fashion even better with his column: Love, Frank. Taking the form of an open letter and always signed with love, Frank will rant about whatever style-related conundrum he encounters in a given week. So buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, it's going to be ? Something.

Beard Font via Design Milk

Dear Hair Week,

Since our golden Rapunzel tresses are medium brown and never more than maybe an inch long, let's talk beards.

Several years ago those of us with beards seemed to be in the minority. And whether our whiskers were the result of sheer laziness; a distraction from bad skin, weak jaw lines or crooked noses; a surrender to the powers of beard-inclined genetics; or merely an obsession with Philip Crangi and/or Zach Galifianakis, we were a devoted and often self-congratulatory crew.

Fast forward to now and everyone's in beards. Seems to us it just became a integral part of the J. Crew's plaid and khaki all-American faux-woodsmen aesthetic.

Somehow what sprouted with thrifted workwear in a north Brooklyn butcher shop became the hot shit. The look went upscale—a classic woodsmen look by Rag & Bone or Band of Outsiders will run you about a grand more than a trip to the Gap and a visit to a decent tailor.

Then beards went Etsy, taking root in the fantasies of sad message boarders and Yelpers who have somehow convinced like-minded cute obsessives to pay good money for beard-themed knitted and crocheted and screen-printed things that no-one needs.

From there, beards and flannel seemed to spread like kudzu to every mall in America.

Behold the power of lonely, internet-savvy crafters (see also: Owls).

Here's the problem: What's next? When everyone else abandons their beards for whatever's the next flavor of the month, what are the hairy and lazy and weak-jawed to do?

Our suggestion: Soldier on. Because, Frankly, the idea of shaving our faces every day for the rest of our lives is just too terrible.

In conclusion: Beard, ho!

(But—unless you're going for that sneaky pedophile look—moustaches, no!)

· Love, Frank [Racked]
· All Hair Week Posts [Racked]