Glitter Is So 2015, But Beard Decorating Is Here to Stay

Christmas is almost here: The lights have been hung, Mariah Carey is being played once an hour on every radio station and now men have decided to add some holiday flair to their beards. In 2014 we were introduced to Christmas beard baubles; 2015 looks like it’s the year of the glitter beard.

Social media stars Brian DeLaurenti and Josh Dahl, better known as the Gay Beards, first took a photo of glitter in their beards almost a year ago. In the time since then, they’ve built a massive audience of beard aficionados on their Instagram page, and recently released a video providing step-by-step instructions for glittering a beard.

Thanks to this viral video, I’ve been sent to more YouTube channels and Instagram accounts than I can begin to count, all of which feature photos and videos of men dumping bottles of craft glitter onto their faces. The glitter beard has become an Internet sensation, and people are taking to social media to weigh in on #glitterbeard. Esquire is calling it a “thing that must be stopped,” and OUT is declaring it a “commentary on manhood.”

As eye-catching as the glitter beard may be, it’s causing a lot of concern in the facial hair community. Though I’m no expert on beards, I do support them, so it came as no surprise when friends and sources started asking me about glitter beards. People who work in the beard-care business have asked for any insight into which brands of glitter they can pair with their products; barbers in my contacts are wondering if they should expect an influx of people asking for hot shaves to get rid of the glitter after the holiday season.

My opinion on glitter beards aligns with that of Boulder Facial Hair Club’s “Madam Secretary” Josh Simpson: They’re impractical and messy. Before heading out for a ladies' night, I once stood at the bottom of a staircase and let a friend drop craft glitter on me from the loft; like many decisions that are made on a Thursday night, it seemed like a great idea at the time — but  the next morning I definitely regretted it. Because of the type of glitter used, my clothes were near-ruined and I found glitter on my scalp for weeks. I can only imagine the aftermath of a glitter beard.

“Think about it: It’s going to get all over everything, and then on top of that you have to breathe all of that glitter in from your beard,” Simpson says, adding that it takes more than a little bit of glitter to achieve the perfect glitter beard. “I know I wouldn’t want to put that on my face, let alone in my beard.”

While Simpson doesn’t plan on glittering his beard any time soon, he's sure that he'll soon see more than a few attempts, since he's preparing for this weekend’s Decembeard competition.  Boulder Facial Hair Club is partnering  with Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company to host the second annual holiday beard contest this Sunday afternoon at the brewery.

Thanks to competitions like Decembeard and other facial hair contests, beard decorating has become the new norm. While the glitter beard will probably end up being just a 2015 trend, next year men will be doing something different with their beards.  

So for now, I advise those of you who plan on attempting the glitter beard to choose a solid beard oil as your base — and don’t ask your barber to deal with the aftermath of your glitter bomb. 
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Lauren Archuletta is a contributor for Westword's arts section covering the Latinx community and reproductive health.

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