There are a lot of strange sports out there that certain unique people take part in, like Joggling (a combination of juggling and running) or Wife Carrying (carrying a wife on your back through an obstacle course to win her weight in beer) for example. Beard and moustache competitions are not exactly the strangest, joggling is way stranger, but it certainly is unique!
The competition between men and their facial hair first started in 1990 in Höfen-Enz, Germany, which is surprising considering some of the epic and unique beards that have appeared on men throughout history. Perhaps secret societies like the Illuminati had their own competitions before this. The competition of 1990 soon became a biennial event, meaning it happens every two years. Though the championships only happen every two years, there are a variety of national competitions that happen world-wide during that span.
This competitions are usually hosted by a facial hair club or other hair enthusiast hair club and aside from giving prize money to the winners, the rest is donated to a charity. Since the competitions humble beginnings, it has attracted quite a few big names to the competitions. Though the famous people serve as judges rather than competitions. Such big name celebrity judges include musician Nick Cave and famed moustache wearer Tom Selleck.
The competitions are separated into three brackets (moustaches, partial beards, and full beards) with seventeen categories split between them.
Natural Moustache - This moustache may be styled, but cannot use aids and cannot extend beyond 1.5 cm beyond the edge of the upper lip.
English - A slender moustache with long hairs that are combed to the sides. This is the traditional English knobs.
Dali - A slender moustache with long tips that are either straight up or arching, the name stems from famed artist Salvador Dali and his unique moustache.
Imperial Moustache - Small and bushy with tips that arch up. Bushier than the English moustache.
Hungarian Moustache - Big, bushy and beautiful this moustache begins from the middle of the upper lip and is combed outwards.
Freestyle - This category is for moustaches that do not fit in the other categories, making them the most unique moustaches of the bunch.
Natural Goatee - This is a traditional goatee, hair may only be grown on the upper lip, chin and below the lower lip. This maybe styled, but cannot use aides.
Chinese - Chin shaved with the moustache tips long and pulled down. The stereotypical Chinese style.
Musketeer - The facial hair style where the beard on the chin is thin and pointed and the moustache is long and slender.
Imperial - Similar to mutton chops, hair can only be grown on the upper lips and cheeks.
Sideburns Freestyle - Sideburns with unique styles
Partial beard freestyle - Any partial beards that do not fit into another category.
Verdi - Short and rounded beards that cannot exceed 10 cm long. Named after Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi and his lovely beard.
Garibaldi - A rounded broad beard that cannot have a length more than 20cm. This category is named after the brilliant beard of Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was a Italian politician in the 1800's.
Natural Full Beard - No length requirements, but the beard must be left as grown with no styling or aides.
Natural Full beard with Styled Moustache - Beard cannot be styled, but the moustache can!
Full Beard Freestyle - With all that beard hair, some truly awe-inspiring designs can come from this category.
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If you are looking to get in on this competition, the next Beard and Moustache World Championships happen in November 2013 in Stuttgart, Germany. To take place in this global event, you must first place in a National competition. These happen throughout the world to decide the participants of the world championships. To find the next national competition in your area, find your nearest beard and/or moustache aficionado club. You may think that those clubs would be difficult to find, but surprisingly not. If there is not one, it's fairly easy to start your own.