Model beard styles. 15 of the Most Epic Facial Hairstyles of 2016, TheThings

I remember when I was a little girl; my father had what in my mind was the most prodigious mustache I had ever seen (think Burt Reynolds in his heyday). Then, when I reached my teen years, in order to keep up with the times, he shaved it. It was a shocking transformation. From there forward, “the ‘stache” only existed in photographs and memories. Beard styles 2016.

Then suddenly a few years back, I started seeing men rocking that same mustache that once adorned my father’s face. Facial hair came back with a vengeance, from burly beards, to muttonchops, even the handlebar mustaches of the 19

Many men take their facial hair game quite seriously, and grow and style their beards and mustaches to epic proportions. On that note, here are 15 of the most epic facial hair of 2016.

15 The Sultan of Stache

Mark Fernicola, dubbed by his clients as The Sultan of Stache, is a fourth generation barber. Mark had been growing a full beard for many years, but then in 2011 he decided he needed a change. So he proceeded to chop of his beard and just keep his mustache. He has been growing it out ever since. He started doing the handlebar style moustache because no one else he knew had it. “I always thought it was really cool. I've always loved vintage things, especially the 1920's-50's, so I said, what the heck, and went for it,” explains Mark.

He puts wax in his mustache everyday to help keep it styled. He rotates between two looks: a more defined curl, or a looser, more natural look.

Mark loves the attention his mustache receives, and on several occasions has even been given free food and drinks because of the awe it inspires.

14 Ben Samuels

Ben Samuels had attempted to grow a beard once before, but ended up shaving when he was asked to be in a friend’s wedding. After the wedding, however, Ben fully committed himself to growing some epic facial hair, and the results have been amazing. He has been growing his beard for 3 ½ years, with only one trim to date. His likes to get creative with his beard rather than doing the same style all the time. His creativity has landed him a placement in 15 out of the 37 beard competitions he has entered, with a number of those being first place. His beard style is known as "Full Beard Freestyle."

He takes great pride in his luscious locks, washing and conditioning his beard everyday, then oiling, combing and drying it in order to ensure it is shiny and straight.

Ben owes a lot to his beard. He has forged many friendships because of beard bonding, and even discovered his favorite brewery because a fellow beardy suggested he try it out. “Hanging out with bearded people is motivation to not shave,” says Ben.

13 The Champion

This list wouldn’t be complete without the 2016 Just for Men® National Beard and Mustache Championship winner for "Best Overall Beard." Men from around the country gathered to flaunt their fabulous facial locks and hopefully walk away with a title. Taylor Welden won best overall beard, as well as a category called "Verdi," which is very specifically:

“Full beard, short and rounded at bottom, no more than 10 cm in length as measured from the bottom of the lower lip. The moustache is distinct from the beard but may not include hair growing from more than 1.5 cm past the corner of the mouth. “

This category is one of 18 ultra specific categories in the national competition (not included the best overall). I had no idea there were so many specific types of facial hair. I can’t wait to look like a smarty-pants and call out to various hairy dudes what type of beard or 'stache they are rocking

12 Man Bun Master

If you are on social media a lot, then I am guessing you probably remember this particular video circulating around. And if you are attracted to men, then it is highly likely that you have watched this video numerous times (or have it saved on your hard drive for multiple, late night views.) This beautiful specimen is fitness model Brock O'hurn. So his beard may not be all that spectacular compared to our other entries, but if you take into consideration who the hair is growing out of, well, then it is quite spectacular indeed.

Yes, I know the video is a ridiculous man bun tutorial, but it serves its purpose: eye candy. If you go on his Facebook page, there are a number of other wonderfully pointless videos to watch, like him driving in a car, riding a motorcycle, playing a violin. All featuring his amazing...facial hair.

11 MJ Johnson

Michael "MJ" Johnson's magnificent facial hair has won him numerous titles in facial hair competitions across the world, including World Champion in his category. That category is called "Imperial Partial Beard," though in my opinion, it is hard to tell if it is a beard or a mustache. Whatever it is, his facial hair has earned him 21,000 Instagram followers, and his face has been plastered on Remington beard trimmer boxes.

MJ's facial hair started sprouting when he was just 11 years old, but he didn't take growing it seriously until 2009. When it hangs straight, it reaches his belly button, but you will most likely see it shaped into to enormous curly cues. He uses a variety of hair glues and hairspray to make it stand out in such epic promotions, and unlike may of his peers, he doesn't use any objects to shape it; just his good ol' hands.

10 Amish Beard

I am sure you have seen Amish men with such beards, either in person or on one of the numerous weird reality shows about them that are on TV these days. Amish men grow beards after they get married because they are abiding by certain scriptures that say that after a man gets married, he must allow his beard to grow. (However, the religion forbids men from growing mustaches for some reason). Apparently this style of beard isn't only donned by the Amish (though it is actually called “Amish” style). The man in the photo is Marc McShane, and he walked away with first place in the Amish category in the 2016 Just for Men® National Beard and Mustache Championship.

One look at his beard, and it is obvious why he was the winner. Marc spends hours shaping his beard with specialized beard products. I wonder if real Amish men spend even half as long.

9 Magnificent Grey

Aarne Bielefeldt is a world Freestyle Beard champion. He considers beard styling an art form. Though he has gained fame for styling his beard into a stretched-out octopus shape, Aarne prefers to keep his beard natural. He doesn't go crazy with products, just a solid shampoo and a bit of oil. He has disliked shaving ever since he first started growing facial hair. In fact, his wife has never seen him without a beard. She's gotten used to the numerous women who approach him, wanting to pet his luscious locks.

According to Aarne, the beard can be quite a hassle at times. It gets stuck in doors and drawers, and he has to be extra careful when working with machinery or is near any type of fire. In cases like that, he often pins it up, or braids it and tucks it into his shirt. It has also been known to set off metal detectors at the airport.

8 Tom Hardy

This actor's beard started making headlines last year, and is still receiving media attention well into 2016. Tom Hardy originally debuted his beard on the red carpet for the premier of his blockbuster film Mad Max, and has been using it to make the ladies swoon ever since. In fact, has listed his look as the fifth most stylish beard of 2016, dubbing his style as a "professional long stubble beard," and is "something in the middle of the full facial hair and the planner stubble." And that is just one of a million websites raving about this guy's facial hair. Ok, not literally a million, but there are a whole lot of them.

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Tom Hardy has been having blockbuster hit after hit: Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Revenant; could he owe all of this to the beard? Quite possibly.

7 Beards and Tattoos

Here is another one for all of you admirers of beautiful men (hetero men don't hate, there's always plenty for you on the interwebs). This fine gentleman is Josh Mario John, and he is a Canadian model who is making beards on tattooed men all the rage this year. He has appeared in a plethora of print ads, and his full beard and ink-covered body have made their way down a number of runways, including Toronto Fashion Week. And aside from being insanely good looking, he's got brains and a heart too; Josh has a Masters Degree in Psychology and works in the child welfare industry. He's got the bad boy look down, yet if you Google him, you will definitely come across numerous photos of his snuggling that facial hair up against his kitties (And I actually mean cats, you perverts!). I mean, c'mon, is he a real person? He just seems to good to be true.

6 The Musketeer

Russell Bennett is an actor, comedian, and improv comic. He grew his first handlebar mustache complete with goatee at 18 years old, when he was starting college. He ditched the look for many years, then decided to resurrect it in 2010 when he was cast as Porthos in a production of The Three Musketeers. He was soon approached by a member of the Beard and Moustache Club of North Carolina who was impressed by his "Musketeer" style beard. So Russell decided to start entering his whimsical whiskers in numerous beard and mustache competitions across the country, and hopes to attend the next world championship. His 11-year-old son his following in his father's footsteps, accompanying him to competitions and "donning a dapper beard himself."

Russell maintains his facial hair by shampooing and conditioning it, then treating it with oils and balms. When styling he uses wax, as well as Elmer's glue to hold it in place.

5 Cincinnati Pride

Gary Faulkner has become famous in his hometown of Cincinnati for his 14-inch long beard, which he often paints orange and black in support of his beloved Cincinnati Bengals. He actually grew his beard because a friend made a bet with him that he wouldn't grow his beard out for an entire year. If Garey succeeded, his friend offered to pay him $1000. Well, he did grow his beard, yet his friend never paid up. But Garey became so attached to his flowing locks that he decided to keep them and turn them into an artist endeavor.

Gary started competing, and has placed in the top ten in the nationals. His beard has landed him promotional gigs with Spade Creations and Mynt Martin, and in pictures with numerous celebrities, such as Toby Keith. He’s even appeared on The Tonight Show. Gary of course loves the attention his beard gets him, but makes it a point to donate any competitions winnings to charity.

4 Gandhi Jones

Keith J. Hanbrich, better known in the mustache and bearded community as "Gandhi Jones," has been growing his facial hair for 27 years. He had his first mustache in seventh grade, followed by a beard in 8th grade. For his 15th birthday, when most other boys are given sports related items, instruments or video games as gifts, Keith was given an electric shaver.

He has been known to twist and shape his moustach into crazy shapes, such as a clock, a cat, scissors and a whale, and has won first place three times in the world championships in the Freestyle category. His current style is inspired by Salvador Dali, and is actually called a "Dali" mustache. It takes a lot of wax to get the hair to stay where he wants it, and depending on the style, he will often incorporate various items, such as toothpicks, to ensure it sticks out just the way he wants it.

3 Sean Raiger

Sean Raiger's facial hair once again raises the question, is it a beard, or is it a mustache? A beardstache? Whatever it is, this particular style has a specific name: the "Fu Manchu." Sean was the very first American to ever win this category in the world competition. (Side note: Many other competitors in this category often choose to dress in cliché Chinese costumes, whereas Raiger opts for a suit.) He also previously was president of The Moustache and Beard Social Club, which is "a social club whose goal is to spread the word of facial hair, improve upon society's views of the facial-haired through the spreading of good will, and earn money for local charities while doing so."

Sean has been growing his black chin and upper lip locks for about seven years. When his facial hair isn't styled, it reaches all the way down to his belly button. In order to achieve his award-winning style, he washes it, softens it with expensive conditioners, blow dries it, then ads oils and wax to get it to stick up magnificently.

2 The Ultimate 'Stache

Now, this is mustache if I ever did see one. The man behind the 'stach is Snidely Mansfield (And no, that is not his real name). In this photo, Mansfield's facial hair is au naturel, and won him the first place in the nationals for "Natural Mustache." However, he often styles it into two points that stick straight out, or up, both of which are equally impressive.

Mansfield claims to have always been "a hairy bastard." He had a brief stint in the military, but somehow finagled a medical exemption from shaving and was allowed to have a regulation beard as a recruit. (I would love to know how he managed that!) He started growing his epic mustache in 2012 for Movember (also known as No Shave November). Luckily he works as a burlesque performer, so his mustache enhances his character. He believes growing facial hair is much more natural than shaving, and wishes that even more people would let their beards and mustaches grow free.

1 Isiah Webb

Isaiah Webb is better known by his stage name: Incredibeard. And what a perfect name it is! This San Francisco-based employee of Sony gained national fame for molding his beard into crazy designs, and is even featured in the newest Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! book, Reality Shock! This particular design is fittingly dubbed “Incredibird,” and earned him 2nd place in the “Full Beard Freestyle” competition at the 2016 Just for Men® National Beard and Mustache Championship.

Icredibeard started growing facial hair when he was 11 years old. He began creating the wacky designs that have earned him his nickname about two years, and he releases a new photo via Internet of a new wacky design every Monday. He has turned his beard into an empire, creating an Incredibeard clothing line for men, women and kids, along with a wide selection of beard grooming products.

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