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After capturing Britain’s best beards a few years ago, we decided to travel to Antwerp this year to take a look at the 2019 World Beard and Moustache Championships. There were familiar beards, and new ones, humble natural moustaches, but also extravagant and acrobatic beards. The event brings facial hair aficionados together under one roof where their shared passion for growing, grooming, and styling is celebrated and commended.

A certain ambitious energy was apparent in the incredible beard structures, or some of the more elaborate costumes. Having said that, the event’s atmosphere was warm and merry – not at all cutthroat competitive. Although winning a category would have been appealing to anyone, a very real gratification came from being on location among their community; drinking and socialising together with people that travelled from different corners of the world for their mutual love for facial hair was a prize in itself.

Some categories permitted styling aids, while others had to be completely au naturel. Across three main categories – moustache, partial beard, and full beard – there were seventeen subdivisions, which varied from the slender English moustache to a full bearded freestyle. Take a look at our selection from this year’s world championship here.

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Photography Aris Akritidis
Words Katharina Lina

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