The founder and president of the Vancouver Facial Hair Club expects some stiff, lustrous competition when beard warriors, moustache soldiers and goatee gladiators face off at the group’s third annual Facial Hair Competition on June 3 at Gastown’s Lamplighter Public House.
“You’re going to see things you’ve never seen before with facial hair,” says 28-year-old Garrett Resler. “You’re going to see huge goatees, crazy designs… it’s just a really fun community.”
And he should know. Five years ago, while watching the reality TV show Whisker Wars, Resler decided to start his own facial hair appreciation society, organizing monthly get-togethers and eventually an annual competition with proceeds going to a different charity each year. Money from this year’s chin championship goes to HeadsUpGuys, a local charity helping with men's health and depression.
According to Resler, who was en route to a Calgary beard competition when the Courier talked to him, here’s what you need to know about the upcoming Facial Hair Competition and the enchanted world of beards in general:
Beard around the world
Resler anticipates between 75 and 100 competitors next week, coming from as far away as Alaska and all over the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle, Spokane and Portland.
Length doesn’t always matter
There are 12 competition categories ranging from natural moustache and styled moustache to business beard (under one inch in length) to full freestyle, where anything goes.
There is a “build a beard” category for women and the follicly challenged. At past events, two hairstylists used human hair collected on the job for their beard projects.
A year to grow on
Resler’s advice to anyone growing a beard for the first time is to grow it for a year before trimming it. That way you can see how it’s going to grow, where your weak spots might be and who your real friends are.
It gets better
“The first three months are the hardest,” says Resler. “Because that’s when you’re in the itchy phase. It you can fight through that, it gets better from there.”
“The myth of [facial hair] being warmer in the summer is simply untrue.”
Maintenance and general upkeep
“Do whatever works for you. It’s different for everybody. I like to keep mine oiled and conditioned. Beard balms can be good. Some people have special shampoos. Try a few things. I always recommend a beard oil with conditioner, but sometimes it doesn’t work with everybody.”
Resler adds: “I don’t think there should be any don’ts as long you keep it groomed. Don’t have it matted. Personal hygiene is important.
Is the first rule of Vancouver Facial Hair Club “there is no Facial Hair Club”?
“It’s not quite like Fight Club. Basically once a month we meet. We started out trying to figure out where we were going. The last two years we’ve kind of found our stride with a community of like-minded people, whether it’s people who have facial hair or people who just like it. But it’s open to everybody, bearded or not.”
For more information, go to facebook.com/VancouverFacialHairClub/