Clippers may be out on the hairy trend

The number of men with well-groomed facial hair has reportedly reached "Peak Beard". ALEX DRUCE hit the streets of Launceston to ask if the trend will survive.

WHETHER it be for comfort, convenience, or social status - there's no denying the rise of the beard among modern man.

A stroll down the street will reveal a wide array of lovingly sculpted facial hair, the apparent trademark of young gentleman across the land.

But are we on the brink of a beard backlash?

Researchers from the University of New South Wales certainly think so.

A survey of 1600 people by Rob Brooks, Barnaby Dixson and Zinnia Janif showed that the more beards that appear together, the less attractive they are.

Mr Brooks dubbed the phenomenon `peak beard' - a social saturation of facial hair that could kill the hairy trend.

But Tasmanian Beard Appreciation Society founder Dylan Hogan says beard fans need not panic.

The 25-year-old says while the trend may well have peaked, there will always be a core number of men who appreciate a good face of hair.

"It's basically Darwinism - all things have a moment when they are popular and desirable, then they decrease in popularity as more people get on board," Mr Hogan said.

"Beards might start to drop off, but there will always be those committed to the cause."

Mr Hogan started the Tasmanian Beard Appreciation Society Facebook page in August last year, accumulating 1300 likes, while also organising beard-themed social events.

Fellow pogonophile Kilty Salter, 28, said the beard trend had spawned its own set of unspoken social rules.

"For example, the biggest beard in the room gets the right of way," Mr Salter said.

"And people with beards seem to gravitate together in a room.

"You do get people just coming up and touching the beard, sometimes without asking, which is not cool."

Kyle Johnson - whose beard resembles a god-like hair waterfall - said he was a stayer, having had facial hair since he was 16.

His advice for growing one of your own? "Just don't shave."

Email adruce@examiner.com.au Twitter @AlexDruce1987

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