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When Arizonans Flout

Their Whiskers

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This mustache comes with a twirl and a whirl to wow in the Whisker Bent & Hell Bound 3 Facial Hair Competition.
Photo by Ryan Scott.

A stash that goes on forever joins the Whisker Bent & Hell Bound 3 Facial Hair Competition.
Photo by Ryan Scott.

It's not only boys in the Whisker Bent & Hell Bound 3 Facial Hair Competition.
Photo by Ryan Scott.

All aboard, pirates welcome at the Whisker Bent & Hell Bound 3 Facial Hair Competition.
Photo by Ryan Scott.

The Whisker Bent & Hell Bound 3 Facial Hair Competition wouldn't be complete without a strongman in the mix.
Photo by Ryan Scott.
The Canyon State Beard Club Hosts A Bearding Competition In Mesa That Highlights The Re-Emergence Of Facial Hair And The Entertaining Men And Women Who Like To Show Their Growth Off

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By Ryan Scott
Modern Times Magazine

Nov. 13, 2015Being that it is No Shave November, coupled with the fact that it seems like facial hair is more “in” than it has been since Americans first settled the west, it seemed like a very good time to hold a facial hair competition in Arizona. So that is exactly what the Canyon State Beard Club did Nov. 7.

Dozens of variously styled facial hair sporting men (and ladies, believe it or not) made their way from around the country to The Nile Theater, 105 W. Main St., Mesa, for the Whisker Bent & Hell Bound 3 Facial Hair Competition. The event delivered on the few promises it made, but it delivered in spades.

Afterall, there aren’t many places where the phrase “next level mustache game” can be used in total seriousness as it was by the event’s announcer, Adam Cogswell.

Participants lined up to compete in their category of choice, of which they had more than a dozen to choose from, and battled it out in front of a panel of judges and a large and enthusiastic crowd to see who had the most fantastic whiskers of them all.

Categories ranged from Starter Beard to Realistic Whiskerina, a category that had women try to make the most convincing fake beard that they possibly could. The competitors in that particular category succeeded to a degree that was borderline alarming.

“I’ve been bearding for four years,” said Joseph Haydostian who traveled from Fresno, Calif., to get to the competition. He competed in freestyle this year, but has also competed in the full beard under a foot and goatee categories in years past.

“Bearding is a sport. I don’t care who you are, what you say. It’s a sport,” Haydostian said confidently. He also had various reasons for switching to freestyle.

“The lack of people in the category for one and then the uniqueness of it. To be able to express yourself and your own art and everything else that you can put into your beard. That brings it to a different level of competition,” he said. “I used to love graffiti when I was a kid, and now I get to transform a bit of that art into my beard. It’s a cool transformation to be able to do that.”

Granted, most of the patrons who attended the event seemed perfectly happy to just drink beer, mingle and see what some of the most impressive facial hair from around the country had to offer. But more than that, the competitors seemed to feel a real sense of community and genuine passion for the so called sport.

“My brother bet me that we could go to the competition. That’s how I ended up here.” said Tim Hart, Who was competing in the Natural Mustache category. “My brother grows a really full beard, I grow a pretty thick mustache so I said ‘if you don’t trim yours, I won’t trim mine and we’ll go to the competition and see how we do.’”

Hart, like many others at the event, made an impressive commute from Prescott to get here. Not to mention that he made the trip on a motorcycle. To him, it was well worth it, though.

“It’s a blast dude. I’ve met so many cool people. This is a great venue, it’s downtown Mesa. What else could you ask for?” Hart said. “We came down here on a bet. It’s always good when siblings can get together at an event that’s not close to your home. We’re having a blast.”

When asked if he thought he had a better mustache than his brother had a beard, he answered with a confident “oh yeah.”

To learn more about this event and other facial hair related events like it, visit the Canyon State Beard Club website at canyonstatebc.com.
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