When looking into growing out your own beard and making it a real statement of your personal image, it can be nice to have someone to emulate. And often, the best options come from the world of sports. Because Hollywood has its own image demands (meaning actors groom themselves according to the role or occasion) and even singers seem to skip significant facial hair most of the time, athletes are often the best famous figures when it comes to exhibiting great beards.
But which are the greatest? Right now, it’s hard to argue with these five….
Bryce Harper has had a few different looks during his career in Major League Baseball, but he’s settled into having a pretty magnificent beard that matches his personality perfectly. Harper is both a bit of a wild man and a refined athlete who’s skill and technique has just about been perfected. The beard matches both sides to the athlete – a bit wild, definitely intense, but also well maintained and attractive. Now, there are recent whispers that the Yankees’ ownership may in fact have interest in Harper after appearing not to throughout baseball’s current offseason, and the Yankees famously maintain a no facial hair policy. In other words, Harper might have to shave. For now though, his beard is among the best in sports.
You can’t find a more meticulously groomed athlete than Olivier Giroud. The French striker, one-time Arsenal star and current Chelsea forward has always looked as if he touches up his hair and facial hair before each and every match, and seems to have an ability to keep his whole image clean-cut even when playing 90-minute matches against the best competition in the world. Giroud mixes up the length of his dark, perfectly uniform beard from time to time, but it’s always flawless.
Benoit Paire is a French tennis player whose look is actually not unlike that of Giroud. He has a full, even, dark beard, and he clearly puts some effort into maintaining it (as well as his hairstyle). Like Giroud, Paire tends to alternate somewhat between letting it grow out and keeping it fairly tight. Paire’s beard makes enough of a statement on the professional tennis circuit that he’s even become the ambassador for Beardilizer, a beard growth and maintenance company that has officially sponsored some of Paire’s attire.
It’s hard to think of a more prominent beard in sports right now than that of Houston Rockets star James Harden. Harden is the reigning MVP of the NBA, and platforms with up-to-date sports futures pretty much unanimously have him as the favorite to retain the award this season. He’s on top of the world in his sport, and his beard is so much a part of his persona that he’s literally nicknamed “The Beard.” Not everyone can pull off quite so full and long a beard as Harden, but for those who can, he’s turned it into a cooler look than ever before.
Dallas Keuchel, a pitcher for the Houston Astros is actually another MLB star who might wind up with the Yankees, and who is actually on record saying he’d shave his beard to get there. For now though, and for the last several seasons, he’s had one of the most noteworthy beards in sports. There’s almost more of a hipster quality to Keuchel’s look, as he often keeps the mustache very thin and keeps the beard almost rectangular in the it’s straight across the bottom, well below his chin. As with Harden’s, it’s not a look everyone can pull off, but Keuchel proves that when you can, the results are awesome.