Norse cultures are quite fascinating, especially with most of the everyday elements and normal features being accorded special meanings. The beard, for example, maybe nothing out of the ordinary and an expected part of human biology, but in Norse, the beard is of great significance.
Here, we take a detailed look at the Norse beard and its significance.
Beards in Norse Culture
The Norse beard, also known as Skegg, is one of the natural things accorded a great deal of meaning. The reason for this is that the beards are seen as sacred features. More specifically, the beard is a crucial, defining feature for the Æsir, and in the ancient texts like Konungsbók Eddukvæða.
Also, the beard has traditional associations with masculinity and men throughout Norse’s history, as highlighted in the Icelandic Sagas (Íslendingasögur). The beard is also protected by law historically as stipulated in the Grágás, the Jónsbók, and the Guta Lag.
In Norse cultures, therefore, the beard is highly revered, especially with the Norse gods or Æsir’s defining feature being the beard.
Given the relevance of the beard in Norse Culture, one Staff Sgt. William Bailey received a waiver to keep and grow a beard, despite this being against the law.
Going back to Norse Mythology and the perceptions for Thor, Odin, and Ragnarök, the beard appears to be a standard feature and also a standard for Norse men. For starters, the beard has been regarded as the defining feature for masculine men, with men who grew long beards respected and regarded as good persons. A man with a beard, according to Norse culture, is someone you could turn to for help.
In Norse, all their gods, except for one, are described in sacred and traditional texts and also in the illustration of Norse history to have sported the bear. These gods include the god of beauty or Baldur, the god of music, harp, and poetry, Bragi; the god of Justice, Forseti; the Guardian of Asgaror, Heimdallr; the Messenger of Æsir, the god of winter and darkness; the god of silence, the god of strength, the god of battle frenzy, passion, poetry, spirituality, and sexual ecstasy; the god of war and the skies, the god of revenge, the forest, and silence; the god of will and creation; and the god of Archery; just to name a few.
The most notable exception here is Loki, who is the god of lies and mischief, and also Æsir’s least favorite. Loki is associated with the dark side of humans, as well as negative behavior, and Loki is also to have wrecked havoc among the gods (Æsir), causing the death of some of the gods, for example, Baldur. Loki has also been said to turn himself into a mare with intentions of getting impregnated by the Stallion called Svaðilfari, subsequently giving birth to Sleipnir, the 8-legged horse (belonging to Óðinn).
Therefore, if you look at Loki from any perspective, Loki is the opposite of what man is expected to strive to be. Subsequently, Loki is the only god that doesn’t have a beard. This emphasizes the associations between the manly virtues of the Norse Culture and the beard. There also are numerous references in Norse’s most sacred text, Konungsbók Eddukvæða, further reinforcing the associations between beards, masculinity, and virtue.
Norse Beard Styles
Beards and Vikings are quite synonymous, and with an appreciation for the Norse traditions growing, you might want to make sure that you look stylish while trying to keep up with the Norse traditions.
If you have been looking to style your beard, this section guides you on some of the best and the most preferred styles you may want to try out.
- The Unruly Viking Beard Style
This beard style is a representation of the general perception of Viking beards. It is rather unkempt, but even then, it has a natural and a very masculine vibe around it. Also, this beard style balances out nicely with the short haircuts, meaning that if you aren’t much into constant shaping and trimming of your beard, this would be the best and the most natural approach for you.
- The Short Viking Beard
This may come as a surprise, but not all Viking beard style is long, with most of the Viking characters portrayed in TV shows having shorter beards. So, if you prefer short beards, you get to keep it as short as you’d want while retaining that Viking vibe.
- The Red Beard Viking Beard Style
This red Viking beard stands out exceptionally, and the best part is that it works for any guy, regardless of the color of their hair. And if you are natural ginger, you will be happy with your red beard because you get to look a lot more like Scandinavian warriors, and you get to pull off the look a lot better than the dark-haired individuals. The thick red beard also stands out because it guarantees a striking and unique presence everywhere you go.
- The Brown Hair, Red Beard Viking style
Genetics are complex, but one of the effects of genetics that stands out has to be the fact that some men will have brown hair but a beard that grown out in red. If this sounds like you, don’t freak out. In fact, your Viking beard would stand out really well, thanks to this genetic mix.
- The Messy Viking Beard
This is the other Viking beard style that you would pull off quite easily, especially because most, if not all, of the modern depictions of the traditional Viking beard, look marvelously messy. What you need to know, however, is that although the Viking beard looks messy, historians often argue that the Vikings groomed their beards and mustaches well. So, in as much as you want to keep your beard messy, make sure that it’s well-groomed.
- The Blonde Viking Beard Style
According to research, the red-haired Vikings were more common in West Scandinavia, while the Vikings from North Scandinavia were often the blonde-haired seafarers. So, if you have blonde locks, you shouldn’t worry about not pulling off the Vikings look perfectly – your blonde hair gives you that Vikings allure, implicitly.
- The Isolated Viking Beard Style
Lastly, there is the isolated Viking beard style where you can style and direct your beard to only grow out towards the center of your face, shaving your head and cheeks for that badass biker image.
These are just some of the Viking beard styles. The others include the braided Viking beard style, the shaped Viking beard, the blonde hair-red beard Viking style, the skin fade beard, and the pointy beard style, among others.