TAKE a look around you, Wagga – where are all the beards?
If new research is to be believed, we’ve reached “peak beard” and mankind is quickly lathering up for a new era of clean-shaven living.
Turvey Park’s Gavin Hubbard sometimes feels like the only furry fellow in the village – and says the research could spell the end for his scraggly appearance.
“It might be it for me,” Mr Hubbard said.
“I thought I could grow a beard, so why not? But my wife hates it. She’s been telling me to get rid of it and she’d be looking at this research with a bit of interest.”
But the local painter has an ally in Ross C's Barber Shop owner Ross Clay, who declared the age of the beard as not yet over in Wagga.
“I really don’t think it’s gone backwards,” he said. “It’s trendy – and a symbol of masculinity.
“And I think that’s why men are starting to go to barber shops over hairdressers – it’s getting back to the basics.”
Mr Hubbard grew his beard with his mates as “a little competition” and said the anonymity aspect of a beard appealed to him.
“People don’t recognise who you are,” he said. "You go to the supermarket and you can do it without being interrupted.
“I might keep it for a little while yet.”
The research, published by esteemed “beard academic” Dr Alun Withey, singles out one particular beard – the hipster beard – as particularly vulnerable.
Dr Withey said the hipster beard is the “defining feature of this generation” and its time was up as the next generation opts for its own place in history.