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Pogonophile & Pogonophobia

There are people that like and dislike facial hair.  Then there are people that really love beards or really hate them; these are known as being a pogonophile or having pogonophobia.

Below, we wanted to have a bit of fun with pogonophiles and pogonophobia.  This includes covering the topic, providing a few self-assessment questions, and sharing examples of these psychological traits in pop culture.

Pogonophile: Definition, Signs, & Examples

What is the definition of pogonophile?

Per Wikipedia, a pogonophile is “One who loves or studies beards.”

Signs you may be a pogonophile

Determining if you are a pogonophile is highly subjective.  To assist in determining if you are a pogonophile, consider the following questions:

  • Do you find that men are more attractive with facial hair?
  • Do you research or seek out beard topics regularly?
  • Do you watch videos about beard topics (including YouTube, Netflix, etc.)?
  • Do you share advice with other men about beard care online or face-to-face?
  • Do you regularly share pictures of your facial hair on social media?
  • Do you actively support athletes or celebrities with facial hair?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be a pogonophile. 

Examples of everyday pogonophiles

Pogonophiles are everywhere. Here are some examples:


  • James Harden (NBA).  Also known simply as “The Beard,” James Harden once stated that it would take $10 million for him to shave his beard (source). 
  • Brian Wilson (MLB). A former pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, Brian Wilson, once refused to shave his beard when the Yankees showed interest in signing him (source). Brian was also associated with the slogan “Fear the Beard,” where many fans grew real beards or wore fake beards. He has since retired, and unfortunately, shaved his beard as well.
  • NHL Playoffs. Once an NHL team makes the playoffs, nearly all the players will begin to let their facial hair grow. Part superstitious and part team-building, it was first started by the 84-85 Red Wings. It now carries on to many other sports (source).
  • Lanny McDonald (NHL). There is no better or iconic facial hairstyle than the one worn by Calgary winger Lanny McDonald. With a proper walrus-style mustache, Calgary fans also wore real and fake ones in solidarity with Lanny while on the ice.  Like James Harden, Lanny also turned down money to shave his mustache.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick (NFL).  Former Bills quarterback, and all-around good guy, Ryan Fitzpatrick gave himself the nickname “The Amish Rifle.”  Personally, I always loved when he brought the “Fitzmagic” to Orchard Park on Sunday. 

Celebrities & Famous People

  • Tom Selleck.  Perhaps the most iconic mustache in the world is awarded to Mr. Thomas Magnum.  Was there ever a time where he didn’t have a killer ‘stache?
  • ZZ Top.  The classic American rock band is known for their terminal facial hair.  What’s even more remarkable is that the drummer’s name is Frank Beard (yes, that was his given name).
  • Abraham Lincoln.  The 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, wore a fashionable chinstrap beard, represented today on the penny.  
  • Leonardo Da Vinci. Perhaps the greatest artist of all time, Da Vinci is primarily associated with his long beard from the latter half of his life.  Obsessed with curls, it’s easy to see why he preferred facial hair.
  • John “Grizzly” Adams. Born in 1812, this mountain man was the subject of a 1974 television series, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.  While younger readers may not be familiar with the show, the beard by the lead actor, Dan Haggerty, is remarkable.
  • David Letterman.  Once retired from Late Night, Letterman famously let his facial hair grow out immediately.

Pogonophobia: Definition, Signs, & Examples

What is the definition of pogonophobia?

Per Wikipedia, the definition of pogonophobia is “extreme dislike of beards.”

Signs you may have pogonophobia

Determining if you have pogonophobia is highly subjective.  Consider the following questions:

  • Do you find facial hair repulsive?
  • Do you dislike people with facial hair?
  • Have you ever considered getting your facial hair permanently removed?
  • Does facial hair cause anxiety or stress?
  • If in a position of power, do you dismiss candidates due to facial hair?

If you may find any of the above accurate, perhaps you should speak with an expert in behavioral psychology.

Examples of pogonophobia

Individuals or organizations that express pogonophobia traits are limited.  Here are a few notable examples:

  • New York Yankees.  Former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in 1973 set the strict no facial hair policy (source).  Now owned by his son, Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees still ensure that all their players are clean-shaven and have their hair cut properly.
  • Donald Trump. Close aides have shared that the former President doesn’t favor facial hair (source).  He even has said that his son, Donald Trump Jr., would look better without facial hair (source).
  • Margaret Thatcher.  The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom banned facial hair from her cabinet members and publicly stated, “I wouldn’t tolerate any minister of mine wearing a beard.”
  • Guy Lafleur.  Former Montreal Canadiens great isn’t entirely against facial hair but has stated the following “To me, to see the Sharks with the long beards, I think it’s a disgrace for hockey.” This was in response to the facial hair of Brent Burns and Joe Thornton (source).

Wrap Up

Now that you learned a bit about being a pogonophile or having pogonophobia, do you know someone that demonstrates these traits?  If so, share this article with them 🙂

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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