What Is An Amish Beard? [Tradition, Beard Styles]

If there is one group of people wherein facial hair, specifically, beards, are important, it’s the Amish community.

But, actually, what is an Amish beard and how it looks like?

amish beard

Before we delve into the reasons why beards are central parts of their culture, let’s get to know the history and background of this tightly knit community that has shunned technology.

Without any fluff, let’s get straight into it.

History Of The Amish Or The Mennonites

They have been in America since the early 18th century, and they have been living relatively subtle and simple lives and have gone unnoticed until 2014 when two Amish girls from New York were abducted but then returned.

This incident brought into focus these gentle and quiet people who have been living in our midst for centuries.

The so-called “Plain People” arrived in the early 18th century in America to escape religious persecution in Europe.

Amish comes from the name of Jakob Amman, a Swiss minister who held the belief that people should follow the teachings of Christ and the Apostles and forsake the world. Explains why they have this prohibition from being photographed.

Farming is at the center of their lives and their population has risen from 5,000 in 1920 to approximately 300,000 today. They believe in large families and are always looking for new land to settle in, away from urban areas.

They initially settled in Ohio, but are now scattered in 30 states and also in Canada. Ohio holds the largest Amish community followed by Pennsylvania and Indiana.

They are also called the Pennsylvania Dutch but they are not Dutch. That word has been corrupted from “Deutsch” or German which they speak in an ancient form.

The Amish Way Of Living

You might have seen this scene before : You are out in the vast farmlands and there are blueberry pies on the roadside, buggies and then gentlemen with wide felt hats and long beards without mustaches.

Yes, you are in Amish territory and be expectant of traditions which will take you back centuries ago and which never change, no matter how much technology advances.

It’s because the Amish do not use technology. Their livelihood will always be centered on farming, and the way they dress will always be the same. The same goes for the facial hair of the men. As if time stopped for them in the 18th century.

What Is An Amish Beard?

What Is An Amish Beard
Image Courtesy Of GalenFrySinger.com

It is the traditional facial hairstyle sans the mustache, grown by Amish men when they get married. It is only the beard that grows and it becomes thick and long on the chin and the jawline. It usually grows until it connects to the sideburns.

The “beard only” growth is essential and even symbolic of the Amish culture and their religious principles. It is also a sign that an Amish lad had transformed into a man.

You might ask, why is the mustache shaved off and not grown together with the beard? There is as if a hidden animosity for anything grown above the lips. There is a reason for that.

The British Empire had required its soldiers to sport mustaches up until 1916. They were the perennial tormentors and bullies of the Amish and the Mennonites whether they were in Europe or in America.

The British soldiers caught up with the Amish when they migrated to the United States and continued to give them valid reasons to hate them.

The result was that any self-respecting Amish man who valued his culture and people would not let anything that is identified with the British, be part of their own appearance.

So, they grew long beards but shaved their mustaches.

Inasmuch as they had bad experiences with the British soldiers, they always viewed the military and soldiers of any affiliation with a doubtful haze. They value peace so much and are considered pacifists.

Related Post: How To Know If I Can Grow A Beard?

With this background and history, they want to make themselves distinct by creating their own conservative way of dressing up and their own rules and restrictions. Most of all, they were very particular not to embody any connection with the British soldiers, most particularly the mustache.

The Brit Solder Is One Reason. The Other Is Biblical

The Amish base their faith literally on the Bible. Two verses are particularly significant :

Leviticus 19:27 – Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard
Psalms 133:1-2 – How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard!

The Amish people interpret these verses to the letter. The men view their beards as the realization of these words in the Bible.

The Longer The Better

For the Amish youth, the lack of facial hair on the men signifies that these males are unattached and are available as future husbands for the Amish women.

When marriage ceremonies do happen, they are favored to take place after the fall harvest in November. But because many Amish couples get married nowadays, it’s not surprising to see marriages consummated on other months.

There are no wedding rings exchanged between the couple. Rather, the vow of commitment and faithfulness is reflected through the starting of the growth of the beard of the husband. The longer, the better.

A very long beard means humility on the part of the man and symbolizes his love and undying devotion to his wife.

A young man who just got married and is just starting to grow his Amish short beard must place proper respect towards the married man with the longer beard because it means he doesn’t have the same life experience as the man who had been married for a longer time.

Amish Beard Characteristics

With the simple life that they have, one luxury that the MEN do have is that they could grow their Amish facial hair into the Amish beard styles that they want.

There are certain guidelines which make the Amish beard adhere to the traditional look :

The beard should be long and thick and over 6 inches in length.
Definitely no mustache
Clean shaven around the mouth and the cheeks
The beard connects to the sideburns, and are kept long.
The sides could be trimmed but the chin hair should be kept long. The longer, the better.

Ways To Wear The Amish Beard Styles

Amish Beard Styles
IMAGE COURTESY of 10InterestingFacts.com

After the wedding ceremony, the Amish man starts to grow his beard. He starts with the :

1) Amish Short Beard. Growing a beard takes time. The man has a trim and short Amish beard with sideburns. Then, as time goes by, without a mustache forever, of course, he can grow it 4 ways. They are

2) The Traditional Amish Beard – long and with connected sideburns.

3) The Full Amish Beard with Sideburns.

4) The Shaped Amish Goatee

5) Or the Bushy Amish Beard.

The Amish men will always turn to the Bible and say, all the great characters there have beards : Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Isaiah, Moses, David and the greatest one of all – Jesus!

As a reinforcement, they would then point out a Bible verse of Jesus talking : Isaiah 50:6 “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” So, He did have a beard.

They would conclude that because they are following Jesus, they should have beards too, Just like Jesus and His Apostles.

Can Amish Men Shave?

Most Amish Men do not shave because this is very important and symbolic to them for the various reasons we discussed. However, when they get married that can shave if they really want to but in the most cases they do not.

Most Amish men shave their mustaches and maybe the hairs under their lips according to their tradition.

What We Can Learn From The Amish Aside From Amish Beard Styles

Amish beard styles, if you’ve observed, is part now of the continuing trend for male grooming worldwide. In fact, it has become so chic, that many popular athletes and celebrities wear their Amish style beards proudly.

Aside from the Amish facial hair, we learn a lot of things from them of how to make life simplier:

  • Spend more time with the people we love. The Amish don’t have electricity. So they don’t have time for the internet and electronic devices which take up so much of our time. Instead, like them, let’s spend more time bonding with the people who matter most.
  • Produce more of our own food. Gardening and raising of animals intended for food gives a certain personal fulfillment that no other modern activity can fulfill in you. You feel closer to nature.
  • Be more relaxed everyday. Take time to look around and appreciate your blessings. Take time to talk to your neighbors who even if you are just a few meters apart, you haven’t talked to in a decade. Take time to walk, instead of riding in your car.
  • Work as a community. The Amish way is in direct contrast to the urban mantra of “I mind my business, you mind your own.” The Amish way says that we could accomplish more together.
  • Due respect to the Man of the House and recognition to the Lady of the House. The Beard gives the man the regal bearing and the message that he is the leader of the household and it also reflects his loyalty and undying love to his wife.

Final Words

Amish men grow their beards according to their tradition, their religion and many other factors.

In this article, we discussed a lot for Amish Beards and I really hope I didn’t forget to mention anything.

This article comes to an end because I don’t want it to be really long and tiring.

I really hope you found it useful.

Until next time,

Stay safe and…let it grow!


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