These days, it seems like there’s a competition for just about everything — from extreme ironing to a roadkill cookoff. Well here’s one that involves facial hair, a Beard & Mustache Competition. Not to split hairs, but this one’s been around awhile.

Photo courtesy of St. Louis Beard & Mustache Club

By Peg Cameron Gill

This marks the 10th year of the annual event, hosted appropriately enough by the St Louis Beard & Mustache Club. It’s open to both men and women contestants in the St Louis area. (It gets 5–10 women entrants each year). This year’s competition is Saturday, Aug.5, at 6:30 PM at the Old Rock House in St. Louis.

The St Louis Beard & Mustache Club is St. Louis’s only 501c(3) organization dedicated to promoting facial hair growth, appreciation, acceptance, pride, culture, and competition in the St. Louis area. It aims to foster a sense of community through education and charitable events focused on facial hair.

The club says volunteering and fundraising within the community strengthens the acceptance that the club’s members strive for. They’re tired of beard bashing — Whatta got a bird’s nest in there?  And maligning mustaches — You sing in a Barbershop quartet or something? 

Winners take home unique trophies and prize packs from the competition’s sponsors. Entry fees and proceeds from the 50/50, raffle items, and live auctions will benefit: Dogs for Our Brave, Inc (DfOB).

Dogs for Our Brave, Inc. provides professionally trained service dogs at no cost to veterans who have suffered debilitating injury or illness while in service to our country. Their goal is to train rescue dogs at every opportunity, thus saving two lives at once. 

In order to fully realize their mission without adding financial burden, they also provide a continuum of free support that covers all food, veterinary care, and pharmaceuticals for the life of the dog. The 2022 competition raised $5,000 covering the cost of the Veteran Pairing Process for one of their veteran applicants.

Volunteers do 100% of the work on the event, and 75% of all proceeds from the event will be donated to Dogs for our Brave, with 25% used by the St. Louis Beard & Mustache Club for future volunteer projects and club-related events.

Some of the categories in this year’s competition are: Whaler, Goatee/Van Dyke, Chops, Business Beard under 4 inches, Natural Stash, Freestyle, Whiskerina Realistic, and Whiskarina Creative.

The club is paw-sitively thrilled to announce a bonus category for this year: The Best Dog Facial Hair Category! Judging for this new addition will start at 6:30 PM, followed by judging of hirsute humans at 7 PM.

This event is a 21+ show. The doors open for registration at 5 PM. Guests may register at the door. The cost is $20/human competitor, $10/canine competitor, and $10/spectator.

The judges for the 2023 Beard & Mustache competition include: US Air Force Veteran, Stu Eggers, who’s won an impressive 36 top-three finishes, as well as four consecutive first place finishes at the prestigious Monsters Ball and a Best in Show award in 2019. 

He’ll be joined by another US Air Force Veteran, Dan Tackleson, along with US Army veterans Ian Long and Christopher Wilson. Rounding out the judges panel is Bradley Loyd, representing Dogs For Our Brave, Inc., judging for his second year. Loyd is a certified DfOB Trainer, a certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator, and has been teaching training classes for over eight years. 

So come on out and support a good cause. The winners might only win by a razor’s edge.

Learn about another Missouri Group helping veterans through canines here.

For hundreds more events, visit Missouri Life’s Event Calendar.