Ballarat Beard and Mustache Association joins big league

It’s been three and five years respectively since Ballarat Beard and Mustache Union president Jake Warren and his deputy, Jimmy Munro, were clean shaven.

Last year they went to new lengths for facial hair, becoming the second ever Australian group to register with the World Beard and Mustache Association. 

The accreditation, which came through on Christmas Eve, means Ballarat can now host the World Beard Championships. 

Ballarat Beard and Mustache Union president Jake Warren checks out the beard on vice president Jimmy Munro. Picture: Jessica Black.

Ballarat Beard and Mustache Union president Jake Warren checks out the beard on vice president Jimmy Munro. Picture: Jessica Black.

“We had to set up by laws, like that no facial hair is discriminated against, you can have a mustache and it doesn’t mean that you’re any less than having a full beard,” Mr Warren said.

Ballarat Beard and Mustache Association president Jake Warren and Jimmy Munro at Kings Crown Barbershop Picture: Jessica Black.

Ballarat Beard and Mustache Association president Jake Warren and Jimmy Munro at Kings Crown Barbershop Picture: Jessica Black.

The club’s first competition in May last year drew 50 competitors and a crowd of 250.

A world championship could mean 1000.

“Our first competition I feel really showed what Ballarat can bring to the world beard scene,” Mr Warren said.

Ballarat Barber Marty Pearce has his hands full.

Six months after opening, the Skipton Street barbershop needs a second barber to meet demand.

“The culture is changing rapidly, blokes want a better haircut and there’s more beards going around, everyone wants to be looking smart,” Mr Pearce said.

Every beard is different, and brings a new challenge, Mr Pearce said.

“The person with a beard on is just watching you like a hawk, it’s about precision.

“I got a guy who comes in and he just has amazing hair, his beard is soft like a teddy bear.

“It’s like, ‘man where did you get that beard from?’”