While I don't know much about fashion in the intervening years, I'd guess beards probably went in and out of style every few generations, just as they do now. As for why men started shaving in the first place - perhaps they wanted to look younger? It seems to me that beards are most common now among the few segments. 16 Apr Although Darwin might not have been happy to hear it given his own prodigious facial hair, researchers at the University of New South Wales, in Australia, say that men who are clean shaven or have only a bit of stubble are deemed more attractive when a majority of other men have richer, more bushy. They are allowed only on special request is approved. The requests are generally for religious reasons and for health reasons, such as acne or skin allergy. Once the form has been approved applicant is not allowed to shave back. There is a special allowance for bigger moustaches but they must be neat and trimmed.