From sideburns symbolizing rebellion to beards that carry a massive mythology, the past proves that a man’s facial fur can take on a life of its own. So read on for MF’s take on the 13 most meaningful—or just plain memorable—sets of whiskers.
Quick fact: Sideburns were named after Union Civil War General Ambrose Everett Burnside and his glorious muttonchops. But it wasn’t until the “greaser” era of the 50s when a trimmed down burn defined the young, rebellious and cool look of icons like James Dean, and most notably, Elvis Presley. The King was ridiculed as a child for his long hair and matching chops, but that didn’t deter the follicle legend from ditching the ducktail. As Elvis’ fame (and waistband) grew, so did his facial hair. Since his death, legions of Las Vegas impersonators have paid homage to the Elvis burns—both old and new, real and fake.