Virginia man voted 'Best Beard in America'

- After a nationwide search, a D.C. area man has come out on top as having the best beard in America.

Wahl Grooming, the maker of facial hair trimming products and accessories, named Steve Carpinelli as its Man of the Year for his impressive facial hair. The Alexandria, Virginia man beat out hundreds of competitors to take home a $1,500 grand prize along with future appearance in a national advertisement.

Carpinelli gained attention for his beard when he attended the Taste of DC last year. He was encouraged to sign up for a contest held by Wahl, which was touring across the country to ten different cities offering free trims with its 30-foot mobile barbershop.

After being selected as one of its ten finalists, Wahl opened voting on its Facebook page where Carpinelli garnered the most votes.

Carpinelli said he first started growing out his beard in 2000.

“It started as a goatee, then I thought I would experiment and see if I could get away with doing a beard,” said Carpinelli. “It looked really scraggly at first, so I went back to a goatee. Then after a while, I wasn’t doing it right and I was trimming it too often and not letting it grow out and trimming it after it had a certain amount of growth to it.

“At that point, I decided to just do a full beard and it actually worked after I let it grow out a little more and then trimmed it. But I always kept it a certain length. Usually it wouldn’t be more than an inch or two. But then I just found out that it would be nice to see what it would look like if it was actually grown out, so this is the result.”

Carpinelli hasn’t trimmed his beard since July and he plans to let it grow another inch before it gives it another trim. But he plans to have a beard for the rest of his life.

So what is the secret for growing a great beard?

“Part of the whole process of letting a whole beard grow out is you kind of have to let it just go a little bit before you trim it just so you can get more even, especially on the sides, where a lot of times, at least for my beard, that tends to grow slowest compared to the chin area,” he told us.

In addition to having Carpinelli represent the D.C. area for his great beard, Wahl also named Washington D.C. as the Most Facial Hair Friendly City in America.

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