The Punchline

Meet the winner of the 2011 World Beard and Moustache Championship

Katharine Crnko May 16, 2011

Elmar Weisser has claimed the title of world’s best beard after impressing the competition’s judges with his stylized facial hair — featuring a moose and a Norwegian flag.

The 47-year-old German hairdresser beat out 160 bearded hopefuls from 15 countries in this year’s World Beard and Moustache Championship held in Trondheim, Norway.

The competition, which began in 1990, has been held every two years since 1995. According to contest organizers, it is “the premier event in the international sport of bearding.” It features distinct categories based on the levels of competitor’s “beardedness.” Moustaches compete in six judged categories: natural, English, Dali, Hungarian, imperial, and freestyle.

There are other categories for the “partially bearded:” natural, Chinese, Imperial, Musketeer, sideburns and freestyle categories.

And those with full beards are divided into the groups natural, natural with styled moustache, Verdi, Garibaldi and freestyle.

Weisser is no stranger to this eccentric competition, in fact you can say he had an “un-hair” advantage. In 2005 he took the title in Berlin with his beard styled as the landmark Brandenburg Gate. In 2007, he later won in England for his recreation of the Tower Bridge. He did not compete in the 2009 competition in Alaska.

His sister assisted in the creation of this year’s styling. The team started with at 7:00 a.m. to create the masterpiece that would claim overall winner and Freestyle Full Beard.

“When my beard isn’t styled, it goes down to my waist. It is sort of folded up,” he told AFP.

According to the BBC, competition organizers say the field has traditionally been dominated by European contestants, but that the U.S., which has twice hosted the event, is fast becoming “the world’s new facial hair super power.”

This year, Germany took home the most prizes, claiming seven of the contest’s categories. The U.S. took home six.

Here are a few of this year’s competitors, courtesy of the Daily Mail Online.

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