The hirsute look is making a comeback on guys, after a long night since the late 1800's. Actually, the bearded look became really big during the Civil War; and sort of petered out in the early 1900's And definitely by the beginning of World War I.
From whence did this come? Is it a sign of the incipient rise of sectionalist strife; or did the price of razor blades reach critical mass? Or possibly there are a lot of latent hipsters out there that are lurking behind the camouflage of being accountants or attorneys? Or do hillbillies have a lot of secret admirers?
One reason that has not been raised much before is that some guys favor beards as a blatant sign promising virility on the part of the bewhiskered. In other words, "Have sex with me and I'll ring your chimes every time!" Now that can be as obvious as carrying a sign! And that might explain why lumberjacks are so popular.
And some Freudian might equate a shave of the whiskers as the guy equivalent to bikini waxing. Do the bearded also prefer the au naturel look for women too? Someone should look into this, because bikini waxing is darn painful! Now that's a 2017 quid pro quo for you!
In the meantime sports figures tend to grow whiskers in profusion. Even the Mariners and other also-ran teams.
Do you think that William Thomson, Lord Kelvin was sexy? You might be susceptible to the lure of the beard! Or perhaps the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics! Entropy, anyone?