Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Facial Hair Etiquette

Simion Grahame was a Scottish-born writer and courtier to James VI. He urged gentlemen to keep their beards and moustaches clean, well trimmed and tightly curled.

Simion Grahame (1570-1614) was a Scottish-born writer and courtier to James VI. One of his better known works was Anatomie of Humors, in 1609. Much of this work dwells on human emotions, melancholy, in particular, something to which Grahame himself seemed familiar. 


Interspersed with advice on conduct, manners and how to forge and maintain good relationships with others. In one chapter Grahame urged gentlemen to keep their beards and moustaches clean, well trimmed and tightly curled. — “…A man is to be commended if he be [clean] in his linings, his hair well dressed, his beard well brushed and always his upper lip well curled… For if he chance to kiss a gentlewoman, some rebellious hairs may happen to startle in her nose and make her sneeze…”


Those who did not attend to their facial hair, wrote Grahame, were slobs, not fit to socialize with:. —“[These] snotty nosed gentlemen, with their drooping moustaches covering their mouth and becoming a harbour for meldrops [mucus]… He will drink with anybody whatsoever, and after he hath washed his filthy beard in the cup… he will suck the hair so heartily with his under lip.” — Simion Grahame, The Anatomie of Humors, Edinburgh


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia