The Style of Giving Back
At first glance, the trend of men’s facial hair may appear to be simply a matter of style. Yet beards provide a segue to substance and community support. Beard clubs exist not only as a place for bearded individuals to come together and share a common interest, but also to make the world a better place. In fact, 98 percent of beard clubs in the U.S. have a strong charity focus. Bend is home to the Central Oregon Mustache and Beard Society (COMBS) which began in 2010. Bend Lifestyle spoke with COMBS President Casey Lillibridge, to learn about COMBS and his personal beard style—the “Business Beard,” a popular beard trend in Bend. “A lot of people see beard clubs as a bunch of tough biker dudes,” says Lillibridge. “We want to show Bend that we’re here to give back and support the local community.”
The Business Beard
The Business Beard is a beard style described as short and proper, clean-cut and professional. Casey Lillibridge, president of Central Oregon Mustache and Beard Society (COMBS) rocks one with pride and has taken home several first-place awards at beard competitions up and down the West Coast. He describes his mustache as, “Wild, but styled for it to be clean and competitive.” Originally from San Diego, Lillibridge moved to Bend 15 years ago to get away from the crazy pace and city traffic. He’s since changed his lifestyle to focus on helping others and is currently a CPR/first aid instructor studying to be an EMT. Aside from giving back, Lillibridge is also a champion for inclusion. “We accept all kinds of beards at COMBS,” he says.
Lillibridge has been a member of COMBS for the past four years and has helped the club become a philanthropic organization with the mission to make Bend a better, more uplifting place to live. As a beard aficionado and a humanitarian, he played a major role in starting COMBS’ charitable efforts, from beard competitions to local fundraisers, as well as supporting other beard clubs’ competitions. Lillibridge is currently working on his sixth event, Mustache & Beard Competition at Good Life Brewing on September 15th to benefit the Family Access Network. The competition is open. (We) want everyone to know that you’re welcome here regardless of your beard size,” he says. “People tend to think that it’s the biggest beard that wins (in competition), but in reality, a short beard is just as cool as a big beard.”
THE ARTIST | Casey trims and styles his own beard, but recommends Hannah at Bond Street Barber Shop, 841 NW Bond Street, Bend.
ASK FOR | “Coming in with a clear vision of what you want your beard to look like is super important,” says Lillibridge.
STYLE IT | Lillibridge recommends Bearded Oregon Beard Oil, $18, and Bearded Oregon Beard Balm, $18. Revolvr Menswear, 945 NW Wall Street, Bend.