The early 1800s saw a trend for side-whiskers, which became extremely popular – so popular, in fact, that some canny traders began to peddle false whiskers to men who wanted an instant fix.
In the 1840s, spurred on by the successes of British cavalry soldiers in the field, men began to grow moustaches in imitation of these new, 'ultra-masculine' heroes.
But it was the period from the mid-19th century that proved to be a golden age for facial hair. From the early 1850s, full, thick beards quickly became an essential accoutrement to the visage of the gentleman.
Take a look at these amazing pics to see what beards of men from the 19th century looked like.