Gone are the days of Gladiator's Maximus Meridius, Russell Crowe's bushy beard and long hair are apparently here to stay.
In what can only be described as an interesting year for the Oscar-winning actor, following his bizarre divorce auction a few months ago, Crowe has jumped on the 'Gram and sent some grooming advice out to the world.
Reportedly preparing for a role in an upcoming Ned Kelly biopic, Crowe posted the video of himself combing his hair and his beard whilst singing a traditional hymn. And while the video has been met with some confusion from followers, at least he's hit a starting point for the maintenance of his rather impressive new mane. Although their a few more steps he could take in order to keep it in mint condition and prevent a build up of bacteria.
For all their faults, beards remain a powerful ally. According to a study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, women looking for a long-term partner exhibit a significant preference for hairier men: the thicker the beard, the more attractive. Rusty, if you're reading this, you're set! Curiously, Dr Barnaby Dixson, co-author of the study, attributes this to beards’ antisocial connotations of aggression and dominance. He suspects that such traits would have helped early man to fend off predators, making him more of a catch.
And perhaps Russell is already aware of this, posting a follow up photo captioned with "hey, my eyes are up here", a cheeky nod to the distracting chin curtain gracing his face.
It’s not just women (and Rusty) who find beards attractive: employers do, too. A study involving 228 managers published in the journal Social Behavior and Personality found that bearded job applicants were far more likely to get the position on offer, and were rated higher for “personality, competency and composure”.
Add to this the University of Queensland’s discovery that beards can protect your face from 95 per cent of harmful UV rays, lowering your cancer risk, and a few extra microscopic germs living on your face seem like a small price to pay.