Stache Cache

Doing battle with handlebars, Van Dykes, and muttonchops

The “sport” of competitive bearding has been gaining in popularity with international competitions and a reality-TV show (Whisker Wars on IFC). Photographer and former Angeleno Matthew Rainwaters honors the hirsute with his new book, Beard (Chronicle Books, $15), which features Benjamin Juergens (pictured), the NASA engineer from Hollywood who won the 2009 championship in the “Imperial Moustache” category. “I’ve refined some of my waxing techniques,” he says of his upcoming bout, “and hoping for the best.”

Photograph by Matthew Rainwaters