The #1 rule of any self-respecting hipster is to not claim to be a hipster. Therefore, can there even be such a thing as a hipster beard, or hipster beard data? I contemplated this perplexing question, as I stroked my pirate beard. Since fashion trends tend to be cyclical, perhaps we can just look at beard trends in the past...
Luckily, I was able to find a wonderful study of facial hair trends from 1842-1972! Dwight Robinson went through all the old issues of The Illustrated London News, and counted how many times men appeared in the photos with various types of facial hair (beards, mustaches, sideburns, sideburns & mustaches, and clean shaven). He also created some great plots of the trends over time for each category of facial hair. But I wondered if there was a good way to visualize all the data in a single plot, and did a few Web searches to see if anyone had already worked on this.
Here is a screen capture of an example shown on the Plotly blog. The way the colored areas are stacked and arranged, it shows how the various facial hair trends phased in and out over time. The graph is a bit small, but you can click the edit chart link and see a full size version (although it takes a while to come up).
I like the layout of their graph, but that doesn't outweigh the other problems (mainly with the hover-text)... The time-axis hover-text is a bit deceptive -- it shows year and month values, but the source data makes no mention of month (therefore I think the month values they show cannot be correct). Also, when I scrutinize the hover-text values for the facial hair categories, they seem to be mislabeled (or outright wrong?) For example, look at the 'Clean Shaven' value of 54.98783% for 1898 -- it should actually be 16.5%. Their hover-text appears to maybe be showing the sum of all the values stacked under it, and also mislabeling the facial hair categories(?) Read More