James Harden Without A Beard: 8 Hilarious Photos

When you hear the name James Harden, you immediately think about the Houston Rockets forward, his three-pointers, his euro-step, and last but not least, his beard. But there was once a James Harden without a beard, which is just as hard to imagine for us as it is for him.

The NBA eight-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA First Team selection no doubt has one of the most iconic beards in NBA history. He’s always had potential and shows up with some flashy moves, but ever since growing his beard, it has brought in confidence that was noticeably missing from his play before.

Over the years, he has altered his look from a complete clean shave to a heavy stubble to his final form, the full lumberjack beard. Not surprisingly, the full lumberjack beard made him instantly recognizable. People who didn’t even watch the NBA know James Harden’s nickname, “The Beard”.

james harden no beard photos

James Harden Without Beard Timeline

James Harden began growing his beard in 2009 while playing for Arizona State College. Before 2012, he didn’t have the long beard that has earned him the nickname “The Beard”. Here is the timeline of James Harden without a beard:

  • 2005: James Harden is clean-shaven at the NCAA 2005 Reebok ABCD Camp.
  • 2007: James Harden remains clean-shaven while playing basketball for Artesia High School in Lakewood, California.
  • 2009: James Harden was spotted with stubble during his time at Arizona State University. 
  • 2012: James Harden’s beard has significantly grown and become one of his most recognizable features

This timeline showcases James Harden’s journey from a clean-shaven appearance to his iconic bearded look, which has become synonymous with his basketball career. Before 2009, he was known for his youthful and clean look, but his decision to grow a beard in college transformed his image, and after 2012, his beard became popular in the NBA.

James Harden Without Beard Photos

There were days when James Harden had no beard at all. He usually wore a youthful look ranging from a clean shave to light stubble and mustache. Here are some hilarious James Harden without a beard looks.

1. Without Beard and Mustache

James Harden without beard

Cleaned shaved beard is free from any facial hair on the face, aside from the eyebrows, eyelashes, and shortly trimmed sideburns, of course.

A clean-shaved look requires you to shave your beard daily or for a few days, depending on your growth. It makes sense that Harden had time to clean shave, given that he still wasn’t an NBA superstar by then.

Before James Harden started his career in the NBA, he attended Artesia High School in Lakewood, California. He later led the school’s basketball program to state championships in his junior and senior years.

He then was invited to play in the 2007 McDonald’s All-American Game, where he met J.J. Hickson, Kevin Love, and Michael Beasley, among other future NBA stars.

Look closely at this tweet, and you’ll see a beardless Harden in his No. 13 jersey:

2. The Early Beardless Years – 2005 Reebok ABCD Camp

This photograph from the NCAA 2005 Reebok ABCD Camp, shows his early days without a beard. You can see the 15-year-old clean-shaven Harden, a stark contrast to the iconic bearded look he would later adopt in his professional career.

At this stage in his life, he displayed immense potential and talent as a basketball player, well before his rise to NBA stardom. As an elite high school basketball player, Harden showcased his skills alongside other talented athletes, with NCAA and NBA coaches and scouts in attendance.

3. Fresh-Faced High School Look- 2007, Artesia High School

James Harden without beard

In this photograph taken on February 6, 2007, James Harden is seen playing basketball for Artesia High School in Lakewood, California. Even as a senior high school student, James Harden played basketball without his now-famous beard.

4. The Unbearded Harden with Hard-to-Notice Mustache

James Harden Without Beard 2

As with any endeavor, James Harden started small with a light mustache. Look closely and you’ll see an incredibly light mustache. You might also notice a few facial hairs on the chin.

This style is just as time-consuming as a clean-shaven look. Not only do you have to keep your neck and jawline clean regularly, but trimming the goatee, mustache, and sideburns to make sure they don’t grow too much is a hassle for any beardsmen out there.

5. No Beard Look

James Harden Without Beard 4

His fresh look with a trimmed beard is one of the easiest beard styles to choose from and a perfect one for lazy people who still want to keep some facial hair but don’t want to end up looking like a mess.

All you need to do is use a trimmer set to your preferred length and trim any beard on your face every few days. Unless you’re keeping a stubble you don’t have to worry about your neck or cheek line either.

6. Pencil Mustache Connected with a Small Goatee

James Harden Without Beard

This beard style incorporates a thin pencil mustache extending squarely from both sides to connect to a small trimmed chin goatee. The sideburns are short with a clear neck and jawline. This is one of the neatest looks of James Harden before growing a full beard.

Later on, around this time, he did bring his pencil mustache and goatee on to a slightly heavier style, connecting it to his thin sideburns using a thin line of beard on the jawline, as we can see on this Sports Illustrated cover.

With a cleanly shaved mustache, the facial hair on the chin looks prominent. This James Harden without a beard look was the early stage of the trademark beard Harden proudly wears today.

7. The Stubble Beard

James Harden without beard

In this picture, Harden can be seen wearing stubble, otherwise known as the “10-day beard”, which is around 4 mm to 5 mm in length. Stubble beards are allowed to grow for a few days without any intervention.

A clearly defined neck and cheek line are among the critical aspects of stubble. To maintain this look, the areas below the neckline and above the cheekline should be kept clean and shaved every other day.

As we’ll see in the next one, Harden finally started keeping a proper beard when he showed up with heavy stubble.

8. Heavy Stubble (2009)

James Harden with Heavy Stubble Beard

Somewhere around season four of Harden’s career with Arizona state, where he had his breakout season and scored on average 27.4 points a game, he went from good to straight-up amazing. This unexpected leap can only be attributed to him finally growing out his beard.

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James Harden’s “The Beard”- (2012-present)

James Harden with Full Beard

It feels a bit too coincidental that his career took off exactly around the time he started growing a beard. A probable likelihood is that his body underwent physiological and hormonal changes that made it possible for his magnificent beard to propel him to NBA superstardom.

With his beard finally fully evolving, James Harden became not only a sports icon but also a style icon whose beard styles ended up being copied worldwide. It has become a source of pride for him and his fans.

Harden has said that he would never shave his beard, which is a part of his identity. His beard has also become a source of inspiration for others, and many people have grown their own beards in his honor.

The Houston Rockets and Harden’s success in making it to the NBA finals and winning the Olympic gold medal can thus be rightly linked to the growth of his beard from a clean shave to a full lumberjack beard.

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  1. Rezan Ferdous says:

    James Harden looks really cute without beard though :P He looks like a regular 9 to 5 employee with a pencil mustache. Like these looks!

  2. Jonathan Jjon says:

    Man, James Harden looks way better now. If he never had a beard, he would look ordinary and boring.

  3. Sorry, but I think Hardin looks MUCH better clean shaven! I guess I like clean-cut looking men! Anyway, his beard makes his face look too long and pointed.

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