Alright gentlemen, it’s time to discuss the age old question: to beard, or not to beard? Right off the bat, I understand that not everyone can grow a luscious, lumberjack beard that makes you look straight out of AMC’s Vikings. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon the idea of growing out a beard altogether.
There are definitive and proven health benefits to having lengthy facial hair. Let’s take a look at a few:
1. Protect your face from the elements. Our skin is sensitive, and beards can provide a protective layer that protects from both sun exposure and winter winds. Allowing our skin to constantly face the elements without any protection can lead to leathery, wrinkled skin in the future.
2. Reduce acne: Bacteria exists on the skin, we can’t prevent that. However, shaving often brings about openings for bacteria that can lead to ingrown hairs or infection, and can even contribute to spreading the bacteria further. Skipping the razor for a while can contribute to smooth, healthy skin.
3. Protect from harmful particles: This may seem far fetched, but beards are our bodies natural defense to protect the lungs from unwanted particles in the air. Those that work in conditions with dust particles can protect themselves with a beard. Even more amazing, throat and lung disease particles are often stopped at the door by our beard bouncers.
Bonus: Besides health benefits, the beard does more for us than we may realize. Beards can augment our perception to women. You may read articles that equate beards to a peacock’s plumes, aka a physical feature that signals to women that we are both sexually mature and would make a desirable partner.
Sure, But My Beard is Terrible
As I mentioned, not everyone has an Abe Lincoln beard. If you’ve tried for months on end to grow a beard out and only get a few hairs, then maybe it’s time to worry about maximizing your looks in other ways. However, if you’ve never truly tried to grow one out before, it may come down to having some patience.
I was always told the apparent wives tale of “every time you shave, it’ll grow back thicker.” Unfortunately, I have not found this to be the case whatsoever. Recently I’ve discovered the theory that even a month of growth may not reveal the full potential of the beard. If you have patience and groom properly with conditioner and/or beard oil, continue to commit to the beard can lead to it filling out more and more as time progresses.
Time to Commit
I started my beard growth on the first of November, in honor of the timeless “No-Shave November.” It’s now January, and I’m committed to continuing for at least another month or so. Sure I’ll trim a bit to keep the length from getting obnoxious, but I’m letting it ride. I started getting compliments around a month and a half, and I must admit myself that it’s looking significantly fuller than my past efforts.
I encourage you to go for it this winter. No one is going to think twice seeing you with a beard during the cold months, it’s almost natural. Often times our perception of ourselves and our own facial hair is notably more negative than how others view it. Our guy friends with beards may rag on us for not having the fullness they have, but you may be surprised with the compliments you’ll receive from women.
Ride it out, gentlemen.