We live in a society where men are taught that they should shave their beard and keep a clean face from as early as 15 years old in order to be accepted, attractive and respectable. Whenever there’s a big event coming up – say, like a birthday, an interview, your wedding and so on – one of the first things you have to do to prepare is to get rid of that facial hair. Given the circumstances, it can be difficult at times to grow a mean beard and to stick to it. On the other hand, this is also the perfect setup for you to show that you can take the heat, rise from the masses and let your beard shape you into the man you really want to be.
Thinking of Shaving Your Beard? Don’t Do It…
So should you shave your beard? Here are 10 reasons why you should think twice before you pick up that razor.
1. It makes you more masculine
According to a study published by Evolution and Human Behavior, the more facial hair a man has, the more masculine he is perceived to be by both men and women. After all, there’s a reason you wouldn’t want to steal a lumberjack’s lady. A different study published by Behavior Ecology also found that bearded men appear to be more intimidating than other men. Not only does this tend to keep you out of trouble, but it makes you even more appealing to women. There’s nothing more attractive to a woman than a man who can make her feel safe, while putting up a badass attitude at the same time.
2. It makes you look more attractive
The next time you ask yourself whether you should shave your beard, consider this. Due to the circumstances of their upbringing, most men will wear a hairless, androgynous face. Keeping your badass beard intact will not only distinguish you from everyone else, but it will also immediately draw the attention of the women around you. Even women that claim they do not like beards can’t help but be interested in them. Can you blame them? A beard exudes masculinity and power like nothing else.
3. It makes you feel more attractive
In 2014, the German Braun company asked 1,000 men from New York about their grooming practices. They discovered that over half of these men felt more attractive with a beard. More 55% of them also said that they were complimented about their facial hair, while 41% felt more confident wearing a beard.
4. It signals qualities you want to have
As a symbol of masculinity, your beard carries with it a sense of strength, honor and sexual virility. However, these are not the only qualities women associated with a mean beard. At the University of New South Wales, for instance, a study was conducted where women were shown various pictures with men during 4 stages of beard growth. While they perceived men wearing heavy stubble as the most attractive, women also felt that the men wearing a full beard were more reliable, better fathers and better protectors.
5. You have better things to do with your time
At Boston University, Dr. Herbert Mescon measured the time spend shaving by a man during his lifetime. It seems that if a man starts shaving at the age of 15 and continues to do so until he is 55, he will spend about 3,350 hours at this task. In other words, you could waste a staggering 139 days of your life shaving or you could spend this time doing something worthwhile (like grooming your beard, for instance).
6. It keeps you warm
This one might be a no-brainer, but you won’t know just how much your beard was doing for you until you shave it one winter morning. Even in the coldest winters, when the temperature is bitter and bone-chilling, your beard can protect you from wind burn and keep your face warm.
7. It keeps you healthy
Sporting a beard isn’t all about attraction and masculinity. From as early as 1875, it was documented that a beard can help you keep airborne bacteria out of your mouth and therefore protect your throat. This is even more important if you have a reactive airway condition like asthma, because your beard acts as an additional filter between harmful toxins and your lungs. Dr. Clifford W. Basset, the medical director of Allergy and Asthma care of New York, agrees with this point and underlines the fact that the more hair you have under your airways (or the meaner your beard is), the better your protection against pollutants and allergens.
8. It protects you from the sun
Still debating if you should shave your beard? In addition to keeping your airways clean, your beard also offers great protection against the sun. In fact, your facial hair can block up to 95% of the harmful UV rays you are exposed to on a daily basis, which ultimately prevents leathery skin, as well as the increase in wrinkles. Even more surprising was the research conducted at the University of Southern Queensland, which showed that a beard can even reduce a man’s risk of getting skin cancer.
9. It helps your skin
The benefits of facial hair for your skin do not stop here. Growing a beard does not only save you from an itchy face by preventing razor rash, acne and ingrown hairs, but it also means that you don’t have to worry about dry skin. The sebaceous glands in your beard will get your skin moisturized, while the hair itself will make sure it stays that way by keeping wind and cold air out.
10. It makes a statement
You ask us – “Should I shave my beard?” Our answer is – No way. It seems pretty clear to us, and science agrees, that regardless of what society tells us, a mean beard is much manlier than a hairless chin. In a world where conformity and uniformity is the norm, your beard stands out as a statement of uniqueness and confidence. So before you do anything you’ll regret, put the shaving cream away and give your beard some love. After all, it does so many things for you!