To be or not to be? The chicken or the egg? Beard or no beard?
These are just a few of life’s great questions that have plagued man since our existence. There’s plenty of good reasons to grow a beard. That said, they aren’t for everyone. Today, we’ll tackle the critical dilemma of beard vs no beard to help you decide if it’s a good look for you.
Beard OR No Beard – The Debate
The Pros of Growing A Beard
When it comes to growing a beard, there are several awesome benefits you’ll be sure to enjoy.
1. It Keeps Your Face Warm
One of the biggest benefits, especially for those of us who are used to freezing winters is that a beard will keep your face warm and toasty. Having a beard acts as a built-in scarf to shield you from the elements — score one for the beards in the battle of clean-shaven vs beard.
2. It Keeps Your Skin Conditioned
Beards are also great for your skin. Many of us fight with dry or flaky skin, especially when it’s cold and dry. Beards work to protect your skin from environmental damage, and they keep your skin properly hydrated. This is another feather in the cap of the pro-beard side in the beard or no beard argument.
3. Beards Add Attitude and Personality to Your Look
Then, there’s the inherent sex appeal of growing a killer beard. You’re bound to look more mysterious, more appealing, and more attractive. Sure, there’s a few of us out there that aren’t going to do themselves any favors by growing a beard. But, for most guys, a beard is a great way to add some edge to your look.
The Cons of Growing a Beard
While there are many great benefits to growing a beard, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are also some negatives associated with the beard vs no beard argument.
1. It Takes Time to Grow
One of the key reasons why some guys fail when they try and grow a beard is the lack of patience. Growing a beard takes time and patience. You have to be ready to commit to looking like a bit of a vagrant for at least a few weeks before your beard begins to look like something that you’re doing on purpose.
For many guys, they grow impatient quickly and chop off their beard before it has a chance to reach its potential. If you’re torn between a beard or no beard, remember that you’ll need to exercise some patience in the early stages.
2. It Will be Itchy
Also, be prepared for a bit of itchiness. An itchy face is the #1 killer of beards in the world. During the first few weeks of growth, it’s common for your face to itch. Some guys will hardly notice, while other guys will be extremely bothered by the itching. Remember, this is temporary. Within a few weeks, the itching will subside, and you’ll be well on your journey.
3. You’ll Need to Maintain It
You’ll also need to keep in mind that growing a beard isn’t just as simple as not shaving. Your beard is just like the hair on your head; if you don’t take the time to maintain it, you’ll end up looking unkempt, and that’s not a beard style you should aspire to.
A man cultivating a quality beard will spend time in front of the mirror regularly trimming, shaping, and maintaining their beard to keep it looking its best. So, if you aren’t the type to set aside a few minutes for your beard routine each day, growing one may not be for you.
Once your beard passes through the first stage of growth, you’ll also find yourself in need of some beard grooming products to keep your beard looking its best. Beard balms, oils, waxes, brushes, combs, scissors, the list goes on and on. While there’s no need to go overboard on the product regimen, you should be prepared for your beard to add a few expenses to your morning routine.
4. Everyone Will Have a Comment
Finally, be prepared for the extra attention that your beard is going to garner in public. This is a bit of a pro and a con since everyone loves a compliment now and then. But, if you have a seriously epic beard on your hands, be prepared to be stopped on the street several times a day to field questions about your beard.
So, You’re Ready to Grow a Beard: Some Sage Advice
You’ve thoroughly weighed the question of beard vs no beard in your head, and you decided that you’re going to commit to growing a beard. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
1. Start on Vacation
When it comes to growing a beard, the first week is always the hardest. Sure, you’ll probably look a bit unkempt for about a month, but that first week can be especially ugly. If you start your beard on vacation, you won’t have to worry about looking unruly at work, and you won’t have to field any questions about your new beard, either.
2. Don’t Touch Your Beard
Commit to not shaving for four weeks, period. In time, you’ll start shaping your beard and shaving strategic places, like your neckline and the tops of your cheeks. But, it’s best just to let your beard do it’s magic for a while before you start shaping it.
3. Tea Tree is a Friend
Nothing combats an itchy beard like tea tree grooming products. Consider investing in some tea tree shampoo, conditioner, or oil to tame the itchiness of your new beard.
4. Seek Professional Help
Keeping your beard well-groomed is a key component to a great looking beard. This is to consider when you decide beard or no beard. In time, you’ll become an expert on keeping your beard clean and shaped. But, when you’re faced with a blank canvas of sorts, it can be tough to line yourself up properly unless you know what you’re doing.
When it’s time for your first trim, seek out a good barber for the job. They’ll be able to put your lines in and give you a template to follow so you can clean yourself up at home. But, make sure that the barber you’re seeing has experience working with beards. Otherwise, you could be in for a rude awakening.
If you’re not sure whether to go clean shaven or beard up, marinate on the pros and cons about, and then decide which direction is best for you. For most guys, growing a beard is a great look, but it does come with some work. If you decide to grow a beard, follow the tips above, and you’ll be well on your way to beard glory.