Should You Grow a Beard? Pros and Cons - Alpha Male Nation
Since the beginning of time, men have been growing facial hair in order to assert their masculinity and display their elevated social position within a group. Nowadays, having a beard seems to be more of a fashion or personal choice than anything, though there are still hidden implications here as well. Moreover, recent grooming trends seem to be in favor of this masculine aesthetic, which then inevitably raises some important questions: should you grow a beard? What are the pros and cons of doing this? Will it be easy to maintain or one more thing to worry about etc.?
Admittedly, men do tend to have a hard time when it comes to taking care of their face, especially if the hair in this area is either very thick or, on the contrary, very ‘scattered’. As a result, many want to find a solution for making their morning routine easier and saving some time, which is usually by letting the hair grow and then shaping it to suit their face and style. Nevertheless, whether you want to do this out of curiosity, for the ladies or simply because you feel like a change in your looks, here are the major pros and cons of letting your facial hair grow significantly:
PROS of growing a beard:
- Increased attractiveness levels – to put it frankly, a man with a beard will almost always be sexier and more interesting visually than one sporting a clean shaven face. Some argue that this attraction dates back to prehistoric times, when men used facial hair to express dominance and power. This might have a dose of truth to it because a beard would thus become a means of differentiating between one another in both rank and identity (just like with tattoos or piercings, for instance). Regardless of the underlying psychological explanation, real life experiences show that women will most definitely turn their heads after a bearded man than after someone who doesn’t sport any facial hair whatsoever.
- Display of manliness – when we think about the most ‘manly’ man we could conjure in our minds, we inevitably give him big muscles, an imposing attitude and…yes, a beard! From the infamous cave man to Viking warriors and the revolutionary figures of recent times, all men who have ever left their mark on the world were proud owners of some type of facial hair. Why, you ask? Well, the ability to grow a beard is, in a sense, a confirmation of the fact that your body is producing enough testosterone for you to be rightfully considered a man, which thus makes you a suitable partner for women and an adult in the eyes of society.
- Aesthetic appeal – while this is highly linked to our cultural background and/ or the social environment into which our (dis)likings have developed, we as humans have always been drawn towards displays of facial hair. In fact, there have been extremely few historical periods when some form of facial hair was not a popular trend, whether we are talking about moustaches or full grown beards. This goes to show how, in spite of technological advances and huge mental progress, we are still intrinsically drawn towards this type of facial grooming in men and that, most likely, it will remain a constant presence in the future of humanity.
- A sign of maturity – as mentioned before, growing a beard means that your body has already matured enough to produce testosterone and put you on the path towards adulthood. What we should also take into consideration is that, with the considerably elevated living standard of present times, boys (and girls) go into puberty a lot earlier, so you might not actually be able to call yourself a ‘grownup’ by the time your first hairs appear on your chin. Even so, being able to grow and maintain a beard at an earlier age will make you (at least) seem more mature and confident. If you are already in your twenties or older, deciding to sport a bearded look will make you seem wiser and more professional, even earn you more respect and credibility at your workplace, in family relations, with romantic partners, etc.
- No more shaving every day – as can be easily deduced, growing a beard will save you time in the morning and money on shaving creams, razors, easily broken shaving machines, etc. What is more, you won’t have to dread getting unaesthetic cuts every time you’re in a hurry or the painful feeling of aftershave on a freshly groomed face (and the not so subtle irritation that sometimes accompanies it). Admittedly, beards also do require good taking care of, but this is usually after they’ve taken some sort of shape, so you can rest assured you’re safe of this responsibility for at least a couple of weeks.
- Getting rid of the ‘baby face’ – the unfortunate reality is that some men naturally look more ‘manly’ than others. While we can’t argue with genetics, growing a thick and impressive beard could definitely help make you appear more imposing than you would without it. Facial hair adds years to your age – but in a good way, if structured properly – which means you too can look more mature and attractive at the same time, with anything ranging from a ‘five o’clock shadow’ to a full set of facial hair.
- Natural camouflage – while contemporary times are more accepting of men wearing makeup (such as foundation, for instance), it is still women who have in their ‘arsenal’ the widest array of cosmetic techniques in order to reshape their faces and mask any imperfections. As a result, growing a beard could be your only way as a man to hide any blemishes, acne scars, or uneven skin pigmentation, not to mention it being a great way of naturally ‘contouring’ your jaw-line and cheekbone area. Just be sure to find the exact shape of beard which suits you best, otherwise it might have the opposite effect and accentuate the features you want to soften or conceal.
- Keeps you warm – as peculiar as it might seem, facial hair can actually act as a form of insulation during the cold season, particularly in which concerns your neck area. This can be advantageous to those whose style doesn’t necessarily go with a scarf or shawl to keep them warm. On the other hand, having a big and thick beard during the summertime or in a generally warm climate can be at times difficult, even inconvenient.
- Better Christmas gifts – if you have been famously sporting an impressive beard some time before the holidays, chances are all your friends and family are going to get you products designed specifically for its maintenance. Which is both a very welcomed and foolproof idea, since good quality grooming items can have pretty steep prices (for a good reason, nonetheless). As a result, you should subtly give them some hints as to what you really want (or need), such as beard oils, shampoos, special treatments for getting rid of ingrown hairs, and fancy trimmers.
CONS of growing a beard:
- Patchiness – while some men are capable of growing a full beard in a matter of weeks, some might end up struggling with the issue of patchiness and clearly visible unevenness of hair distribution. If the problem is genetic, one option is to let the rest of your facial hair grow enough so as to see if the less hairy spots can be in this way covered though a sort of ‘optical illusion’. If not, try to adopt a beard style that allows you to realistically incorporate these ‘bald spots’ into a stylish beard shape (like a long stubble, a goatee, etc.).
- Weird ‘in-between’ look – let’s be real: your beard isn’t going to grow overnight. Sure, you are going to really like the scruffiness of skipping 2-3 shaving days, but, inevitably, you will reach a point where your facial hair isn’t quite a scruff anymore, but not yet a beard either. Furthermore, things can start to look a bit weird in the mustache area, especially if your hair doesn’t tend to grow symmetrically or at the same rate all throughout your face.
- Awkward kissing ‘situations’ – since beards are renowned for their attractiveness levels, it’s only a matter of time before the ladies start becoming more interested in you, which will undoubtedly lead to kissing and maybe even more. The downside is that an intense makeup session might leave you both with a few stray hairs in your mouths, which is particularly undesirable for all parts involved.
- Itchiness – just like your head sometimes gives you a hard time with itchiness, so will your beard, which can then cause irritations or unpleasant blemishes. Again, it might even become scratchy and uncomfortable during kissing or other forms of intimacy for your partner, so you should really pay attention if she’s just ticklish or genuinely displeased with the whole ‘hairy’ situation.
- Getting the right ‘fit’ – not all beard types and shapes fit all faces, so you have to go through several ‘trial and error’ phases before getting that perfect aesthetic for yourself. Furthermore, if you have the patchiness problem addressed above, then your efforts might be even doubled by this shortcoming. On the other hand, if a really thick and full beard makes you look unnatural or too plump around the face, you might want to actually reconsider wearing this style of facial hair.
- Increased maintenance – after those few blissful weeks of not shaving, you will quickly realize that having a dense and ‘glorious’ beard requires an equal amount of time and effort spent grooming (if not more sometimes). And all that money you saved on shaving kits will be redistributed to beard maintenance shampoos, creams, oils, etc., not to mention the fact that will have to comb and trim it regularly. Otherwise, you might end up with tangled hairs, weird shapes, even crumbs and pieces of food scattered around in between hairs (which is highly undesirable no matter how you take it).
- Constant ‘shedding’ – whether it belongs on the top of your head or in the tip of your chin, hair will fall – it’s part of the natural regeneration process, so it shouldn’t be such a big deal, right? Well, when it ends up in your food or drinks after just touching or stroking your beard, then it might become a bit of a problem. Not to mention that grooming sessions will be a mess to clean after, with little bits of hair sticking to the sink and any other available surface.
- Jokes – while facial hair is still a growing fashion trend amongst men, you will find that people just love making fun of bearded persons. So get ready to be compared to Santa Claus, wizards, monks, even lumberjacks! And don’t be surprised if you get teasingly called a ‘hipster’ once or twice. You can either roll with the punches or make a witty comeback, but fact of the matter is you will still get some sort of humorous acknowledgement of your facial hair status once in a while.
There you have it! These are some of the pros and cons every man thinking about growing out a beard should have in mind before starting on this journey. As can be seen, there are as many positive aspects as there are negative, depending on how much some things might bother you or not about this sort of masculine body feature.
In conclusion, it’s all up to you whether to let your facial hair grow into a majestic beard or not. Just remember that with great beards come great responsibilities, so always keep yours in top shape through grooming and careful product selection. In no time at all, you will see how the ladies will approach you differently and even how your confidence levels will start to grow. So transform those cons into pros and give the bearded lifestyle a chance! You might not regret your decision after all!