Having a beard can be an expression of ones individuality and sense of style. It represents both strength and wisdom, as well as displaying a certain level of maturity. Many cultures associate certain meanings and symbolism to facial hair, with tribes typically assigning aged individuals or respected elders the full facial hair look. For instance, beards were thought to have magical properties in Ancient Greece and were a sign of high social standing during the middle ages. And in the recent past, many well known politicians, sportsmen, and other public figures have opted for growing a beard to stand out in their external projects.
Whether growing a beard is a personal decision or an act of discussion is best left to the individual. But it is worth noting that studies have found that men with beards could be seen as more attractive, more dominant, and more trustworthy compared to their clean-shaven counterparts. This notion was tested in a study published in the Biological Science Journal, revealing that the majority of both males and females rated bearded faces as healthier, more attractive and overall more favorable than cleanshaven faces.
The beard grooming industry has also skyrocketed recently with the birth of beard dedicated products flooding the market. You can now find websites and blogs dedicated to suggesting the ideal beard shapes for different face types, and hundreds of beard pomades and conditioners that help maintain a neat style for all levels of beard thickness. From glossy balms and glossy waxes to trimming sets and disinfectants, the beard grooming industry is now worth an estimated \$2.5 billion dollars, clearly underlining its place in popular culture.
Growing A Beard
Growing a beard is a personal choice and should never be rushed. It is important to have patience and persist, as the process can take quite a while depending on the individual’s metabolism and facial hair growth rate.
It is essential to know your face shape, how your beard would look like, and even the texture of your beard itself. Do you want it to be long and wavy or short and trimmed? Researching on some beard styling guidelines according to your face shape can be helpful when determining an ideal shape, as the idea is to make the face more symmetrical and more stylish.
Before taking the plunge and growing a beard, men should assess their own face and any skin conditions that might be a factor in the growth process. Facial skin conditions such as razor burn, rosacea, and acne can all cause irritation when growing a beard. Therefore, it is important to take good care of your skin when growing a beard and use products which help control inflammation and keep the beard healthy.
In order to keep your beard looking great, you should regularly wash, condition and trim your facial hair. This will not only keep it free of dirt and bacteria, but will also help prevent any split ends and ingrown hairs from forming. Investing in a quality beard trimmer is also a great way to ensure an even and clean look.
Facial Hair Genetics
The majority of facial hair growth is determined by genetic factors. Several different hairs on non-balding scalps are metabolized by androgens, the male hormones responsible for masculinizing features.
Testosterone is the famous androgen shown to be responsible for increased facial hair growth in men. The impact of testosterone upon the body is often related to beard growth, as some men may have longer and more pronounced hair growth than others within their age group.
Although genetics do play an important part in the maximum amount of facial hair that can be grown, it should be noted that external factors such as diet and lifestyle choices can also be influential. Eating a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of proteins, fruits, and vegetables fuel the facial hair growth process, but men can also benefit from incorporating supplements into their daily routine.
These are some vitamins which have been suggested to have a positive effect on facial hair growth. For example, vitamin B6 is an important piece below the metabolism of certain proteins, and its deficiency could lead to slower hair growth or lack of proper maintenance for beard hairs; vitamin A helps build proteins to promote sebaceous (oil) glands, and its deficiencies can lead to dull and brittle beard hairs; and vitamin E has clinically been shown to improve circulation.
Social Implications of A Beard
The social implications of growing a beard often differ from culture to culture. Some countries may see beards as a sign of aggression, while others may see them as an expression of confidence and self-expression. In general, beards have experienced a resurgence in recent years, although there are still many places where facial hair is seen as inappropriate or unprofessional.
Beards have also come to symbolize a certain level of success. It has become common to see men with a thick, well-maintained beard in the boardroom alongside a tailored suit and exotic tie. Thus, men with beards are associated with being powerful, authoritative, and successful. It is also likely to be more difficult for men with a beard to secure employment in some areas of the business world.
Facial hair can also be seen as a statement of rebellion and non-conformism. Many social and political activists have embraced having a beard, with the iconic examples of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro being two classic examples of this. They believed that by growing a beard, they were uttering a clear and visual statement of defiance.
Society’s Perception Of Bearded Men
Society’s perception of bearded men has changed over time, with the increasing popularity of facial hair being treated as a sign of modernity and dapperness. There has recently been a trend of bearded men becoming the darlings of fashion and appearing more frequently in popular magazines and advertising campaigns.
From a survey on over 1000 women, 63% of them responded positively in wanting to have a partner with facial hair in some form or another. Beard culture has clearly reached a peak in its status, giving men all over the world license to embrace their unique styles.
The common misconception that beards are a sign of uncleanliness and laziness has since been debunked and replaced by an idea of sophistication and sex appeal. Most modern cultures have embraced facial hair and reward those with facial hair with more attention than the past when facial hair was treated as something uncouth and unenlightened.
Embracing Your Beard With Style
It is important to ensure that you embrace and flaunt your beard with style. Start with a crisp and trim look, and gradually shape and groom it for a more personalized style. Always remember to be patient in the process, as growing and maintaining a good looking beard can take a while.
Choose a beard style which compliments your face shape and fits with your lifestyle. There are a variety of different beard styles that men can choose from depending on the desired result. From Hollywood men in classic goatees to full-out lumberjacks, there is a style to fit every man and his expectations.
The most important aspect of rocking a beard with style is to ensure that you keep it clean, neat and groomed. Invest in quality beard care products, and regularly shampoo and condition your beard to prevent any itching, split ends and damage. Comb it with a good-quality beard brush and use natural oils to keep it soft and nourished.
Styling Your Beard
Having a beard can give you a great sense of style and confidence, but ensuring it looks great is significantly easier said than done. It is all too easy to end up with an unkempt and wiry-looking beard take away your style.
For those desiring to maintain a modern look, a fashionable, neat beard can be achieved easily with a handful of styling products such as beard oils, balms and waxes. These products help to condition the beard, making it look shiny, bouncy and healthy. They also help keep any strays in check.
Beard oils are best applied right after you shower when the skin is still damp. The oil will lock in the moisture of the newly washed beard, leaving it feeling hydrated and nourished. The oil also acts as a natural detangler for those who are plagued with tangled hair, and the oils are absorbent which help to nourish the skin beneath the beard.
Maintaining A Healthy Beard
A healthy beard requires commitment and a daily grooming routine. This means consistently washing, oiling and styling your facial hair, as well as trimming and detangling. Proper dietary choices and hydration of the skin and beard are also essential for achieving an impressive looking beard.
It is important to use the right combination of products to ensure that the beard looks sleek and disciplined at all times. Choosing the right beard comb and brush is also essential as they will help style and shape the beard.
For those men who are looking to grow longer facial hair, ensuring the beard is trimmed around the edges is key. This helps keep it looking sharp and distinguished and can easily be done by taking it slow and trimming off split ends regularly.
Ultimately, having a beard is a personal choice. Whether you embrace it fully, or groom it to perfection, it is important to keep it healthy and hydrated. Growing a beard and maintaining it will take a little bit of effort, but depending on one’s face shape or desired style it can easily be achieved with patience and the right products. Men should also remember to embrace their beards with style and confidence, as facial hair can be a great expression of individuality and power.