Beardsmen are revered as masculine, tenacious, and resourceful. Or at least that’s how we hope we’re being perceived. With the lore that’s built up around the modern beardsman in recent years, more and more formerly completely shaven gents are letting their razors take a sabbatical and embracing the hairier side of life. The question that’s on everyone’s mind when you start growing a beard though: why are you really growing one?
Each beardsman is different and everyone has their own unique set of circumstances launching them into the bearded lifestyle, but more often than not, the reasoning behind their new man manes is usually much simpler or more obvious than you’d assume. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the real reasons guys grow beards.
1. Beards Look Cool
This should come as a shock to no one, beards look good on a lot of dudes. Whether you’re going for a lighter, more groomed approach or just letting your beard run wild, you’ll at the very least make a more distinct impression when friends, family, or strangers notice you. Growing a beard will give you a presence that can’t be replicated in any other way. Without doing anything besides letting your body act naturally, you’ll look more masculine, come off more confident, and suddenly appear capable of building your own cabin or taking down Yosemite’s El Capitan. If you want to change your look and make a statement, growing a beard is the easiest way to do it.
2. Someone Else Suggests It
For some guys, wanting to grow a beard isn’t enough to get them to lay down the razor. Like all of us, sometimes it helps if someone else makes the suggestion, thereby providing the boost of confidence and encouragement needed to wander into uncharted grooming territory. Particularly, if someone you’re fond of suggests it, many beardsmen will take this as a cue to think bearded thoughts and begin the journey towards hairy glory. Sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement to change your life for the better and before you know it, you’ll be encouraging friends to do the same.
3. Staying Warm
Many, many generations ago, men grew beards not out of choice, but out of necessity. In the early days, unless you were very handy with a piranha (how I assume Fred and Barney stayed completely shaven for so long) or a sharp piece of rock, you probably weren’t shaving too regularly. Since then, men in colder climates have relied on their beards to help them stay warm and protect their faces against the harsh elements of winter. Snow, rain, ice, wind, and dryness can all take a toll on a guy’s face and, although eons ago beardsmen were more worried about survival rather than comfort, these days the latter is at the forefront. Sure, guys in every climate should and are experimenting with beards, but it’s the fellas that call places like Minneapolis, Montreal, Stockholm, and Liverpool home that rely on their beards to be both easy on the eyes and as their last lines of defense against mother nature’s more frigid side.
4. Utter Laziness
This might surprise you, but by far the most common reason men grow out their beards for the first (or hundredth) time is pure laziness. Shaving, as anyone can tell you, is not fun. It can be time consuming, painful, and even occasionally nerve racking (if you mess up your neck line, there goes days/weeks/months of hard work). The best way to avoid these things? Skipping them entirely. At a certain point it might serve you to trim up parts of your beard, but for the most part you can just let it grow in whatever pattern nature intended. Kick back, throw on your favorite album, and just go with the grow.
5. Covering Up What’s Beneath
Besides complimenting your other features and providing you with an aura of masculinity, beards are a great way to essentially redesign your facial features and choose what parts of your face are and aren’t seen. For younger guys, beards are a great way to cover up bad skin or acne, essentially acting as a canopy to your face’s forest floor. Similarly, if you’re a heavier-set guy with a less defined jaw or chin, beards can serve as a great way to heighten whichever features you favor the most. We always suggest embracing your individuality and being confident in who you are, but just because you weren’t born with a beard doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate it into your adult identity. Whatever makes you feel most comfortable, embrace it to the fullest.
Photos by Tommy Cairns