Congratulations first time beardsmen! You’ve almost made it through the itching, the awkwardness, and the growing pains of letting your face mane fly to receive the ultimate chin crown of Mother Nature’s affection. You’ve joined the ranks of lumberjacks, fishermen, and, well, the rest of us, who earn our daily bread via slightly more docile and lower-risk professions. Taste triumph, or whatever remnants from lunch, or your last goblet of wine, still resides in your whiskers.
As November is slowly coming to an end, it will be time to decide how to proceed with your newfound face fur. Some of you will undoubtedly give in and shave away your hard fought follicles, while the rest of you, the enlightened bunch, will continue on with your newfound beloved beard. Although we will be sad to lose some of you, we’ll attempt to understand your reasoning, but for those who haven’t yet made up their minds, let us present some of the benefits of keeping the razor at bay for the time being.
1. Beards Keep You WarmImage courtesy of Mitch Gentry
Winter is coming and with the change of seasons comes the sudden realization that stepping outside is not as pleasant as it was just a few weeks ago. Although wrapping your face in a scarf or ski mask is viable for some, why not just let your own genetics do the work? We might not have been there for when man grew his first beard, but we’re assuming it came about as a result of much of the world getting unpleasantly f’ing cold for a large portion of the year. Wind, snow, and freezing rain all suck, but you, good sir, can commute in slightly more comfort this winter by simply keeping your bearded efforts going.
2. Beards are Good For Your Skin
Much like sunscreen or wearing a normal amount of clothing, beards help protect your facial skin from everything the world throws at it on a daily basis. As beards become increasingly popular among men young and old, more and more benefits are being identified by scientists the world over.
According to Shannon C. Trotter, D.O. and dermatologist at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, beards naturally lock in moisture to help prevent your skin from drying out and becoming irritated (a particularly common occurrence during the winter). Additionally, she reports that beards help prevent skin blemishing due to the reduction in shaving, which is known to irritate the skin and often times spread bacteria, unbeknownst to you. Also, according to a recent study conducted at Australia’s University of Southern Queensland, beards have been shown to help reduce your skin cancer risk, which is something every man should celebrate and support.
3. Beards Command Respect
Along with the added health benefits, beards definitely have a psychological effect on both others and yourself. The appearance of facial hair makes a man appear wiser, older, more experienced, and learned, each of which is difficult to achieve, for many of us, at such a young age. Additionally, keeping your beard after the events of November have ended will send a message to all around you, stating that this wasn’t just an experiment in appearance, but an overall shift in personal philosophy.
4. A Beard Completely Changes Your Look
As men we don’t have the opportunity to significantly change our personal appearance as quickly as many women do, which the fairer sex usually achieves through drastic hair alterations. Sure, you can buzz your head or try out one of the many pseudo-pompadours sweeping the nation, but nothing changes the way you present yourself quite like a beard. A man’s face is the first thing many people see and it’s immediately where first-impressions are formed. Has the response from friends and other onlookers been positive over the past few weeks? Than stay the course good sir, there’s only more good to come.
5. Beards Allow You to Ponder Away & Stroke Your Chin PoignantlyImage courtesy of Tommy Cairns photography
Yes, whether on a sea side cliff with the wind blowing majestically into your man-locks or after opening the refrigerator and trying to decide whether ordering pizza again is acceptable, stroking your beard methodically is one of the truly satisfying experiences of manhood. Thoughts become deeper, pondering become richer, and your day dreams will in fact develop much more thorough plot lines than ever before. If nothing else, besides people congratulating you on your triumph and assuming you would no longer be the first dead in the Hunger Games arena, this sole experience should be enough for you to let your razor gather rust and let your face mane roam free.
(Top Image courtesy of Tommy Cairns photography)