Much like any highly noticeable physical trait or stylistic choice, having a beard tends to draw the attention of those around you. Ask any beardsman you know and they’ll tell you that everyone assumes their beard is just chock-full of secrets. Friends, family, and strangers alike always have questions regarding the intricacies of having a beard, usually assuming the worst, but always willing to be educated on the realities of having a hairy face.
Although to most beardsmen, these questions can range from seeming obvious to flat out silly, but we’re a friendly bunch for the most part and we’re more than willing to tell you about how it feels to have a beard and some of the stranger, less talked about issues that we face with our plentiful man manes. So in order to provide fans, foes, and curious onlookers alike with some of the realities of having a beard, we present to you Everything You Want to Know About Beards, But Are Too Afraid to Ask.
Does Your Beard Get Itchy?
By far the most common question that beardsmen receive, the resounding majority of us will definitely answer yes. Just like any hair from head to toe, beards itch, not all the time, but definitely enough to notice. For rookie beard growers, your face will especially itch as you go from the “scruff phase” to the “short beard phase.” Everyone’s skin reacts differently, but ask any beardsmen if his beard itches and, assuming he isn’t scratching it at that very moment, he’ll most likely chuckle and reply in the affirmative. Our best suggestion to tame the itch: get yourself some beard oil, it’ll keep your skin moist and help prevent your beard from drying out.
Does Beard Dandruff Exist?
Of course it does. Although some might be oblivious to this fact, especially when your beard gets girthy and the weather gets cold and dry, your face will produce dandruff. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t combat it. Much like the aforementioned itch, beard dandruff is mostly preventable, assuming you keep your face moist and your beard clean. Most beardsmen seem to wash their beard daily or avoid washing it at all costs, but in order to prevent beard dandruff from forming each guy has to find a happy medium to ensure healthy skin and facial hair.
Do You Find Stuff In Your Beard?
The easy answer is no, but I’d be lying if I told you that it never happens. Personally, I’ve found toothpicks that I meant to save for a later time and once an almond dropped out of my beard that I’d forgotten about… In front of a female coworker… During a client call… A moment that shall live in infamy forever. Although you might think that debris can get caught in one’s beard or that a family of birds might flock towards your beard for nesting purposes, unless you’re piloting an open pit plane from the early 20th century or happen to be Peter Griffin from Family Guy, it’s unlikely that you’ve come across these situations. We cannot state this enough: beards are as clean as the rest of the man. If a beardsman keeps the rest of himself clean, his face should be no different, but if that’s not the case, we can help.
Does Your Beard Keep Your Face Warm?
Much like the other regions of your body covered in dense hair, your face is definitely kept warm by your beard. In fact, the first time I really grew my beard out was to combat the Chicago cold. However, once summer came around, I decided to move 1,200 miles away to Austin, TX, so let’s call it a draw, Chicago. Depending on the length of your beard, it can serve as an excellent means to keep both your face and neck quite warm during the winter months. Although there are many imitators, you simply can’t beat the inherent warmth provided by a beard. To all of you reading this from the great white north, it might be time to put the razor down and give this some thought.
Do People Mind Kissing A Bearded Face?
Believe it or not, it depends on the person, but over time it has become very clear to me that there are ladies, in my case, who are really into beards and others who simply aren’t. This is one issue that most people are not on the fence about; you’re either very pro or very anti, so let’s focus on those who support a fully bearded man. Assuming you keep your mustache maintained and you use beard oil from time to time to keep your man mane feeling soft to the touch, you shouldn’t have too many problems. Although there can be some funny moments when engaging in other activities with a significant other, a beard for the most part shouldn’t get in the way of you kissing someone as you normally would. Simply put: keep your beard looking well-kept and others will be interested in spending time close to it.
How Do You Eat With A Beard?
This might seem silly, but learning to eat with a beard, or especially a mustache, can take some practice and planning. The keys to success: doing whatever you can to prevent biting down on your mustache and keeping lots of napkins handy. The sad truth is there are some foods that beardsmen must simply avoid, including ribs, hot wings, loaded hot dogs, bagels slathered in cream cheese, and essentially any other finger food you can imagine. Additionally, while drinking is a slightly simpler process, using straws, to-go cups, and selecting canned beverages whenever possible are all good things to keep in mind. When you’ve finished a meal, just do a quick run through and make sure you didn’t leave any leftovers on your face or in your beard, certain types of surprises should be prevented.
Does Your Beard Smell?
For the most part, your beard on its own will not smell, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t change that. Although we strongly suggest against letting your beard develop its own unique natural aroma, using products like beard oil can provide both a pleasant scent to onsmellers, as well as keeping your hard working facial skin healthy and moist. Just like other hairy parts of your body, after working out your beard will probably take on the stench of sweat, but it can be washed away just as quickly as the hair on top of your head. Additionally, if you find yourself cooking in the kitchen or sitting around a campfire, your beard will be prone to picking up scents from the air, but as long as you don’t mind your face smelling of lasagna or burning wood, which I know I don’t, you should be fine in just about any situation.
Photography by Tommy Cairns