If you’re a man looking for a style accessory that speaks volumes, then consider the humble beard. Whether you opt for the slightly unshaven, stubble look or are in the midst of growing a full blow goatee, Dutch style, Bandholz or Garibaldi beard, complete with waxed twisted mustache, facial hair can make a bold and beautiful statement.
Everyone from the Australian Telegraph to the US based Business Insider were touting the beard had its day at the beginning of this year. Apparently this has something to do with a historian somewhere with too much time on his hands who decided to undertake some research into beards. He found Victorians and men at the turn of the last century were more likely to have some form of facial hair.
That makes sense, after all razors were difficult things in those days and it was always much easier to let that facial hair grow. There has been a resurgence in recent years with the likes of Brad Pitt, Idris Elba, Oscar Issacs and even Tom Hardy boasting chin growth of varying degrees. Some say the imminent demise of the beard is due to the rise of the Yuccie (Young Urban Creatives) who prefer a cleaner cut look.
To beard lovers everywhere, the news that we are more prone to getting out the razor and shaving off all that hair has been greatly exaggerated. Beards are still going strong. Men are using their potential for facial hair to make a fashion statement. If you’ve been watching the European Football this last few weeks you may have seen Wales’ Joe Ledley sporting a fair degree of facial topiary. Then there’s weirdly wild Adam Kleeberger who looks like he’s just crossed the Canadian border with a musket in his hand and mischief on his mind. It’s not just in sport and entertainment that beards are still popular – walk down any street and you’ll see a good few on show.
The Benefits of Beards
Not only can beards protect you from dangerous UV rays and keep you warm in winter, they can also give you a psychological advantage over your competitors. For men, being in a position to grow a decent amount of facial hair has often been considered a sign of masculinity and strength. Some psychoanalysts have tried to convince us that the growing of the beard is a response to uncertainty and its recent popularity was the cause of the financial crash and the rise of terrorism – growing facial hair is a way for testosterone depleted alpha males to assert themselves.
This is undoubtedly bunkum.
The popularity of beards has been helped by many celebrities sporting them, encouraging men to take to facial hair more enthusiastically. It has its daily benefits – you don’t have to shave in the morning, for one thing, and, while your better half might not find it that attractive, at least you look caveman ready and primed for masculine action.
The truth is that, if you can grow a good ‘head’ of facial hair, it looks pretty impressive. A beard can also make an ordinary face look more attractive. Men will continue you to grow them, if only because they simply can. In a world where it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd with men’s clothing, boasting a facial bush is one of the few ways we can still be individuals. It has little to do with testosterone and alpha males and more to do with the fact that beards, actually, look pretty cool.