As with most things in life, there’s the good, the bad and then the downright ugly. Try telling that to those stubborn patchy hairs on your face though. There’s no manual for hair growth (not for lack of trying, genome project!) but there surely is a manual for beard styling. So, without further ado, let’s scratch that itch and answer once and for all questions like: why do men have facial hair? Is shaving your face bad? How often should I shave? And the most pressing… will my partner still love me?
First off – gents – beards will always grow back. So, no one will love you less if you choose to grow one out or hack it all off. Plus, as the saying goes, if they don’t like your beard now, it’ll surely grow on them with time!
Why Do Men Have Facial Hair?
Jokes aside, why do men even have facial hair? That’s a good question and one that evolutionary biologists have had no good crack at so far – the latest curious development being a paper supposedly claiming men grow facial hair so they’re protected from punches! It seems like facial stubble has no real physiological purpose. Unlike eyelashes or pubic hair, which are useful when trying to keep dirt or pathogens away – beards, well, if anything they’re a trap for breadcrumbs.
To cut it short, the big-bearded Darwin-esque evolutionary scientists think their facial hair has little to do with them and a lot more to do with the psychology of the opposite sex. We’ll throw the clippers to you then, non-bearded chaps! So, tell us, why on earth do we have facial hair and is it good for us or not? We could go all Freudian and talk about virility, masculinity, oedipal anxiety and all that psychobabble but, we’ve decided to settle for this: some people grow facial hairs and like it, others don’t. So, either keep digging for answers and turn to stone like The Thinker or follow our ultimate guide to the pros and cons of shaving.
The Good: Benefits of Shaving
Let’s start with the good stuff. A lot of us shave our faces and wouldn’t have it any other way. For some, it’s a pleasant daily morning ritual – a form of meditation/self-care. For others, it’s just another existential chore. Either way, when you look at your perfect baby-smooth shave in the mirror and get that dopamine rush to your brain, that’s all that matters. So, is shaving your face good? Let’s talk about the benefits of shaving:
Fresh Shaven Means Fresh Looking
You’re only young once, they say. Well, if you get rid of your beard you can instantly look younger on demand! Some even claim you can shave up to 10 years off when you give the lion’s mane a chop. Sure, you might start getting ID’d at the pub now, but when you look 30 in your 40s, we’re sure you have bigger problems than fooling everyone with your fresh looks.
Barba Crescit Caput Nescit
To me and you, this ancient Roman saying translates to “the beard grows longer, but the head doesn’t necessarily grow wiser”! Beard aficionados, you might not like this, but if you’re heading to a corporate job interview or working with a new client, you might want to give the old Bandholz beard a mow. The full look is undoubtedly rich in character and might make you look wiser, but the downside is that you could be giving away more about yourself than you’d like. Truth is, the neat, evergreen clean-shaven look has never gotten anyone in trouble and always looks professional. So, if in doubt, we say off with that facial hair!
Growing a Beard? Who’s Got Time for That?
A full, thick, luscious beard can take up to 4 months to grow and we all know what the first couple of weeks will feel like: stubbly, patchy not to mention, itchy. Why put yourself through this endurance test when you can just reach for that sharp razor and a soft smooth shaving cream like Gillette’s SkinGuard Sensitive shaving gel and just be done with it? Yes, shaving every day is a chore (for some) but did anyone tell you about the upkeep a good full beard will demand? You’ve probably got a full-time job already, and let us remind you, it’s not looking after that wild facial hair.