Face Shaving Tips

Benefits of Shaving Your Face: The Good and The Bad

Benefits of Shaving Your Face | Gillette UK

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

The Benefits of Shaving | Gillette UK

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.

Clean Up Your Act and Your Skin Will Follow

Listen, it’s not all about looks. A close shave with a razor and shave prep also helps clear dead skin cells and wash away bacteria, dirt and debris. Think about it this way, every time you shave, you’re also giving your face an exfoliating massage. Also, you’ll be able to get that all-important Gillette Sensitive Skin SPF15 moisturiser on your skin without having to wrestle with your facial hair every time.

The Bad: Disadvantages of Shaving

The Disadvantages of Shaving | Gillette UK

The history of humankind has been plagued with the struggle to overcome nature and unruly beards certainly don’t fall short of their own entropic weight. But before we dismiss facial hair as nature’s freak accident, why don’t we take a good hard look at our relationship with the natural world? Humanity’s obsession with forcing nature hasn’t proved exactly successful, has it. So, let’s take a step back from the trimming tools and ask ourselves, is shaving the face bad?

Growing vs Ingrowing

Let’s talk hard facts. Depending on your skin type, shaving your face every day can cause ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and all sorts of skin irritations if done with the wrong tools. This can happen, especially if you have sensitive skin, but skincare shouldn’t be a bumpy ride. With the right tools at hand, like Gillette’s SkinGuard Sensitive Power Razor or our ProShield Power Razor, you can still get a smooth, close shave without having to worry about damaging your skin. So, whether you like to keep the stubble or never want to worry about stumbling on a rogue facial hair ever again – your beard’s style is now dictated by you, not your skin.

Break the Routine, One Beard Style at The Time

Did you know that on average men spend 140 days of their life shaving? So, if this daily routine is starting to feel more rigmarole than pleasure, then why not get creative and experiment with some bearded styles? Growing a beard doesn’t mean you’ll stop shaving – it means you’re opening your world up to more creative shaving techniques. First-time beard grower? Shave all but the soul patch. Keen to try something more creative? With beard styles named after Dali, Zappa and Chaplin, you’re sure to be crossing into highly artistic beard shaving territories!

Grow Older, Wiser and Beardier

If you want to keep getting called baby-face, look away. If you’re keen to look sophisticated and distinguished, then it’s time to swap the razor for a soothing King C. Gillette beard balm. A well-groomed, impeccably kept and fashionably styled beard will add plenty of panache to proceedings. Think about it, facial hair will instantly remind people of the greatest thinkers: from Plato and Aristotle’s long solemn beards and Steward Mill’s swanky mutton chops to Zizek’s full righteous mane.

Growing a Beard: Protection to Factor In

Forgot your SPF 30? Left your scarf at home? You see, men with beards are better protected from the weather, be it the sun’s rays or winter’s frozen sleet. But gents – hear us out, we’re not talking about a 3-day stubble or a 10-day lazy man’s beard! If you want protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays, you’ll need to grow a long, dense, full Van-Dyke style beard. For all the rest of us, it’s safe to say sunscreen is still very much an essential.

To Shave or Not to Shave?

To Shave or Not To Shave | Gillette UK

Now that we’ve heard from both sides, it’s time to appeal to the best judge: yourself. What grows and doesn’t grow on your face and how often you should shave ultimately comes down to your preference. Some reap the benefits of shaving every day: it makes them look fresher, neater and more professional. Others gain confidence by letting their facial hair transform their looks adding sophistication, charm and creativity to their grooming routine.

So, will you shave or grow a beard?


Does Shaving Help Beard Growth?

Many falsely believe shaving makes their facial hair grow thicker. The reality is that shaving has no effect on the way hair grows and doesn’t affect the root of the hair. If you want smoother beards though, use beard balms and oils to help keep it tidy, soft and well-groomed.

Do Beards Thicken with Age?

If you’re a teenager desperately trying to grow out of your patchy beard phase, fret not. The older you get, the thicker your beard will grow. But don’t worry, everyone’s hair growth is different and all beards are valid. Remember, on average, your beard will not have developed fully until your 30s!



Writer and expert