Women, children, and a whole load of men get along in life just fine without beards. Unless you’re living among wolves in the Siberian wilderness (if you are, that’s awesome), it’s not always obvious to see the function that they actually provide.
If you step outside and take a walk, however, you’ll notice that many a modern male is now donning increasingly impressive face-huggers. From designer stubble to beards so epic they could have been directed by Spielberg himself, they’re basically everywhere. So, why do men have facial hair? There might be more reasons than you think.
Beards Have Been Around Since the Birth of Man
200,000 years ago, when the human race hadn’t been long on this earth, beards served as a great form of protection. Sadly, we’re not talking about protection from mammals, as that’s largely what tools such as spears and blades were created for. It’s more likely, however, that beards originated as a means of protecting the face from extremes of weather such as the cold.
However, if you’ve got a beard that could fend off a sabertooth single-handed, please send in a photo. I’m sure that you’d make even the neolithic male jealous.
The same as eyelashes prevent dust from getting into your eyes, beards also served the purpose of warding off sand. Considering evidence has shown that humans originated in desert-ridden areas, this is incredibly plausible.
Beards Protect Your Face From Harmful UV Rays
If your face is graced by the hair of the beard, you’ll notice in Summer that it can really crimp on your overall tan. That’s because UV rays have a trickier time penetrating facial hair, as opposed to just targeting plain skin. I learned this one the hard way by shaving my 2-incher half-way through road-tripping it across California.
If you’ve got delicate skin, a beard can be a great way of minimizing your exposure to the sun (and saving money on sunscreen).
The Ladies Love a Good Beard
200,000 years forward to the modern-day, man’s primal urges still flow strong, leaving the modern male with the same need to attract a mate.
Fortunately, the male mating ritual has progressed since the neolithic era and the attraction process is based more on looks and charm.
There’s a strong belief amongst men that women go absolutely crazy for a good beard. I’m sure many men among the beard-donning masses can testify to the truth of this. With a beard, a man knows that he’s more attractive to the other sex, which in turn boosts the confidence he has in his looks. It’s this confidence that plays such a vital role in getting the ladies.
Beards Display Dominance
Strangely, when the other sex are questioned about their opinions on beards, the results are pretty surprising.
Contrary to what many men may think, women are actually pretty nonplussed about facial hair as a standalone feature. In fact, it looks like men have settled on growing facial hair as a means of standing out from the competition.
One study conducted by a man whose name fated him to carry it out – Nigel Barber – showed this. He researched the male to female ratio in the marriage market between 1842 and 1971 in England.
He found that, during times where there was a larger number of single men compared to single women, more beards surprisingly began to spring up on faces. As more men had to compete against each other for women, beards, moustaches, and stubble became much more popular.
When looking to reproduce, it often isn’t enough for a man to just be attractive to the opposite sex. The key is being more attractive than any competition you may have. Sadly, it goes without saying that the shy, quirky dude at the back of the bar – no matter how lovely he may be – won’t stand much of a chance against his bulker, more confident friends.
There’s a good amount of evidence to suggest that beards help men to build this essential confidence. Regardless of whether women find it overly attractive, if a beard makes you more confident, you go for it.
Beards Frame Your Face
Are you cursed with the challenge of defining your weaker features? Whether you have a soft chin or a poor jawline, a beard can help to accentuate those areas and make them more prominent.
By growing your beard out for 4 weeks, you’ll have a good canvas to craft your masterpiece from. Then, it’s just a case of acquiring a trimmer and maintaining a slightly longer length around your jawline. Hey presto, you’ve got the jaw you always wanted.
Beards can also help to detract from certain facial features you may find less desirable. Any small scarring or spots on your face can easily be covered up by a beard. If God’s graced you with a sizeable nose, you can draw attention away from it with some well sculpted facial hair.
Although this is relatively straightforward to do (see our guide on 6 key steps to growing an awesome beard), you might want to get a professional barber to cut the lines in first. One slip and you’re pretty much left with waiting for it to grow back or shaving and starting all over again.
Beards Can Keep You Healthy
It might sound strange, but it’s actually true. Beards can help to ward off dangerous bacteria which can cause throat infections such as tonsillitis. This is well-documented in medical research, with the first evidence going back as early as 1875. If you’re heading towards the colder months, growing a strong beard could well help you fight off any unwanted infections or illnesses.
Also, beards have been shown to help to prevent asthma attacks. By slightly filtering the air that reaches you prior to inhalation, a beard can help to reduce the amount of airborne toxins that eventually make contact with your lungs. Although this isn’t necessarily a reason that people grow them in the first place, if you suffer from asthma it’s certainly good motivation to try one out.
Beards Help You Kiss Acne Goodbye
As with preventing toxins from reaching your lungs, having hair growing from your face provides an additional level of protection from infections such as acne. In fact, shaving regularly can actually cause skin infections, as it creates openings in your skin for the natural bacteria that exist on your face.
In addition to avoiding nasty ingrown hairs, a good beard will help to reduce the chances of acne breakouts. Since shaving can actually increase or aggravate an existing acne condition, if you suffer from bad skin a beard is worth a go. It’s time for you to swap in that razor for a glorious beard trimmer.
Beards Can Improve Your Sex Life
Yes, you read correctly. One 1970’s study referenced in the book The Dependent Gene managed to find a relationship between sex potential and beard growth. The study found that, when the opportunity for sex presents itself, testosterone secretion increases, which in turn stimulates hair growth.
So, do you get more sex for having a beard, or more beard for having sex? It actually turns out to be both. Although men with beards aren’t necessarily deemed to be more attractive, they are viewed as having features that are. A 2008 study from Northumbria University found that women rated men with facial hair to be more masculine, mature, and tough. Good news for those already with beards and certainly a good reason to start growing one if you don’t.
Beards Save You Time
Does your alarm go off at 6am every morning so you can get up and begin your shave routine? Well, now it can go off at 6:20 instead. Although beards do require maintenance, they require seriously less time commitment than maintaining a baby-smooth face.
It’s thought that the average man spends 3,350 hours shaving over the course of his life, which totals 139 days. You could definitely spend that time exercising, or sleeping.
Growing a beard can save you a serious amount of time, which you can then invest in boosting your productivity. Use that 20 minutes to get a good breakfast in you and an extra cup of coffee and you’re setting yourself up for success every day.
Loads of Historical Figures Rocked the Beard
When you can’t trust honest Abe, who can you trust? If you’re going to copy anyone’s style, powerful historical figures are usually good people to model yourself on.
Beards have been donned throughout history by the societal elite and world leaders alike. Even Chuck Norris has one. Some of the world’s most famous beards have included:
● Abraham Lincoln
The 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln worked that top hat and absolutely nailed the beard look. In fact, trying to imagine him without facial hair is a pretty tricky task. His style has lived on through generations, with the mustache-less beard eventually being coined as the ‘Lincoln’.
● Leonardo Da Vinci
Da Vinci’s beard cascaded from his face just as his artwork did from its canvas. This brilliant inventor brought us the designs of the helicopter way ahead of his time, but he’d often go unrecognized in pictures without his characteristic facial hair.
● Charles Darwin
Beards have been used for practical means since the evolution of humanity and Charles Darwin developed the theory. Without doubt one of the most important writers of all time, Darwin wore one impressive beard.
So there you have it. If you haven’t already got a beard, this article should give you the motivation you need. With plenty of reasons to remove the razor from your routine, start growing your beard today and watch the benefits roll in.
If you’re not sure about where you should get started, check out our beginner’s guide on how to grow the perfect beard. Sit back, relax, and watch the hair grow.
Have you got any benefits that we haven’t mentioned above? Let us know about them in the comments box below for the chance to win some high-quality beard oil!