A man’s grooming habits are a personal decision, and yet sporting a beard invites a flurry of stereotypical reactions and opinions. Bearded men can’t seem to escape terms like “hipster,” “lumbersexual,” and “hunky ship captain.” Okay, maybe I made that last one up, but having a beard is so much more than vanity or a trend.
In today’s society, a clean-shaven face is considered the norm, and a beard is, well, considered a trendy choice. But, having a beard can be a natural part of being a man.
My husband, Charles, grew up in the Ohio countryside splitting wood, feeding horses, planting the garden, and turning wrenches. For as long as I’ve known him, Charles has donned a full beard, worn his grandfather’s old flannels, and preferred to spend most his time with his top half buried in an engine bay. His beard is not only an important part of his identity, but it’s a practical decision.
The choice to have a beard shouldn’t be reduced to stereotypes, and with just a few steps men can keep their beards healthy for years to come.
Practical reasons to grow a beard
Having a beard means more than redefining masculinity or following a specific lifestyle. Beards come with health benefits many men overlook.
Beards are good for your skin. That luxurious mane protects your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, thereby lowering your risk for premature wrinkles, sun spots, and, not to mention, skin cancer.
Winter lovers rejoice, beards also keep your face warm! While we ladies are freezing our faces off, men have the advantage of a natural layer. Snowflakes may fall on it, but no wind shall blow through your mane.
And, according to the American Lung Association, having a beard can actually be a boon to respiratory health. The beard acts as a filter that catches dust, pollutants, and allergens before they get sucked into your airways.
With that in mind, beards can become a harbor for bacteria and dandruff. It’s essential to maintain the hygiene of your luxurious beard and wash it every night. You won’t do yourself any favors by allowing dust and pollutants to hang out on your face.
The care and keeping of beards
Each day as you move through the world, your beard accumulates dust and debris. Before going to bed at night, wash the day’s dust off with a conditioning beard shampoo. Afterward, hydrate the skin under your beard with a moisturizer, like Buckler’s Daily Face Repair. Moisturizing the skin under your beard helps prevent your skin from working overtime and producing acne-causing oils that trap dirt and dust.
Of course, be sure to keep your beard freshly trimmed so it stays presentable and neat. Keep a pair of beard- and mustache-grooming scissors on hand for quick trims and have a groom kit handy to keep you (and your beard) looking sharp.
No matter your reasons for having a beard, you should wear yours with pride. Armed with the knowledge of how your beard can improve your life (and how to take proper care of it), you won’t let those silly stereotypes bother you again.
Visit our Grooming category for all your beard-care needs.