Though we all know it’s the inside of a person that counts — their essence, personality, and overall being — there’s something about a beard that’s so alluring. When I see a guy with one, it’s as though I am hypnotized. There are countless articles out there on why beards are better, as well as blogs and Pinterest boards.
A few years ago, Ke$ha even sang about them. And scientific reports continually show that women are more attracted to bearded men than not, which may partially explain why they’re so popular. A recent study conducted by The University of Western Australia investigated “the hypothesis that in big, multilevel societies, male primates have developed more ostentatious 'ornaments' or 'badges.'" In human-speak, badges equate to beards, and the research suggested that "men with beards could be seen as more aggressive and dominant than those without beards — and might also be attractive to women drawn to seemingly powerful men."
Whether you are into the lumbersexual look or not — which Urban Dictionary defines as "a metro-sexual who has the need to hold on to some outdoor based rugged-ness, thus opting to keep a finely trimmed beard" — I think every man should grow a beard at some point. (Worst-case scenario, he can always shave.)
1. It’ll make him look more masculine, distinguished, and intellectual.
Beards are definitely attention-grabbers. They make guys look manly, yet laid-back. A bearded colleague of mine, Scott, said there's definitely two camps out there, beard-lovers and not, no in-between. "I grew a beard because I think it's healthy and natural to let your face look the way nature intended," he said.
2. It’ll make him look tough, older and wiser — and exude confidence.
There’s no denying that a bearded man looks mature, strong, and like someone you don’t want to mess with. As a result, you’ll feel more protected also. "People look at you different, kind of like 'Hey, this guy's got his shit together!' It may be the furthest thing from the truth, but that's the impression I get," said a bearded friend of mine, Tim. "I think it tells people I'm a man's man and that seems to be perceived as confidence, which is attractive to most people, both men and women."
3. Beards make men seem more approachable (and cuddly).
I asked a bearded friend of mine, Andy (above), how he feels with a beard versus without and he said he definitely feels more confident when he has one. "Plus, my five-year-old daughter loves it so I can't shave," he said. "She thinks I should grow mine even longer, in her words, 'Like Duck Dynasty! And I'll call you Beardy instead of Daddy!' Kids, they have no filter."
4. Beards convey that a man knows how to take care of himself.
A lot goes into having a beard — shaping it, continually grooming it (trimming and waxing it), and so on. There’s all sorts of beard balm and wax out there (which help us out, too, when it comes time for date nights). The way men take care of their beards shows their level devotion and commitment to them, which are admirable characteristics to have.
5. Beards help shave costs by not having to buy razors and save time (since there's no shaving).
6. Beards are creative.
They can be styled in so many ways, you can see how innovative they can be.
7. Beards provide an extra layer of cushioning for his face when he sleeps.
What's better than a nature-made pillow? "My cats love it and jump on the bed to snuggle in it, too, and my little girl pets it and says, 'Ohhh, so soft!' I feel like a pet dog or something," said a bearded father I know.
8. They are conversation starters and help break the ice with others.
"People will ask about it or want to touch it," said my friend Michael. I, too, see this happen a lot when out with bearded friends, how both men and women flock to them and compliment their beards.
9. Change is good.
Just like women get their hair cut, blown out, and styled differently, so too can your man try something new (and it doesn’t just have to be during No-Shave November). Chances are, he’ll look like a whole new person. The good news is, he can always shave it off if he doesn’t like it (though I don’t recommend that, of course). And the best news is, he’s still the same person underneath, beard or not.
10. It'll help keep him warm in the winter or when the temperature dips. (And then he’ll keep you warm.)
My friend Kristen in Nova Scotia, Canada said her husband’s beard (above) helps to keep him warm in their coldest months (except for this time when he went skiing). "I've only known him with a beard," Kristen said. "He looks mature with it and I can't imagine him without one."
11. They make great Halloween costume options.
This is my friend's husband dressed up as Red Green from the Canadian The Red Green Show. All he had to do was whiten the beard and voilà. (His young daughter wants him to grow it long again so he can be Hagrid or Dumbledore for Halloween this year.)
Finally, if you want to see how some women reacted to their men shaving, look no further than this comical video.