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The Real Pros and Cons of Facial Hair (Beards & Moustaches)

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When I see someone with a beard, my two first thoughts are, what are they hiding? And what do they really look like without facial hair?

To beard or not to beard.

To beard or not to beard.

Introduction

Growing up in London in the 1970s and 80s, the only people wearing beards were either professors, lumberjacks, hippies and tramps (hobos). And not forgetting Jesus Christ and Santa Claus!

Fast-forward to the millennium, and beards have become the coolest and most fashionable thing to wear. Partly, from celebrities (beard wearers) who have inspired this hairy craze, as well as hipsters, the modern-day hippies.

I have also lived with a beard and listened to enough men (and women with beards - (see further down the page) to know exactly what life is like living with, and without facial hair.

The Pros of Facial Hair

the-real-truth-about-the-pros-and-cons-of-facial-hair

Pros

Save Time and Money

  • Save yourself time and money by not having to buy or use shavers, razors, shaving cream and aftershave.

Stylish

  • The hair on the face will keep you warmer, similar to the hair on your head.
  • Transform the way you look: You don't just grow a beard, you grow a personality.
  • Beards can turn a boy into a man, and transform a man (with careful grooming) into a sexy beast.
  • Beards can make a man look older which can be a pro and con.
  • Men are considered more attractive than those without a beard...unless you don't like, or have a phobia of bearded men. (Pogonophobia)
  • With careful grooming, a beard can turn a round face into an oval-shaped face which has been scientifically proven to be more attractive than a round face.

Disguise

  • Beards can hide a multitude of sins.
  • They are a great to hide illegal things, especially drugs or rolled-up banknotes, razor blades, lock-picking tools and even a pistol (image below) can be concealed in a bushy beard. Have you ever seen a police officer search a suspect's beard when they are being searched? Neither me!
the-real-truth-about-the-pros-and-cons-of-facial-hair

Disguise - continued

  • Conceal facial tattoos. This guy I knew had a swastika tattoo on his face that he later regretted. He still has it but it's concealed under his beard.
  • A long beard will hide a large Adam's apple, double, treble, and large chins — and cover up a saggy turkey neck.
  • Beards are great if you're entering a 'face-slapping competition'. The bushier the beard will help to cushion the slaps, and yes, a bearded person won Russia's 2019 contest.
  • I knew this drug addict who had hollow cheeks and always looked unwell. The next time I saw him, he looked very well, although he was still a drug addict with hollow sunken cheeks which were not visible with his new beard!
  • Change of identity. Ideal for wanted bearded criminals who want to hide their identity by shaving their facial hair. And, smooth-skinned criminals who grow facial hair as a form of disguise.
  • Beards are a great way to hide shame and embarrassment (red-faced cheeks).

Medical Reasons

  • Just as much as people who use long hair to cover up big ears and large foreheads, facial hair can be used to conceal spots, scars, lumps and bumps. Even I would be sporting a beard if my face was covered in some type of medical facial problem.
  • Facial disfigurements which are caused by diseases and infections can be concealed with a beard.
  • Don't bother with expensive lip fillers and lip reduction procedures to reshape your large or small lips when a carefully groomed beard and moustache can do the job much cheaper.
  • Beards act as a natural sunscreen, keeping a man's faces youthful, not that you will be able to see under all that hair!
  • Beards hide dimples (a pro and con) depending on what you or your other half prefer!
  • No chance of injuring yourself with a razor nick or cut from shaving.
  • For anyone unlucky to be born with a 'cleft lip and palate', facial hair is an ideal way to conceal this.

"Kissing a man with a beard is a lot like going to a picnic. You don't mind going through a little bush to get there." Quote by American comedian, Minnie Pearl.

The Cons Of Facial Hair

the-real-truth-about-the-pros-and-cons-of-facial-hair

Where there's a pro, there has to be a con, but do the cons outweigh the pros?

Cons

Hides Facial Expressions

  • The human face more than 10,000 facial expressions, many of them help to communicate and reveal what we are thinking and feeling. With facial hair, it will be harder to tell exactly what emotion, feeling and other expressions they are expressing.
  • Bearded men look similar to each other. (Maybe that's just me!)
  • Beards and moustaches that cover the lips make it difficult for deaf or hard of hearing to understand them, similar to people who speak wearing a facemask.

Unhygienic

  • Any bearded person will tell you they keep it clean and wash it regularly, but that still does not mean a beard will remain clean for very long. Any beard placed under the microscope will have sweat, foods, drinks, spit, bacteria, faecal and urine particles in it. And it has been scientifically proven that 50% of beards have traces of faecal matter in them. Similar to carpets and curtains being more unhygienic than flooring and window blinds. And how a bald head is cleaner and more hygienic than a hairy head, and harder to clean. That's why taking extra care of a beard is vital to keep bacteria at bay. Dr Bobby Buka, a section chief at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine said, "a beard is basically pubic hair on your face".

Unsafe

  • Men's beards could make facemasks useless, as mentioned by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which is not ideal during a virus pandemic.
  • Facial hair can be a fire hazard, especially if barbecuing, or re-lighting hand-rolled cigarettes (joints). And, I can't imagine many — or any bearded people taking up fire breathing as a hobby!

Partners

  • Common complaints from women who've kissed men with facial hair: "I get a beard burn from making out with bearded man". "I find men with moustaches, or upper lip stubble, very uncomfortable to kiss". "Kissing men with stubble feels like sandpaper against my skin". While others say, "I absolutely love it" and "a hairy face always tickles my fancy".
  • A beard can make men look more aggressive and more dominant which can be a pro and a con, depending on how the wearer feels about it.

Employment

  • Nobody wants to see hair in their food, that's why people with beards should be required to wear a hair and beard net.
  • If you want to become a professional wrestler, the committee recommends wrestlers to have facial hair of up to a half-inch as long. If the beard is too thick, the wrestler will be required to cover up the facial hair using a non-abrasive facial covering or a face mask. (unless they have a legitimate religious reason to have facial hair)

Medical

  • When the face is covered with hair, it's practically impossible to tell if you have a rash or other skin condition you can't see or feel.
  • Beard wearers, be prepared for a stranger (nurse/doctor) to shave off your beard if you suffer a cut or facial injury.

Men’s Beards Carry More Harmful Germs Than Dogs

Should men and women grow their beards - as nature intended?

Just because humans naturally grow hair, does not mean we should never cut it or allow it to grow wild and free as nature intended! Because if we thought like that, surely, we would let our finger and toenails grow freely without keeping them trimmed.

As for females, some can grow facial hair more than others as a result of a hormonal imbalance. This could be because they have been exposed to high levels of testosterone or lower levels of estrogen throughout their life.

In some cases, a rare genetic disorder known as 'hypertrichosis' (excessive hair growth), can make women grow beards as easily as men for no medical reason at all, or due to hereditary reasons. (as seen in the video below)

Bearded Lady - Rose Geil

Bare-Faced Bearded Facts

  • Hans Nilsen Langseth from Norway was fondly known as the 'King of Whiskers' had the longest beard in the world which measured at 17-feet and 6-inches long. The women with the longest beard is bearded lady Rose Geil.
  • 'Movember,' run by the 'Movember Foundation' takes place every November to raise awareness of men's health.
  • The 'Facial Hair Society' have a Facebook group brought together by their love of facial hair.
  • In the Victorian era, they were obsessed with air quality, so doctors prescribed beards to act as a filter.
  • In 1535, King Henry VIII of England (a beard wearer) introduced a tax on beards and forcibly shaved those who refused to pay. Emperor Peter I of Russia decided to follow suit in 1698 by making beard wearers carry a token.
  • Sikhs refrain from cutting their hair and beards out of respect for the God-given form.

42 Famous People With and Without Beards

More by this author

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© 2020 Tony Sky

Comments

Ralph on May 19, 2020:

My wife said my facial hair hides my face! I am not entirely positive if that's a pro or con!

Tony Sky (author) from London UK on April 16, 2020:

As long as you're not too lazy to clean it, then all is good!:)

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 14, 2020:

A fun read. I am just too lazy to shave.

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