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

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When I see someone with a beard, my first two thoughts are, what are they hiding? And what do they really look like?

Facial Hair Vs Clean-Shaven - To Beard or Not to Beard

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

Introduction

Growing up in London in the 1970s and 80s, the only people wearing beards were professors, lumberjacks, hippies, or tramps (hobos). And those who had neglected their appearance because of personal issues.

And not forgetting the world's most famous beard wearers, Jesus Christ and Santa Claus.

Fast-forward to the millennium, where beards have become very fashionable, partly inspired by beard-wearing celebrities and hipsters (the modern-day hippies) — but not the same culture, beliefs and lifestyle of hippies.

Facial hair is not just about men. Some women are also capable of growing facial hair and have embraced it (see further down the page)

This 'article' like hair will 'tickle' your fancy!

In This Article

  • The Pros of Facial Hair
  • The Cons of Facial Hair - Do the Cons Outweigh the Pros?
  • Men’s Beards Carry More Harmful Germs Than Dogs (Video)
  • Bearded Lady - Rose Geil (Video)
  • Why do Some Females Have more Facial Hair Than Others?
  • Bare-Faced Bearded Facts
  • 42 Famous People With and Without Beards (VIdeo)
  • Jokes About Beards.
  • The Great American Beard and Moustache Championship (Video)
  • Famous Quotes About Beards

The Pros of Facial Hair

Jeff Langum; At the fourth National Beard and Moustache Championships in New Orleans.

Jeff Langum; At the fourth National Beard and Moustache Championships in New Orleans.

Pros

Save Time and Money

  • There's no need to buy or use shavers, razors, shaving cream and aftershave. (cons; with facial hair, grooming products can be just as or more expensive)

Stylish

  • You don't just grow a beard. You gain a personality. However, there is a thin line between looking manly and unkempt.
  • Beards can turn a boy into a man and a man (with correct grooming) into a better-looking man. Researchers found that men felt "more masculine" with a beard.
  • Women think men are more attractive with a beard. But not if they have a phobia of bearded men. (Pogonophobia)
  • Beards can make men look older (a pro and con).
  • Beards can make men look older (a pro and con).
  • Transform the way you look. With careful grooming and the right length of beard, you can change the shape of your face to give you a prominent jawline. (as shown in the image below)

Up to 50% of a man's face can be hidden behind hair

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

Disguise

  • I knew this drug addict who had sunken, hollow cheeks. The next time I saw him, he looked very well. Unfortunately, he was still a drug addict, with facial hair hiding his sunken hollow cheeks.
  • Change of identity; Ideal for wanted 'bearded criminals' who want to hide their identity by shaving their facial hair. And is ideal for 'smooth-skinned criminals' who will grow facial hair as a disguise.
The American rock star, best known as the guitarist and lead vocalist of ZZ Top, would be unrecognisable without facial hair.

The American rock star, best known as the guitarist and lead vocalist of ZZ Top, would be unrecognisable without facial hair.

Hide a Multitude of Sins and Things

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  • Conceal tattoos. This guy I knew had a swastika tattoo on his cheek he later regretted. He still has it concealed under his beard.
  • A long, bushy beard will hide an overly large Adam's apple. Double and treble chins — and cover up a saggy turkey neck.
  • Beards are a great way to hide shame and embarrassment (red-faced cheeks).
  • Bushy beards are great for hiding illegal things, especially drugs, pills, rolled-up banknotes, flick knives, razor blades, lock-picking tools, and even a pistol (images below) can be concealed/tied to beard hairs/strands. Have you ever seen a police officer search a suspect's beard when being searched?
  • I knew this Jamaican guy who always kept his cash tucked in his socks, a ciggy behind his ear — an afro comb in his hair, and a joint hidden in his dreadlocks. Lord knows what he had hidden in his beard.
  • Some people wear long hair to cover up their big ears and have long fringes to hide large foreheads. Others use facial hair to conceal spots, scars, lumps, and bumps. Even I would be sporting a beard if my face looked like a pizza's topping.

Health & Beauty

  • For anyone born with a 'cleft lip' or 'cleft lip and palate', a beard and moustache are ideal for concealing this.
  • Don't bother with expensive lip fillers and lip reduction procedures to reshape (or hide) 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 face youthful. Not that you'll be able to see or feel under all that hair.
  • Beards and moustaches (the bushier, the better) can help trap dangerous particles and pollutants, similar to a filter. Including nitrogen dioxide from vehicles. Pollen, dust, and other harmful particles. But just like filters, they need to be cleaned regularly.
  • Beards hide dimples (a pro and con) depending on what you or others prefer.
  • When you let your facial hair grow wild, you'll never experience razor nicks from shaving.

Miscellaneous

  • The hair on the face will keep you warmer in the winter, similar to the hair on your head. Cons; not so good on hot summer days.
  • A beard can make men look aggressive and dominant (a pro and a con), depending on how the wearer feels.
  • If you're well known for having an impressive beard, you could get family and friend's to sponsor you before shaving it off for charity.
  • Beards are great if you're entering a 'face-slapping competition'. The bushier the beard will help to cushion the slaps.

Where there are PROS, there have to be CONS, but do the cons outweigh the pros?

Madison Rowley: two times (best beard) world champion.

Madison Rowley: two times (best beard) world champion.

The Cons Of Facial Hair

Hides Facial Expressions

  • The human face has more than 10,000 facial expressions. Many of them help communicate and reveal what we are thinking and feeling. It is harder to tell what all the emotions, feelings, and other expressions a full face of hair is expressing.
  • Beards and moustaches that hide the lips make it hard or almost impossible for people who have difficulty hearing to understand what they're saying.

Potential Danger - Health

  • The 'Center for Disease Control and Prevention' said, "Men's beards could make facemasks useless". Not ideal during a pandemic.
  • Long beards can be a fire hazard, especially when barbecuing or re-lighting hand-rolled ciggies. "Do you Remember the Time" when Michael Jackson's hair caught fire while filming a Pepsi commercial because of the flammable hair products he used?
  • Be cautious of sparks when using a metal grinder if you have flammable products on your beard. Hot sparks can also burn the eyes and skin, with or without a beard.
  • Very long beards have a greater risk of being caught up in moving machinery parts, similar to the dangers of wearing a long tie or scarf near moving parts.
  • Facial hair is not ideal if you want to take up the profession of a fire-breather.
  • When some women fight, they love pulling hair, so beware any bald men with a long beard.

Hygiene

  • Eating and drinking can be challenging when consuming messy foods and beverages.
  • Any bearded person will tell you they "keep it clean and wash it regularly", but that 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 present. And it has been scientifically proven that 50% of beards have traces of faecal matter. My analogy; it's much easier to keep clean floors and window roller blinds than clean carpets and curtains. Men without beards are not 'clean'-shaven for nothing. That's why it's important to take extra care of a beard to keep bacteria at bay. Dr Bobby Buka, a section chief at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said, "technically speaking, beard hair is similar to pubic hair".

More 'Cons' continued below

Men’s Beards Carry More Harmful Germs Than Dogs

Partners

  • Common complaints from women who've kissed men with facial hair: "I get a beard burn from making out with you". "Your lips are hard to kiss with your bushy moustache". "Kissing you with stubble feels like sandpaper against my skin". While others say, "I love it" and "a hairy face always tickles my fancy".

Employment

  • Nobody wants to see hair in their food, and with 30,000 beard hairs on the face of the average male, that's 30,000 more reasons why people with beards who work with food should be required to shave or wear a beard and hair net.
  • If you want to become a professional wrestler, the committee (depending on your location) recommends that wrestlers have facial hair up to a half-inch long. Wrestlers with thick beards are required to cover up their facial hair using a non-abrasive facial covering or a face mask. (unless they have a legitimate religious reason to have facial hair).

Medical

  • Facial hair makes it practically impossible to tell if you have a rash or other skin condition you can't see or feel.
  • If you have been involved in an accident and injured your face, the nurse/surgeon will struggle to evaluate or treat the injury until they remove the hair. That will be time-consuming and could be painful.

Miscellaneous

  • Waking up every day and coping with messy morning hair is one thing. Now you'll be waking up with messy morning hair and beard.
  • Regular shaving exfoliates the skin by removing dead skin cells from the surface.
  • "Itchy" is a word often used by beard wearers.
  • People with long beards need to be extra careful of with clothing (ouch) zips (we've all been there with our body hair)

Why do some females have more facial hair than others?

The result of a hormonal imbalance is one reason. Exposure to high levels of testosterone or low levels of estrogen throughout their life is another. It could be genetics or hereditary.

In some cases, a rare genetic disorder known as 'hypertrichosis' (excessive hair growth) can make women grow beards like men for no medical reason.

Excessive hair growth could also be from the symptoms of 'polycystic ovary syndrome. (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'. He had the longest beard in the world, which measured at 17-feet and 6-inches long. The woman 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.
  • 'World Beard Day' is held on the first Saturday of September, with people from around the world gathering together with their beards.
  • The 'Facial Hair Society' has 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

Jokes About Beards

  • 56% of men around the world sport a beard or facial hair. The rest work for them.
  • Beards are fantastic. You don't see ugly men with a beard, but you always see ugly men without a beard.
  • What is the difference between a man with a beard and a man without one? One man gets more respect. The other man doesn’t have a beard.
  • I asked myself what would Jesus do. Then I grew a beard.
  • I'm not sure if I like having a beard, however, it’s growing on me.

The Great American Beard and Moustache Championship

Famous Quotes About Beards

  • He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man.' English playwright, poet, and actor, William Shakespeare.
  • 'Kissing a man with a beard is like going to a picnic. You don't mind going through a little bush to get there.' American comedian Minnie Pearl.
  • 'Life is like a moustache. It can be wonderful and terrible, but it always tickles.' American author, Nora Roberts.
  • 'A decent moustache will intimidate a man, but a great moustache can frighten an army.' Author Anya Wylde.
  • The best thing about a beard is, you can always look contemplative. Canadian-American actor, Joshua Jackson.

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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