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Why grow a beard anyway?

I love my beard.  No, seriously, I do. To paraphrase Thomas Aquinas, to the man who has a beard, no explanation is necessary. To one without a beard, no explanation is possible. But, then again, I can remember back in my baby-faced days when I was contemplating whether or not to grow my own face foliage. Standing proudly on the other side of that decision, let me give you a few of the reasons that I started down the bearded path.ff4d00-0-0

Money and Time

Portrait of man getting hurt while shaving with a razor.

Come on, just look at that baby face.

Now, I’m not one to rake my face with a cheap, dull razor. I’ve been down that road, but it just wasn’t worth it. So I was spending $20 for 4 razors, not including shaving cream and after shave and that doesn’t even take into account all the irritated skin and ingrown hairs. Oh, and I live in Idaho, and walking outside when it’s 10 degrees after a fresh shave made my face feel like a frozen raisin. On the other hand, I’ve got a large beard and a 2 oz. tin of beard balm can last me more than a month. Getting the hang of keeping this beauty trimmed up did take a little practice, but now that I’ve got the hang of it it’s faster than shaving and I don’t have to do it on a daily basis. When I can save money and time all while looking great, that’s a no-brainer.

The Ladies

Now, this can be a little sensitive here, since I’m now a happily married man, but beards can make a difference with the ladies. Beards are a visceral statement of masculinity. At a level even below conscious thought, they speak of good health, of putting adolescence well behind and a kind of gritty manliness that’s almost forgotten. A good, full beard can even show that you’re capable of a commitment. I’m a firm believer that when a woman is looking for a man, a good beard puts you ahead of the game. A bearded man stands out in a room, exudes confidence and, let’s face it, he just plain looks better than a shaved man. Though I may be a bit biased here.

A Healthier, Younger Looking Face

Portrait of a handsome brutal man with beard and mustache dressed in winter clothes, covered with frost.

Doesn’t his face look toasty?

Shaving is rough on your face. Taking one of the most sensitive parts of your face and scraping it with sharpened steel every day is bound to take a toll. Razor burn and ingrown hairs are a nightmare. And, did you know that shaving irritates the hair follicles and pushes oil and skin cells back into opening actually causing acne. Grow a beard and those problems go away. When its cold out, a full beard is like having a small blanket on your face keeping the rain, snow, and wind away from your skin. In the summer it keeps your face shaded and cool, not to mention protecting it from the sun.ff4d00-0-0

General Manliness

This one’s simple. You just feel more masculine. There’s something about looking into the mirror and seeing the face of a lumberjack staring back at you to make you feel like you can conquer anything. Sure, a beard probably doesn’t actually give you special powers (the science is still out on that one), but it sure feels like it does. It’s an affirmation of manhood, a visual reminder that I’m made of the same stuff as the men who first hacked a farm out of an unbroken forest, built the railroad that tamed the west and braved the frozen north seeking the northwest passage. When I look in the mirror before starting my day I feel like I can take on the world for I am man and I am unstoppable.

Brutal bearded man in warm hat with a ax in the woods.

Outdoor Beards