It’s a legitimate question. Should you grow a beard or keep your face clean and pristine?
The truth is that there is no single answer. Some guys prefer a beard. Others don’t. You might even change your mind a bunch of times over the course of your life.
If you’re really on the fence, though, then we can offer a little bit of help. To do that, we’re going to walk you through the pros and cons of beards and clean shaves, and we’ll discuss everything involved in either decision. From there, it will be up to you.
Let’s start with beards.
Great things about beards
There are a lot of things to like about your beard, and we’re going to get into some of the major pros of facial hair. Before that, there is one thing that matters more than anything else. If you like having a beard, then that’s already your answer. It is perfectly acceptable to grow a beard for the simple reason that you want to do it.
If you’re looking for justifications, then consider these benefits of having a beard face:
- They can make you look older, wiser, and all of that. Rumor has it that twirling facial hair makes you look 20% to 40% smarter, instantaneously.
- They add a ton of character to your face. You get more color and more shape, so if you weren’t born with the jawline of a Greek god, the beard can do a lot of good.
- They can cover up some self-consciousness (scars, extra chins, etc.).
- They protect you from the elements. They reduce sunburns on your face, and they’re quite useful in a cold wind.
- They give you more freedom of expression and style. The beard isn’t just adding visual elements to your face. You get some control over how the whole thing looks.
These aren’t necessarily small things, either. If your beard helps you feel more confident and/or attractive, that can spill over into the rest of your life. It can help you succeed at work and socially. Your beard can become an extension of how you see yourself, and you can use it to turn yourself into more of the man you’ve always wanted to be. It’s not to be taken lightly.
The downsides of facial hair
Then again, beards aren’t made of magic. They’re made of itchy, wiry hair that can require a lot of maintenance. While a great beard can do you a lot of good, it does come at a cost, and it’s only fair that we acknowledge the cons of facial hair:
- Beards can be uncomfortable. Especially when they’re short, they can itch and irritate you like nothing else.
- If you want your beard to look good, you have to take care of it. That means regular grooming, styling, washing, and all the rest.
- Beards can hide skin issues and suffer from dandruff and other skin irritation.
- Beards aren’t always convenient. They can catch food, interrupt intimate moments, and get in the way of facial gear. Have you ever worn a mask with a thick beard? It’s not ideal.
- Beards are a major turn-off to people who don’t like them. Conversely, beard lovers aren’t usually grossed out by clean shaves.
For some of you, these cons are perfectly acceptable. After all, if you have good beard care, then dandruff, itchiness, and irritation are mitigated, if not completely removed from the equation. If you think the pros are worth the cons, then let’s take a minute and review how to take proper care of your beard.
What it takes to maintain your beard
Since you seem to be siding with the beards on this one, let’s talk about beard care. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but you need to do a little more than just let it grow on your face if you want it to look and feel good.
Follow these simple steps, and your beard will be peak:
- Trim. Using a good trimmer, like The Beard Hedger™, you can trim your beard to maintain whatever length you prefer. You can also keep the beard shaped so that you don’t look like Davy Crocket’s long-lost cousin.
- Wash. You can wash your beard with regular shampoo and conditioner, but you’ll get more mileage out of specialized goods. We make a special shampoo and a conditioner for your beard that will keep it soft and beautiful.
- Brush: You want to comb your beard on a daily basis. This helps it look nice, but more importantly, it gives you a chance to make sure your beard and face are healthy. Any signs of dandruff or other problems emerge quickly when you comb your beard.
- Style: Styling your beard with some beard oil or pommade keeps it hydrated, soft, shiny, and attractive. On top of that, styling is when you can really let expression and creativity shine through your beard.
The beauty of a clean shave
Beards don’t get all of the attention today. We’re also seriously considering the idea of a clean shave. It’s a valid look, and it will never truly go out of style. In that vein of thought, consider some of the most compelling reasons to keep your face nice and smooth:
- Shaving can make you look younger. Some of you are trying to avoid your baby face at the moment, and that’s understandable. For others, a moment of youthful appearance is valuable, and shaving almost always makes you look a lot younger (unless you dye your beard).
- Face maintenance is, on average, easier than beard maintenance. There is maintenance to both, but the beard needs more attention.
- A clean shave is easier for some things. Masks fit better. You can more easily address skin problems. A smooth face can also be preferable for intimacy.
- It’s a classic look, and very few people will ever be truly turned-off by a clean shave.
What you lose when you shave
There’s a lot to be said for a clean shave, but it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. There’s a reason you see a lot of beards in the world. Actually, we can think of four powerful reasons just off the top of our heads:
- Shaving can cause irritation on your skin. Redness, itchiness, and razor bumps are common side-effects of shaving and can make the clean shave unwelcome.
- You lose freedom. There are only so many ways to style a smooth face. You can compensate with a short beard or five o’clock shadow, but those really fall under the beard category.
- Your skin will endure more. Beards really do offer some protection against UV, dry air, and other damaging elements. If you aren’t on top of facial skin care, your face will age faster without the beard.
- Looking younger can be annoying. Do you really want to be carded every time? Maybe grow your facial hair out a bit.
How to take care of a clean-shaven face
That’s enough of the pros and cons. If you think a clean shave is the way for you, then it’s also important to remember how to take care of your face. It’s not rocket surgery, but too many guys skip a few crucial steps, so here’s a quick reminder of what your face needs:
- Shave. It’s kind of obvious, but to keep your face smooth, you have to shave regularly. How often depends on you, but at least once a week is needed for most guys, and more than that is pretty common. The Plow® 2.0 is the perfect tool for this job.
- Wash. You should wash your face before and after every shave. It’s important to prevent bacterial infections. They aren’t super common, but just one infection is too many. Wash your face.
- Moisturize. You should moisturize your face at least once a day, and you should do it after every shave. You also want a real face moisturizer instead of generic lotion.
- Exfoliate. You need to exfoliate your skin about once a week. This keeps the pores clear and your skin looking fresh and healthy.
That’s about it. You have all of the necessary information to decide whether you want a beard or not. And, of course, it’s not a permanent decision. Try it both ways. Try different beard lengths and styles. Have a little fun. Eventually, you’ll find your comfort zone, and then it’s perfectly fine to stay there for a while.
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