Guest Post – Common Beard Myths Debunked

Beards have gotten a terrible reputation over the years. From men believing their faces will itch all the time, to thinking that you won’t get a job if you’ve got a beard. Who knows where the strange myths originated from…?!?

Luckily most myths can be debunked with a little bit of logical reasoning. Maybe the men who couldn’t grow a lush beard started spreading rumors out of envy!

Myth #1: Your hair will grow back thicker after shaving it

This one is more wishful thinking than urban legend. Unfortunately it’s not true. Clinical trials dating back to 1928 prove that shaving has no effect on hair growth. More recent studies also concluded that shaving can’t affect the thickness.

The living section of the hair is under the skin, so by the time you start noticing hair sprouting from your face, you’re dealing with the dead portion.

A Seinfeld episode might have helped to perpetuate the urban legend.

 

Myth #2: Only dark-haired beards can look great

Sounds like a bad blonde joke. A dark-haired beard might stand out a bit more, but the truth is that if you grow a formidable and nicely groomed beard, any color will look awesome. As long as the beard complements your face, it doesn’t matter what color it is.

Myth #3: Growing a beard will look like I’m trying to compensate

Wow, if you believe this one, you are way too paranoid about what people think about you. It is indeed true that a bit of stubble can make you look more handsome, studies have proved this. But think about it this way, a woman will change her hairstyle to look more attractive, so why can’t you do the same with your beard?

Myth #4: A beard takes 2 to 3 weeks to look complete

Sure, it might grow this quickly if you are endowed with amazing genetics. The reality is that it takes about two to three months for your beard to reach its full potential. Before you start scheming to buy that fancy beard oil to make your beard full overnight, read the next one.

Myth #5: Beard growth oils will boost beard growth

As mentioned above, by the time you start seeing your beard, you’re dealing with the dead bits. You can keep your beard hair in good condition by rubbing in some beard balm or oil, but it won’t affect the growth. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether you believe the research that says you can pop a pill to grow your beard quicker.

Myth #6: When my hair starts to turn grey, so will my beard

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Before you start lamenting over the thought of having a grey beard, they are actually perceived to be quite sexy. Your head hair and your beard hair are not magically linked by some biological time bomb to switch to grey. Sometimes your beard might go grey first and sometimes it will only catch up later with your head hair.

Myth #7: Only a professional can be trusted to trim a beard

Sure, the first time you have to trim your own beard will be daunting. But if you follow a few simple trimming rules, you will soon feel like a professional barber in your own home. Together with knowing how to do it, using the right tools will also make the process effortless. Just take it slow, tackling it inch by inch. Or actually even just half an inch in the beginning.

Myth #8: If it doesn’t grow by the time you’re 20, it won’t ever grow

Nonsense! Some genetic patterns create late bloomers, so to speak. You might have to make peace with a bit of patchiness until you’re about 23 to 25. And not all areas of your beard will grow at the same pace. You will have to commit to at least two to three months for your beard to look totally awesome.

Myth #9: Your beard has faecal matter in it

Who knows who came up with this urban legend and why! Bottom line, don’t listen to everything you hear on the internet. No, a beard is not full of poop, only figuratively if it grows in strange directions that annoys you. It might itch from time to time if you’re not looking after it properly, but that does not mean it’s full of nasty germs.

Read this article for the story behind the story.

Myth #10: My ID has a clean shaven photo, with a beard I will be unidentifiable while traveling

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Sorry to burst your bubble, but your beard is not that powerful. You might feel like your beard has the power to transform you into a sexy beast, but the ID checkers at the airport are trained to look past your disguise. If this fact was true, a woman would have to stick to the same hairstyle her whole life as well.

Quirky Beard Facts

Now that you feel even more proud of your beard, the following will make for good conversation starters when someone admires your beard.

 

Fun Beard Facts
Source: Manomics.com

  • Your beard will grow quicker during the summer. Beards also grow faster in the daytime than at night.
  • Alexander the Great was not a big fan of beards. He forbade his soldiers from having beards. He believed that when in battle the enemies could pull their beards and get the upper hand.
  • In the Middle Ages men were really serious about their personal space. If you touched another man’s beard without permission, he could challenge you to a dual. Wonder how often that happened.
  • In America 33% of men boast with facial hair, in comparison with the average of 55% of men worldwide.
  • In ancient Egypt the men were quite vain. They would gold plate their beards to show-off. Imagine that trend coming back again!
  • The longest beard ever measured was 17.6 feet. You can go and view it at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC museum. Hans Langseth passed away in 1927 and his dying wish was that his beard must be chopped off before burying him, preserved for posterity.
  • In the 1960’s the CIA came up with a crazy plan to ruin Fidel Castro’s image. They dusted his shoes with thallium salts that would make his iconic beard fall out. But as with all the other attempts to assassinate him, the plan was an epic fail.

Wear Your Beard Proudly

If you’re in the process of growing a beard or if you’ve been nurturing a beauty for a while now, share some of your beard stories with us. Has anyone ever told you one of the myths and believed it to be true?

About the author: This article was provided by Andries Johannes from manomics.com/beards. Manomics is a website focused on topics such as men’s grooming, health and fitness. You can follow manomics on twitter.

 

Guest Post – 5 Rules for Dating With a Beard

Guest Blog 5 Rules For Dating With a Beard

Having a beard can make you look a lot more masculine. A beard also puts you into a dating niche that can work in your favour. There are many misconceptions surrounding men’s facial hair and women’s desires, but the bottom line is that beards can be sexy and a great asset to your personal style.

When you are dating, use these 5 rules to make sure your beard works for you.

Women Love Beards

There is a lot of mixed information when it comes to women’s beard preferences, but almost half of women like kissing men with beards. However less than 30% of men grow beards, so straight away by growing a beard the odds are on your side.

Confidence is really important when it comes to dating, and you need to see your beard as a big part of who you are. Do that and all the other rules are going to be a lot easier to follow.

Rule #1: Wear your beard with pride and confidence.

Keep It Together

Growing a beard is about a lot more than just letting your facial hair grow out. There used to be a whole industry dedicated to male facial hair in days gone by, and although it’s taken it’s time that industry is making a comeback.

If you want to have a strokeable beard, you need to put in the work. You’ll be needing a beard comb, some good clippers for maintenance among other things, and a daily beardcare ritual to top it off.

On top of styling and maintenance you’ll want to be keeping an eye out for stray bits of food – it happens, we all know it. No one wants to kiss a beard with food stuck in it!

Rule #2: Daily beard maintenance is a must!

Plan Your Beard Out

Much in the same way a person thinks about a hairstyle as a part of their fashion, a bearded man must look at his facial hair as a part of his overall style.

Whilst it might sound fun and easy to just grow out a great big bushy beard, with a huge greased up handlebar mustache, you might find that some people would prefer to be seen with someone well groomed. Your beard needs to fit with your partner’s style, as much as your own.

A great way to approach this is to make sure that your beard is a good fit for your face. There are a lot of great options for beard styles, and you will have no problem finding one that fits you perfectly. You might have to do a bit of experimenting with styles to start off, depending on how your beard grows.

It’s important to have a purpose, don’t just let a beard happen. Grow it with intention, groom it, style it, shape it.

Struggling to come up with a style of your own? Most high-street barbers will cater to beards these days, so why not ask their opinion?

Rule #3: Have a vision for your beard and make it happen. 

Maintenance!

Planning to keep that beard for a while? You’ll have to keep it in good shape! Which means buying quality shampooing and conditioning products.

The way you treat your facial hair is going to make a huge difference in how it feels to the touch and one of the biggest things that people love about beards is running their fingers through them.

If you don’t take care of your beard hair, it isn’t going to look right, nor will it feel great in your girlfriend’s hands.

Rule #4: Buy and use great hair care products on your beard.

Asset v. Liability

Your beard can be a big turn-on or a big turn-off, depending on how well you take care of it. So you have to make sure your beard is an asset that works for you, and not a liability.

If you’ve followed rules 1-4, then you’re beard’s going to be in a great place. But you’ve got to keep up that personal discipline, to keep that beard game strong.

Don’t be put off by the occasional off comment from your girlfriend either, no beard is going to be loved by a woman in the same way you love it.

Don’t be too put off by the occasional but of constructive criticism on your beard either, especially not from your partner (they’re going to be seeing it most regularly after all!). No one’s going to love your beard the way you do, so an outside opinion can sometimes help.

Rule #5: Love your beard and make it an asset that works for you.


This article was written by guest blogger, Victor Bertoni and edited by Bristlr’s Content and Community Manager Samuel Alexander.

A Hipster’s Guide to the Safety Razor

Written by Ian O’Brien of Lancashire’s Big Bathroom Shop – Find him on Twitter @iobm6.

You might think that as a beard owner you needn’t ever touch a razor, right? But if you want to keep you beard styled and shaped, you might find Ian O’Brien’s guide to the safety razor useful. Read on for more:

 

‘Whether cut throat of safety razor, barber’s chair or kitchen sink, there was a time when shaving meant more than simply managing stubble. It was a process that took time, patience and no small amount of skill.

Those who left it late on a Friday were easy to spot, down the pub or Pally.  Random bits of tabloid news, scattered from cheek to chin, were a dead giveaway. It wasn’t a job to be rushed.  Not if you hoped to wake in the morning with lipstick on your collar.

In the days when toilets were at the bottom of the yard and television sets had buttons, shaving was a ritual, not an afterthought.

Then came foam in pressurised cans, then single use razors in plastic bags. The fast food equivalent of looking good had arrived: Welcome to the McShave.

Television ads featured men with Yale chins, striding out of shot and away to some implicitly fantastic future.

The days of chrome handled, double edged safety razors were all but numbered.  Style, panache, patience; all swept away by the promise of a quick shave and romance sure to follow.

Until now.

Over the last few years and with beards back en vogue, the humble razor of dads-gone-by is again making a splash. But before you rush off to buy antique Gillette’s from eBay, wait a moment, for there’s much more to shaving than meets the eye.

We asked Ian O’Brien, writer and bearded blogger with Lancashire’s Big Bathroom Shop, to give us the lowdown on using a safety razor…in the safest possible manner. So, whether man or woman; head, neck or legs, if you want to take personal grooming to the next level, then read on.

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Why use a safety razor?

There are lots of good reasons to choose a safety razor, over the more modern equivalents.

Apart from the aesthetic value of what is, without doubt, a design classic (a splash of chrome atop a pure white basin is a look that never gets old) there are myriad reasons to consider shaving in the manner of our forefathers.

It’s not for nothing that more than 100 years after the American Razor Company first introduced disposable blades; safety razors are still widely in use.  Nor that they adhere, almost exactly, to the original design, with only one or two minor tweaks here and there.

In recent years we’ve seen an explosion of traditional shaving products, from companies like The Bluebeards Revenge, The Shave Shack, The Executive Shaving Company and many more.  All of which carry an alchemistic array of exotic beard oils, razors, brushes, high end soaps and other associated paraphernalia.

Previously a chore, the holy act of shaving is being subtly redefined.  It is fast becoming the affordable luxury of choice for metrosexual millennial man. And it’s less about the equipment used than it is the time taken. It’s about closing the bathroom door, safe in the knowledge that if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

Serious wet shavers can easily spend an hour or more, including preparation, sculpting lines and layering lather in pursuit of the perfect finish. And while the initial outlay can be daunting, with prices from £20 for a German made Merkur 33C, to upwards of £100 for the Jack Black Double Edge, you’ll be surprised how quickly the benefits rack up.

To save a bit of money, you can buy a ten pack of platinum blades for just a few pounds on ebay. With an eight pack of Mach 3 cartridges selling on Amazon for £11.98, it’s easy to see how a decent safety razor could prove to be a sound financial decision.

But it’s not all about cost.  Shaving with a blade is actually much better for the skin, something the TV ads forgot to mention. This is because cartridges, with three or four blades grouped together; don’t so much cut the hair, as beat it into submission.

Wet shave expert, Nick Gibbons of The Bluebeards Revenge, said: “The first blade is usually blunt. It serves only to yank the hair upward, rather than cut it.

“The following blades do the actual work, but there’s a lot of drag involved and it isn’t particularly healthy for the skin.”

Little wonder then that what often begins as a cost cutting exercise, soon becomes an integral part of the daily body care regime.

As men in particular become ever more concerned with personal presentation, it’s hardly surprising that the venerable safety razor has made such an impact on an entirely new generation.

If you want a closer, healthier and less costly shave, then this is the way to go.

What Safety Razor Should I Buy?

Before you begin, of course, you’ll need to pick up a couple of things.  At the very least you need a razor, a shaving brush and soap.

You can even buy a specially designed lather dish, but I prefer the more traditional chipped mug with missing handle.

While a good quality lather, such Mr Taylors of Old Bond Street, is expensive when compared to supermarket soap (around £10.00 for 150 grams) it is quite concentrated and not something you will buy every week.

As for a shaving brush, there are different types available and much depends upon personal choice.  I prefer badger hair but you may want to go with a manmade fibre.

Whatever you decide, I wouldn’t advise spending less than £20 on a brush.  Below that and you will probably find yourself replacing it within weeks. If you really want to push the boat out, you could easily spend upward of £200 on a high end brush.

The Marfin Number 164, for example, is part of a limited collection from Italian artisan brush maker, Marco Finardi; so high end is this that it comes with a certificate of authenticity. However, as most people start wet shaving to cut costs, this is probably something to put on your Christmas list.

Last, but by no means least, you will need a good razor.  Luckily there’s no lack of choice and most manufacturers also produce a range with women in mind, meaning partners aren’t excluded. The Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor is a perfect example. Designed for daintier fingers the longer handle provides a little extra reach when stretching to shave the calves.

For men, however, a good first is the aforementioned Merkur 33C.  Chrome plated, the 33C is a lighter version of the iconic 34C and is designed with the novice in mind.

Less weight is important when starting out, as it’s generally accepted that the weight of the razor should do the work, rather than applying external pressure. Simply allow it to rest upon the skin at an approximate 30 degree angle, and then let the blade do the rest. Follow the direction of the hair and, in no time at all, your confidence will grow like moustaches in Movember.

Don’t think, however, that your first razor is one you will outgrow. Razors like the Merkur 33C and Muhle R89 DE, while optimised for the beginner, are each excellent in their own right and built to last a lifetime.

For bearded head shavers, like myself, you may want a slightly heavier chassis for the head, while retaining the lighter model for beard shaping and neck shaving.

Others prefer to use keep at least two razors, loaded with a specific blades, for the first and second “pass”.  Again, wet shaving with a safety razor isn’t something to be rushed, so you should make time for a first pass, and then a second pass for close up work.

I prefer a less aggressive “Astra” blade on the first pass and a Japanese Feather blade on the second.  This provides a shave almost as close as a straight razor, but without a visit to the barber.

Whatever the case and however your personal routine develops, be prepared to take a little extra time when getting ready for a big night out. Don’t be the guy with bits of newspaper all over your head and neck!

“The key is most definitely preparation,” says Nick.

“The hair, whether head, neck or chin, must be softened before you start.

“This can be achieved in a number of ways, using either a hot towel or simply by shaving after a bath or shower.

“A favourite trick of mine is to take a spot of soap and smear it into my shaving mug prior to bathing.

“Lather the soap with your brush and put it into the bathroom basin, with an inch or two of piping hot water.

“By the time you’re ready to shave you’ll have a luxuriously hot and creamy lather to work with.

“It’s then that you realise just what you have been missing all these years.”

Finally, it is advisable for new recruits to spend a few weeks using a standard, unassuming Gillette blade.  You can pick these up at any leading supermarket. You may still get the occasional tiny cut – especially when head shaving – but it’s unlikely you will do any lasting damage. When you feel confident with the Gillette’s, try something a little more refined – for me it was the Astra – before graduating to a Feather; known as the “ninja” among aficionados.

Bear in mind that much depends upon the type and thickness of your hair. The Feather may too aggressive, or the Astra too mild.  You will only learn the secret of the perfect wet shave over time. When that day comes you will no longer use a Ninja to shave.  You are a Ninja shaver!

People will nod respectfully to you in the street and large men will shuffle aside in deference, without quite knowing why. You will exude a certain indefinable something that the average Bic jockey, with his shaving rash and vacant expression, could never hope to understand.

Women will find you irresistible and nothing will ever be the same again.’

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Brilliant Beard Benefits

There might be more to your beard than you first thought. Beard Trimmer Bay is here to tell you how brilliant your beard really is.

Now it goes without saying that beards look pretty darn awesome. I mean, we don’t need numerous scientific beard studies to confirm that for us, do we? But our beards don’t just look good. They can actually help us out in more ways than you might think.

For instance, did you know that having a beard could be pretty beneficial for your health?

You see, researchers found that a beard can act like a sort of screen whereby it can potentially protect your skin from up to 95% of harmful UV rays. The results? It means you are less likely to get skin cancer there, plus it reduces the appearance of ageing in your skin, keeping you looking younger for longer. Not bad, eh?

Not only that though, your beard also performs as a hairy filter, preventing airborne bacteria from infecting you.

It’s not just your health that your beard is helping you out with either – there’s other ways it is benefiting you too:

One study which was studying societal perception of facial haired men found that those who sport them were put on a sort of social pedestal. One experiment found that a freelancer wearing a fake beard actually had improved job opportunities. So a beard could in fact boost your career rather than hinder it.

There are 15 of these little-known reasons to grow a beard, all are backed by science, in-depth surveys and experiments. Check them out in the infographic below – how many did you know?

Beard Trimmer Bay Infographic

How to Prepare For Your First Bristlr Date

There is no denying, first dates are nerve-wracking!

You’re hoping to make the right impression and the panic has started to set it. What to wear?  Your favourite jumper that’s so old but oh so comfy (come on, we all have one), just won’t cut it!

But don’t worry, Allcures are here to save the day (or date) with our winning tips on how to prepare for your first Bristlr date:

 

Confirm your plans

First things first, you need to contact your date and confirm your plans.

Miscommunication could mean you turn up to the wrong venue, or have to awkwardly finish off the two glasses of wine you ordered for yourself and your no-show date. Don’t be that person!

Sending a simple message across Bristlr to confirm the location and time will ensure things run smoothly, and let your date know you’re still interested.

Take another look around their Bristlr profile

Give their Bristlr profile another look. This will make certain you remember their name and you can look out for a conversation piece to get your date started.

Do you both share common interests? Has your date been away for the weekend? Preparing some conversation starters can help to boost your confidence and avoid having to talk about the weather to fill those dreaded awkward silences.

We all know no one wants to talk about the weather!

If you’re a proud beard owner

beard-grooming

The stress of shaving may be long gone, but grooming is still vitally important to impress your date. Your beard needs to look impressive; after all, Bristlr is all about connecting you with fellow beard lovers!

We recommend you give your beard a trim and maybe even get a fresh hair cut to ensure it looks sharp and clean. Beard oils will keep your beard looking healthy and smelling great. Take a look at Bristlr’s simple and inexpensive beard oil remedy that you can make yourself at home!

If you don’t have a beard

Feeling good is a much-needed confidence boost on a first date. So, spend a little extra time pampering yourself to ensure you look and feel your best.

Moisturising and exfoliating your skin will leave it looking fresh, rejuvenated and date-ready!

Pick out your favourite fragrance, and if you wear makeup add a splash of colour to your lips and cheeks.

If you’re feeling brave, try out a new hair style. Switching up your look can give you a confidence boost that is sure to charm your date.

Choose the right outfit

dressed up

When it comes to choosing an outfit, we often face a dilemma. Is this outfit dressy enough? Is this too much?  Many of us worry that our outfit choice could ruin our chances of a second date.

It is important to choose an outfit that will make you feel great, but provides comfort. Firstly, take the location of your date into consideration.

Are you going for a sophisticated dinner? If so, a smart shirt and trousers or a classy dress would be suitable. However, if the date is more casual, throw on your favourite top and jeans for style and comfort.

Accessorising with a statement item of jewellery or a stylish accessory will add the finishing touches to your outfit.

Don’t panic, you’re good to go!

Our most important tip is to remain calm; a date should be fun not stressful. Following Allcures simple tips will ensure you are fully prepared to wow your date with your confident attitude and/or jaw-dropping beard! Good luck and enjoy yourself!