Despite the stigma around facial scruff slowly dwindling down let’s face it; they still, unfortunately, get some darn right unreasonable stick (from friends to your closest family). Any beardsman who has sported a decent amount of beard has been there having to deal with the odd underhanded comment – you know the like:
- “Too lazy, you can’t even be bothered to shave!”
- “What…on…the earth is that growing from your face?!”
- “Did you want an avocado and Starbucks latte with that thing?”
And really, it’s not on. Well, that’s why we’ve gone ahead and made this much needed post. We wanted to provide you with some hard hitting evidence to throw some counter punches with and to shut the beard critics stum. We went ahead and carried out a bunch of research into beard related studies and came up with five scientific backed benefits to owning a beard that you can throw their way.
1. Get the upper hand with first impressions
You know what they say about first impressions right? “Your first impression is your last impression”.
Well it turns out, owning a darn right *well-groomed* beard can help you look more trustworthy when someone is conjuring up that first impression of you, as detailed in a study quite appropriately named “The Man Behind a Beard”.
Here’s what they found: those who were deemed to be least trustworthy were the beardless guys, or as they put it the ‘non-bearded face’. No surprise there then, the most trustworthy? You guessed it, those sporting a full on beard.
There are a bunch of other studies too that go into discussing the general perceptions of beards and the social status that people automatically assign to them. For instance, this 2012 study found that bearded men were perceived to have a high social status and that they were also deemed more masculine as well as generally more confident.
We can see it as being a self fulfilling prophecy: See, not only do men feel more confident with they have a beard, as detailed by the results in this Braun Survey, but since they are perceived that way too people who start to grow out their beard will naturally be more confident.
Bottom Line: Want to be more make better first impressions? Easy, just grow a beard.
2. They keep you healthy
Believe it or not, despite all the claims of your beard containing bits of ‘poo’ and the like (which has since been largely discredited) what has been found is that a beard will keep you in pretty good health in a few ways.
First off, they are good for your skin (if only for the fact it stops you ruining your face with a shaver or razor blade, causing ingrown hairs, infections, blemishes and the like) keeping you looking younger as the sebum that naturally resides on your face is held for longer, helping to moisturise your skin.
Plus, it has been recorded to block up to 95% of harmful UV rays (which are responsible for damaging and ageing the skin). Of course, not to mention the fact it reduces the chance of you getting melanoma (which is where the famous Jimmy Niggles beard growing campaign stems from). It also performs like a sort of beardy net, stopping airborne diseases from passing into your mouth – it works particularly well with those who have difficulty to breathe (e.g. those with asthma).
Not only that, they are potentially responsible for tackling antibiotic resistances as found at the University College London – so we might soon see a beard fighting antibiotic.
Bottom Line: Want to stay and get healthier? Maintain a proper full on beard to act as pretty awesome first line of defence.
3. They can enhance your career prospects
Contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few arguments for beards actually aiding your career rather than hindering it.
First off, let’s take the point from The Man Behind the Beard study where participants judged a beardy man to be more trustworthy than a beardless one. Well this survey from Lookers took it on in a more practical and commercial sense and asked their customers: “How likely are you to buy a car from this person?”
The results: A full, trimmed, well-kept beard was deemed to be the salesman that they were most likely to buy from. No surprise really. The least likely to buy? You guessed it: the shaven guy.
Another anecdotal case study we like is the freelancer who photoshopped a fake beard to improve the number of jobs he got. So perhaps maybe, just maybe, your beard is doing more for you than you think in the career arena.
We don’t recommend this to all industries: If you’ve got an interview with a company with a generally anti-beard stance (like some law firms, or within the banking industry), unless you know they will be ‘cool’ about it – unfortunately it might go against you.
Bottom Line: Want to make more sales and get ahead with your career? Grow a full-on, well-groomed beard.
4. They boost your attractiveness
This is a classic question “Does a beard make more attractive?” and it is one that gets asked time and time again. There are quite literally dozens of different studies that have gone into this. The overall results?
Guys who sport a short to full beard are deemed most attractive – of course there are some studies that are heavily in favour and some that aren’t (that said the ones that go against the beard are generally funded by shaving companies, so I’d take note of that). If you really want to drill the point home to someone arguing that bearded men aren’t more attractive, link him up to this wadded article on if women like beards. This is perhaps one of our favourites (or at least most enlightening):
In the study conducted at the University of New South Wales, 351 women were asked to rate men with varying levels of facial hair. What they found was that women deemed guys sporting heavy stubble as the most handsome, and that 177 males thought guys with stubble to full-on beards were the most handsome.
On a side note, the participants thought those with beards had the best potential for parenthood and overall masculinity too. Like you would expect, guys sporting a light stubble or a completely bald face performed the worst in all the categories.
Bottom Line: Want to get better looking? Grow at least some heavy stubble (that still doesn’t mean you can neglect it though, apply some beard oil on it frequently as well as keeping it trim and proper).
5. Become weatherproof
Want a darn right practical benefit of owning a beard? How about the fact they are all round weatherproof.
They will keep you warm during the winter months – this has genuinely been reported by a guy who went half beard and half shaven for a few months – a somewhat limiting, anecdotal test? Yes. Brilliant though? Absolutely!
Then during the summer months, despite what most think (and I guess it is sort of logical) they won’t make you hotter. In fact, splash some cold water at your beard and you’ve just created your own little air cooling system, plus it provides a natural shade from the sunlight.
Bottom Line: Want to be able to brave the weather all year round? You get the picture by now.
To Beard or Not to Beard?
After all that, hopefully you are in agreement that growing a beard is always the way to go, and questions such as “to beard or not to beard?” prove unecessary.
So the next time some beardless colleague has a low and sly jibe at your mane, you can hit him back with some hard-hitting evidence, and in turn mock his bald face. Or (probably the right thing to do) have a little chuckle to yourself in the knowledge that your beard has you looking better, ensures you stay healthier, helps you get ‘one up’ in the careers game, plus when you finish work and it’s time to step outside into a cold windy night – your face will be nice and snug.