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
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
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.
- 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.