Ideas are born from a beard stroke.
Beards are a topic that has impacted how people think, see their position in society, and express their individuality almost since the earliest years of man's existence.
The subject is simultaneously a fun topic, whilst being at the same time a fundamental driver of society. The beard is both an instrument of repressive religion while at the same time an expression of rebellion.
Beards influence our lives in just so many ways, and at so many levels.
I am going to start this article by looking at what I think about most, Women. We take a look at the question that just has to be answered …
Why do women prefer men with beards?
Beards are so awesome, God grew one
I am going to start this section on why women prefer men with a man beard with some statistics from a weird dating site where guys bid for dates with attractive women, not a very scientific source of information but I guess they were surveying attractive women, so it could be interesting.
A dating site called, "what's your price.com" surveyed 2,500 women. The result of this poll showed that 60% of those surveyed found men's beards to be attractive. When questioned further on men's beard styles it was found that it was beards that they preferred, rather than moustaches. Only 6.44% found guys with just a moustache attractive, 43.27% found guys with beards but no moustache the most attractive, but the majority of them, 50.29%, found a combined beard and moustache the best look.
Now, my second piece of evidence supporting the idea that women prefer men with beards is a bit more reputable, The Journal of Evolutionary Behaviour, and they came up with an interesting viewpoint about what different types of facial hair signify to women. The 8,520 sampled were shown pictures of guys with various amounts of facial hair ranging from light stubble to thick and full beards.
When asked some questions, the women rated the guys with light stubble, closely followed by heavy stubble as being the most desirable for one-night stands, if they were looking for a long-term commitment or potential father for a future child, then the guys with full beards as much more suitable.
Abraham Lincoln grew his famous beard after a little girl wrote him a letter and said he'd look better with one. That same girl, however, had no advice about going to the theatre.
The Journal of Evolutionary Behaviour, in a different survey, in 2016, discovered that women see men with facial hair to be masculine, confident industrious, generous, and far more sincere than men without beards. It's not just a northern hemisphere thing either. A study by the Medical Daily by the University of New South Wales asked 351 women and 177 straight guys their opinions on men with various levels of hair growth on their faces, and to rate them on how attractive they were, how masculine they looked, how healthy they were, and their parenting ability. It was found that guys with the heaviest growth scored higher than others.
The Journal of Evolutionary Behaviour, which seems to be obsessed with the bearded man, also came up with some more data that reported that women see guys with beards as more masculine. They looked deeper with their research and found that women in the most fertile part of their menstrual cycle felt this even more. Clearly, there are some deep biological urges involved with this view.
The key information we can take away from this first section is that
Women are attracted to men with beards
Average men who shave spends roughly 3,350 hours of their life in the bathroom. Men with beards use that time to have fun with the average men's girlfriends.
It is the nature of celebrities that they will take on a persona that their fans find attractive. Being a celebrity is all about image. Image is everything and many celebrities know that women like beards and use the beard as part of their image.
A man with a beard is like a coffee shop with Wi-Fi, everyone loves them
Celebrities with beards
Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the most talked-about celebrities with a beard. He has been sporting a beard, on and off, for around ten years. Occasionally he is forced to shave his beard, and or his head for various roles, but he seems to have the ability to grow hair fast. It is rare these days to see him with a clean-shaven look anymore, even when he does not have a beard, he tends to have s stubble. Recently Gyllenhaal has moved from what you might describe as a thick beard to something quite splendid.
If you want a classic Jake Gyllenhaal hair and beard style (with a trimmed beard and moustache), here are a few tips.
Let your hair dry naturally after showering. Once it has dried, use some hair styling cream. Rub the product with your fingers and then rake it through your hair beginning at the roots. To add volume does not require vast amounts of styling cream, so begin with a more conservative amount. You can add more volume with a blow drier and styling cream if you want.
In many pictures, Jake will be seen with a thick beard with an integrated moustache. He allows the beard to grow from just above Adam's apple and as far up as his cheekbones. However, sometimes he is seen with a beard that has an all-over trim where a #2 or #3 guard is used on the clipper. It helps to use a specially formulated beard shampoo when washing your beard.
Growing out your beard
If this is your aim, it's probably best to get a boar's bristle beard brush that when used will help to stimulate growth. It also serves to thicken the look of your beard.
Trim your beard with electric clippers, and barber shears. After washing, apply some Man Made Beard Oil or Man Made Beard Balm to your beard, preferably before you groom your beard.
Not everyone can be bearded…Someone has to stand at the side and clap as men with beards go by.
This Danish American actor played a variety of roles from 1985, but in 2000 he played his biggest role, that of Aragorn in Lord of The Rings. This involved having a pretty good light beard. Other roles since have needed a clean-shaven face, but when not playing a role, Viggo is typically seen wearing a thick well-trimmed beard that is obviously carefully groomed and clearly benefits from nourishing beard products.
There are many different beard styles to choose from and Viggo has tried two or three over the years, but it seems his personal preference is the thick well-trimmed beard.
Jason Momoa from Game of Thrones
Jason has a thick looking beard, perhaps with small patches on the cheeks, and this style of beard is enhanced by the shoulder length hairstyle in that movie. In Aquaman his hairstyling and long unruly beard gave Aquaman a whole new look, making him look much more like a surfer. On his YouTube channel, he was seen shaving his beard to promote recycling awareness.
Keanu Reeves, Actor, Movie Producer, and Musician
Keanu Reeves has a very patchy beard which is not normally favoured. These patches mean that in some areas of his cheeks there is an absence of a beard. It seems that by sporting what is typically seen as an inferior beard, Keanu may become an inspiration for those men who cannot grow lush beards.
A basketball player with the Houston Rockets and a native of Hollywood. This guy is one of the highest-paid players in the NBA and has one of the best beards as well. His beard leaves the thick beard category behind and moves on to something far more. His beard defines his style and is something that everything else revolves around.
James has had a beard since 2009. He cannot give any particular motive for first growing it, and if pressed he claims it was just laziness in not wanting to shave. However, the beard has become an important part of the folklore of this player.
To get a beard looking like this does not happen just by accident. It takes patience and a lot of beard care, using the best products for your beard.
James Harden has not discounted the idea of one day shaving the beard, but he says it would cost someone a very big charitable donation to convince him.
Why are men rocking full beard styles?
A full beard looks cool. – Richard C. Armitage
The bearded men of rock are still around, playing rock music that was unapologetic and brash. That has been the way we have seen rock stars, but there has also been a rise in the number of bearded men making sensitive music. This included Grizzly Bear, The Dodos, Iron & Wine. Beards have always had a strong position in the annals of rock history.
Rick Rubin is the man behind Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Metallic, and more. Rick is a producer with an impressive beard that matches his incredible music career. Rick is an American record producer who also happens to be a co-founder of Columbia records. Rick has not shaved since he was 23 years old and for a long time, it's been his trademark. His head is in contrast with the smooth dome of his head which has just a couple of locks remaining.
Frank Zappa was one of the most talented musicians of his age. He is instantly recognizable with his heavy moustache and soul patch beard. The Zappa look is just perfect for anyone who wants to put over the eccentric look. It will work with just about any face shape, but round faces get to look a lot more masculine with this style. You have got to have thick, dense hair above and below the lips. One rule is that the soul patch must never touch the moustache. Like any beard, your Zappa look is going to need care and it's important to keep it clean by making use of Beard Wash products.
With ZZ Top the whole focus of the look is the beards. Guitarists Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill have been wearing signature beards since the 1970s, but the drummer, oddly called Frank Beard chooses to remain clean-shaven. The two guitarists were promised $1 million by Gillette to chop off their beards but declined. ZZ Top formed as a band in 1969 but it was not until 10 years later when they first donned the bearded look after both had gone on vacation separately and came back sporting a thick beard. Just like Frank Zappa, this is a trademark look. Dusty Hill, unfortunately, died in his sleep on 28th July 2021.
Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters
Grohl started out backing up Kurt Cobain. Following the demise of Cobain, Grohl made an amazing comeback which is still going strong. As his career has progressed, so has his beard, and is growing more and more luxurious. It is not very long, and it is well trimmed and carefully maintained. It is not a hard look to copy either.
Rob Zombie is a member of the heavy metal band White Zombie. He is also a songwriter and filmmaker. Zombie sports a heavy beard that is not shaped and allowed to grow freely. This nm=makes his look very easy to copy. The key thing to remember is to trim the hairs to avoid split ends and to wash well in suitable beard shampoos.
The Longest beard in the world was an incredible 17 feet 5 inches! This beard was grown by a Norwegian called Mr Hans Langseth.
The Power of the Beard
Beards have a way of exuding power and transforming the opinions of those in the presence of a beard. This has been the case throughout history.
Beards have the effect of making a man look older and wiser. They seem to be more dominant, and intimidating compared to their clean-shaven compatriots.
In 2008 scientists did research to confirm these findings and they showed mock-ups of the same man with facial hair that ranged from clean-shaven to fully bearded men. The study found that the more facial hair the character possessed, the more the character was seen as possessing strength, aggression, masculinity, and dominance.
What the Ladies Think
Research and anecdotal evidence have both shown that beards do have an impact on women. They are reported as saying that men seem more important, wiser and manly when they have a beard. Most women prefer men with facial hair and a muscular body. The addition of tattoos simply completes the package. If, as a man, you want to attract women (and who doesn't?) then growing a beard and improving the body is a good start.
The movie industry has honed in on this and many super-macho movie heroes are played with guys wearing luxurious beards.
We are talking about the psychology of beards, but in reality, what men mostly care about is how attractive they are to women. Women tend to appreciate the confidence and if a beard gives the impression of confidence, then this must make the man more attractive to the woman. An aside from this air of confidence comes to the perception that a man with a beard will be of a higher social status.
Research also shows that men with facial hair are seen as more socially mature and masculine.
Beards & Tattoo Combos
More studies have been conducted and they prove that there is a connection between beards and tattoos in women's minds. Beards have a link with virility that stretches back to early history. Beards project confident masculinity. If that were not enough, research has also found that beards suggest industriousness, generosity, confidence, and sincerity.
Tattoos, however, have a more subtle attraction and men with tattoos are rated by test subjects as being more dominant, masculine, healthy, and more aggressive, all of which in this context are seen as positive qualities.
Some men just find it hard to grow a beard.
One time I asked myself what would Jesus do? Then I grew a beard
So, rock stars and celebrities have these wonderful beards, and the women love them. You think that maybe you should have a beard but then you find it just isn't happening
Dermatologist John Anthony M.D. explains it's mostly because of genes. It's your genes that decide how thick your hair is going to be. Between the ages of 18 and 30, there will be an increase in the thickness of the beard, and how course it is. So, before the age of 30, it may just be a matter of patience.
Ethnicity also plays a part, for example, guys from the Mediterranean countries typically grow thicker beards.
If your beard is patchy then it could be a problem that is nothing to do with genes. Alopecia areata is a problem where hair falls out in patches.
It is a condition that occurs when your immune system concludes that your hair follicles are the enemy. Doctors are still not entirely sure about the causes.
One of the best things you can do is to improve your diet, and in the next section, we take a look at some good foods to eat.
You call it facial hair. I call it awesomeness escaping through my face.
7 Foods that help promote beard growth
When it comes to beard growth, there are things you have no control over, like your genes; but there is something that you can choose, and that's your diet. Eating a diet that is both balanced and has the right nutrients can assist in promoting beard growth. Failure to do this, can, in fact, lead to you losing hair, so it works both ways. If you are concerned with the question, "how long to grow a beard" then you may want to reduce that time by eating better.
For me, the difficulty growing up in the UK was that I had a very restricted concept of what God was, and it was pretty close to an old man with a beard. – John Cleese
7 foods that promote beard growth
1 – Eggs
Eggs are an "eggcellent" source of protein and biotin. It is very important to consume protein when trying to promote beard growth because beard follicles are mostly made up of protein. Research has shown that if you do not eat enough protein, you will suffer beard loss.
Now, as for biotin, which is also present in eggs, it is essential for building keratin (a beard protein). Studies have shown that for people with a biotin deficiency, increasing the amount you eat can improve beard growth. This is why you can buy biotin supplements which are marketed as a beard growth product. However, these supplements should be unnecessary if you consume a balanced diet that includes eggs.
If you want to grow a beard like mine, the only thing I can tell you is that you have to have patience. You just have to let it grow. – Daniel Bryan
2 – Berries
You cannot go far wrong with berries. They are absolutely packed with beneficial compounds and vitamins that are thought to promote beard growth. One of these ingredients is vitamin C. which is rich in antioxidants. Now antioxidants are particularly good at protecting beard follicles from the ravages of free radicals. These free radicals are all over the place, inside the body, and in the wider environment.
Just one cup of strawberries would not only be delicious but would also provide 141% of your daily requirement for vitamin C. By the way, is also used by the body to produce collagen (which strengthens the beard).
3 – Fatty Fish
Salmon, herring, and mackerel, all have nutrients that are believed to promote beard growth. They are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids which are connected to beard growth. They did a study with some 120 women and found that those taking supplements containing omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and antioxidants had greater beard growth, denser beard, and reduced beard loss.
Fatty fish also is a useful source of the following list of ingredients that promote a healthy beard:
4 – Sweet potato
Another compound that is good for beard growth is beta-carotene, and sweet potato is full of it. The body converts the beta-carotene into vitamin A which promotes good health in the beard. A medium-sized sweet potato is going to fulfil 400% of your daily vitamin A. needs. It seems that vitamin A. encourages the production of sebum, which helps to keep your beard healthy, and also ramps up the speed at which the beard grows. The new beard growth is also thicker too.
55% of men from around the world can be seen sporting a beard or facial beard. The other 45% can be seen glaring jealously over!
5 – Oysters
When it comes to zinc, you cannot beat oysters as a source. Zinc is a mineral that is crucial to the beard growth and repair cycle. Not having enough zinc in a diet can result in zinc deficiency, which can create a loss of hair from your beard. It's reversible by simply upping your zinc intake again.
You can also take zinc supplements in place of oysters. But the problem is that if you take too much zinc that will also create hair loss. Life is never simple, so it's perhaps better to stick with foods that contain zinc.
6 – Beans
When looking for a plant-based protein that encourages hair growth, you should not forget beans. They are a good alternative to oysters to improve your digestion of zinc.
A 100-gram portion of black beans provides 7% of your daily requirements for zinc. Beans also provide other nutrients that are good for your beards, such as iron, biotin, and folate. What's more, beans are not expensive and you don't need to be a money man to enjoy them. They are also a versatile food.
7 – Meat
Your balanced diet to promote hair growth and beard growth should include meat. Meat is rich in many nutrients (especially red meat). The protein in meat is going to assist with the process of strengthening and repairing hair follicles.
Red meat is also rich in iron which helps red blood cells to oxygenate the cells around the body, including those in your beard. It is recognized that if you are deficient in protein and iron, hair loss may occur.
Dear Mr Disney, please explain why Tarzan is clean-shaven and doesn't have a beard?
A look at beards through the ages
The scruffier your beard, the sharper you need to dress. – Ashton Kutcher
Having a beard is a man's natural state. Being clean-shaven is against nature. Man has travelled a long way in our perception of beards. Let's take a short stroll through history and focus on the beard as we travel. Prehistoric men were provided with facial hair for warmth and to strike fear in the eyes of their enemies. The hairy protection also kept sand and dirt from easily entering the mouth. Beards made the man look more animal-like and intimidating.
The Egyptians – 3000 BCE to 1580 BCE
One of the earliest great civilizations made the first move towards styling a beard. Interestingly, Egyptian royalty had a practice of tying a metal false beard onto their face by a ribbon to signify power. This fashion was popular with males and females. The practice of dying the beards on their chins is a black colour. They also sometimes plated their beards with golden thread. This connection between beards and power meant that many common folk in the land were clean-shaven.
The Mesopotamians were another advanced civilization and had an even greater fascination with their facial hair. Artwork found from the time shows men with long beards that were incredibly well cared for, groomed into incredibly ornate styles. The time and effort put into these beards suggest that the beard was a sign of power to be flaunted. The gods were all shown with thick, flowing facial hair, and like the Egyptians, even powerful women wore false beards.
The Mesopotamians had an array of tools to create these ornate designs and the constant styling would impact the health of the hair, which is why they were early adopters of Man Made Beard Oils which moisturized, and repairs damage. There was also a significance in the colour of the beards. The Assyrians used black die, and the Persians died theirs a Ginger colour.
Further to the east in ancient India and the surrounding cultures beards were considered even more important to a man. Longbeards signified great wisdom, courage, and physical power. They were so important to a man that the loss of a beard was seen as a great shame. This allowed the authorities to punish crimes by cutting off a man's facial hair. For example, the punishment for adultery or libertines was to have the beard removed, as they were not seen as fit to have the honour of possessing a beard.
The Ancient Greeks
The Greeks who had fought their way eastward picked up many attitudes from the Indian cultures. They too curled facial hair with tongs and they also used the removal of a beard as punishment. However, in 345 BCE, the Greek leader Alexander the Great changed the policy
The Ancient Romans
The Romans liked to have trimmed and well-groomed beards but contact with the Greeks began to have an impact on the Roman view of shaving. In 454 BCE a group of Greek barbers travelled from Sicily onto mainland Italy and set up barbershops. Eventually, it became commonplace for people to be shaved. Beards did make a comeback among the upper classes later, but the citizenry remained clean-shaven to distinguish them from slaves who wore beards.
England, after the fall of Rome
The Vikings from the north were bearded and as they raided the coast of England they used their beards to intimidate the local population. The media frequently shows Vikings as having long straggly beards but in fact, they took great pride in their grooming. Beards were back in common use again and remained the fashion until Christianity came along in the 7th Century. This forced the clergy to shave by law. Knights wore beards as a symbol of their manliness and honour.
When William invaded England from France there was a cultural change and English nobility were expected to fit in with French customs and once more. Clean-shaven became the norm.
After the Crusades
With the crusades came a return to facial hair and for many years people sported various styles of beard. When beards started to become fashionable in the 16th century the habit of starching their beards became popular with the Anglo-Saxons.
Henry VIII, despite having a beard himself decided that taxing beards would be a great idea and he taxed them right through his reign. This tax was continued by Queen Elizabeth 1st, as she was not fond of beards. Russia also introduced a similar tax, trying to make Russian men more like Europeans who were increasingly clean-shaven.
As the 17th century broke and in the years following the Vandyke beard began to appear (a pointy style) among the aristocracy. They began to use pomade or wax to put some shape into their beards and designed a variety of inventions to wear while sleeping. This continued for a limited period. In the 18th century, the nobility was once again mostly clean-shaven, and this continued until 1850 when fashions changed, and beards were once more popular.
World War 1 meant a total ban on all soldiers having facial hair because gas masks would not seal properly with a beard. Once the war was over and the soldiers returned home, they mostly remained without facial hair except for tiny Charlie Chaplin-style toothbrush moustaches. World War 2 came and went and still the majority of the population was clean-shaven.
Kissing a man that has no beard is like sipping champagne without the fizz - Said every woman!
Beards Styles in modern times
There is always a time when a bearded man shaves it all off. This does not last. He always returns faithfully to his beard. – Jean Cocteau
Beards are once again back in style and while not everyone can grow a beard, it has been a popular trend in recent years and there have been many styles to emerge. People have begun to pair up hairstyles with beard styles and this has made beards look even more attractive.
Men with beards typically take great care of them and to get the best-looking beards they purchase top quality beard care products.
Short beard styles
If you are looking for a beard that can be grown out easily and can be trimmed without difficulty, then short beards may be for you. These can range from light stubble to a full beard. The most important tool will be a good quality beard trimmer. Some short styles will include a circle beard, a beard fade, a short-boxed beard, a Royale beard, a chin beard, a Balbo beard, an anchor beard, and a corporate beard.
Long Beard Styles
A long beard will require far more care and grooming than a short one. Beard Soap and Man Made Beard Shampoo will be essential items you will need, together with beard oil or beard balm. If you are new to beard growing, then it may be beneficial to purchase a beard care kit. Some long styles are Lumberjack beard, natural beard, Yeard, Tweared, and Hollywoodian!
People are sometimes surprised at how many goatee styles there are. There are styles that suit every face shape, and most guys can manage them. Some goatee styles include Pure goatee, pure goatee without the moustache, Full goatee beard, anchor goatee, goatee and moustache.
When is your beard too long? When the comments turn from "Hey! I really like your beard!" into "Sorry I have no spare change"
Best tips for any man with a beard or wants one
Nutrition and Vitamins Count
In addition to androgenic hormones (testosterone and DHT), your beard needs you to consume the right foods. These consist of protein, carbohydrates, and fatty acids. You also need to take in enough vitamins and minerals, so that your body can produce enough keratin and collagen. (See the section above - 7 Foods that help promote beard growth). You should also ensure that you drink enough liquids.
Keep your Facial Hair Clean
You may have read the scare stories in the press which claimed that beards being dirtier than toilet seats. This was n example of fake news and put together by reporters who did some "research" and made two and two equal five. This story was soon discredited. The reality is the bacteria they supposedly discovered is present pretty well anywhere.
The result has been that many men have been washing their facial hair in regular soap products which have stripped the beard of essential natural oils. When cleaning a beard, you must use the right products that will not destroy these natural protections on the beard. Ensure that you use beard soap, and beard shampoo just two to three times a week.
Use Beard Oil to Hydrate & Nourish
If you ask anyone about caring for your beard, one of the first things they mention will be beard oil. Beard oil is probably the single most important treatment for your beard. When you shower, you are going to wash away the natural oils from your beard. Beard oil serves several purposes including nourishing and hydrating the skin underneath your beard. It also provides a pleasant shine and adds volume. Of course, it is important to use beard care products that are handcrafted and from a reliable trusted source.
Maintaining a Beard with Brush and Comb
Boar bristle brushes and a wide-tooth beard comb are ideal for grooming your beard, they are specially made for the job and will produce the best results. Good grooming tools will last you a long time and are an excellent investment.
Using Beard Balm as Heavy-Duty Moisturizer
Beard oil is great and will keep your beard looking shiny and soft, but occasionally there are times when you need to step up the treatment to a whole new level, and that is where beard balm comes into play. First of all, have a shower and then apply beard balm soon after, to seal in the moisture for days.
Keeping Split Ends Under Control
Beards are no different from the hairs on your scalp in that they will develop split ends. The result of these split ends is that your facial hair will feel course and will be increasingly hard to manage.
The problem can be kept under control with judicious trimming with some quality trimming scissors or an electric beard trimmer.
A quality trimmer is essential, poor-quality trimmers will damage the skin. Rather than buying a poor-quality electric trimmer, stick with quality scissors.
Most beard supplements are scams, so this is an area where great care is needed. Follow scientific advice to avoid paying out for useless supplements. One supplement that appears to work is Vitamin D.
which has been shown to boost testosterone by several studies, In one such study taking the supplement for one year resulted in a 25% increase in testosterone.
Stimulate Circulation to Encourage Beard Growth
Increased circulation to the follicles on the face will result in an increase in androgenic hormones, and more vitamins and minerals reaching them. To improve circulation, you might try: Rolling your facial hair with a Beard Derma Roller & the use of beard oil. Consumption of garlic, onion, and hot chilis which will promote circulation.
Some Beard Trivia
We will finish the article with some beard trivia, little snippets you may not have known about beards.
You are sure to find at least some that you are not aware of.