The health benefits of growing a beard
Growing a beard can have some great benefits for your health, and some of the may be a little surprising; in fact, these benefits so varied and powerful, it will have beardless men everywhere wanting to learn how to grow a beard.
Not surprisingly, beards can keep the skin beneath looking young for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there’s the fact they product your skin from damage caused by the sun’s radiation, acting as a sort of natural sunscreen. Secondly, the oils you naturally secret from your hair follicles not only keep your beard looking great, but the skin beneath it nice and youthful too.
Bustle.com notes that having a beard may have some immunological benefits when it comes to allergies. A lot of people don’t realize that allergies are a malfunctioning of your immune system. Your body reacts to everyday foods and substances like they’re harmful invaders and mounts a disproportionate response that can range from annoyingly itchy to deadly serious.
Normally, when we think of exposure therapy to treat allergies, it’s usually a last resort for kids with peanut allergies or something of that nature. But it turns out that our beards may be giving us constant exposure therapy to everyday allergens like pollen and dust particles that are invisible to the naked eye, which get trapped in your beard as you go about your daily life. Your immune system becomes trained to realize that pollen isn’t a threat to your body’s survival and stands down as a result. This sort of exposure therapy may make bearded men less likely to need things like allergy shots than their beardless counterparts.
Bacteria can become trapped in your beard the same way pollen and dust can. While it’s a myth that beards are inherently poopy and thus contain poop-related bacteria, all beards contain some bacteria, simply because bacteria are everywhere. Humans of all ages no matter who there are or where they live are riddled with bacteria. Bacteria are constantly with us and constitute a pretty measurable portion of our bodies.
As most of us know, there are good bacteria, like probiotics, and bad bacteria, like E. coli. Both good and bad bacteria live inside us and on top of our skin and hair. Most bacteria we live with are pretty harmless, though some people are carriers of harmful bacteria while being none the wiser, because their immune system is able to resist said bacteria. Harmful bacteria are a good reason to keep your beard clean. Best case scenario, it makes you stinky and itchy; worst case scenario, you develop a severe, anti-biotic resistant infection. So, again, keep your beard clean.
As you know, good bacteria live in our guts. While beards are mostly associated with bad bacteria, the truth is they can also host some very beneficial bacteria. According to this article from BBC.com, lab testing confirmed that good bacteria found in some beards can kill E. coli. This is good news, since some forms of the bacteria are now antibiotic-resistant. These beard-centric good bacteria not only keep their human host healthy by killing the bad things he’s exposed to, they are also a potential source for new antibiotics. Because microbes like fungi and bacteria are where antibiotics come from, and to date, this may be the absolute best reason for growing a beard since once we exhaust our current supply of antibiotics due to bacteria becoming drug-resistant, we will once again be plunged into the pre-antibiotic world, where mortality from common bugs like strep throat was common. Wouldn’t it be pretty kickass if beards turned out to save the world—literally?
On a lighter note, beards are a symbol of male fertility and consequently, having a beard says to your partner: I’m attractive and healthy enough to produce exceptional offspring. And that’s the thing: Health is a huge part of attractiveness. We consciously think people look hot, but our instincts are really telling us they look healthy and like they’d be a good parent, when it’s someone of the opposite sex. Bearded men often simply come off as looking healthier than their breadless counterparts. Of course, bearded men can actually just be very healthy as well.
The emotional benefits of growing a beard
The big emotional benefits of having a beard are in large part down to how having a beard makes you feel about yourself. Many men report being more confident with a beard, as well as feeling more handsome.
In turn, both women and men tend to regard men with facial hair as being more handsome. Huffingtonpost.com states that women tend to like short beards and stubble, and men like full beards in addition to short beards and stubble. Either way, facial hair ups your perceived attractiveness, which in turn makes you realize that you are, indeed, attractive.
According to New Republic, men with facial hair are perceived as more masculine and more aggressive, which can give them a boost in the professional world. Likewise, they tend to be more confident as a result of being perceived in desirable ways.
In short, the positive benefits of rocking an awesome beard can provide you with a heaping dose of self-esteem, which in turn has positive benefits in other areas of your life.
The romantic benefits of growing a beard
Women crave maturity. While they will put up with childishness for a remarkably long time, at the end of the day, women want a man. And when they reach their mid to late twenties, finding an actual grown man to date or even marry suddenly becomes a priority. By thirty, a woman may exclusively only want to date mature men, even if she doesn’t plan to ever marry or enter into a long-term partnership. The reason for this is because women do mature faster than men. At twenty, she is likely already where you are at twenty-five, mentally and emotionally. So, when she’s thirty, she’s going to want a real man and not some kid in a man costume.
Having a beard tells her that you’re no longer a boy, both on a physical and psychological level. You’re not afraid to look or be mature. When you’re not afraid to appear as a grown up, it signals to her that you’re not afraid to act like one either. That doesn’t mean you have to be all seriousness. Rather, it just means you both need to be at the same level mentally and emotionally, and a beard is a subtle but significant cue that you’re there.
Beards are also a very significant sign of male fertility. (More on that in the section below.) Women who are looking for long-term commitment are going to want to find a fertile man. Even if they don’t want children, and neither do you, fertility still plays a big factor in sexual attractiveness. Just because we don’t want children in our hearts or minds, the primeval part of our brain is always going to try to procreate, whether we want to or not. As a result, we are always going to be more attracted to fertile people than non-fertile people, which is a big part of why women tend to find beards so appealing. It’s the same reason—except in reverse—why men find women with full lips, large breasts and curvy hips generally attractive; these are all cues to our brain that tell us this woman is highly fertile, and therefore ultimately attractive and the best option for mating and/or sex.
We don’t always like to think about it, but romance is based a lot on physical attraction. What we like and find attractive varies from person to person, but the one uniting thread in physical attraction tends to be fertility characteristics. This initial attraction is what inspires romance and, eventually, genuine love.
So, if you’re the kinda guy who’s looking for something more serious than a quick hook-up, growing a beard can really work in your favor for the long run. Also, studies suggest that women also feel that bearded men simply look like better fathers.
The sexual benefits of having a beard
The most important sexual benefit for growing a beard is going to be music to your ears if you and the missus are looking to have kids: Beards are a sign of fertility in men. Thin about it: If you weren’t healthy enough to produce large quantities of healthy sperm, then there’s no way your body would expend energy on hair growth period, let alone copious amounts of beard growth.
Even if you aren’t interested in having kids anytime soon, this fertility benefit can still work in your favor, sexually speaking, because women are simply more likely to find fertile men sexually appealing. Even if getting pregnant isn’t on her mind consciously, the lizard brain that resides in the back of all human heads, that does without thinking, is directing her to have sex with a man that will produce the best offspring.
Even in the age of effective birth control—no form of birth control is 100% full-proof, though (except for abstinence)—it’s still a pretty valid evolutionary development, because if she’s attracted to you and her subconscious hormonal superpowers tell her you’d make a good dad, it’s less likely to be disastrous for her in cases of birth control failure. Basically, nature thinks of everything.
Aside of telling her you’re fertile, your beard also signals to her that you’re old enough to not only be with her, but to also be sexually virile. Your beard tells her you’re a grown man who’s ready for an adult sexual experience.
Finally, for many women, beards are just hot. And being attractive can go a long way towards being sexually successful. She may also find that your beard makes for something great to hold onto.
There are many social benefits to having a beard besides the aforementioned romantic, sexual and paternal reasons why. Many of these social reasons to grow a beard come down to you as a man and how you view yourself and present yourself to the world, though they can also play into how others view you.
The biggest social benefit of growing a beard is that fact that it’s a big confidence booster. Confident men tend to do well in all social aspects of life, because they’re more likely to feel comfortable interacting with others. Confident men also don’t feel the need to impress others and are able to function more as individuals, which, believe it or not, goes a long way towards being a socially functional human being in the real world.
Bustle.com says that beards make men look more intelligent and distinguished. If you struggle with being taken seriously by others, it’s not out of line to say that a beard might help with that issue. It’s sad to say that people are very visual creatures, but we are. By growing a beard and thereby coming off as more intelligent, you might just finally get the respect you’ve deserved all along. There are a lot of personal anecdotes from men online expressing this exact phenomenon.
Bearded men are likely to be noticed by others, and that they often get “beard compliments” and “beard confessions”. Most bearded guys have experienced these things, and they’re a great way to break the ice when you’re a bearded man around new people. Others approaching you will also help if you happen to be one of the many men who experience social anxiety, which is another great social reason to opt for a beard.