For many men, wearing a beard is a means of self-expression, a way to show their masculinity. However, new research shows that your beard might be saying more about you than you realize, and it might not be the message you want to broadcast to the world in the first place.
It’s Not About Alpha Males
There’s a preconception out there that wearing a beard means that you’re an alpha male. Beards are associated with more testosterone, which plays into that quintessential maleness.
However, there are also negative implications here. Testosterone is also associated with aggression, anger, and rage.
This one should come as no secret – wearing a beard can make you look up to 10 years older (more, in some cases). While that’s probably not an issue for 20-somethings looking to make themselves appear more mature, it could be an issue for older men.
This is particularly true with bushier beards and graying facial hair. If you’re looking to stave off the signs of aging, shaving that facial hair is probably the best bet (or you can trim it and dye it).
While a well-trimmed, neatly groomed beard doesn’t necessarily make you seem stand-offish, most people find men with bushy beards somewhat intimidating, and there’s the sense that they are less willing to be social than their clean-shaven comrades.
Of course, this is totally superficial – we all know men with huge, bushy beards who are gregarious, generous and very social, just like we know men with no facial hair with the social skills of a stump.
Condition and Care
More important than length or style is how well you groom and maintain your beard. A large beard properly maintained can look quite dashing while a shorter beard that isn’t properly maintained can look slovenly.
There’s a lot to be gained from using the right products to care for your facial hair. For instance, beard oil or a good beard balm can do wonders for unruly facial hair, but both can also help to treat beard dandruff (a real thing that can leave you looking like you don’t care how presentable you are).
Whether you prefer a chin strap, a bushy beard, or go for mutton chops and a mustache, your facial hair says a lot about you. What’s your facial hair telling the world?
Photos from: Vladimirs Poplavskis © 123RF.com and kantver © 123RF.com.