What does it mean to have a bead these days?
Trends come and go but the one that keeps coming back is the bearded look. And the reasons to have a beard change all the time.
What is a beard today compared to thousands of years ago when it meant something much different to those guys?
It’s an interesting question that I feel like exploring. How we define beard now can run the gamut. So in this beard guide, I will go over the many questions people have about beards and bearded men.
I’m not sure where this exploration of such a vast topic will take us aside from some general musings with some beard tips thrown in.
Read on and let’s learn more about what is a beard together!
Why are beards so popular right now?
Trends come and go for reasons unknown. I mean, what makes something become really popular and then die off just as quickly.
The beard trend has definitely lived longer than I expected and I have a suspicion as to why it is as popular as it is and shows no signs of slowing down.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that beards started to become a must-have around the same time that social media started to become a thing.
I started out as a barber in 2005 and didn’t see too many beards. By the late 2000s that had changed a lot. I started seeing more and more guys, even button down corporate types sporting a beard. Could it be that seeing guys on their Facebook and Instagram feed with beards made it seem so common that somebody might feel like they were the odd one out because they didn’t have a beard?
There is even a term for it these days. It’s called Facebook Envy and I believe everybody has fallen for it at some point in social media life.
You see the picture of your happy friend doing happy things and it just seems so perfect. And you want to feel and look the same way. If your friend doing all that cool stuff that seems like such a dream also has a beard, then it stands to reason that you’re more likely to also want to have a beard.
And like a virus that spreads. Not in a bad way, though.
Then the look becomes mainstream and once advertisers jump on board, then it will take on a life of its own.
I think the only way for beards to become unpopular is for the wrong guys start wearing a beard and doing stuff that people don’t like to see on social media. Then the beard will represent what is wrong with society and people will start to reject them.
But, that may not happen at all. Pure speculation on my part there.
What does a beard symbolize?
Does having a beard have any significance today or is it just a fashion statement?
It’s not an easy question to answer and if you ask 10 people you’re sure to get 10 different answers.
I suspect that it isn’t just a fashion statement to have a beard lately.
I’ll explain why.
Look at all the blogs about beards, beard forums and even clubs dedicated to having beards.
If you were just trying to look good then you really would only need to grow a beard and take care of it so it looks good.
Beards seem to symbolize belonging to a tribe. If you have facial hair it doesn’t give you entry into the club. If you cultivate that facial hair and make it a part of how you identify then you can become truly bearded.
They symbolize setting yourself apart from the masses while at the same time giving you acceptance to a sort of brotherhood. A togetherness that doesn’t come from shaving.
So what does this tribe strive for?
It seems that most bearded man clubs are trying to let the world know they mean business. It is no coincidence that media these days portray men with beards as dominant and virile.
A beard lately, and for a long time, has come to mean that they are hypermasculine and would make good partners. They symbolize seriousness and somebody who practices the art of getting things done.
Do beards make you look trustworthy?
What better research than from advertising? Marketers are always looking for ways to test how a product resonates with a market.
No surprise then that research has been done to see if a bearded man hawking a product was better or worse than a shaved man.
To the surprise to some and the delight of bearded men, it has become clear to advertisers that bearded men appear more trustworthy and are being used more prevalently in ads.
It used to be that being clean shaven meant that you would be taken more seriously. Think about how many bearded politicians there are out there.
That could change soon though as these findings could go beyond advertisers trying to find a bigger audience for their products.
I would expect to start seeing more politicians sporting facial hair and a manicured beard.
Instead of shaving before an interview, we may see more men going in with a beard and coming out with a job.
Why is this? How could a beard make you seem more trustworthy?
A beard is a sign of maturity. And, in most cases, maturity brings with it more knowledge. If somebody with a beard says it, then the thinking is that there is some wisdom that backs it up. And that wisdom comes with maturity.
But, you had better read up on some beard guides to make sure the beard looks good and doesn’t give off the opposite effect. A shaggy and unkempt beard does not inspire trust.
Is having a beard unprofessional?
The beard struggle is real.
For decades corporate culture has been such that uniformity was paramount. Which meant that having a beard would set you apart and not in a good way. Depending on what type of job you had, you couldn’t have a beard and a career at the same time.
If you weren’t a programmer or graphic designer, you weren’t likely to find work in a corporate environment.
The tide seems to be turning and more offices are allowing men to have beards.
It seems that since beards are giving off a masculine vibe and are now considered to be a sign of trustworthiness, that corporate cultural norms are starting to shift.
Can you land the job with a beard? Maybe. But, you had better get things right first.
Here are some beard tips to be able to have your glorious beard and still land the job.
Keep it groomed
Nothing kills your look like an unkempt beard. Your shoes are shined, your suit is tailored and your hair’s on point. Then your beard shows up and looks like roadkill. Don’t do this.
Follow a simple beard grooming routine and you’re more likely to impress. Keep it washed (no more than twice per week, though) and brushed.
If your beard is on the shorter side, add a few drops of a good beard oil to keep it looking healthy with a nice sheen and soft feel and look. Keeping your beard moisturized will keep it from getting split ends that make your beard look frizzy.
For guys with a longer beard, beard balm will better do the trick. It will condition and moisturize your beard like an oil, but it also has wax in it to help keep your beard shaped and styled. This is very important if you want to impress and have a long beard. By long, I mean over 2 inches in length.
You may want to have a yeard going and impress with the incredible length of it. Unfortunately, you’re probably going to give off the wrong vibe. It may look like you can’t be taken seriously or that you have some issues with hygiene. Rightly or wrongly, perception often trumps reality.
Bring your beard down to a more mainstream acceptable length. You may not like giving your beard up for the man, but if you want the job then you’ll need to sacrifice length for your salary. When you retire with a nice retirement package then you can grow it as long as you like.
A trimmed and neat beard looks stylish. A ZZ Top beard looks…well, I don’t know how to describe it but it doesn’t look professional. At a very minimum it is distracting. And if you are in a client facing job, you don’t want to have your client take their eyes off the prize. Any distractions could kill a deal so better to go for style over some kind of principled stand over the length of your beard.
The other side of the coin is to not have stubble or a chin strap. Stubble just makes it look like you don’t feel like shaving and a chin strap, well, that just is not going to work in an office.
You aren’t likely to be making out with your interviewer so they may not have the chance to be close enough to smell your wonderfully scented beard.
But, if it smells funky, then they won’t need to lean in to smell it. As you walk by, they may get a whiff of the funk that would kill your prospect for the job.
Use a beard oil that smells great so you don’t make any mistakes.
Not only will it impress, but it will lift your mood since you’ll be smelling it all day.
If your mood is spiking, then you will exude confidence and have a higher chance of nailing the job.
I think this Mountaineer Brand beard oil from Amazon.com is a good one because it has a cedarwood base for the fragrance. To me it smells manly and will have you come across as perfectly masculine.
Try to avoid anything patchouli based as that is a scent that can be off putting to most people.
Psychological effects of wearing a beard
There is a lot written about how people with beard are perceived by others, but what about the self perception of the guy wearing the beard?
How do bearded men see themselves compared to when they didn’t have a beard?
There haven’t been many studies done but the few that have been seem to indicate that perceptions do change when a beard is grown not only does self perception change, but decisions and personality also sees some differences.
For one, a man feels more masculine with a beard. So, what does that mean? Well, they start thinking about what a masculine man would do. This means that the decision making process is altered. For better or worse.
It can even mean that personality changes as they may act different, again according to this newfound font of masculinity.
Bearded men start to become more assertive where during the pre beard days they may have acted in a more reserved manner. They tend to act more serious as they feel that this new assumption of them being mature and wise starts to actually take hold within them.
And they generally become more active. Years ago beards were sort of a sign of laziness as it seemed to say that a guy couldn’t be bothered with shaving. Now, it seems that a bearded man, being more masculine, is also more prone to have an active hobby.
Beards and sexuality
If your beard definition involves attracting members of the opposite sex, or even same sex for that matter, then you probably don’t care much about any of the earlier points made in this article.
As with most things, it all boils down to sex appeal. When you define bearded men, it almost always involves the sexual attractiveness of having a beard.
Why is that?
It all comes back full circle to masculinity. What is a beard but a way of saying, “I am more of a man than the other guys without one”?
When a woman sees a well groomed bearded man, it screams, “provider” to her. Masculinity means good genes and the primal part of our brain makes us want to procreate with people that exhibit the traits that define what good genetics are.
Of course men with beard end up looking more attractive because our primal state does come to the front more often than we care to admit.
With this in mind one of my biggest beard tips is if you plan to grow a beard, make sure you are ready for the fact that women will be looking at you as not just a shag, but also as somebody to possibly settle down with.
If you want to put out the vibe that you’re just looking for a good time, then you should learn guitar in addition to growing a beard!
Whatever your beard definition is, or what your reason for growing a beard is, I hope this beard guide cleared up some of the reasons to have a beard.
The way to define beard is always changing and for some reason people want to pin down what it means.
What is a beard? It’s whatever the person wearing it wants it to be. A fashion statement, a banner to identify his tribe or just a way to score more ladies.
That’s the beauty of it. If you follow some beard tips you can have an awesome beard that can be the thing you want it to be. The beard of your dreams.
I would love to hear your beard story. Do you have any insight on what is a beard? Or a funny story about how your beard helped or hurt you in some situation?
Let me know by adding a comment to the box below!