Should You Grow a Beard?
I precede my definite answer before delving into the subject: An alpha male is first of all an alpha from the inside, and a beard will not make any long-term difference in your quality of life. Forget it. Now, in the context of fashion, this is a trend that has been going on for some time, and there are surveys indicating that it’s perceived as sexier. On the other hand, a beard requires grooming and different products to keep it aesthetic when it gets longer. I think it’s best to start small with stubble and take a picture of yourself every week or two. If it becomes too much – you’ll know how much to trim to stay in the sweet spot.
A Beard Doesn’t Change Anything
As I’ve mentioned in the beginning of the article, a beard will have no real impact on your life, your social status or your level of success with women. Although in some (very poorly done) surveys, men with a beard were rated as more aggressive, mature and dominant – I will mention an important point that has already become a mantra on this blog: You can’t fake who you are.
Look, it is very likely that growing a beard will cause some change in the initial response of people towards you. For better or worse. Yet you are still the same person you were before the beard, with the same habits, the same insecurities, and the same beliefs. It’s only a matter of (quite short) time until people’s response to “you with a beard” will balance back to the usual starting point of communication with “you”.
If you’re a real alpha – you’ll naturally act as such; whether you have a huge beard, or not a single bristle on your face. These things have little meaning, since the thing that truly determines if you are perceived as an attractive, dominant man is your qualities.
Beard is In Fashion
I don’t think there is a problem with being up to date fashionably. Just as you don’t have to be up-to-date with the latest trends in men’s clothing, you also don’t have to look like a caveman to be called an alpha.
Grooming can be a good sign, to be honest. A person who keeps himself tidy sometimes says through this: “I look good, and I’m going to take advantage of every inch of beauty in my body”. It’s a great demonstration of confidence and a desire to be noticed – alpha behavior by all accounts.
The problem may begin with the reason you are eager to grow a beard. Here are two main possibilities why men grow a beard for the wrong reasons:
- A lot of people will use a full beard to hide some part they hate of their face, such as a scar. Sometimes it’s hope that the beard will give their face a thinner look.
- Covering up for not fitting in the company they are in, with a relatively garish fashion (remember emos in high school?).
So as you can see, the problem is not in going with current fashion, but in what triggers me to do it. There are men who will use a beard to strengthen their existing status in an attractive external way; and there are men, on the other hand, who will use the beard to escape their problems, weaknesses and things they are too afraid or lazy to work on. Consider which side you are on and act accordingly.
Is a Beard Worth It?
After I have uttered my alpha philosophy, let’s talk about practice. What’s good and what isn’t in growing a beard?
- As I’ve noted, there’s (limited) evidence that bearded men are perceived as more masculine. That is, less childish, more aggressive and dominant.
- It’s currently in fashion, and it’s been like this for quite some time. A well-groomed man conveys (but is very dependent on the eyes of the beholder) that he’s prestigious and up-to-date.
- No need to shave. If shaving cuts are a familiar experience to you, a beard can be a fashionable solution.
- It can be itchy for some people.
- In some jobs a bearded men may not be accepted. Especially in fields like frontal customer service and culinary.
- Regular grooming of the beard, and in some cases, the need to buy and deal with products for beards. If you care about its appearance, of course.
- If you have a baby and you’ll shave off the beard sometime in the next few years, you will pay for his psychiatric therapy.
Does Your Beard Worth Money?
A fun fact: More than 4,000 bearded men were invited to shopping centers around Christmas to stand up and allow strangers (“stressed-out shoppers”, according to them) to fondle their beard (a BBC article). The purpose of the operation was to reduce stress in buyers, which apparently accumulated due to the mess before the holiday.
The logic of the argument is based on a study from 2012 that showed a decrease in tension by petting dogs during work, and assumed it might also work with beards, for some reason. You’ll probably be surprised to hear that they’ve paid the fondled men generously: £30 an hour. So yeah, maybe you have another reason to grow a full, impressive beard.
Still Not Sure?
If you have not made a decision yet whether to grow your beard or not, and you don’t know what suits you best – I have an easy idea for you: Shave off completely and start growing the beard from scratch. At the end of every week (or two weeks if you’re really lazy) take a picture of yourself with your phone. Capture at least 3 sides of your face: left profile, front and right profile. That way you will have a neat follow-up of how you look at every stage of growing the beard.
The reason you are doing this is simple – the beard will continue to grow, and if you get to a certain stage and say “Enough, it’s getting ugly”, you’ll have a clear timestamp when your beard fit perfectly to your facial structure, size and shape.
You could also show the pictures to your barber so he’ll know exactly the length you expect to have. Alternatively, buy a haircut machine that has the right size according to the picture. And anyway, who knows, maybe you’ll discover you were more attractive without a beard in the first place.
What Kind of Beard Style to Do
There are many kinds of beards, and like any fashion-related issue, you firstly have to take into account who this beard grows on. A long beard may not fit your jaw structure, a wide beard won’t fit the size of your head, etc.
I’ll tell you right now that I am really not the guy to ask about the perfect beard-face-head composition. But I did found an informative article about beard styles and how they fit to different types of heads and faces. The author also describes how the beard can be shaped to fit the face and head, and which products can be used.
My Personal Opinion About Growing a Beard
With all my attacks at the beginning of the article, you might get the impression that I don’t like the sight of men with a beard. But the truth is that in my opinion a beard is a very masculine feature, and I think a beard fits most men on one level or another.
Still, in my eyes there’s a definite deal-breaker: If your beard isn’t full (and it can be seen in the first two – three weeks of growth, for most men) then you’re definitely better off without a beard. Sorry, although I advocate in this blog to take responsibility for every aspect of our life as alpha males – genetics is beyond that.
I myself have been staying for more than 10 years on bristles. It’s my favorite look and I don’t think I’ll change it anytime soon. Your situation may be similar to mine, and you will find that after more than a month the beard is already starting to grow sideways and gives you a more rounded face. And if you hate this like me, the pictures-solution above will allow you to capture the appropriate length. This has helped me a lot.
The most important point I wanted to make in this article is that the alpha male never follows a fashionable norm for reasons such as weakness or escapism.
Unfortunately, I’m sure a lot of the men with the impressive beards today are on the runaway side. Part of it lies in the fact that there are simply not many alpha males to begin with, and I think that most of today’s fashionable statements are coming from insecurity. This might manifest in hiding ugly areas of the body, or simply a desire to belong to something larger by conforming to a certain norm.
So if you’re honest with yourself about why you’re following a trend, and it truly comes from real self-confidence rather than hope for a magic solution for a weakness you have – well, then go be a farmer of beards for all I care.
Then we looked at the possible benefits and problems of growing a beard (you realize that the baby thing wasn’t serious, right?). I’ve offered you a simple procedure with which you can track your beard’s growth objectively and “go back in time” when you think the beard has reached an aesthetic limit.
Just please, no matter what you choose and how, do not let this question occupy your mind so much, anyway. It’s only a beard, it’s just external. The essence of a strong, attractive and dominant man is much more wide and internal than a few hairs on your face.