5 Reasons Why a Beard is Man’s Best Friend
As I look back on the day of celebration that necessarily accompanies 100 consecutive days of facial hair growth, I am inclined to do my part to increase beard awareness. I am an individual for whom practicality is of the utmost importance when making decisions. For this reason, I have chosen to shed light on an aspect of beards that all too often goes unmentioned. Beards are about more than just looking awesome – they can also be very practical. Let’s start from the beginning:
Why are beards awesome?
Why aren’t they awesome? That is the more difficult question. Ancient Greeks saw beards as a sign of strength and masculinity. They were treasured gifts bestowed upon young men in their transition from boyhood. Men without beards may as well have been women as far as they were concerned. I won’t go as far as to say that beardless men aren’t men, but they certainly aren’t the same breed of man. A beard is more than unshaved facial hair – it becomes part of one’s lifestyle. What follows is merely a sample of reasons why you (if you’re genetically able) should grow a big, awesome beard.
1. The brotherhood of the beard
It’s not difficult for a man to enter this brotherhood – to do so he must simply grow a beard. Men with beards will notice that there is a sense of camaraderie when passing someone else with a beard. Think of it as a (usually) unspoken mutual respect for one another’s beard. In HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David can be seen giving the thumbs up to fellow bald men as they pass in the hallway, as well as identifying with the “bald community” in general. The same applies for the bearded, the only difference being that we bearded people made the choice to grow a beard, as opposed to Larry David and other bald men who were not consulted before losing their hair. Furthermore, don’t be offended when you see non-bearded men enviously staring at you as you pass. Your job is simply to be their eye candy for that brief moment and then move on – you might have just inspired them to grow a beard of their own.
Another advantage of the brotherhood of the beard is the coming together of various people of all creeds, colours, and nationalities. Prove this to yourself by walking into a busy airport and keeping an eye out for everyone with a beard. Chances are you will find a wide variety of people who all, despite their vast differences, have one thing in common: dedication to the bearded lifestyle. After all, the beard knows no religious, ethnic, or political boundaries.
2. Make your razor obsolete
Who likes shaving? Further, who likes shaving every day? The answer is a resounding nobody. For years I avoided the daily shave by using an electric trimmer to shave down to the stubble every week or two, not caring about the pseudo-beards that would develop between shaves. That certainly beats shaving every day. However, having a beard means not having to shave. Period. This might be the only reason you need to start growing a beard. It was certainly the only reason I needed. Sure, you might choose to trim the neck hairs once in a while if things get a little nasty in the sub-beard region. Even then, it’s nothing compared to what non-bearded men subject themselves to, often on a daily basis.
3. Beard… or convenient item-carrier?
Wallets only have so much room in them. Backpacks and briefcases can be inconvenient and cumbersome. The solution? A beard. You can put pens, toothpicks, rolled up money, and many other things in your beard to conceal them and have them within reach. The ratio of beard size to object size will determine what you are able to completely conceal in your beard. Hiding personal belongings – especially money – in your beard comes in handy if you run out of pocket space or are in a rough neighbourhood. How many muggers will consider rifling through your beard for your valuables?
Additionally, are you the type of person who will annoyingly fidget with your pen during meetings and presentations? Take care of this problem by sliding your pen securely into your beard. The fidgeting will stop and your pen will be right there next time you need to take a note. However, you must also be very cautious when storing certain objects in your beard. For instance, going to sleep without removing a sharp toothpick from your beard could result in unwanted neck wounds, and that could give beardless people reason to mock you.
4. A winter companion
In some parts of the world, there is no such thing as winter, or if there is, it is really just a formality. However, for the rest of us, winter brings cold weather and serious wind chill. In winter, there are two ways to keep your face warm. You can either wear a balaclava and look like you’re about to rob a bank or you can grow a beard and look awesome. Beards can provide insulation against the harsh, sub-zero temperatures and can also act as a windbreaker against the piercing, ice-cold wind.
Like pregnancies, beards can come about through careful planning or through just being lazy. I am not here to judge you on how you end up bringing your beard into this world (or to argue over when facial hair ceases to be stubble and begins to be a beard). However, I will advise that you plan your winter beard in advance to allow for plenty of growth by the time winter comes around. If your beard is long enough, you might even get some coverage of your neck, allowing you to be warm and stylish without buying a scarf.
Is your pillow old and flat? When you go to bed, do you get the sense that a folded t-shirt would probably be more comforting? You could go and spend money on a new pillow (if you’re someone who likes spending money – personally, I am not). You could make the decision to live like a peasant and sleep on old rags instead of that old pillow. Or, you could grow a beard. Take it from me, when your beard is long enough, it becomes that new pillow you long for. Your old pillow, combined with your new beard, will provide you with all the comfort you need to fall asleep in no time. Important to note, however, is that you must first move through the phase where your beard hairs poke you in the face as you lay down. You must be patient and trust that soon that phase will end and your face-pillow will come into being. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
These are but a few reasons why growing a beard is much more than simply a statement to the world that you are tired of looking normal. In fact, beards can be a practical accessory that is fun, free, and easy to grow. As you grow your very own beard, you will surely come up with other reasons to keep growing. If you keep an open mind, you will soon have plenty more great answers to the question, “Why the hell did you grow a beard?”