Beards are more than just accessories.
If someone asked you to name one physical trait of a man without thinking, just to say the first thing that pops into your mind, it’s quite likely that you would say beard. (If you would say anything else, then get your mind out of the gutter.)
The beard stood as a symbol of manliness for ages. Of course, there are those who presume that, in order to grow a beard, you just have to avoid shaving. However, when it comes to a true gentleman’s beard, nothing could be further from the truth.
Here are a few things everyone should know about the art of bearded manliness.
Beards Throughout HistoryWith the exception of a few civilizations throughout the history (the Romans, the Huns, etc.) a beard was the main indicator of adulthood. In ancient Greece, boys didn’t become men when they turned 15, 18, or 21, but when they were able to grow a full beard. A beard was regarded as more of a social symbol.
Naturally, the power, wisdom, and maturity beards were associated with also served as tokens of one’s sexual power and prowess. Even modern science recognizes that bearded men are more attractive to women.
A Proper Beard Takes Work
As was already mentioned, one of the greatest misconceptions regarding beards is that a true gentleman’s beard is a product of simply not shaving. In order to have a full, gentlemanly beard, you need to invest a significant amount of effort into grooming. This means trimming your beard, using an organic beard oil, and washing it frequently.
You'll also need to learn how to use a beard comb and beard brush. Using plastic damages hair follicles, which is something that can harm your beard’s appearance in the long run and even make it painful to maintain.
Mustache to MatchGrowing a mustache requires as much work as it does to groom a beard, but it can make all the difference between you looking like a 1930s gentleman or a 2016 hipster. For this, you will need to have a pair of grooming scissors and access to some A-grade natural mustache wax.
Sure, this consumes even more of your time, but practice makes everything perfect. After a while, you won’t even stop to think about grooming your beard and mustache. You'll do it with ease and the pace at which you brush your teeth.
Clothes to Match
Having a proper beard is just half the work of bearded manliness. In other words, if you dress like a hobo, even the most epic beard won’t be able to help your overall appearance. One of the main reasons why beards looked so epic in the past was because men who were wearing them had a clothing style to match.
These days, we tend to stray from superior style (harem pants? Really?). Luckily, the overall impression that a dapper men's suit paired up with a well-groomed beard creates is simply unrivaled. A number of contemporary men could benefit from a good suit.
Become One with Your Beard
Growing a beard requires much more than just the ability to grow hair on your chin and cheeks. It takes patience, care, responsibility, and perseverance. In other words, it requires being a real man. Regardless if you go with a goatee, circle beard, Van Dyke, or mutton chops, after a while, your beard will become more than just a facial accessory. It will become a core part of your identity.
What you should know:
- Beards are a sign of maturity.
- Wash your beard only a few times a week.
- Apply beard oil to the base of the beard to encourage growth.
- Comb through with only wooden combs to prevent snags.
- Use boar hair bristle beard brushes to smooth through natural oils.
- Follow a good beard with a good suite.
Words by: Peter Minkoff