Why do men grow beards?
As a secondary sexual characteristic, the beard has been a symbol of masculinity and maturity for millennia. The answer why exactly it appeared was given for the first time by Charles Darwin, who defines it as a result of sexual selection. Let’s assume that the design of nature was to make men more attractive in the eyes of the opposite sex. But then why some of them voluntarily deprive themselves of their facial hair? Perhaps women are not the basis of everything? In fact, it appears that the gentlemen who let their beards grow and those who prefer to be shaved are usually led by the same instinct - to be different, noticed and liked.
A recent study conducted by a team of Australian scientists among several hundred representatives of both sexes showed that bearded men are unanimously perceived as more masculine and strong. The gentlemen with "young", well-kept beard were identified as particularly attractive, while those with longer beard were considered sufficiently staid and therefore able to become good fathers. Similar studies have demonstrated also the notion that facial hair gives more aggressive appearance, which may indicate that some men want to directly poster their superiority, growing beard.
Undoubtedly, the opinions of others influence our own perceptions of beautiful appearance. But this is not the only reason making the stronger sex to let their beards grow. Some of them are reluctant to admit that laziness is what makes them skip their daily shaving. Others shun the razor, because of their sensitive skin. A third group uses hair to disguise a double chin, jaw deformities, too childish or feminine appearance, as well as scars from acne or injuries.
Although vanity, fashion and sexual selection are the leading factors in maintaining a beard, belonging to a particular religion also plays a role in this regard. While in Orthodox Christianity a beard is an essential (although optional) element mainly of the appearance of priests, in Islam, for example, it is recommended for all mature men.
In the past, the beard has repeatedly changed its symbolism, sometimes signifying wisdom, sometimes power, dignity, spirituality, sexual potency, etc. Only a year ago, among the strong sex appeared a new trend called “lumber sexuality”. A distinctive feature of this style is the long beard, giving the man a rough and untidy appearance, as ... a lumberman. This phenomenon is a result of nostalgia for the life before the modern conveniences, but also a kind of a protest, demonstrating that today’s men can look clean and modern without appearing effeminate.
Regardless of the motives that drive gentlemen to grow a beard, this male attribute has always been a subject of special attention and care. Nature and modern cosmetic industry offers plenty of products with which the hair seems more glamorous, becomes denser or acquires more softness. And thanks to the achievements of science, today, every man can mask the white signs of age, using special dyes for beard and mustaches.