Why grow a beard?

 Why not grow a beard? Gentlemen, that is the actual question. It is your God-given right as a man to have and grow a beard. For centuries the beard has been a symbol of masculinity, power, respect, and virility. The meaning and symbolism of beards vary from culture to culture, in some it is a sign of wisdom and respect and others laziness, but for us who can grow beards, having a beard is the oldest way of saying “My genes are better than yours”,  indirectly of course. 

There a many examples of the beauty that beards bestow: 

  • In ancient Greece having a beard was a sign of virility, manhood and wisdom and were only cut during a time of mourning or as a form of punishment to Spartans. Let’s be honest gents, Leonidas would not have looked as badass as he did without his beard. 
  • In Celtic tribes the beard was so revered that Otto the Great swore by his beard whenever he had something of great seriousness and importance to say. If men were to swear on their facial hair today, the world might be a much more honest and trustworthy place.
  • In the Three Little Pigs one of the pigs snarled and swore by his beard “Not by the hair on my chinny, chin, chin, I will not let you in!” When the wolf wanted to have himself some bacon. 

So even in the children’s literature of the good old days they teach the importance of having a beard and the confidence it gives you.

A special mention would have to be the Vikings. As they explored, raided and traded their way across Europe, the Middle East and Russia, they did so with some of the most legendary beards in history. They were advanced seafarers, and they used their beards to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies, wherever they went. Recent archaeological discoveries show that the Vikings took great pride in their appearance and their personal grooming, and didn’t just let their facial hair run wild. There is even some evidence that suggests that they wore beard jewellery like beads or beard runes. They are widely regarded now as having had beards which were far more manicured than we may have previously thought, they would braid and tie their beards. As we all know lads, a well-maintained beard is the best kind of beard there is. All this is actually saying is that a beard is the male push-up bra, because we all look better with beards.

This is what a beard rune looks like. A small metal ring, normally with beautiful engravings

But there are more to beards than meets the eye. Beards are not just eye-candy lads, they are functional. Referencing Charles Darwin’s theory that a lion’s mane offers the animal protection, researchers recently conducted an experiment to discover whether the same was true for us bearded beasts out there.

To test the theory, the scientists created a fibre epoxy composite as a stand-in for the human jaw – they thought that using a dead guy’s jaw would work but decided it wouldn’t be practical, its better that they didn’t – which they then covered with sheepskin, before hitting with a blunt object. For the experiment, the researchers used three types of sheep skin, with furred samples meant to represent a full beard, sheared samples used to test whether stubble provided any protection and plucked samples meant to represent a shaved jaw.

According to their findings, published in the journal Integrative Organismal Biology, facial hair is, in fact, capable of lessening the impact of a blow to the face by 37%. Well a punch, anything more than that and you’ll probably get knocked out.

Logistics

We all know that not all beards are created equal. Family genes have a big part to play in whether or not your beard is “full” and how long it takes to get there. I know of 21 year olds who have the full beard of vikings and 21 year olds that, after 2 years have only grown a moustache, sideburns or the Will Turner anchor. 

The average full beard takes 2-4 months to grow, for some of you it might be longer. The key is patience. You won’t know until you try. If it’s a “patchy” beard grow it, find the patches and keep it neat until they close up. Most guys don’t even make the 30 day mark before they’ve given up on their dream of having a beard and decide to look like an 8 year old for the rest of their lives. 

There are ways of increasing your chance of growing a beard:

  • Working out – increases testosterone which is responsible for hair growth on the male body and increases blood flow to the face.
  • A healthy diet – Diet high in Vitamins B,C and A boost beard and hair growth. Supplements like Biotin and folic acid promote hair growth and general health.
  • Stimulating the follicles – For example, using a scalp massager or just massaging with your fingers on your jaw and cheek area will stimulate the follicle, increase blood flow and help the hair to grow. 
  • Using beard products – There are many beard products that will aid in the growth process. Beard products are filled with vitamins and nutrients that beards love.

So gentlemen there are your reasons to grow a beard. You have nothing to lose by doing so, and so much to gain.

Thanks for reading the first blog of the Masculine Collective.

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