It can be hard to know which beard style is appropriate, stylish, and attractive as facial hair trends constantly and quickly change. It can be tricky to figure out whether a clean-shaven beard is currently in.
Regarding beards, everyone’s got an opinion—women, your friends, your boss, and society! Let’s traverse the clean-shaven vs. bearded debate and have a look at the perception of both.
Here are all the things you should know about clean-shaven vs. beards:
- Why Are Men Growing Out Their Beards?
- Perks Of Being A Bearded Man
- What Women Think About Beards
- Beards For Better Job Opportunities
- Leveled Up Machismo
- The Unforgettable Man
- Beards Are Good For Your Health
- Think Twice Before Growing A Beard
- The Clean-Shaven Look
- Why Go For A Clean Shave
- Beard or No Beard: It’s Up To You
Why Are Men Growing Out Their Beards?
There are various reasons why men keep their beards. They may have watched some dope movies with good-looking bearded men. Remember the 2013 Oscars, where every A-list actor wore attractive beard styles? And so, they grew theirs.
Aside from pop culture influences and personal preferences, here’s why men with beards1 decided to grow their facial hair:
- Convenience - constant shaving can irritate the skin, and it adds more time to daily routines.
- Appeal - beards increase their chances of getting compliments.
- Confidence - it can hide insecurities on the face and other deformities.
- Balance - facial hair can balance the lack of follicular activity on the head or baldness.
- Sensation - some men relax by touching their beards.
- Skincare - the face stays protected from pollutants and UV rays of the sun.
- Practical - it costs lesser to keep a beard than to shave daily.
- Paternal influences - some were accustomed to their fathers having beards.
Scientifically, men's testosterone produces a hormone that inhibits beard growth on the jaw.2 But on a more personal level, psychologists say that men prefer to grow beards to be more memorable and have a more manly appearance to win the mating competition.3 After all, it can be hard to get a lady if you cannot leave a lasting impression.
Perks Of Being A Bearded Man
Men can choose to have a beard or maintain a clean-shaven look, and who are we to tell them not to, especially if their grooming preferences make them feel better about themselves
Unfortunately, there are a lot of opinions on body hair, from the face to the the most intimate areas. Men could not help but wonder how beards affect careers, relationships, and life.
Despite the occasional frowns and double-looks from style purists, being a bearded man is not so bad. Here are the benefits of having a beard:
- A beard helps you attract more women and potential life partners.
- Your beard makes you look trustworthy and capable in your career.
- It amplifies your manly attributes for better confidence and dominance.
- People remember you easily as beards make you stand out from the crowd.
- It protects you from lung and throat diseases and skin problems.
What Women Think About Beards
In a more recent study, men with facial hair continue to attract women, with the amount of hair directly affecting their level of masculinity.4 The fuller the beard, the more attractive it is for women. It also notes how women would go for men with well-kept and groomed beards or stubble beard styles, as these are more likely hygienic.
Beards For Better Job Opportunities?
Finding opportunities in the modern job market is as convenient as going on a dating app. Surprisingly, employers are also finding bearded men more trustworthy, reliable, and knowledgeable by just taking a look at their LinkedIn profile pictures.5
Leveled Up Machismo
For women, beards give the idea that you have better parenting skills than most men, making you a husband material looking for marriage. Facial hairs can also amplify characteristics of dominance, rank, and power.6
The Unforgettable Man
Most men are clean-shaven because of corporate norms and because not everyone can grow a full beard. If you have well-groomed facial hair, people have a longer-lasting first impression of you, may it be good or bad.
Beards Are Good For Your Health
Are beards dirty? Not really. Hairs protect our bodies from harmful elements such as ultraviolet rays and disease-causing, infectious bacteria. The fuller your beard is, the more health benefits you get.7 Thicker beards protect you against sun damage and pollutants, letting your skin age slowly. It also traps or filters airborne harmful bacteria that can directly enter your lungs through your nose and mouth.
Think Twice Before Growing A Beard
Bearded men are irresistibly charming—only if they know how to properly groom their turf. And although there are certain advantages of having facial hair, there are also disadvantages you need to consider, such as skin problems under a dirty beard, worrying about maintenance, and choosing a beard style.8
Facial hair traps dirt, dust, and other nasty stuff. If you have sensitive skin, think twice before growing a beard. The amount of hair can cause discomfort like itchiness, which may worsen your skin’s condition.
If you think shaving is high maintenance and growing a beard is the easy and cheap way out, it is not. Problems may only arise if you do not know how to care for your beard properly.
There is also a certain kind of maintenance for facial hair. You must wash it with specific products like beard shampoo and conditioner to keep it healthy. Using beard oil with castor oil and balm is also necessary for moisturization and keeping flyaways at bay. And remember to use a beard comb occasionally to avoid tangles and to keep your beard neat and tidy.
Choosing A Beard Style
The key to getting an awesome bearded look is to look for the right beard style for your shape and hair type.9 Looking for a complementary look can be difficult if you do not have professional help and if you cannot afford to go to the barber.
Experts will let you know if you can grow a full beard or settle for a soul patch—if it will suit you. If unsure, you can opt for a classic style. light stubble, or settle with a 5 o'clock shadow. And once you find your style, you will have to do regular trimming to maintain it.
You can use a beard kit, like Naked Armor’s Grizzly Beard Kit, to get started in learning how to keep a well-groomed beard. It is complete with a shavette, beard template, comb, oil, barber’s shears, and more.
The Clean-Shaven Look
Although man manes and mug rugs will always be a fashionable statement, there is nothing that beats a classic look of a hair-free face—but a clean shave goes beyond that. Being clean-shaven means having no beard, mustache, stubble, or skin irritation. It is as if you have been reborn and have an impeccable smooth face.
Due to its mainstream prestige, men have become familiar with getting a clean-shaven face—or so they thought. Is it not just to drag a razor across and clear the lawn entirely? Unfortunately, it is not.
The closest thing you can get to a baby butt smooth skin is to learn how to properly shave at the right shaving schedule to prevent post-shave irritations.
Here is how to get a clean shave look without razor bumps, burns, and ingrown hairs:
Exfoliate before shaving
The body sheds thousands of skin cells daily,10 and dead skin cells accumulate fast! Help your razor cut closely and smoothly by exfoliating at least twice a week before shaving to remove anything that may clog your pores and razor blades.
Do not shave dry
Dermatologists recommend staying away from dry shaving.11 Shaving without lubrication increases friction. Instead, go for a traditional wet shaving technique wherein you prep your skin with oil for extra hydration and shave on top of a lather from shaving cream or soap that protects your skin from the blade while allowing a skin-level clean shave.
Use a single-blade razor
The more blades you use, the higher risk of irritation you get. Unlike layered razors with three or more blades, traditional razors, like straight razors, can easily get the job done in fewer passes. The cutthroat edges and blade sizes account for an efficient close shave—fewer blades, less risk for razor burn.
Shave with the grain
Follow the direction of your hair growth while shaving to avoid pulling the hair and imposing more stress on the face. Shaving against the grain cuts the follicle at a sharp angle, which causes razor bumps.12
Don’t forget your aftershave
Aftershave products are not only for smelling good. They are also excellent for calming irritation and stopping nicks from bleeding. Their skincare benefits aid the fast healing of post-shave skin, keeping it moisturized and healthy.
Following a proper shaving routine and keeping your razor clean protects your skin from the traumas of shaving. It treats and prevents any complications that will hold you back from getting the best results.
Why Go For A Clean-Shaven Look?
The beard trend won’t be going anywhere, that is certain, but trying on a clean-shaven look once in a while won’t do bad considering these advantages.
- A clean shave makes you look younger, especially if you use shaving products with skincare benefits.
- Being clean-shaven feels more refreshing, light, and hygienic after being a bearded man for so long.
- A clean shave gives you a break from beard grooming.
- Having no facial hair brightens your face and aura, helping you attract more women.
- You lessen your trips to the barbers for constant styling and trimming.
There are no ifs and second looks on this turf. With the classic pure allure of a clean shave, people will have better first impressions of you as there are no negative stereotypes about having no facial hair.
Beard Or No Beard: It’s Up To You
So, who gets the upper hand? Is it the sexy men with a beard or the group of clean-shaven men?
Having a beard and not having one both have their own perks and disadvantages. The battle of the attractiveness of a clean shave vs. a beard is a tough one. A clean shave is only better than having a beard if you shave correctly. Meanwhile, having a beard can only look as great if proper grooming measures are maintained. People’s perceptions are unpredictable, no matter the number of surveys—as seen in the conflicting results. Not to mention, trends are ever-changing.
As No Shave November and Movember13 slowly creep closer, there is an excuse to forego the risk-free assurance of a clean shave from societal stigma. But if you choose to participate in the annual cause of growing your beard to lessen the environmental impacts of shaving or to help cancer patients, do it right.
To get a perfect clean shave, use a complete straight razor kit like our Meliant Straight Razor Kit. It has a straight razor that can replace a lifetime of disposable razors and everything else you need for a traditional wet shave experience.
Add them to cart below:
More Naked Armor Reads:
- Davidson, N. The Real Reasons Guys Grow Beards, According to Guys… with Beards. Thrive Works. https://thriveworks.com/blog/real-reasons-guys-grow-beards/. November 3, 2017
- Villazon, L. Why Do Men Grow Beards But Not Women? BBC Science Focus. https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/why-do-men-grow-beards-but-not-women/
- Tamsin, S. The Real Reason Men Grow Beards. BBC Future. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160418-the-real-reason-men-grow-beards. April 19, 2016
- Clarkson Tessa R., Sidari Morgan J., Sains Rosanna, Alexander Meredith, Harrison Melissa, Mefodeva Valeriya, Pearson Samuel, Lee Anthony J. and Dixson Barnaby J. W. 2020A multivariate analysis of women's mating strategies and sexual selection on men's facial morphologyR. Soc. open sci.7191209191209 http://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.191209
- Land, Sarah & Willemsen, Lotte & Unkel, Suzanne. (2015). Are Spectacles the Female Equivalent of Beards for Men? How Wearing Spectacles in a LinkedIn Profile Picture Influences Impressions of Perceived Credibility and Job Interview Likelihood. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 10.1007/978-3-319-20895-4_17. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276273300
- Cyril C. Grueter, Karin Isler, Barnaby J. Dixson. Are badges of status adaptive in large complex primate groups? Evolution and Human Behavior, Volume 36, Issue 5, 2015, Pages 398-406, ISSN 1090-5138, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.03.003. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090513815000276)
- Mukherjee N. 8 Proven (And Surprising) Health Benefits Of Having A Beard. MensXP. https://www.mensxp.com/grooming/shaving/29729-8-proven-and-surprising-health-benefits-of-having-a-beard.html
- Should You Grow A Beard? 29 Pros and Cons You Have To Know. Environmental Conscience. https://environmental-conscience.com/should-you-grow-a-beard-pros-cons/
- Munce, G. 26 Beard Styles For Men 2022. Men’s Health. https://www.menshealth.com/grooming/g33246610/beard-styles/. June 1, 2022
- Charleson, K. Top Ways to Get Rid of Dead Skin on the Face. Very Well Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-get-rid-of-dead-skin-on-face-5193228. August 18, 2021.
- 6 RAZOR BUMP PREVENTION TIPS FROM DERMATOLOGISTS. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/hair/razor-bump-prevention
- With, Against or Across the Grain? Supply.Co. https://supply.co/blogs/journal/with-against-or-across-the-grain. July 4, 2019
- The Difference Between No Shave November & Movember. Robotic Hair Restoration Long Island. https://rhrli.com/blog/difference-between-no-shave-november-and-movember