Why do men grow beards?
According to a survey done on behalf of beard-care company Honest Amish, men feel more confident with beards. In fact, the survey showed that one in five men would give up making love for a year to achieve the perfect beard. This survey is might be spot-on. Any scroll through social media photos can show you that men’s facial hair is in.
Even if most men would not give up sex for the perfect beard, it doesn’t mean that a large majority of them don’t desire manly facial hair. To men, their facial hair is similar to how women feel about their hair, weight, skin, or “bodily assets.” A beard can make or break a man’s self-esteem.
It’s interesting how a little facial hair can change a man’s opinion of himself.
What Science Says About Men Who Have Beards
Psychologists explored this phenomenon and explained why beards are such an important part of a man’s image. Keep reading to find out what they discovered.
1 – Having a beard is a sign of manliness (at least to many males).
Society may be modern, but the importance of manliness (at least in the minds of many men) has not changed much over the centuries. Men are territorial creatures who want to assert their dominance over their dominions, and for some, a beard is a symbol of that dominance. It gives them strength and conviction, almost like armor does for a soldier.
Darwin suggested that beards were used to intimidate other male foes in ancient times. It indicated power, strength, social status, or even wealth. These days, a beard may not equal all of that, but it gives the appearance of all of that, which is what’s important.
It makes sense that the presence of a beard makes a man feel more manly. After all, facial hair is a side effect of testosterone, the male hormone. This hormone is responsible for many masculine functions in the body, such as muscle-building, sperm development, and healthy erections. Scientifically speaking, a beard really is an indicator of masculinity. This is precisely why women don’t usually have facial hair unless they have a testosterone imbalance.
One societal side effect of beards and masculinity is that people view men with a beard as being more aggressive than men without them. There are plenty of studies that show this. In fact, in a study done by researchers from the University of New England and The University of Queensland, it was shown that people could recognize a bearded man’s anger faster than they recognized his happiness.
It seems that society sometimes relates masculinity to aggression.
However, appearances can be deceiving.
Although having a beard may make men feel more manly and dominant, it doesn’t necessarily make them more aggressive, even if they appear that way. According to Mark Travers, Ph.D., a psychologist, and writer, beards have a duality to them. They may command a more dominating presence but adding a smile can soften this, making them appear more trustworthy, helpful, and friendly than someone with no facial hair.
Based on all these findings, it shouldn’t be a surprise that men feel more manly when they have a beard. Society also treats them like they’re more manly, which can influence how men feel about their beards on a subconscious level.
2 – Women seem to be more attracted to men with a beard.
One big reason men may feel more attractive with a beard is that…well…they are! Many studies have shown that women are into men with a beard. Men may feel more masculine and powerful with a beard, but women see them that way also. A beard is almost like the perfect replacement for a pickup line.
The beard is in, but it is not only a fashion statement. There may be an evolutionary purpose behind the beard. For one, beards are unique to the human male. There are plenty of animals whose bodies are fully covered in hair, but none of them grow hair on their faces like humans. Apes and monkeys come close, but the hair around their faces are attributed to their body hair, not facial hair.
Darwin suggested that for human males, growing a beard started as an ornamental feature to attract the other gender. It’s like how animals grow certain feather colors or developing certain sounds to attract a mate. Since prehistoric women were more attracted to mates with a beard (like they are now), prehistoric men were more successful at procreating.
This success likely trickled down the generations, turning into self-confidence at some point. It’s no secret that women love a confident man, which adds to the man’s attractiveness.
If you’re a man, or you know a man who wants to attract more women, growing a beard is a great suggestion. Of course, keep it neat to get the maximum benefit from it.
3 – A beard can mask features that a man doesn’t like about himself.
For men, facial hair can be what makeup is to a woman. It can be used to hide things like acne, scars, chubby cheeks, discolorations, or anything else that a man doesn’t like about his skin. They can go as far as connecting their beards to sideburns for ultimate coverage.
Being able to hide the parts you don’t like will enhance self-confidence and make you feel more attractive. However, it doesn’t stop there. Beards can also function similarly to cosmetic surgery minus the surgery.
If men keep their beard maintained, especially by a professional barber, it can be used to frame the face, enhance the eyes, and even reshape the face to a more attractive shape. When a person has this level of control over their appearance, it’s no surprise that they would feel extremely attractive.
4 – In some religions, cutting a beard is a sin.
At first, it may not seem that religion has anything to do with a man feeling attractive, but if you need proof, simply attend any church service in the world. Religious men are some of the most confident men you’ll meet. Their spirituality uplifts them in a way that allows things to roll off them without affecting their self-esteem. They put it in the hands of whichever higher power they believe in, and they strut away with the confidence of royalty.
In many religions, facial hair is sacred, so men (and women) don’t cut it. A man with a shaved face may be shunned in their communities, causing their confidence level to take a big hit. After all, the idea of being out of favor of the divine can cause serious anxiety.
In the religious world, sinning can strip a man of his position or authority. Losing this type of power can cause a man’s self-confidence to take a hit. Therefore, it’s safe to say that a man’s beard contributes to his success and confidence in the religion in these religions.
This leads to him being more attractive to women in religion. Women are naturally attracted to successful, confident men with power. Just because the power is spiritual doesn’t make it any less attractive than other types of power.