Do you wear a beard as a trend or style? What do people think about you?

well-groomed-beard

Recently, I have been coming across numerous articles discussing the the ‘trend’ of beards. Some elevating beards into heights, while others are simply discouraging men from having one. I like how the positive articles talk about beard styles and grooming, giving tips on how to pull off one, while those against beards are overusing the word “trend”. They talk about beards being a fashion trend and how this one has just gone passé, so you should shave it and move on to another trend.

Personally, I use the word “trend” very carefully, to make sure I don’t make the same mistake as most people do, who think that trend equals style. The meaning of each is rather different; if not antonymous in a way.

Style is a skill and knowledge that is developed over time. Being stylish means having or displaying a good sense of styles; showing elegance, refinement and taste. One can be stylish at any time in any time period. Style is timeless.

Trend, on the other hand, is not timeless. It is a general direction in a particular period of time, where one is considered trendy only if he dresses up to date in style or influence of the current trend. This shows the time limit of a trend. Based on this, we can also say that trendy person is a follower, while stylish person is a leader. Which one are you?

Now that we learned about the difference of trendy and stylish, those who are clean shaven can stay that way (you do not need to grow a beard), and those who are wearing a full fur on their faces, you can keep it and be proud of your whiskers.

Since I have grown my beard, I noticed a change in the way people perceive me, as well as how I feel about myself. Because, I cant quite put my words around it, I have done some research on the psychology of beards and here is what I found: (after photos)

beard men grooming lustin style

Beards are a sign of confidence

Israeli physiologist Avishag Zahavi found out that beards are a sign of confidence because they are a disadvantagous for a man in a fight. This meaning that the beard can be easily grabbed during fights by the oponent, therefore a man with a full beard is showing his confidence by signaling that he can win over the competitor in spite of having a beard.

Groomed beards showcase man’s health

Because any body hair can be a playground for parasites, men with groomed beards display that they take good care of themselves and are healthy. What is interesting that as a sign of cleanliness, beard wearers together with clean-shaven men  are perceived the most attractive and healthy, meaning that those with a stubble are not.

Bearded men are perceived as more masculine

This one is rather obvious. People always perceive full beards as a sign of aggressiveness, masculinity and of active testosterone in the body. Men with beards are often seen as more angry, aggressive, dominant and therefore as being an alpha male.

People think bearded men have higher social status

Australian ecologist Barnaby Dixson and Canadian psychologist Paul Vasey asked men and women to estimate the men’s social status on a scale of 0 to 5 based on photos of them in neutral expressions. The bearded men received higher scores that the clean-shaven ones. A study found that both men and women associate beards with maturity, power and higher social status.

Facial hair and employment

Surprisingly, study shows that surveyed managers demostrated a preference for beards, as they rated bearded men as having a better personality, appearance, competence, and composure that unbearded men. This only includes men with full, but neat and well-maintained beards. Gillette’s study of human resources professionals found a strong preference for well-groomed candidates, which includes those who are clean-shaven or neatly fully bearded with a surprising outcome where stubble was rated as a big no no.
Main photo: Jorge Monedero/Esquire Weekly
 
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