Beards have been increasing in popularity for the past five years or so, and we don't know what exactly caused it. Perhaps it's a counter to women wanting to grow out their own hair. Maybe it's because of all the hipsters who ironically grow out their beards. Perhaps the clean-shaven man is going out of style, and we're returning to our hairy roots.
Whatever the case, beards are here to stay, and according to research, some may be growing it just to get a woman. In the University of Western Australia, a study revealed how monkeys use certain features to assert their attractiveness and dominance. Men might be using their beards just like their primate counterparts.
Yes, it makes sense that if something is seen as sexually attractive, then more people will try to have one. This will probably occur until there are too many beards, and then clean-shaven comes back as being more attractive. Until then, most men are growing their beards out so they can get the girl.
In spite of the science, we disagree with the reason. We believe that you should grow the beard for yourself, and not because of any woman. If someone doesn't want to date you because you don't have a beard, then they're not worth it, anyway.
But if you do want to grow a beard, here are some tips:
• Make sure you can actually pull it off. If your beard is patchy and thin, don't bother.
• Keep it well-groomed. Trim it evenly on occasion, and make sure that you're cleaning it as well. Normal soaps and shampoos should do the trick, but if you want to splurge a little, there are shampoos specially designed for the beard.
• You may think that if you keep shaving, your beard will grow back thicker. This is an old urban legend that just won't die. Your hair won't grow any thicker because you shave it.
• Try different styles. Go for the goatee, the full beard, or the long beard, and see which one is right for you.
• If beards just aren't your thing, don't feel like you're obligated to have one. Shave it off, and enjoy your life. Be yourself.
Will beards survive ten years from now? We'll just have to stroke our beards and see.