Apart from the fact they look amazing, the scientific reason why men have beards is because the testosterone pumping through their body produces copious amounts of dihydrotestosterone, which stimulates the hair follicles on the face.
Interestingly, women actually have the same number of follicle cells on their face, so they are just as capable of growing a beard if it weren’t for the lower testosterone levels.
What is interesting is that other primates tend to look relatively similar regardless of gender, however the beard on human males makes a distinctive difference between men and women.
Do Women Find Beards Attractive?
There is an argument that, as the high levels of testosterone cause the increased beard growth, this was an evolutionary sign to females that the man would be stronger and more dominant.
However based on multiple studies, it is completely inconclusive one way or another, as some females do like a full beard, some like stubble and some prefer clean shaven. This is a factor why we can’t say the beard was an evolutionary factor related to attraction.
It should be said that while a longer beard doesn’t necessarily mean higher levels of testosterone, it has been shown to increase the belief the male is more mature and stronger, highlighting masculine traits.
Our Beaded Survey
Well we can talk about our opinions, scientific facts and medical reasoning, however we wanted to hear from bearded Brits to find out why they grew their beard, with some interesting results.
41% stated they did it to appear more attractive, the top responding answer, highlighting that there is certainly an aesthetic approach with male grooming. 18% actually claimed they kept the beard as they felt this is naturally how a man should appear. 21% said they grew out a beard to look older, doubling up the ‘mature’ angle further. 5% did it for religious reasons, which would obviously be different based on different countries or areas of the world.
The honest truth is that 7% admitted they had a beard purely out of laziness, not wanting to constantly shave. 5% stated they were motivated by a famous figure, with quite a few stating the Vikings TV series was an influential factor. The final 3% said ‘other’ (for anyone doing their maths).
Protection From Sun Rays
This might be something you hadn’t previously considered, but a beard actually adds an extra level of protection against the damaging sun rays. In fact, many studies have shown that a beard can protect against 95% of the sun’s UV rays on your chin, helping to lower your risk of skin cancer. Keep this in mind if you’re heading on a holiday some time soon, as this could be an extra cover on the beach.
We’ve all had that feeling, where we walk into a barbers, get our haircut and when we leave we suddenly feel freezing. We have to adapt to our new chop, as the wind blows through the short hair and sends a shiver down the spine.
Well the exact same can happen with our chin once we shave the beard off. It is a great wind blocker and is like a snug little hat on our chin and along our cheeks. It isn’t a coincidence that many people opt to grow their beard longer during the winter months.
Of course, these are the reason we can give, looking scientifically and at common opinion, as well as survey results, but the other real big reason is BEARDS LOOK COOL! They are a great challenge, with plenty of psychological and physical barriers along the way. Women have make-up and so many regime’s in place, while we don’t have much except the hair on our head and the hair on our chin. The beard is fully in, as brands continue to offer greater products to match the increased demand, such as beard bibs or beard conditioner.