There’s no doubt that beards have become increasingly popular in the UK since 2011, whilst this trend undoubtedly gathered momentum during the 2013 movie season when a gaggle of Hollywood legends including George Clooney and Ben Affleck, sported thick, fulsome and eye-catching facial hair.
Despite this, beards remain the subject of several myths and half-truths, from those that are downright offensive to others that deter individuals from growing facial hair in the first place!
We’ve listed some of the most commonplace myths below, whilst trying to debunk these and delivering a less in the cold, hard truth!
Your Facial Hair Grows Back Thicker After Shaving
We’ll start with what may be the single biggest myth of all, and one that everyone with a beard will know all too well!
Now, whilst it’s well-known that your facial hair tends to look darker and feel thicker immediately after shaving.
In actual fact, it grows back with a slightly duller end that may be masked by any products that you use to moisturise your beard.
So, although it may appear to be darker and more fulsome, this is not usually the case in any way, shape or form.
All Girls (and Boys!) Find Facial Hair Attractive
Now we barely have to point out that this is a myth, as all of us have probably had at least one partner who constantly pressed us to shave off our facial hair.
Even from a fundamental perspective, it’s clear that each of us has individual tastes and preferences when it comes to our choice of mate. But even research has suggested that women tend to find light stubble the most attractive look on a man, with full beards a little more polarising amongst females.
However, women also perceived male faces with full beards as being the most masculine and dominant and socially mature, and these are all attractive qualities to potential partners.
It Only Takes a Few Weeks to Grow a Beard
If only this were true! Unfortunately, it’s not, as your facial hair will barely begin to grow during a period of just two or three weeks.
In fact, there are three distinct growth stages associated with growing your hair, with the so-called Telogen (or resting phase) alone lasting for a period of up to three months.
At this stage, between 10 and 15% of your hairs are lost, whilst new follicles begin to grow during the same period.
Overall, it may take up to three months to fully grow out your beard and achieve the optimal effect!
You Must ALWAYS Shave for a Job Interview
Maybe this would be the case if it was the 1950s, but fortunately for you, employers’ attitudes have been dragged kicking and screaming during the modern age!
Not only are beards now deemed acceptable and more commonplace, but it’s also unlawful for almost all employers to discriminate against candidates simply because they have facial hair.
However, we’d still recommend that you groom this well and keep your beard trim to achieve the best possible first impression!
Beards Get Hot in the Summer
In truth, we understand this myth, as thick and fulsome beards can look particularly hot and oppressive during the sticky months of summer.
What if we told you that the reverse was true, however? In fact, beards can actively help you to cool down during the summer, as they shade your face against the heat of the sun and act as an evaporating cooler when you sweat.
Your Beard Makes You Look Homeless
We’ll start this with a small caveat; as your beard may actually make your look homeless if you allow it grow wild and never introduce your facial hair to the cutting edge of a comb!
However, even a full beard can look smart if it has been well-maintained and carefully cultivated, whilst it’s also important to use products to help moisturise facial hair and the underlying skin.
Now, this may not stop your partner from sniping as you transition from your clean-shaven look, but a stylish and well-groomed beard is sure to win her over in time!
You Need a Moustache to Really Bring your Beard to Life
All of us have probably grown a moustache for Movember or the occasional fancy dress party, but the fact remains that this iconic look has been largely eschewed by men since the 80s.
With this in mind, it’s incredibly outdated to suggest that you need to pair a moustache with a full beard, as the truth is that each of these features can stand alone to create a striking and suitable look.
So, if you love beards but hate the idea of having hair on your top lip, don’t be afraid to shave your moustache and let the rest of facial hair take the limelight.
Only Dark Beards Ever Look Good
Dark beards can certainly look brooding and imposing in equal measure, but it would be wrong to suggest that light or fair facial hair can’t be equally striking.
Make no mistake, guys with blond or copper-toned hair are more than capable of growing thick and fulsome beards, especially over a period of two to three months.
If you don’t believe us; just ask martial arts master and Hollywood legend Chuck Norris what he thinks. We’re sure you’ll agree that he sports one of the finest beards known to man!
You Should Have your Beard Trimmed by a Barber
If you’ve ever had your beard trimmed by a barber- the chances are that you’re not alone. In fact, many people have more confidence allowing a professional to tame their facial hair, but this is not actually necessary given the tools available on the consumer market today.
These make it easier than ever to maintain your facial hair, as beard trimmers, electric shavers, combs and brushes can all be purchased off the shelf to create your own grooming salon at home.
This may be the best move you ever make; as who knows your own tastes and styling preferences better than you?
Beards Make You a Social Outcast
We’ll be honest; we’re not fully sure where this one came from, but it’s arguable that society once frowned on people who grew full and thick beards.
This would have made individuals stand out from the crowds and deviate from social norms, but it’s fair to say that this is no longer the case in the modern age.
Remember; the number of men sporting facial hair rose from 37% to 42% between 2011 and 2016, and this trend is continuing to grow nationwide!
You Should NEVER Sport a Multi-Coloured Beard
You might be nodding in agreement with this, but the fact remains that the vast majority of people with facial hair naturally have variable hues of black, brown and copper in their beards.
As you grow older, you may even sport a little grey, but this simply adds character to your beard and makes it a little more unique to you.
With this in mind, never be afraid to feature various shades in your beard, even if you choose to embolden it with the colours of the rainbow.
You Can Use Products to Permanently Increase the Density of your Beard
If you’ve ever gone through the process of losing your hair, you’ll be aware of numerous products that claim to reverse this trend and restore your locks to their former glory.
These products ignore the fact that male pattern baldness is genetic and irreversible, however, and spending money on products that claim others represents the ultimate in false economies.
The same principle applies to beards, as whilst male pattern baldness doesn’t affect facial hair growth there are no products that can permanently boost its density or coverage.
You Can’t Have a Beard When Taking Your Passport Photo
There are many things that you can’t do when taking a passport photo, including smiling, winking and wearing a comedy hat!
There’s absolutely nothing to prevent your sporting a beard, however, as immigration officials and law enforcement officers are trained to see beyond superficial features such as facial hair.
Beards are Itchy
We’ll be honest, this is one of those generalisations that we hate, as there’s absolutely nothing to suggest that beards are permanently irritated or itchy.
Sure, it’s possible to develop an irritating beard itch from time-to-time (particularly if you don’t take particularly good care of your skin), whilst this can last for a few weeks in some instances.
However, if you take good care of your beard and regularly use moisturising products, you should minimise any irritation that lies underneath your facial hair!
Beards are Dirty
Once again; it’s not impossible or uncommon to encounter dirty beards, particularly if you fail to wash your facial hair and the underlying skin.
However, it’s relatively easy to keep your beard clean and pristine in the modern age, as you simply need to wash your facial hair regularly and use high-quality products to keep it fully conditioned.
This also ensures that your skin remains hydrated and clean at all times, minimising the amount of dirt and oil present.
All Parts of My Beard Should Grow at the Same Rate
This is one of the most commonly held beliefs amongst beard novices, but it also happens to be totally and utterly untrue!
As a general rule, the hairs on your chin tend to grow at a far slower rate than those located on your chin, and this has much to with the various stages of hair growth and is therefore perfectly normal!
The important thing to note is that these variable levels of growth tend to even out over a period of a few months, leaving your beard looking thick, slick and sickeningly even!
You Can’t Grow a Full Beard with Bald Patches on your Cheeks
It’s not uncommon for hair to stop growing on some patches of the check, creating a ‘balding beard’ look at may deter some men from realising the full potential of their facial hair.
Whilst you’re perfectly entitled not to grow a beard in this instance, of course, this is entirely up to you and there’s nothing wrong with facial hair that’s thinner in some places than others.
Remember; any bald or thin patches of hair should fill in gradually after a few months of dedicated beard growth, so this becomes less of an issue over time.
Wiry Beards Look Unattractive
Another factor that sometimes discourages men is wiry facial hair, which can often look untidy and is more likely to caused beard irritation.
Whilst you may think that this looks unattractive; there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s important to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there are plenty of potential mates who may prefer the look and feel of wiry facial hair.
Secondly; the nature of your facial hair tends to change once a beard has been fully grown, whilst the use of products can also help to optimise its appearance.
If My Beard Hasn’t Filled in by the Time I’m 20, It Never Will
This is a common misconception and one that revolves around the knowledge that scalp hair can begin to thin and recede from the late teens.
Facial hair is an entirely different beast, however, and the fact remains that beards tend to improve and grow thicker as they mature.
On average, men report peaks in their beard growth between the ages of 30 and 45, during which time your facial hair is likely to become thick, fulsome, and incredibly eye-catching.
Beards are a Food Trap
This is another one that we hear a lot, but there’s absolutely no reason why your beard should be home to discarded food particles (no matter how big or small).
Whilst crumbs can become trapped in your facial hair when you eat, these are likely to be microscopic and barely visible to the naked eye, whilst any food that does fall from a fork or spoon is just as likely to fall onto the floor or your clothes.
Not only, but regularly cleaning and brush your beard will remove any food debris and keep your beard from looking like a discarded buffet!
These myths not only deter some men from developing thick and fulsome beards (or even growing facial hair in the first place), but the vast majority of them are completely untrue!
By debunking these, we’ve hopefully assuaged some of the fears you may have had about growing out your facial hair, enabling you to cultivate the beard of your choice and wear this with pride!