The debate of clean shaven versus bearded has been an ongoing argument for a very long time. However, what many people fail to mention is the variety of health benefits a face full of fuzzy hair can provide.
According to Daily Infographic, there are a number of reasons why people choose to grow out their facial hair and the popularity to have a beard keeps on increasing. Within their beard infographic, it was discovered that women found full-bearded men to appear older, more respected, powerful and of a higher status. Over half of the world’s population have facial hair and the numbers are still growing. Along with the attractive element of a bushy beard, the added health benefits will surprise you!
The 6 reasons every man should grow a beard
If you need a little more encouragement to grow that beard or moustache extra long, then take a look at the six health benefits that facial hair can provide.
Blocking out the sun’s rays
Dr. Michael Freeman, Principal dermatologist at The Skin Centre, explains that there are many benefits to growing facial hair, with sun protection ranked right at the top.
“Research has shown that 95% of UV rays from the sun can be blocked by very thick and dark beards. This can reduce the risk of skin cancer,” Dr. Freeman explains.
People who expose their skin regularly to the sun’s rays can end up with chronic skin damage and a manifestation of spots, saggy skin and wrinkles.
However, those who to choose to grow a beard, AKA “Hair Shields”, seem to block out most of the harmful UV rays. It’s still recommended to rely on other sun protection products to minimise your risk of skin cancer.
Reducing asthma and annoying allergies
For those who suffer from pollen, dust allergies, or have asthma, facial hair could be the solution in disguise!
“Facial hair can be known to act as a filter for infective particles, which reduces respiratory infections and helps stop allergens from settling,” Dr. Freeman says.
Beards and moustaches can help to keep airborne bacteria and infections out of your mouth and can protect your throat and nasal passageways.
It’s also been researched that the small amounts of dust and pollen trapped in facial hair can desensitise the immune system to these types of particles. The body will eventually become used to the small amounts of allergens caught within the facial hair and will less likely react.
Forever hairy and forever young
Funnily enough, beards are an aging paradox: they can make you look older and manlier but you continue to maintain your youthful looks underneath all that hair. With beards preventing sun exposure and therefore lessening the likelihood of wrinkles and spots, you could stay young for a very long time!
UV rays are the primary reason for skin damage and sagging, but with the help of a thick beard, your face is protected (from the sun and aging!)
“The ability to grow facial hair is also a sign of sexual maturity in males. This is often acknowledged by women looking for partners. So, growing a beard can help with maintaining youthful looks and with attracting females,” Dr. Freeman explains.
Reduce infections, ingrowths and inflammation
After growing a beard, you can worry less about infections, ingrowths or dermatitis (inflammation and itchiness of the skin). These types of infections are commonly a result from regular shaving, and since you’ll never need to shave again, problems such as these will be a thing of the past!
“When it comes to shaving, some people suffer from ingrown hairs which won’t be a problem when the hair is grown out,” Dr. Freeman says.
“Some forms of dermatitis will also be better without shaving. For example Seborrheic Dermatitis; which is a common skin disease similar to eczema and can appear on your body as well as on your scalp.”
“Don’t forget that allergies to shaving creams or shaving soaps won’t be a problem either!” Dr. Freeman says.
Beards act as an extra layer of protection from different types of infections. Shaving can often create openings in the skin which bring in the bacteria and lead to ingrown hairs and infections. However, it’s still recommended to do some trimming now and again to keep the beard healthy and looking fresh.
Never needing to moisturise again!
Dodging dry skin has never been easier after growing a nice thick beard. The large amount of facial hair keeps the cold air out and therefore, helps your skin battle dryness. A small gland in the skin known as the sebaceous gland secretes an oily substances into hair follicles, keeping the hair nice and moisturised. After growing a beard, there’s no way for moisture to get out of the beard!
“Even though your skin secretes a natural moisturiser, washing you facial hair can also help to reduce types of hair infections,” Dr. Freeman explains.
“Remember to wash your facial hair regularly and follow directions on how to do this properly.”
Staying warm under your beard barrier
Facial hair can act as a barrier of protection against the colder months and windier weather. Thick beards can even act as a type of thermal protection which helps the body battle the elements.
“In very cold climates, there is definitely a degree of protection which can help stop chapping of the skin and even frost bite,” Dr. Freeman says.
“Not only can facial hair protect the skin against abrasions, UV rays, bacteria and respiratory infections, but also against harsh weather environments as well.”
How you can grow a mo and mo-tivate others
Did you know that Australian men die in greater numbers than Australian women from almost every non-sex-specific health problem? That’s why the Movember Foundation and their global campaign to change the face of men’s health is so important. To date, the Movember community has raised $770 million and funded over 1,200 programs in 21 countries!
“Men’s health is in trouble. All around the world, fathers, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young, before their time and for no good reason. Through getting involved with Movember, we can help change the face of men’s health,” says Claire Schubert, Community Engagement Manager for the Movember Foundation.
“Since Movember started in 2003, $770 million has been raised and funded more than 1,200 projects, all with the support from over five million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas.”
Every November, The Movember Foundation not only challenges men to grow a moustache but to do two things; firstly to raise funds for men’s health programs and secondly to start a conversation about men’s health. Specifically, to talk about the importance of checkups for testicular and prostate cancer, but also about the issues surrounding men’s mental health. These conversations are important to start.
The three ways you can participate in Movember and start the conversations on men health are:
- GROW: “The moustache is our ribbon. This Movember, grow your Mo and use it to raise funds for men’s health,” says Claire.
- MOVE: “Take the Move challenge and get physically active during Movember. Run a race. Learn to rock climb. Work out in costume. Try something new, beat your own personal best and raise funds!”
- HOST: “Mo Bros and Mo Sistas know how to get creative and have a good time. Whether it’s a golf tournament, band night, or a dinner party – get together to raise funds, make some noise, and stop men dying too young,” Claire explains.
Have any other ideas on how beards can improve your health or even looks? Share some of your facial hair stories and tips on our Facebook page and become part of the moustache and beard movement!