By Gurjit Kaur Sekhon
I think it’s unfair that men have a beard to hide their faces behind. It helps them to hide their age as the beard covers practically ¾ of their face. The only thing that may give away their age is if they refrain from colouring their beard.
Another weird thought strikes my mind. Would it be possible in the unforeseeable future if men with beards start colouring or dying them, competing with women who colour their hair with striking neon colours for the sake of being fashionable or having beard extensions? Ha, ha,ha. Well you never know.
Jokes aside, are there any health benefits for men to have beards? Well, you are in for a surprise.
1. Looking Younger: Beard can cover ¾ of the face hence lesser ultraviolet rays will hit men on their face. Studies show that up to 95% of UV rays from the sun can be blocked by beards. Hence the thicker the beard, the better as there would be more protection. The lesser the amount of UV rays hitting the skin, the lesser the formation of wrinkles.
2. Reduction of Asthma and Dust Allergy Reactions: The moustache and beard work as natural filters which prevent allergens from settling in.
In 1875, in the book titled Pulmonary Tuberculosis: Its Pathology, Nature, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prognosis, Causes, Hygiene & Medical Treatment, Dr. Addison P. Dutcher noted that there were cases of lung and throat diseases being cured by just growing beards. He advised those working in environments exposed to dust to never shave.
The important factor to remember here is to keep one’s beard and hands clean as otherwise instead of being a filter the beard can turn to be a store house for allergens.
3. Reduction of Bacterial Infection: Shavings can create openings that lead to infections and ingrown hairs. Hence not shaving can reduce acne flare-ups. Smoother and a clear complexion is experience by those who sport a beard.
4. Warmth in Cold Climates: Beard provides both thermal and physical protection against extreme cold weather and protects the skin from chapping.
5. Attraction Factor: Some men feel that they appear more attractive and manly with a beard. Men have stated that growing a beard also seems to be a confidence booster. Women too are generally attracted to men who grow beards as they find them more manly and attractive. I recall reading a study done mentioning men who sport beards are more committed to long term relationships.
One should care for one’s beard the same way you care for your hair. Beard can experience thinning, too. If you find circular patches of hair loss than it may be related to autoimmune disorder and you should consult your doctor.
If you feel that your beard is dry and brittle than you may be over washing or the cleanser you are using maybe too harsh. Just as you would care for your hair, your beard needs to be moisturised/conditioned. You may use cold pressed oils as they also provide nutrients and are safe when they come in contact with your facial skin.
Beard can be prone to dandruff too. Rinsing with organic apple cider vinegar dilution or using mild shampoo will help. Balance it well by moisturising the beard.
Never tie your beard up when it’s wet. Do not use a hair dryer as you will damage your facial skin with the hot air from the hair dryer. Pat your beard dry with a towel and use a wide tooth comb if you need to remove tangles.
Should you feel that you are unable to grow a beard and your health checks out ok, well than, you can blame your parents as genetics play a major role in hair growth development. The plus factor here that the chances of you balding may be less likely compared to your bearded friends.
I would love to hear from the ladies on their perception on men with beards and men who sport beards too.
Gurjit Kaur Sekhon is founder of Simran Beyond Beauty, an organic hair, beauty & waxing spa
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