To beard or not to beard, that is the question.

Thinking about letting your facial hair grow wild? Let us break it down for you…

beards

There’s one question that has plagued men since time immemorial: Are beards the best, or is a clean shave the way to go? Throughout the history of civilization, beards have gone in and out of style dozens of times. These days, men can choose their facial hair styles freely, but this freedom comes with a cost; as a modern man, you are burdened with the responsibility of deciding between shaving cream and beard oil whenever you shop for grooming goods online. In this guide, we’ll answer all your questions about beards, and we’ll help you make the hard decision between a smooth, clean shave and a beautiful beard dripping with beard oil.

Do Women Like the scruff?

beautiful woman

Let’s face it, guys: Most of the things we do, we do to impress members of the opposite sex. Whether we’re looking for girlfriends or trying to show our wives that we’ve got what it takes, we’re constantly on the lookout for new techniques to impress women with our rugged manliness.

However, do women like beards, or do they prefer the smoothness that comes after a meticulous wet shave? According to Psychology Today, the answer to this question is anything but simple. It seems that women prefer men with light stubble as long-term partners, but they view men with long beards as the most aggressive and socially mature. What’s more, women think that men with short facial hair are the most dominant.

The good news for men who like a nice wet shave or who have stocked up on a lifetime supply of shaving cream is that you have to shave relatively frequently to get the stubble that women desire in sexual partners. While women might not give you the time of day for the first 24 hours or so after you shave, once your clean shave wears off and your stubble sets in, the time will be right to hit the club or flex at the gym.

If you’re looking for a long-term relationship or you’re trying to show the mother of your children that you’re an epic provider, however, you might want to ditch the shaving cream temporarily and invest heavily in beard oil. The research is clear that women see men with full facial hair as being more aggressive, dominant, and mature, and your committed partner might even lose respect for you if you say goodbye to beards and end it all with a luxurious wet shave.

While the allure of a clean shave might fit in well in a boardroom or a job interview, beards are the way to go if you want to hit it off with the ladies. Just don’t forget to keep some shaving cream on hand in case the science on this subject ever changes.

Long Beards vs. Neatly Trimmed Beards

Long Beard

Modern life can be hectic, and it can seem like you don’t have enough time for a wet shave every morning. Beards can look great in professional environments, but just make sure that you don’t overdo it.

No employer likes scraggly beards. This doesn’t mean that you should try to have a clean shave every time you show up for work, but you also shouldn’t let your facial hair run amok. In certain industries, long beards might be perfectly acceptable, but you should keep your facial hair well-trimmed no matter how long it gets.

There’s nothing worse than being forced to give yourself a wet shave after you suddenly learn your employer doesn’t like beards. If you like your beard, take care of it, or you might have to make a choice between a clean shave and losing your job sooner than you think.

Can You Have the Best of Both Worlds?

Groomed Beard

Please, we beg you: Don’t go for the neckbeard! Anything else, however, is fair game. Who said that you have to grow a long, scraggly beard? As long as you have a razor, there are a million and one different ways that you can creatively rock your facial hair.

Just because you have a beard doesn’t mean you have to abandon the luxury of a wet shave entirely. In fact, many men keep their beards in check by applying shaving cream to the areas around their necks and shaving every other day or so. Beards with clearly defined perimeters look more professional, and you can also use a straight razor or a safety razor to explore your facial hair possibilities to your heart’s content.

Straight Razor

Employers might like cleaner beards better than wild beards, and the ladies will appreciate the contrast between the ruggedness of your beard and its manicured edges. Just don’t get too creative; complicated mixes of facial hair and cleanly shaved skin look downright weird, and they’re hard to maintain day in and day out.

A World of Stylish Beards to Choose From

Every man should go down the bearded route at some point in his life. The question is, should you stop shaving now and let your beard go wild? As you debate the pros and cons of being bearded, consider some of the best beard styles that celebrities rock without a care in the world.

  1. The ZZ Top/Duck Dynasty Jungle
    These men know how to grow some serious facial hair! If you’ve ever been to a ZZ Top concert or watched an episode of Duck Dynasty, you probably stared in amazement at the waterfall of facial hair cascading off these famous celebrity faces. Not everyone can grow a beard like Dusty Hill or Phil Robertson, but if you can, you might as well flaunt it.
  2. The Mel Gibson Jehovah
    If it’s always been your dream to look like a biblical figure, you could learn a thing or two from Mel Gibson. This famous Hollywood actor and director has been cultivating his facial hair for decades now, and he so fully looks the part that it would only be natural to see Mel rolling in on a thundercloud shooting bolts of lightning from his fingertips. The Mel Gibson beard is anything but tame, but it’s polished enough to look right at home in a board room or a Michelin-starred restaurant.
  3. The Chris Hemsworth Stubble
    Remember what we said about women and stubble? Actor Chris Hemsworth pulls off this effect perfectly. While you’ll sometimes see Chris clean-shaven, he ditches the shaving cream just as frequently and lets a short beard grow out. If you want to remain popular with the opposite sex, just remember to give yourself a wet shave every week or so to keep things from getting out of hand.
  4. The LeBron James Masterpiece
    If you don’t mind taking half an hour out of your day to sculpt your face every day of the week, you might want to emulate the look that LeBron James has been perfecting. While he never lets his beard get much longer than thick stubble, he expertly deploys a clean shave around his mouth to disrupt the overpowering look that so many beards end up having.
  5. The Daniel Radcliffe Lounge
    This former Harry Potter lead proves that you can do a lot with very little. While the density of Radcliffe’s facial hair is nothing to write home about, his refusal to keep up with a daily wet shave has resulted in a thin layer of hair covering his upper lip and chin. Even if you can’t grow a full Mel Gibson beard, you can take a page from Daniel’s book and rock a short beard that will make you look as rugged and manly as possible.

Nobody Likes a Dirty Beard

Clean Shave

There’s a very simple reason many men end up avoiding beards altogether. The longer your facial hair becomes, the harder it is to maintain, and there’s nothing more embarrassing than a dirty beard. While beard oil keeps the skin under your beard healthy and makes sure that your facial hair stays nice and soft, applying this oil every day doesn’t do much to keep your beard clean.

If you want to make sure that your beard doesn’t get too dirty, you’ll need to wash it every day. Even though your facial hair is different from the hair on your head, you should use a beard wash and you may also want to bring a beard comb into the shower with you to make sure that you get all the accumulated gunk out of your facial hair.

Men with beards understand that having rugged facial hair requires constant vigilance. You have to be extra careful when you eat, and even spilled drinks can ruin the masculine appeal of your beard and drag strange smells with you wherever you go. Nonetheless, sporting an immaculately maintained beard is much more mainstream than it used to be, and as long as you can grow enough facial hair, the sky is the limit in terms of the epic beard styles you can try out.