Why Do You Have a Beard and How Does It Feel?

I am just wondering why it is so common in Australia for men to have beard.

Is it symbolic? Doesn't it feel unhygienic and inconvenient? It sure takes more time, effort and money to maintain the beard. What happens when food is hiding there?

Poll Options

  • 43
    I used to have beard
  • 447
    I have beard now
  • 15
    I will have beard
  • 47
    I am female and I want to have beard

Comments

    • +1

      Azn?

      • +1

        Yeah, Asian :P

        • +1

          If it's a concern for you, you could ask your GP for Primoteston.

          • +5

            @Scrooge McDuck: While I want a beard, hormonal supplements probably aren't something that I am wiling to do.

    • Never could, even if I don't shave for like 3 weeks.

      I remember one of my Movember Meowvember efforts one year, growing fast whiskers (short, sparse, mo and chin area)

  • +4

    I have had a beard for the last 30 years. Would get bad shaver rash in my 20s particularly bad in summer. Growing a beard would give my skin a break. My wife really likes my beard so I don't shave it off any more. If you are considering a beard, think about your significant other. Facial hair maybe a deal breaker or maker.

    • +3

      If I was considering a significant other, I'd think about my beard.

  • +1

    have had a beard since i was 16, honestly just think it looks nice.

  • +1

    I shave every 3-4 weeks, can't be bothered doing it more often than that plus I think it looks better although the grey has nearly taken 50% of the black hair.

  • wondering why it is so common in Australia for men to have beard
    I am female and I want to have beard <— you included this option.

    Sounds like beards are common amongst women, before your came to Australia.

  • +26

    If your dad doesn't have a beard you got 2 mums.

    • 2 stupid looking mums.

  • +2

    I have stubble/5 o clock shadow, and that is because I experience skin irritation if I clean shave and I break out. So I use a stubble groomer and consistently have a stubble

  • +2

    French tickler, say no more, have to keep Melania happy ( or whatever she is called)

  • Is it symbolic?

    No, it is laziness.

    Doesn't it feel unhygienic and inconvenient?

    It you don't wash it, sure. But then you're probably an unhygienic person anyway.

    It sure takes more time, effort and money to maintain the beard.

    It does not. It costs me nothing, takes up zero time and absolutely effortless.

    What happens when food is hiding there?

    You rinse/wash it with… W-A-T-E-R… Might be a weird idea for some people though.

    • It does not. It costs me nothing, takes up zero time and absolutely effortless

      you are bearding wrong. anything that is maintained cost money. if cost you nothing… it's not maintained. that's gross

      No, it is laziness

      not all beards are born out of laziness, some are grown on purpose with purpose.

      • +1

        not all beards are born out of laziness, some are grown on purpose with purpose.

        The question is why do you (I, in this context) have a beard, not what is every possible reason every single person that has a beard….

        you are bearding wrong.

        I am not.

        anything that is maintained cost money. if cost you nothing…

        I guess the water coming out of the shower head isn't free, nor is the shampoo. But, the additional amount of water and shampoo used is probably a few cents a year above what I'd normally use anyway to clean myself.

        it's not maintained. that's gross

        It is perfectly clean.

        • I am not.

          Like your hair a well maintained beard is trimmed. All the hair doesn't always grow uniformly. Conditioning, beard oil, moisturizing the skin below the beard.

          It is perfectly clean.

          Doesn't mean just cleaning after meals or in the shower. Like hair beards and moustaches can Have treatments, be styled, coloured. You don't say your car is maintained by just keeping it clean.

          Most of the comments here generally are talking beards of different lengths. Some are long and some are short.

          Yes maybe short beards might not need a lot of maintaining. But long beards do.

          Some people use more effort in maintaining the beard and some use less

          When I have a short cover over the face i use less product but on some occasions when it has gotten long and thicker. More effort is i used in keeping it groomed and looking nice.

          Like a good haircut it matters to look after

          • +3

            @Archi: Good for you. I'm happy for you. If only everyone could be as good as you.

            • @MnGQ: thanks mate… i have my days, like my wife says.. if only i practiced what i preached.

    • Yeah like wtf is a shower hahaha

  • +6

    Because we have an overweight population and beards hide a double chin.

  • I am just wondering why it is so common in Australia for men to have beard.

    It's not just in Australia and it's largely (although subconsciously so), because there's premium on masculinity these days, due its stock absolutely plummeting in the last few decades for a variety of complicated social, political, cultural and biological reasons.

    As a result, we have an epidemic of jawless, sub-6" foot, skinnyfat, soft-handed, effete, insecure manlets walking around in Western societies who've never had proper father figures, never had truly inspirtational male role models, never worked with their hands, constantly go to elaborate lengths to seek female attention/gratification, are severely risk-averse, shy away from facing violence/threats of violence or even non-physical confrontation, live chronically testosterone-diminishing lifestyles and who are fed a diet of self-loathing and emasculating conditioning from their environment and their betters, who now desperately seek validation of their manhood through vain, trivial expressions of masculinity like beards, fade cuts, fashion styles, small d*ck mobiles, becoming gym rats, alcoholism, tattoos and achieving a sufficiently high tally of meaningless sexual encounters.

    Men will say growing a beard is anything other than an awkward attempt at compensating for feelings of inadequacy as a male and conforming with their "manly" peers, but it's definitely an enourmous part of it; it's a sign of ideological affiliation with the "manosphere" out there, with it's man caves, bro codes, acronyms and codewords (MRAs, MGTOW, "game", pickup artists, alphas, betas, incels, etc) group male therapy sessions disguised as "hanging out with the boys" and cringey MRAs like Roosh, Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro, who are all being unwittingly puppeteered to embolden the opponents of traditional masculinity with their shock value rhetoric.

    There's a strong undercurrent of nihilism, alienation and purposelessness for younger men in the 21st century, and it manifests itself in the incredibly high suicide rates for men in the Western world (e.g. 75% of all suicides in Australia are men) and in this strong attachment to superficial symbols of masculinity as some vestige of the good old days of their fathers' or grandfathers' era that they can cling to.

    It's a tough and confusing juncture in time and space and so we end up with indecisive, perplexed men who're never really sure of what to do; do they grow beards or be clean-shaven, do they act aggressive or so laid back as to project supreme confidence, do they micromanage their relationships or act indifferent to everything, do they follow the template laid out by previous generations of men and support/raise families with an emphasis on raising their boys the right way or do they "go their own way" because there's no point anymore; they're damned if they do and damned if they don't in equal measure by different crowds.

    Hence, we end up with these walking bundles of contradiction: heavily-bearded men drinking soy lattes, dressed like teenagers past the age of 30 who work as baristas or some temporary occupation, albeit permanently, who believe if they become such shining beacons of virtue and right-think that the opposite sex will disrobe in their mere proximity, but have zero to offer to a family or a community or a friend other than "watch out for the snakes on Level 6."

    • -2

      YAWN

    • I reckon you might be reading a bit too deep into it, IMO the biggest force behind it is an increase of focus on aesthetics and that if you're carrying a little bit of extra weight or have a weak jawline a beard helps you frame your face and create a tidy image.

      I think there's actually a lot less pressure today for men to project masculinity and in my experience the only guys who really get hung up on it are insecure types who spend a lot of time on the internet.

    • +3

      Great post Gnostikos. Couple of points I might not quite align with you on, but by and large I think there’s a lot of truth in what you have said. I worry about my son’s generation.

    • +7

      10/10 excellent rant would read again

    • "Wild at Heart" is a great book on masculinity from a Christian perspective. Part of the reason for this issue the author argues is our society doesn't want manly men, dangerous men, brave men. Instead men are led to be safe and tame and non-confrontational, which is not their nature.

      Not really sure if it parallels the whole beard/no beard thing, to me beards are pretty meaningless beyond aesthetics.

      • Looking at that a little differently, these "dangerous" men used to be the hunters and able to provide for the family. Size, strength and virility was the way they were judged as good providers.

        Now the providers are the rich rather than the strong (yes there can be overlap), so in some cultures that means that means the political or the best job, in some cultures it means the biggest sportscar/house, some cultures it means the fattest (since they can afford overindulgence). So where you see non-confrontational, it could be people spending more time on their businesses/earning more money, where they used to focus more on sports/fighting/confrontation.

    • Curious whether you are male, 6ft or more and have a receding jawline? If you had the negative attributes you mention would you vocalise them? Do you feel you are one of those who are masculine?
      I actually find your comment thought provoking and agree with most points - you could have a really interesting subject in Japan and how the male population there feel after western thought has permeated their culture, ie. after the samurai/shinobi culture was disbanded and "masculinity" or "warrior" concept changed to subservience to their work (don't get me wrong subservience was there but only for the peasant class however the warrior culture & its outlet was removed)..

  • +1

    When my wife gives me the shits…and it feels GREAT!

    • Well said. I thought I was the only one who did that. You beat me to it.

    • When my wife gives me the shits

      Perhaps your fridge isn't at the right temperature.

  • +6

    i have a big ned kelly-sized and i like how it looks. I shampoo and conditioner nearly every day and i have a series of beard oils that i use too. I take pride in its condition and often have people tell me “it feels like i’m touching a cloud”

    I always get weirded out by people who do the “you get food in it” thing, like how does everyone else eat? I’m an adult who is able to get the food into their mouth. In a rare occasion it does happen, i am well aware of it and so i wipe it off.

    Beards can get unhygienic and gross if you yourself are unhygienic and gross. It’s a good yardstick of a man as to how they look after their beard

    • +3

      Before I had a beard I used to play Here Comes The Aeroplane with every morsel, but often missed the cave crashing into my nose, chin or cheeks. I can't do that post-beard (for obvious reasons,) so perhaps that's the issue others are having.

    • I have a pretty big one too, maybe not Ned Kelly sized but bigger than most.
      Would love to know what beard oils you use and why, if you have time.
      I only use beard balm to style it when it gets a little messy.

      • +1

        i use the same shampoo and conditioner i use on the top of my head (occasionally stealing bits from my wife’s super expensive shampoo and conditioner too! Except when it has Argan Oil - for some reason it makes my skin itchy).

        I usually use Milkman oils - no real defendable reasons, I just bought some years ago and liked it so kept buying that brand. The aromas are quite nice without being too overpowering. I also use their beard balm for when i need to keep it under control. I occasionally use Bulldog beard balm too which is more like a moisturiser but it’s good every now and then especially in summer when it’s drier than usual. I got through that stuff pretty quick.

        I also have a Wahl heated beard brush too which keeps it nice and straight and free from too many stray hairs.

        Hope that helps!

        • +1

          Thanks heaps, man! Will look into those things. Appreciate your time putting the response together.

  • +9

    a beard will help you win the Eurovision song contest, trust me.

  • +1

    Looks good is the main reason. Still gotta trim but I find that less time consuming than shaving

    • +7

      Still unclear if you're for or against…

      • +1

        Neither. On one hand it's convenient. On the other it can seem unkempt.

        • -1

          You find it convenient when women have armpit hair?

          • @Kangal: Convenient for women to not shave.

  • +8

    I have a feeling people are reading too much into it. I reckon 9/10 bearded blokes are in it because they don't want to shave.

  • +1

    Every man looks better with a beard than without.

  • +2

    I have a beard mainly because i prefer how it looks, and I am relatively self-conscious about my chin area so having hair there makes it a non issue.

    There is also the convenience factor. I still shave my neck beard and trim the edges every day, but it is a hell of a lot easier and faster to maintain than clean shaving every day.

    But aesthetic is my primary reason for it.

  • -3

    Since 2020, my opinion of those especially those with long beards are just lazy and careless as it makes Facemasks less effective

    You rarely see medical professionals with long beards, as it gets unhygienic

    edit* mistakes

  • +2

    Cheaper and easier than shaving. how the hell do you think they are more expensive? bought a pair of clippers a couple of years ago, once a week I set the length and go over it for 20 seconds and I am done. Have saved a fortune as for unhygienic, personally I don't eat or drink out of a trough so not sure what you find unhygienic about it? perhaps you are referring specifically to people with huge bushy beards?

    As for how does it feel, you really don't notice it much once you have had one for long enough, it is just hair. how does it feel to have eyebrows?

  • +1

    Have had a beard before it was the in thing.
    Only shave the neck once a week or so.
    And I have all this great double edged razor stuff but don't use it's full potential just shaving my neck.

    Beard suits me more than clean shaven. I thought about shaving during lockdown last year, instead I went the other way lol.

  • Common in Australia

    Uncertain. i have always seen guys with them at varying lengths. have i seen more since covid hit = 100%. yet prior to that fashion and how men presented themselves was constantly evolving. could be argued perhaps not as many men had them as now..yet have they always been and we just notice it more now? dunno

    Is it symbolic?
    For me no. Came about for a few reasons;

    sensitive skin. so even with electric shaver i would get rashes {especially in warmer months} along my neck and playing sports would burn like a mofo.
    lots of ingrown hairs across the jawline - with the various unpleasing consequence of leaving/removing them as needed
    i started shaving my head when i knew the battle against genetics was a lost cause. thus head and face on a regular basis was just a nuisance and expensive.

    Doesn't it feel unhygienic and inconvenient?

    hygiene wise not at all. i learnt (late) to look after my skin properly so beard wash is no different than a face wash.
    inconvenient. when it gets longer than i like yes a bit only as mine can get unruly as i have thick hair and it tends to wave/go curly, so over time i now have learnt what is needed to minimize that and how to care for it. Like anything convenience can be a personally defined construct i.e. what i find convenient someone else deems inconvenient and vv

    It sure takes more time, effort and money to maintain the beard.

    time and effort yes a little for me as it has gotten longer so i need to blow dry/curl it to shape. Yet would be no different imo if i had a full head of hair that i chose to tidy up when i need to/if i had to best present myself
    adding up how much i have saved on shavers/gimmicks and gels/lotions etc for the last 10+ years from having 'designer beard' to long as i do now - vs what i spend previously it has been a huge saving

    What happens when food is hiding there?

    not sure how others eat o_O yet never had food hiding

  • I get too itchy when it starts to grow out and I have persisted for weeks but the itch never stops.
    Hated shaving rash so now I just trim down to 1-2mm everycouple days and it is far better than shaving each day or two

  • +1

    I have a beard for a few reasons:
    * My partner likes it
    * I like the way it looks on my face. I think my beard suits me.
    * My partner likes it
    * I don't like the idea of maintaining it everyday
    * I used to get ingrown hairs when I shaved to the skin as a young adult so it's easier for me to just keep a short beard.
    * Did I mention my partner likes it?

    Admittedly mine isn't very long and is only 4-5mm but it works for me :)

    • +3

      Yes, we all know you have three partners.

  • Why: I believe is you can grow facial hair, you should. Mine is short and well kept. Plus I get told it makes me look younger 🤷🏻‍♂️

    How does it feel: Sexy

  • I have always struggled to grow any decent facial hair so when I hit 30 and was able to have it fill in, I vowed to never go back to bare skin, don't get me wrong, it's nothing spectacular - but it's enough for me, maybe 20mm to 30mm in length.

    Plus it really helps with hiding the old double chin haha

  • +1

    I'm Asian, so I shave about once every month and I basically don't have any facial hair.

    • i'm asian, i can grow a full beard in a month.

      if i shave in the morning, i have thick stubble by the end of the night.

  • Why Do You Have a Beard?

    It was my Publisher's idea.

    How Does It Feel?

    Ask my wife.

  • Where is option 5? I'm male but cannot grow a beard.

  • I have a beard because im lazy

  • +4

    Why do I have a beard? Because I'm a man. A man having a beard is as normal and natural as having eyebrows, underarm hair and pubic hair. The sensible question would be if you are a man and don't have a beard, why don't you. Why on dog's earth would you go to all the trouble of shaving every day.

    Men in Western society are conditioned to think shaving it off is normal, and not doing that requires an explanation. Because I've had a beard most of my adult life I've been asked for an explanation so many times I've thought it through. The fact is that men shave to please other people. And when they reach the point in the life or career when they no longer care or need to care what other people think of them, they let their beard grow. Some men reach that point by retiring. Others reach it by succeeding. You see lots of beards in professional societies and amongst rich men and men who run their own companies. Others reach it by failing. As in bums and derelicts.

    • I've got a beard, only for the last year, because of covid.

      And whilst I like having it, I disagree with the rhetoric about "because I'm a man".

      You're a man because you were born one. Are you more of a man than me because I have no hair on my head, or are you less of one because you have hair (like a girl) for example?

      Beards aren't manly. Men are manly.

    • The fact is that men shave to please other people.

      PREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACH!!!

  • needs one more option
    Asian man, what's facial hair???

    lol im not that bad but would take a few months to get anything decent

  • -2

    I used to have a beard before it got cool…. Still have one and no it's not unhygenic unless you're someone who also doesn't clean your face.

    Additional info: I have it because as a Muslim we're meant to emulate the prophets of yore who all had beards (based on religious texts).

  • Just have perma stubble because going over with electric shaver is easier and doesn't irritate skin like wet shaving does.

    Best of both worlds,

  • It is your natural face, if it feels weird, there is something wrong.

  • Grow one before it turns white.

  • I have my beard in memory of my grandfather, my father couldn't grow a beard, both brothers couldn't so when I the youngest grew one at 16 he was happy that someone was like him (ie I'm a hairy bastard).

    Can be a little annoying with food/drink at times but then I remember what he used to say when I was a kid about how "The bits that fall into his whiskers are to save for later".

  • +1

    It gives my hands something to do when browsing OzBargain

  • +1

    I have thick hair and did try to have a beard some time back. While it is good to look at, it's actually more work than shaving. As many have mentioned before you need to wash your face pretty much after each meal. It gets messy. I cannot get over the thought that foods scraps remain in your beard so I do keep it tidy.

    My beards last 2 or 4 weeks before I get rid of them. Shaving takes only 10m or so in morning compared to the 3 or 4 times daily beard maintenance

  • +1

    there is a difference between a lazy beard and maintained groomed beard.

  • Beards are vile…

    • We don't want to look like girly men or women. Beards are great. Women's hair is vile because they don't wash it very often.

  • +1

    I am bearded - have been since before I met my wife, and we have been married for 38 years.

    Couldn't be bothered with shaving, was annoying (itchy) for first week or two, but fine since.

    I have removed it once, a few years back, for "shave for a cure" - a friend with a magnificent handlebar moustache, another with a curly afro "do", and myself raised over $40K between us (a matter of putting the word on the right wealthy friends…)

    Both my adult sons have beards (29 and 32) the elder of the two has grown his to over a foot in length, but it's short at the moment.

    My "flag" for needing a haircut, is a) wife nagging, or b) moustache getting in the way of eating or kissing (see option a) - I usually get it taken back to a "two" blade.

  • +1

    i have a fairly long beard because i wanted to see how long i could grow it before my wife got pissed off at me. someone said i look like ned kelly

  • I play with my short and curlies (beard) as woman don't (or do they have them again) short and curlies
    I am that old, I remember when all woman had them, then they didn't; now, I have trouble remembering what day it is

    • If you're referring to Tasmania, there still isn't much grass on the pitch these days.

  • There needs to be another option

    I cant grow a beard but I want one

    • That's the fourth option :p

      Kidding :)

      • On the bright side I shave like every 3-4 days lol

  • +5

    I have a beard because of Gillette and toxic masculinity.

  • +6

    Im fully sikh and thus have a beard :)

  • A lot of people have beards to hide their weak jawline.

  • +1

    Islam recommends beards, so that's my reason.

    Ps. Any beard is usually good, doesn't need to be long af

    • +1

      Needs to be at least a fist full length if you follow the dominant opinion followed by a third of Muslims.

    • Surprisingly I made my comment above which included Islam and got downvoted. Sunnah dictates it based on the prior example of Muhammad (pbuh) and those that came before.
      Agree with both your points, I recently trimmed mine due to it being a little too unkempt.