by Matt Weik
While not exactly fitness or nutrition related, this topic I feel is relevant for many of the people who read my work as well as those in the industry. There are tons of guys in the fitness and supplement industry walking around with facial hair. Everything from a tightly trimmed beard to a big and bulky lumberjack look. For some a beard represents masculinity and power while others consider it a sign of being lazy and homeless looking. Either way you look at it, the benefits of a beard are the same. One thing people who don’t have a beard fail to realize, is that a considerable amount of time is spent taking care of the beard. This involves trimming, shaping, edging, applying products like beard oil to help treat the hair as well as the skin underneath it. There’s a misconception that people seem to have about beards and simply just waking up with it looking good and healthy. That’s really not accurate at all if you speak to someone with a beard. Just like with the hair on top of your head where you need to keep the hair and scalp healthy, you need to do the same with the beard hair and skin on your face.
For those who thought a beard was just for show and that there were no health benefits associated with throwing out your razor, you’re about to get educated.
1. What would you do with more free time?
A researcher has found that on average, a guy spends a total of 3,350 hours, 139 days, or 5 months worth of shaving alone in his lifetime. That’s a ton of time! What could you do with an extra 5 months worth of living and not having to stand over the bathroom sink shaving your face? Add that to the longevity benefits from proper exercise and nutrition and your quality of live as you get older certain improves over those who do not exercise, eat right, and save their face every day. This provides a longer life to enjoy all the things that make you happy and healthy.
2. Prevent skin cancer
A nice full, thick beard is not just something to admire. In fact, that very facial hair can help protect your face from the sun’s harmful UV rays. It’s been shown that a full beard has the ability to block up to 95% of UV rays, lowering your risk for cancer. Also by having a full beard covering your face, it helps prevent wrinkles and the aging process.
3. Keep your face warm in the winter
Does the weather drop down to the point you need a coat and hat in the fall/winter months? Then grow out a beard and help keep your face warm. That extra layer of hair is especially good at blocking the wind and cold weather, helping to keep your skin from drying out due to the harsh conditions outdoors. The longer the beard, the more insulation coverage! Many people decide to grow out a beard once the weather turns cold, but to get the full benefits, it needs to be long and thick enough to do so.
4. Keep acne at bay
Shaving causes abrasions on your face that cause bacteria and junk to get into your pores. This can lead to acne, infections, and ingrown hairs to form. By allowing the hair to grow out, it will naturally help cure blemishes commonly found on your face due to constantly running a razor across your skin. So if great looking skin is what you’re after and hate the thought of nicks and cuts on your face, then toss your shaver in the trash and try the au-naturel way of life. It’s also been documented that the sebaceous glands are able to keep your skin naturally moisturized better because the beard protects the skin from drying out. This is great for those of you who suffer from skin irritation due to daily shaving.
5. Reduce allergy symptoms
Many people across the United States suffer from allergies—some worse than others. They are popping pills and getting shots to either prevent or stop their symptoms. Pollen, dust, and other allergens get into our system through our airways. If you have a beard, you naturally have a filter similar to your nose hair to stop (or at least minimize) those particles from entering your body. Think of your beard as your shield against the dangers that lurk outdoors or in your home.
6. Ward off throat disease
Similarly, to what was mentioned above, we are constantly breathing in bacteria which travels down our throat. Having a beard traps and can kill those airborne bacteria before they can cause you any harm such as by attacking your throat due to other bacteria found in your beard competing for space and food. The bacteria mentioned in your beard actually for antibodies that help boost your immunity. While that may sound weird, it’s 100% factual. It was noted that men who have beards actually get sick less often. A book called Pulmonary Tuberculosis: Its Pathology, Nature, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prognosis, Causes, Hygiene, and Medical Treatment was published back in 1875 by Dr. Addison P. Dutcher documents these health claims.
7. Keeps your skin moist
Having a beard does wonders for your face. And if you’re ugly, it does a good job hiding it (just kidding, or am I?). With less of mother nature pounding your face on a daily basis drying out your skin, your face retains its natural oils which keeps the skin soft, moist, hydrated, and healthy. This gives your skin a youthful appearance due to your face showing less signs of aging compared to something like your forehead where unless your hairstyle covers it, is constantly hit with the elements outside. Someone who don’s a beard for most of their life will find after completely shaving that their skin is near perfect compared to their forehead and around their eyes.