This is a guest post by Eric Bandholz, founder of Beardbrand.
Well, we are smack dab in the middle of Summer and you are probably thinking to yourself: why should I grow a beard right now? Well, when it comes to beard growing there is no right or wrong time to start or stop, and there is no right or wrong reason to grow. Everyone grows or shaves their beard off for their own personal reasons, and I’ve just laid out the 5 most common reasons guys are growing their beards out right now. Let’s begin!
1. You’re On Vacation
This is probably the most common birth to many beards around the world—the good ol’ vacation beard. Your career typically has dictated that you sport the “All American” look, and you’ve always felt that pressure to look a certain way. Whether it’s been explicitly stated or simply implied, you’ve been wanting to free your face from the grind that is daily shaving.
The common corporate stance is you can either be completely shaven or have a nice groomed beard. The challenge is that a nicely groomed beard takes time, and those first few days may always appear to be “un-groomed” (despite the real amount of grooming you do).
The vacation beard is a great way to get a jump start on the beard. The key to taking advantage of the vacation beard is to skip shaving about 2 days before the vacation. The stubble on that Thursday and Friday probably won’t be noticed by your peers, and if they do say anything, just tell them you are already in vacation mode.
If you go that route, you’ll have a good 1.5 weeks worth of growth, which is enough time to carve a cheek line and a neck line to give your beard that groomed appearance.
2. “Winter is Coming”
Alright, if you are like me and live in a hot ass town, the last thing you are thinking about is Winter. Well, as they say in Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming” and you gotta get that face prepared for the Winter ahead. I know here in Austin the El Nino has been doing crazy things to the weather, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this Winter ends up colder than normal.
A nice, full beard doesn’t happen overnight—it takes months. By starting now in July, you’ll end up with a nice 4-month beard coming into November. That’s really the optimal length to take you through the Winter months. At that point, with your appropriately long beard, you’ll find your neck is staying toasty warm while your beardless friends shiver with the slightest of breezes.
3. You Love Wet Shaving
You are one of those guys who really loves shaving, specifically wet shaving. Well, up until recently it seemed like the boys over at Art of Shaving were having all the fun. There’s nothing like the premium experience of a wet shave—the lather, the beautiful razors, badger hair brushes, the shaving bowls, and the feeling a man gets after investing a significant amount of time into his daily routine to look the best.
With the rebirth of facial hair, we’ve also seen a rebirth in grooming products for beardsmen. No longer are guys just left to grow it out. Now guys can bring a similar type of experience that they’ve had with wet shaving to growing a beard out. The full grooming experience starts off with a beard wash & softener routine in your shower. After you hop out of the shower, you towel dry your beard and apply beard oil to your beard and skin. Working that oil deep into the skin helps give your beard the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy. After applying beard oil, you’ll go through your wet shave routine to trim the cheek line and neck line. Use some scissors to trim up any stray hairs, brush the beard down, and apply some mustache wax to either get that very dandy look, or to simply control the whiskers.
Shameless plug: we’ve made a Beardsman’s Kit which contains all you’ll need for growing your beard out, and we’ve packaged it together in a beautiful black walnut box. The box is made in America and is constructed with many fine details—like dove tail corners and small magnets keeping the lid in place. If you need a kit to look beautiful next to your wet shave collection, this is it.
4. The Beard Trend is Over
Apparently, according to many big media outlets, having a beard is no longer in style. The big movement is towards the “beardstache,” which is still a beard, but whatever. The beardstache is a short beard (from stubble to a few weeks of growth) with a fully grown out mustache. It’s a classic look that many men rocked years ago, and some guys can pull it off very well. It does take a little bit of gumption though to grow it out right now.
But with big media finally declaring the end of the beard, it’s the perfect time to grow a beard out. All guys grow beards out for their own reasons. It could be anything from simply wanting one your whole life, to overcoming personal challenges in your life, to preferring the way you look with a beard. So with that said, guys don’t like to be told that they have grown a beard out because it’s trendy. Fuck that shit. I’m the type of guy who would do the opposite of what anyone considers trendy. Well, the problem with being oppositional defiant is on the internet everyone is saying something different.
If you are one of those guys who hates doing things that are trendy, then keep these articles on hand and say: “Look, everyone is saying the trend is over and I’m just growing for my own damn reasons.”
5. The Beard is Socially Acceptable
So, you consider yourself a conservative guy and tend to be slow following movements. There is no shame in that since you don’t have to deal with all the flack that early adopters have gone through. The beard has finally hit the point where it’s socially acceptable with the majority of people. Granted, not 100% of people are going to approve of your new beard, but the majority won’t give it a second thought.
With media declaring the beard trend over, you can simply state that growing a beard is an action that you’ve always wanted as an individual. Look it’s your face, and your beard—you get to dictate whether or not you have a beard. It’s just nice that you won’t have to consistently deal with the “Grizzly Adams” or “ZZ Top” comments anymore. All the tools are out there to take care of the beard, or leave it be.
When I write articles like this, I always see in the comments about how “it’s my beard and I just do what I want.” I hear you guys and agree 100%. No, you don’t need to use beard oils or keep your beard highly groomed. Yes, you’ve had your beard long before anyone else had a beard. Articles like this aren’t meant to be gospel about what you should or shouldn’t do with your face. I write them to simply give guys some perspective to what’s going out there in the world. It’s all about finding your own joys in life, because after all, it’s short and it’s over before we know it.
There is never a better time to grow a beard than right now. You never know what’s going to happen in life, and if a beard is what you want, then grow a damn beard. No one is going to say at your funeral, “Oh man, Billy could have had such a better life if he didn’t have a beard.” They are going to talk about the things you’ve done as a man and the effect you’ve had on others in your life. Don’t let society pressure you into shaving your face, or for that matter, growing a beard. Be the man you want to be and beard on!