Clean shaven vs. bearded. It is a decision that every man has struggled with at least once in their life. Maybe it is time to grow it out. Should I clean shave for this meeting? Should I grow my beard out during winter? It can be quite difficult to determine which style is appropriate, stylish and attractive.
Your facial hair or lack of can be indicative of your general approach to life. People may see you in a different light if you wear a beard. Maybe you will get more respect if you are clean shaven. On the other hand, a beard could make you look more manly or even sexy.
The facial hair trends change every year or so. It can be difficult to know what is in style and what is old fashioned. Let’s explore the clean shaven vs bearded debate and have a look at the perception of both.
Clean Shaven Look
The clean shaven look is classic and simple. Your chin is bare and prominent. There is no beard to hide it. The look requires constant maintenance. The appearance of a stray strand of hair will ruin everything. For some people, this means shaving every day. For others, it will only mean shaving a couple of days a week.
If you want a close and smooth clean shave, the best tool is the cut-throat razor. This requires a bit of practice, skill and patience, so it is not for everyone. You can also achieve a clean shave with a disposable safety razor. This is the more common single blade approach. It doesn’t require too much skill and is a relatively quick process.
Unlike the clean shave, there are multiple bearded looks. Some of them require no maintenance at all. You can just grow your beard out till it touches your belly button. This approach is not recommended.
A beard can look as smart as a clean shave if it is properly groomed and maintained. Shaving, oiling, and combing are all required to get the beard looking good.
The perception of the beard changes all the time. Sometimes it is fashionable to have a faded neckline. At other times you may want to grow your mustache out. Ultimately, it is all down to you and which style makes you feel comfortable.
Do Beards Make You Look Hotter?
An age-old question. For some people, facial hair is a complete turn-off. Others find bearded men equally attractive as clean shaven men. In reality, if you are already handsome growing a beard is not going to make you look hideous. It may make you seem less approachable or it could make you seem more manly.
Growing a beard should be a choice. Your jawline or lack of will be key in determining whether you look good with a beard. For some people, the choice is taken out of their hands because their hair grows irregularly and not very long. If your hair grows in patches and sprouts in all different colors, then you may not want to grow a beard.
Let’s have a look at the overall perception of beards with some beard statistics. A YouGov poll conducted in 2018 had a look at whether the impression a man gave was affected by wearing a beard.
They found that 15 percent thought a beard gave a less favorable impression. Eight percent responded that a beard gave a more favorable impression. 77 percent of people believed it was irrelevant whether a man was clean shaven or bearded.
Alongside this study, people were asked about which look is more attractive. 35 percent said that the clean shaven look is more attractive. Only 4 percent responded positively to having a beard. This seems to suggest that not many people find you more attractive if you wear a beard.
Studies have also shown that you can look up to eight years older by wearing a beard. For some people, this could be a positive thing. Especially if you are in your early twenties. However, this can be a negative quality if you middle-aged and wish to look younger.
Overall these statistics seem to suggest that a beard can greatly change the way people perceive you. There are a variety of women’s opinions of beards. Obviously, this is all dependent on the type of beard and how it is maintained. If you do want to wear a beard and also remain attractive it is important to groom regularly.
Are Beards Considered Unprofessional?
This is a question often asked by men before they go to an interview or attend a meeting. Not all professional environments are the same so there is not a one size fits all answer to the question.
The general opinion is that, however, you are dressed, you should also be smart up top. For some, this may mean being clean shaven. It is the safest and easiest option. No one is going to complain if you have no beard. This is because a clean shaven chin is more simple to maintain. You don’t have to worry about style.
On the other hand, beards are more likely to be a hassle at work. A beard can communicate confidence and style. However, they can also communicate laziness and a general lack of effort. It can be a difficult line to straddle.
“There was a time when TV news personalities and those in the political arena weren’t considered trustworthy if they were hiding behind scruff.” (NYPost) This is not always the case today. Many men now take more care styling and grooming their beards. A carefully manicured beard can look as professional as a clean shaven look.
Ultimately the clean shaven vs bearded debate in the professional sphere is constantly evolving. There is no risk of being clean shaven. But a well-groomed beard can also communicate confidence and style.
Are Beards Considered Aggressive?
The science of facial hair is not exact, but some studies suggest that beards may cause a man to seem more aggressive. Are people afraid of guys with beards?
Well, being able to grow a beard shows that you have active testosterone in your body. This may mean that bearded men have the physical potential and drive to be more aggressive.
“In one study, photographs of bearded men and non-bearded men making the same aggressive facial expression (scowling, baring teeth, etc.) were compared. The bearded men were rated as significantly more aggressive and intimidating, even when all other factors were identical.” (ArtofManliness).
The perception of aggression does not necessarily mean that people will be more afraid. Obviously, it is not inherently scary to wear a beard. As well as aggression, a beard can be a sign of maturity, confidence, and style.
Whether you are going for a clean shaven look or growing out a manly beard, there are few things you need to know.
Before you even touch your chin, you have to purchase the right equipment. This includes a good clipper and grooming kit that includes beard oil, moisturizer, and a beard comb. Aftercare is as important as the shave itself if you want to avoid irritation and look good.
You may also want to get a professional shave by a barber. The luxury of getting a hot shave is one that cannot be missed. You are guaranteed to get a close and clean shave if you consult a professional. Your barber can also give you advice on whether you should be clean shaven or bearded. If you are struggling to decide then, it is a good idea to consult an expert!
If you want to be alert to what styles are in fashion, have a look at your favorite bearded celebrities for guidance. A handsome chap like George Clooney will also help you to know how to pair your beard with a stylish haircut.
The Great Debate
There is no universal answer to the debate between clean shaven and bearded. You have to consider your own comfort and how others will perceive you. There will be times during the year were wearing a beard will be annoying. On the other hand, maintaining a clean shave can be a hassle.
There have been studied to suggest that people believe the beard to be a manlier option. A beard is also more likely to be perceived as untidy. There are pros and cons to both. The clean shave perhaps indicates a more honest and open person. In some societies, you may be more approachable without a beard.
Overall, while there is some science behind these perceptions you should be swayed too much. You should pick the option that is most comfortable and appropriate for you and your routine.
Statistics and opinions are useful but shouldn’t be the ultimate decider. It is up to you!
What style do you favor? Clean shaven or bearded?
Share in the comments below!